photograph by Rex Yau

“This is my updated, “cheffed-up” version of one of my mother’s favorite crock pot dishes that she whips up when company is coming over. I like to use fresh beans from the farmers’ market, but frozen beans work well as a substitute, as do dried beans soaked over night. (Reminder: Dried beans will double in volume when hydrated, so reduce the quantities accordingly.) Ultimately, this recipe is less about the beans and more about the sauce — the end result will be delicious with any three of your favorite shelled beans. Plus, leave out the beans, and this becomes an amazing barbecue sauce!”
– Chef Jay Pierce

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1 package sliced bacon, chopped
½ cup chopped yellow onions
2 cups fresh lima beans
2 cups fresh kidney beans
4 cups fresh pinto beans
¼ cup creole mustard
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons minced jalepeño
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons Lea & Perrins
6 cups water

In a heavy bottomed 12-quart pot, render bacon until cooked halfway. Add onions and cook until they are golden and soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until beans are soft and sauce has thickened.

About The Marshall Freehouse

The Marshall Free Housemarshall-freehouse-about is a “Gastropub and Gathering Place” in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Marshall is quickly becoming a fixture of the local scene since the addition of Mark Weddle behind the bar and Jay Pierce in the kitchen. Each day they engage an extensive network of farmers, artisans, distillers, and brewers throughout North Carolina. Their lighthearted yet thoughtful approach to classic dishes and libations result in great tasting food and carefully crafted cocktails that are grounded in tradition and “wink” with a modern twist.

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Jay Pierce is the Executive Chef of The Marshall FreeHouse in Greensboro, NC, making good use of more than twenty five years in kitchens from coast to coast. Jay took the helm of the UK-inspired gastropub after returning to Greensboro from Charlotte, where he was the Executive Chef at ROCKSALT, focusing on sustainable seafood. He has spent over seven years with Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants and an additional eight years exploring the underappreciated foodways of the North Carolina Piedmont, as the executive chef for Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary. His celebration of the area’s traditions and farmers brought its recipes and pantry local acclaim, enlivening menus with many locally-sourced ingredients. He has always found ways to tell the stories behind the food, as a contributor to Our State’s website, columnist for 1808 magazine and with essays published in Local Palate, Edible Piedmont, Savor NC, and Beer Connoisseur, as well as on CNN’s Eatocracy blog and as a guest blogger for The Local Palate magazine and A Chef’s Life. In March 2015, UNC Press published Jay’s first book, Shrimp, as part of the Savor the South collection.