Sunday, November 14, 2010


In trying to follow some of the philosophy of Mark Bittman and consume more plant material, I decided to make baked beans using a slow-cooker.  Instead of bringing soup to work for lunches, I would bring baked beans. In Bittman's new recipe book that I recently profiled, I came across a recipe for oven baked beans that uses less sugar and bacon than the traditional boston baked beans recipes.  The recipe calls for the beans to be baked in the oven, but I decided to use my slow-cooker instead.  That way I could let them simmer for the day and not have to check them every hour.  You can use any white beans for this recipe and I used northern white beans.  It is a great recipe and I will be making it again.

Soaked beans are added to the slow-cooker.

Bacon ready for frying.

All of the ingredients being stirred in the slow-cooker.

Boston baked beans ready for eating!
8 ounces of sliced bacon
2 onions, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste ( I used a small tin)
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pound dried northern, navy or other white beans
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight or for 8 hours in a large pot of water.  Drain, rinse and put into the slow-cooker.  In a frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove, crumble the slices and put in the slow-cooker.  Remove some of the fat from the frying pan and add the onions to the frying pan and cook until tender and browned.  Add the onions to the slow-cooker.  On low heat, add the small tin of tomato paste to the same frying pan and let it cook for one to two minutes.  Add to the slow-cooker.  Add the molasses, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to the slow-cooker and thoroughly stir the mixture.  Add about 4 cups of water to the slow-cooker pot and cook on low heat for eight to ten hours.  Add more water to the beans if required during the cooking process.  Because I added too much liquid to the pot, I cooked the beans on high heat for several hours in order to reduce the excess liquid.  Makes six to eight servings.

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