Hot and Smoky Beans

February 16, 2013

As soon as a food swap is announced, I can tell he's got an idea

Hot and Smokey Beans 10

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“Hah, you just wait.  I know what I'm going make and it's going to be REALLY good.”

I know he won't tell, not this early in the game, but I can't help but ask.  “And … ?????  Hints???  Throw a girl a bone; come on, anything.”

“Nope, nope; you'll have to wait.”

Shhhh, don't tell, but I've got his number.  I'll start watching cooking magazines on the kitchen counter; what's been dog-eared, or the crease of a page that he lingered over a wee bit too long.

If he weren't a great cook, it wouldn't be such a fun game.

Hot and Smoky Beans - A food swap favorite .. paired with slow-cooker brisket. Perfect!

Did I figure it out?  Not so much, but in the end, true to form, when paired with brisket, another food swap masterpiece was born

But don't just take my word for it.  The mouse in the corner on swap day speaks for himself:

“Oh my, have you tried the beans yet?”

“What's IN these?”

“Whew, there's a bit of a kick, but not too much.”

“Any samples left?”

“Wait, who made them?”

“No matter what, THESE, I've got to take home.”

Hot and Smoky Beans - A food swap favorite .. paired with slow-cooker brisket. Perfect!

So when you make a pot for those you love, let us know how they turned out.  I'm positive it will make him smile.



(*** Note from Dave; the original called for baking these in a glass tray, but I enjoy a pot on the stove top simmering away, filling the house with nice smells and letting me stir and tinker)

— — —

~  Adapted (very loosely) from Bon Appetit

Hot and Smoky Beans


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 ¼ cups barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup dark beer
  • ¼ cup molasses (something mild-flavored)
  • 3 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 pods black cardamom (I cracked the pods and tossed them in, fishing them out before serving .. except for one I couldn't find! Next time, I'm going to add some cardamom seeds and not go poking around for them)
  • 4-6 tsp minced canned chipotle chilies (suited for your tolerance for heat)
  • 4 cans Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained
  • ½ bag (~ 5 oz) kale, chopped, optional


  • Cook the bacon until very crisp; I did this right in the stockpot.
  • After the bacon was crisp, I took them out, used a paper towel to absorb the grease, and cut them into small pieces.
  • There were bacon drippings in the pot; drain off some but not all, creating a base for the rest.
  • Add the ingredients up to the cardamom pods. Remember; go with crushed seeds next time! Stir to combine.
  • Add the chilies, depending on spiciness desired. Stir to combine
  • Stir in the beans
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 min. If using, add the chopped kale and mix well; cook for another 30 minutes or so, until they've had a chance to thicken
Serves: 18
Nutrition + Show
Calories 208
Total Fat 1.4g
Saturated Fat 0.4g
Carbohydrates 38.6g
Fiber 6g
Sugars 13g
Protein 10g
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