food Program

Plum Barbecue Sauce for Baked Beans (or Whatever You Like)

Adapted from Stone Fruit by Cynthia Nims and included in Kim O'Donnel's plums post on Ececentric Blog.

Fellow Seattle author Cynthia Nims cooks her sauce in a saucepan and then uses it to lacquer ribs or barbecued chicken. I love how it translates into a dish of baked beans.

3 tablespoons neutral oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (medium-size or large yellow onion)
2 tablespoons minced garlic (from about 5 cloves)
1 12 pounds fresh plums
14 cup molasses
14 cup tomato paste
14 cup brown sugar
14 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of your favorite medium-heat chile pepper
3 15-ounce cans pinto and/or kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups dried beans, cooked)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by lightly brushing the bottom and sides with oil or oil spray.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, being careful not to burn it.

Cut the plums in half, remove the pits and coarsely chop. Place the pitted plums, molasses, tomato paste and vinegar in a food processor or stand blender, and process until pureed. Add the brown sugar, the salt and ground chile pepper and blend once more.

Transfer the sauce to a mixing bowl and add the beans and the cooked onion-garlic mixture. Pour everything in prepared dish and bake for 1 hour, or until bubbly. The beans should keep moist while they cook; cover with foil if necessary.
Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.