Monday, February 7, 2011

Down Home Baked Beans

Maybe like me you have a bag of dry beans that's been in your pantry for ages.  It could be pintos or white kidney beans or even black-eye peas.  I had cannellini beans just begging to be used so I knew the time had come.

Having my inlaws for lunch makes me think of down home cooking.  They were both raised on farms and enjoy their meat and potatoes.  So last Sunday, along with some tri tip and baked mashed potatoes, I served up some baked beans.  The recipe starts with soaking and boiling the beans, then sauteeing some onion and tossing everything into the crockpot.  The final slow cooking allows the flavors to soak into the beans for a flavorful result.

Down Home Baked Beans

1 1-pound package dry beans, preferably white but any bean will do
6 cups water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup, sugar free if possible
3 tablespoons light maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Soak beans 8 hours or overnight in 6 cups water.  Place beans and water in large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, one to one and a half hours.  Drain beans.

Heat olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Place onion in crockpot along with cooked beans, 3/4 cup water, ketchup, maple syrup, molasses, mustard, chili powder, and liquid smoke.  Stir to combine.  Cover and cook 6 hours on low setting.  Makes 8 cups, 12 2/3-cup  or 16 1/2-cup servings.

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