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Bourbon Baked Beans
Great as a barbecue side or as dinner's main feature with a warm piece of cornbread, these slow-cooked baked beans are rich and creamy with a pleasant touch of smoke. And, of course there's bourbon in them! Maker's Mark® and ginger ale add a light sweetness that plays well against that tanginess. As if all that weren't enough, the beans are topped with a crisp, buttery crumble.
Soak dried beans for at least 1 hour or overnight.
While preheating oven to 325 degrees, brown bacon on the stove over medium heat in an oven-safe pot or Dutch oven.
When almost crispy, add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Drain your beans and add to the bacon mixture.
Add Maker's Mark BBQ sauce, Maker's Mark Bourbon and ginger ale. Mix well, and then add the pork or chicken stock.
Cover pot, place in oven and bake for 1 hour.
Uncover and bake another 30 minutes or until beans are tender and a crust has begun to form on top of the dish.
For the crumb topping
Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add country ham and panko.
Stir constantly until lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove beans from oven and top with the crumble before serving.
Notes from Chef Newman
Try an easy-to-make Maker's® and Ginger highball with this dish. Just pour 1 ½ parts Maker's® in a highball glass with ice, top with ginger ale and garnish with lime.
If you forgot to soak them last night, try quick soaking your beans. Just boil them in water and cover for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for an hour. Drain beans, discarding the water.
Dried beans can be temperamental individuals that cook at different speeds – even within the same batch. When testing for doneness, sample a few at a time to get a better idea of how far along they are.
Some people enjoy crispy, caramelized baked beans. Others prefer a more soupy, saucy version. If you're in the former group, try cooking them a little longer with the lid off. You might also try placing them under the broiler after adding the crumble to get a nice bubbly, crunchy char going on top. If you're the saucy type, add additional liquid like stock or water during cooking. Beans will continue to absorb flavor over time, so storing the finished product overnight will add richness and thickness. Lastly, an additional splash of Maker's Mark at the end really punches up the caramel flavor.
Bourbon Chicken Wings
This one's a real crowd pleaser and is served with three bold dipping sauces: Bourbon Sweet Chili, Kentucky White and Bourbon BBQ Sauce. All three get an extra kick from Maker's Mark® Bourbon.