Famous Dave's Copycat Recipe
1 pound dried beans (could use navy beans)
3/4 pound bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed, or more to taste
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beer
Wash and pick through beans to remove any foreign matter. Place in a large bowl and add water to cover by 4 inches. Let the beans soak in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the beans in a colander and place in a large pot.
Add water to cover by 4 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cover the pot. Simmer until the beans are tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When done you should be able to crush a bean easily between your thumb and forefinger. Drain the beans well, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Be sure the beans are as soft as you like them because, once sugar is added, the beans don’t soften any more no matter how long you cook them.
Place the drained beans in a large heavy pot. Stir in the bacon, onion, bell pepper, garlic, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Tabasco sauce, and liquid smoke. Taste for seasoning, adding more brown sugar and/or mustard as necessary and salt and pepper to taste. The beans should be highly seasoned. Add beer and enough bean cooking liquid to cover the beans by 1 inch. Cover the pot and bake beans in a 275 – 300 degree oven for 1 hour. The beans should be just barely simmering. Check to make sure they aren't drying out. Add more of the reserved bean cooking liquid if necessary. The beans will thicken as they cool. Continue cooking for another 30 -60 minutes.