Recipes,  Side Dishes

Bring on the beans

Let me start by saying: Holler if you love baked beans. Like, really love baked beans. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. Sure, most will take a modest scoopful from the BBQ buffet line, but few make a plate in which their hot dogs/chicken/ribs/etc. are swimming in a sea of ’em, like I do. In my quest to convert the non-believers, I served up a crock-pot-size vat of these beauties, studded with an entire pound of pork belly:

Pork belly baked beans
Author: Adapted from
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 6 hours
Total time: 6 hours 15 mins
Serves: 10-14


  • 1 lb pork belly, cut into 3 or 4-inch pieces, skin removed and scored
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups pinto beans
  • 2 cups kidney beans
  • 1 cup cannelli beans
  • 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard

Marinade for pork belly:

  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place pork belly in a baking dish, fat side up.
  3. Mix the marinade and pour over pork belly.
  4. Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours or until pork is tender and falls apart easily.
  5. Allow pork to cool, discard all the liquid from the dish and remove excess fat from the pork belly (I left a little of the more tender fat on for flavor, and removed the thicker, tougher pieces).
  6. Shred pork belly with a fork.
  7. Combine ingredients for baked beans with the pork belly in a crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or on medium for 5 or 6.
  8. I finished my beans of in a cast iron skillet on the stove top to let some of the excess moisture cook off. The result is a thicker consistency and a more concentrated flavor.


Bring this to your next summertime gathering, say the words “pork belly” and watch the madness ensue.


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