Monday, December 21, 2009

Ribs 101.2 - Class, It's Pork and BEANS - The Best You've Ever Had

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...

And, the Creator especially wants you to have a

He (the creator) does, he really does... I asked. And by the way, in my opinion, Jefferson got it wrong. The word is INALIENABLE, not "unalienable" (other than that, I think he got it right);

but I digress...

back to the best beans you will ever have...

OK class, double check your notes. Last semester we studied how to make a great rack of ribs. Click HERE if you need a refresher before we move on to today's lesson. And when you study those notes, you will recall that I trimmed those spareribs with a St. Louis cut, leaving several pounds of meat (called flap meat) to use as leftovers. Last class we made Quesadillas (click HERE), but today, we are going to use one of our remaining three hunks of leftover flap meat to make BEANS.

If you are an outdoor griller/smoker, if you are a want-to-be griller or smoker, or even just an indoor cook who wants to serve up a side dish to go with your crock pot pulled pork... BEANS are the best thing to make, and this recipe will get you the best tasting beans you can imagine...

Now, me... I would make these in my smoker. A couple advantages... First, beans will absorb the smoke flavor very well, and will taste great. Also, smoking beans with beer (ingredient list to follow) will add moisture to the smoke chamber, and influence the moistness of the meat.

But, When the dean of cooking asked me to teach this course, I was made aware that most of you do not own a dedicated smoker. Also, many of you do not own, or do not regularly use a grill. So, for this class, I will abandon my smoker, and only cook in my oven. If you are making other items, and want to free up your oven space, feel free to make these in a crock pot.

OK Robin, to the bat-oven...

First, the meat should be cooked with seasonings before added to the beans. It is possible to cook ribs (or pulled pork, or brisket, or pork loin (It's call PORK and beans)) the same day you are making the beans, and add the meat just prior to serving. But it will be better if you save a hunk of meat from your previous cooking session and freeze it for your next session. It sounds like a lot of work, and will take space up in your freezer for a month or two, but that is why you are taking the advanced course in making beans. Little extra things like this make a big difference in how your beans will taste.

Whenever I am making meat that will be used in beans, I always use a rub heavy in HOT spices. The meat (to me) is much too hot to eat as is. BUT, by the time it cooks with the beans for a couple hours, the meat and beans even out, and you have a spicy (but not too spicy) pot of beans.

My bean meat rub is equal parts...
Sweet Paprika
Chipotle Spice
Cayenne Pepper
Ground coffee (really)
and 1/4 cup finely minced garlic

I also take 1/2 cup of the juice from a jar of Banana Peppers and use that as my wet rub.

WHOO WHOO is that one hot spicy hunk of meat. But know that we will not be adding spices to the beans. It all evens out.

If you prefer not to go to the trouble of making the spicy section of rib flap meat in advance, add 1 tablespoon of each of the above ingredients to your beans prior to cooking, make a hunk of meat at the same time, with limited spiced rub, cut the meat up at the end of the cooking cycle and add the lesser spiced meat to the already spiced beans. DO NOT ADD SPICY MEAT AT THE END OF THE COOK SESSION (just prior to serving). The ratio of mild beans and spicy meat is not as good as evened out spices... Makes sense? Any questions so far?

OK, here's the recipe for the beans...

Ingredient list...

1/2 pound of smoked meat scraps, well spiced already with spicy rub,
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 medium size red onion, small diced (about 1/4 inch square) ... save these to add just prior to serving
6 ounces tomato paste
1/3 cup Brown sugar
1/3 cup Brown Sugar ... save to add just prior to serving
1/3 cup Molasses
1/3 cup Sorghum Syrup
1 TB Dry Mustard
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1-27 ounce can BUSH'S brand Country Style BBQ Beans
1-16 ounce can BUSH'S brand Pinto Beans
1-16 ounce can BUSH'S brand Great Northern Beans
1/2 bottle of Killians Irish red (or your favorite) Beer

Place all the ingredients in a heavy baking pan, stir well to blend ingredients. Add a full bottle of Killians if using an offset smoker, or just 1/2 bottle if using an oven. Place in cooker and allow to cook along with the meat.

Bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees.

During the cooking, the liquid reduced, and the molasses and sorghum helped to thicken the goop.

Just prior to serving, add the red onions and stir. Then sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the top.

Lots of ingredients, but well worth the extra effort.

Thick and rich, lots of meat (every forkful has a piece of rib meat). LOTS of flavor and the best beans you have ever eaten.

Save this recipe for December 26th... Sure, Pork and Beans is a classic, but maybe TURKEY and beans could become a tradition???

Alright, class is dismissed for today, but we've only used half the leftover flap meat. I have something special planned for tomorrows class!


  1. I had the best baked beans ever long ago and have tried to copy the recipe and it was OK. I think I will take your tip on adding the beer. I have used all the other ingredients along with Italian sausage. Very good.

  2. This sounds super delicious! I love baked beans to no end. I don't have a smoker, but am definitely all about the crockpot. Best thing I've purchased in a long time. You are definitely going to turn me into a total carnivore one of these days!

  3. Lot of ways to flavor them..One year in a pouring rain contest, rain water got in ours- we took 5th!

  4. I don't even remember the last time I had pork and beans. Now I want some though, those look awesome!

  5. I can see a fabulous meal coming together at the end of the semester. A great rack of ribs, rib meat quesadillas for lunch and a side of baked beans....Hmmmm. What's next?

  6. Oh my gosh! My mouth is watering just looking at those photos! Fantastic Dave! Really. I think my grandkids will love those too! I get so tired of hot dogs in my beans!
    Great post! How is the Christmas Menu coming?

  7. I love pork and beans and I like some heat in mine, just like you. All things being equal though, I prefer pulled pork in mine to rib tips, although I use whichever I have.

    I have a rack of loin backs on right now (I know, not my favorite either but I won't turn them down) that should be ready around 10:30 or 11 tonight. Doing them dry memphis style for lunch for the bride and I tomorrow. But who's to say a quality control snack won't happen:)

  8. I have never been a pork and beans kinda gal...but this....this looks simply droolworthy!

  9. Oh mais cher, these beans ARE droolworthy! I think that I'm going to start adding some Killian's to everything and see what happens!

  10. What a delicious and comforting dish! I SO need to make this for my hubby!

  11. Wow this looks insanely good! So rich and flavourful!

  12. The only beans I like are baked beans, so oooo la la, these would be awesome. And drunken ones? Even better :)

  13. Your pork and beans look rich and hearty! I don't have a smoker, so sometimes I use liquid smoke.

  14. Love posk and beans, will save this recipe. Robin to the bat oven??? LOL