Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Easiest Baked Beans

This is a great side even on a work day. Only about 5 minutes of prep and the Crock Pot  or slow cooker does the rest.

Night Before
1 lb bag of beans I've used small white beans and navy beans with equal success, prefer great white northern.
7 cups water

Morning Of
1/4 lb of bacon, diced. Thick cut works great here as well as maple, hickory smoked or apple-wood bacon.
1 onion, medium, finely chopped. As always, i prefer Vidalia.
1-2 jalapenos slice into rings
1 tsp Dad's Rub
4 tbsp Soy Sauce-low salt
2 tbsp Honey

On the night before, lay the beans out on an oven sheet to check for small stones & other debris. Soak them right in the slow cooker in the 7 cups water.

Heat Warning! Two jalapenos sliced into rings plus the Dad's Rub can be very spice for some. You can slice the peppers in half the long way and use a teaspoon to scrape out the seed and the white pith where all the heat is.

The morning of cooking, add all the remaining ingredients to the Crock Pot. I use the same water I soaked in, the sauce seems to come out thicker. There are many opinions out there about using the soak water vs. new water. Usually they relate to bean toughness or the bean after effects. Your beans, do what you like.

Turn on low. My cooker usually has them ready in 6-7 hours on low. Slow Cookers vary greatly, so time and settings may need to be adjusted. I check occasionally when i am home, mostly to adjust seasoning. I usally do not add any extra salt, the soy  sauce takes care of that for me.

Some great options are to use Worcestershire sauce instead of Soy, or a blend. If i have time, i will slowly saute the onions to that beautiful brown almost onion jelly consistency. Some barbecue sauce is a great addition or chipotle peppers instead of jalapenos. Sometimes instead of bacon, or in addition to the bacon, i will add sausages like kielbasa or andouille. If you have access Portuguese food, linguica works excellent here as well.


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