All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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I have found that great northern beans take a lot longer to get tender than other beans, like black beans or black-eyed peas – so I like to cook them for days. Literally. That is not a necessity but long cooking times have their rewards. My Vegetarian (Vegan) Crock Pot Spicy Barbecue Baked Beans for the Slow Cooker with Bourbon cooked for four days & still were more al dente than my boyfriend would tolerate. But – he is a finicky eater & likes his things the way he likes them. I found the beans to be perfect.
This recipe cooked for about 30 hours & I found the beans perfectly cooked. Another important result of the long cooking time is is gives the beans a chance to absorb that rich brown color we have come to expect for barbecue beans. Also – your house smells delicious. You can used canned beans & do this stove-top (using far less of the fluid elements) but I really recommend giving this recipe a shot – using dry beans & cooking the bejesus outta them.
I added Beyond Meat beefy crumbles to give the dish a more chili-like result and I like how it turned out. I used beer & whiskey – you can leave these out if they do not appeal to you. I used this Stubbs spicy BBQ but any brand you prefer will work.
Spicy Vegan 24-hour Maple Rye Whiskey & Sriracha BBQ Beef & Beans
feeds 10+ as a side dish
1 lb dry white beans (soaked in water overnight or quick-soaked)
9 oz vegan beef crumbles
1 onion – diced
4 garlic cloves – chopped
3 jalapeno peppers – sliced (seeded to reduce heat) (less to reduce heat)
1/2 cup maple rye whiskey
1/4 cup sriracha (less to reduce heat)
1 12 oz bottle dark beer
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup BBQ sauce
3 TBS Dijon mustard
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 cups of vegetable stock (this might be more or less than you need – depending how long you cook your beans so add it in increments)
3 TBS Worcestershire Sauce (vegan version) – optional
Put everything into a slow cooker & cook on high all day. Leave it on WARM overnight & then crank it up again. If it gets too thick – add water or veggie stock. If it is too thin, take the lid off the cooker & let it boil down.
It is really that easy. If you are using canned beans or do not intend to cook the beans 24+ hours – start with less stock & add incrementally, as you need it. Easy peasy!