Barkmasters BBQ, owned by chef David Horton gave us some of his insights on the business and shared his baked bean recipe.
- Bush’s Hickory brown sugar baked beans (large can, I think 55 oz)
- Half pack of bacon cut into 1 “ squares
- One ham steak (usually found in the packaged meats near sausage / bacon) cut into ½“ squares
- One Vidalia Onion
- ¼ cup of yellow mustard
- 5 cups of your favorite molasses-based BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Rays is a good commercial brand option)
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- Pat of butter for sautéing
I like to use a Dutch oven or cast-iron pot for my beans, but it’s not a bad idea to cook in a large nonstick pot first and then transfer to cast iron for maintaining heat (we take our beans and cook them on the smoker, so the cast iron works best for us). If you cook these in a crock pot, they will probably be runny / watery as the liquid can’t cook off, for that reason we prefer a pot on the stove or cooker.
Start by dicing up the entire onion and setting it aside. Add a pat of butter to the bottom of your pan on medium heat and then add in the bacon pieces. (** See optional cooking method below) Cook to desired doneness, maybe undercooking slightly as we’re going to add more ingredients and keep cooking them. Add the ham steak and cook long enough for some extra color, but don’t go too long as the ham steak already comes cooked. Next, add in the diced onion and sweat the onions until translucent, or even letting them caramelize a little bit. Careful not to overcook the ham / bacon during this process, it’s all about timing. Now, add in the remaining ingredients (beans, mustard. Worcestershire and BBQ sauce) to your pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the dish melds together and is thickened (not watery).
** Optional cooking method – if you have problems with bacon / ham sticking to the bottom of the pan and charring, you can cook the onions, bacon and ham separately and add to the recipe closer to the end and it won’t affect the dish in a negative way. I’ve found the most often thing to stick to the bottom and burn is the ham pieces, so they can be added late.