Baked Beans With Watermelon BBQ Sauce
Chef Rebecca Peizer
Culinary Institute of America
St. Helena, Calif.
Baked beans are a tailgate and barbecue favorite, but Chef Rebecca Peizer gives the tried-and-true recipe a refreshing twist with a fruity barbecue sauce. Pureed watermelon adds a slightly sweet and tangy accent to the sauce, complemented by bitter notes from the addition of coffee, tartness from apple cider vinegar and smokiness from smoked paprika.
1 lb. dried navy beans
1 cup diced bacon
Vegetable oil, as needed
1½ cups finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Watermelon BBQ sauce
6 cups watermelon, pureed
½ cup tomato paste
½ cup molasses
¼ cup smoked paprika
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 cup strong brewed coffee
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
- Soak beans overnight in cold water, drain and refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, prepare BBQ sauce: In saucepot, combine watermelon puree, tomato paste, molasses, paprika and mustard. Stir in coffee, vinegar and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook sauce until it’s reduced by two-thirds and thickened; reserve.
- For baked beans: Preheat oven to 325 F. Heat a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and render until almost crispy; add oil if needed to assist in browning.
- Add onions to same saucepan and sweat until translucent. Add garlic and saute until aromatic. Stir in drained soaked beans and watermelon barbecue sauce to the bean and bacon mixture; stir to combine. Heat on medium heat until bubbly.
- Cover saucepan or pot and place into oven for 2 hours. Stir after 2 hours and cook in oven, covered, for an additional 3 to 4 hours. Add water if necessary to ensure there is enough liquid to cook beans thoroughly.
- Remove beans from oven and stir. If liquid needs to be reduced further, place on stovetop over medium-low heat. Cook, uncovered, until thickened.
Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Board