June 20, 2011

Papaya-Ginger Beer Baked Beans

1 can hickory smoke Spam, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1/2 papaya (cut up)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb navy beans
1/3 cup cup sriracha
8 oz ginger beer
1 tablespoon roasted ginger
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cloves
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

The day before you want to serve: Place the beans in a pot (or slow cooker insert) and fill until the beans are under about 4 inches of water.

The next day: drain the beans and pour them into the slow cooker. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the spam. Cook on low 8-10 hours or until the beans are soft. Fry the Spam in a nonstick skillet until quite crisp and nearly caramelized around the 7 to 8 hour mark. Thoroughly drain the spam on paper towel lined plates. Stir into the Spam. If the beans are looking a little dry and are not quite done, add a little water or more ginger beer. Continue cooking at least 1/2 hour after adding the Spam. Stir before serving.

My thoughts:
Someone's husband has been asking for baked beans with Spam for a whole year. Last year's Hawaiian inspired experiment was just too exciting for him. And I swear, they were really, really good. People have had thrids and fourths when I've made them. So, I am back this year with a new recipe. I found hickory smoked Spam at the store (who knew?) and thoguht they'd be perfect for spicy, smoky beans. I added the papaya for sweetness and the ginger beer for a bit of a kick.Yum! They look like regular baked beans but are so much better.