I love beef brisket, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausages, and possibly everything I can get at a barbecue joint; I really can’t think of anything I wouldn’t want to eat. Few weeks ago, I spotted a pack of beef ribs at Whole Foods and I immediately snagged the largest pack I could get my hands on. I slow baked them in the oven with a delicious dry rub (Emeril’s Rustic Rub), until the meats were fall-off-the-bone tender, and then finished them off with a generous slather of barbecue sauce under the broiler for that slightly charred taste.
To serve on the side, I made roasted corn, again. The truth was, my repertoire of barbecue side dishes were so limited; other than mashed potatoes, corn, cornbread (or some variation of corn-related things), I didn’t really know what other side dishes to make. It was honestly not exciting to me and I was determined to up my game. I created this Beer-Braised Cowboy Beans inspired by the side dish I tried and loved from Hill Country BBQ. I don’t know if they use beer in their recipe, but I like the taste and I had a six-pack of ale sitting around, so why not? I didn’t use bacon the first time I made it and thought it lacked some oomph. The beans definitely benefit from the added smokiness!
The dish doesn’t take long to make either; using canned beans cut down the cooking time significantly. Take the time to render the fat from the bacon and caramelize the onions, and the beans can afford to skip the extra hour of cooking. They will come out creamy and packed with incredible flavors, like they have been simmering on the stove for hours. They would go so well with Corona-Braised BBQ Pulled Pork or Guinness Chipotle Beef Brisket. As you can probably tell, I love cooking with beer – I think beer and BBQ meats go hand in hand!
This is a simple and classic side dish you want to keep in your back pocket for when you get invited to a barbecue potluck. Now, I’m just waiting for my invite. These beans may just steal the show!