Grains, Rice, Flours & Beans

Formaggio Kitchen’s Own Barbecue Baked Beans


Our well-earned summer weather in Boston has us on a steady diet of dinners from the grill, from the requisite burgers and sausages to salads stuffed with grilled veggies and beyond. While it’s hardly the season for heavy oven use, summer isn’t complete without a big batch of barbecue baked beans.

If you feel inspired to make a batch of baked beans from scratch, we have the beans for you: Ayocote Blanco beans from Rancho Gordo (though any number of their exceptional beans would work). Rancho Gordo was founded with the goal of promoting native new world foods, and although they offer a wide assortment of products, including grains, chiles, sauces, and spices, they are best known for their broad range of heritage beans, which have gained wide recognition for their unparalleled freshness and flavor.

There are as many versions of baked beans as there are cooks, but here we offer our house recipe for your consideration. Customize as you wish– replace some of the brown sugar with maple syrup, toss in some Maraş pepper, or switch out the bacon for our housemade guanciale to make your own signature version!


1lb dried beans
3 thick slices Niman Ranch bacon cut into large strips
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 2 large onions)
1 Bay leaf
salt to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup Sir Kensington’s ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cups India Tree brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
1 Tbsp Tracklements Strong English Mustard
1 Tbsp Rancho Gordo Chili Powder
2 Tbsp FK BBQ Rub

1. Rinse and soak beans overnight.

2. Put beans in a pot with bacon, onion, and bay leaf. Fill with enough water to cover beans by an inch. Bring to a slow boil and add salt when boil commences. Boil beans slowly until just tender.

3. Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients to create your bean sauce and set aside.

4. Drain beans, saving some of the cooking liquid. Transfer beans to an oven safe dish, mixing in your bean sauce and reserved liquid, if needed. Put beans into a 275 oven right from a boil. Cook, stirring every so often, until a dark, slightly charred look is acquired– at least two hours. (The longer you cook, the more flavor will develop.)

5. Add more cooking liquid if needed during cooking process to make sure they don’t dry out or burn, stirring every so often.

Jesi Nishibun is a cheesemonger at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge. When she’s not behind the cheese counter, you can find her with her nose in a cookbook, or experimenting in her home kitchen.

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