Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

uncle bob's bourbon baked beans

Recipe by
Renée G.
Uptown, AR

My Great Uncle Bob loved to show off in the kitchen. He really was an excellent cook and his closely guarded recipes were handed around within the family after his passing. He had written on the food stained piece of paper that the baking soda kept the skins soft and tender. So...since I've had his recipe, I've never cooked dried beans without following his advice. Prep time does not include soaking time.

yield serving(s)
prep time 20 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For uncle bob's bourbon baked beans

  • 2 cups dry navy beans
  • 1 cup dry kidney beans
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 8 slices hickory smoked bacon, divided
  • 1 tbsp. salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce, homemade or store bought
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup kentucky bourbon, more or less to suit yourself
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce

How To Make uncle bob's bourbon baked beans

  • 1
    Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Turn into a large pot with tight fitting lid and cover with water; bring to boil then immediately reduce to simmer. Add two slices bacon, quartered onion and cook for 2 hours. About ½ hour before beans are tender (at 1½ hours), add 1 Tbsp. salt and ½ tsp baking soda. Stir until foaming subsides. The baking soda will rise up and threaten to overflow the pot. Continue to simmer another ½ hour. Drain and reserve liquid.
  • 2
    Heat oven to 325º F. Set out a 9” x 13” baking dish. (For large gatherings, I use the disposable aluminum pans.)
  • 3
    Cut each remaining slice of bacon in half or quarters; set aside.
  • 4
    In sauce pan, combine ketchup, bbq sauce, maple syrup, bourbon, dark brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and 2 cups of the cooking liquid drained from beans. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil and cook, stirring, until well combined.
  • 5
    Pour beans in a 9”x 13" baking dish. Pour sauce mixture over beans, distribute chopped onion evenly over the top, and lay on remaining slices of bacon, each strip cut into halves or quarters. Cover with foil, folding one corner back to vent and bake at 325° for 1½ hours. Add more cooking liquid as necessary to keep beans from drying out.
  • 6
    Remove foil and continue baking approx. 30 minutes or until bacon is brown and excess liquid has been cooked out.

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