Monday, June 13, 2011

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans

Summer, summer summer summer time. I just sit back and unwind.

Yup, like the Fresh Prince, I can sit back and unwind, cause I have my side dish of Boston Baked Beans already made. For the Sunday afternoon grilling Szechuan, all I gots left to do is the brats. This slow-cooker version is perfectly edible right after cooking, but they are the best after a day in the fridge, then warmed through. So it's three days to soak, make, eat. Don't be alarmed about the three days- it takes a total of about 6 minutes to put this together.

These beans are healthy, full of fiber, cheap, and they taste better than the canned version, although Bush's and the newer-style Grillin' Beans are pretty yummy, but it's still a processed food, and the more of that you can avoid the better. Cause the Sunday morning McDonald's sausage biscuit and coffee after a Saturday night road wedding is gonna happen. If no one bothered to call for the closer, that is. So it's time to make something from scratch.

Do you eat lunch at your desk? You should be here, for the daily news feed- a few sites to peek at from around the country, all food-related in some sense. Some are recipes, some are practical advice, there's reviews of cookware and gadgets, and a round-up of food news and on-goings in the legal world. Lots of rules and regulations in the industry. Some think there should be more, citing recent outbreaks of e. coli. Some believe the food police are robbing people of their right to consume things like raw milk. Yikes, I'm somewhere in between.

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans
8 servings as side

1/2 lb thick-cut bacon, 1/2" slices
1 large or two medium onions, chopped (bout 1.5 C)
1 lb dry great northern beans (or kidney, or any bean really)
1/3 C molasses
1/3 C brown sugar
5 TB good dijon mustard
1 TB red wine vinegar
S&P (2 ts kosher, pepper to taste)
1/8 ts ground cloves (optional)
1/8 ts ground nutmeg (optional)
2 C hot water

To prep the beans, soak overnight- cover with at least 2" of water. Then rinse and drain, set aside.

Mix together the following- hot water, molasses, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and spices.

To assemble- the first layer in your slow cooker is half the bacon, then a layer of beans. Next is the onion, the rest of the beans, the remaining bacon, and then add the liquid portion.

Set on low for 6-8 hrs. Go fly a kite or something almost as much fun. Come home to Boston Baked Beans even Duke would prefer over his canned stuff. For a third of the price.

To eat- a few turns off the old pepper mill would be nice, and if you prefer your beans sort of tangy, a splash of fresh red wine vinegar also. Have some now and then have some later, there will be plenty.

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