As you know from our last post, it’s blueberry bison month (as far as we’re concerned). We wanted to literally make this month all about blueberry and/or bison recipes, but we needed a jumping off point, so we looked at our food calendar. This weekend, Sunday is apparently Beans and Franks Day, so… what better than a Blueberry Bison twist on a classic?
Now, when I was a kid we ate a lot of hot dogs and we ate a lot of beans too, but we never really ate beans and franks. I don’t know why. We just never put the two together. As an adult, I still enjoy them both, but (ironically) making this batch for the blog was literally the first time I’ve ever made beans and franks. In fact, it may even be the first time that I can remember actually eating them. I know. Crazy.
Beans and franks usually seem to be light in color and consistency, but when thinking of this particular batch, I wanted something a little darker and heavier, so I used molasses, brown sugar, and blueberries. I also wanted these beans to be super caramelized and, as you’ll see in the pictures below, I think the trio of sweet made it happen cap’n:
Beautiful, right? To achieve the caramelization, I not only cooked out the puree and the sugar but I also triple baked it. Each time I made sure to stir in the sweet sticky bits on the side of the pan, which led to that deep rich flavor we were looking for.
The only thing I will do differently the next time I make this dish (and I will make it again) is maybe add a little stout or porter to deglaze the onions. You know I’m all about dimensions and that’s one that will fit nicely.
1/8 tsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/8 tsp onion powder
½ tsp hickory smoked salt
½ Tbsp molasses
1/8 tsp Herbs de Provence
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp BBQ spice
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp pure honey
1 cup blueberries
Literally just throw all of this together and puree until smooth.
For the beans:
2 cardamom pods
2 cups uncooked pinto beans (soaked overnight)
1 tsp sea salt
Boil all ingredients until tender, then drain and set aside.
For the base:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Quarter of a yellow onion, small diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1/8 cup light brown sugar
2 uncooked bison hot dogs, sliced
2 cups chicken stock
Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add your onion and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar and let caramelize for 5 minutes (again, stirring occasionally). Add the blueberry puree and then, 2 minutes or so later, add the hot dogs, beans, and chicken stock (all while, you guessed it, stirring occasionally). Allow this to cook for 2 more minutes and then you can transfer everything to an ungreased baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, stir all those caramelized bits together as mentioned, and bake for another 15 minutes; then, one more time, remove from oven, stir, and bake for another 15 minutes.