Traverse City Record-Eagle

Rebecca Lindamood: Foodie With Family

June 1, 2009

Foodie with Family: I'm stronger. Right?

(Continued)

Made from scratch and prepared from start to finish in a slow cooker, these delicious and simple-to-prepare bean recipes put canned ones to shame.

While salt pork is the traditional meat added to baked beans, I prefer both the flavor and texture of bacon or ham. Feel free to omit the meat and add 1 T. olive oil in its place for a vegetarian alternative. They are so worth the little extra effort.

Foodie with Family's Mostly Old-Fashioned Baked Beans

1 lb. dry navy (small white) beans

1 c. chopped ham or crispy cooked bacon

1 yellow cooking onion

1/2 c. molasses

1/3 c. brown sugar

11/2 t. dry mustard powder

11/2 t. salt

Black pepper to taste

Boiling water

Pour the dried beans into a colander and rinse well, picking over the beans to remove and discard any small stones, shriveled or discolored beans. Add the clean, picked-over beans to the bowl of your slow cooker.

Pour boiling water over the beans to cover them by three inches. Quickly cover slow cooker with lid and turn to HIGH. Cook for about 2 hours. (Beans will still be slightly underdone.)

Pour beans and liquid into a colander or strainer over the sink and return drained beans to slow cooker. Add ham (or bacon), molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper to the beans and stir gently to evenly combine all ingredients. Slice off a small disc from the blossom end of the onion and peel the outer layer of the onion away. Use a knife to slice a shallow "X" into the sliced end of the onion. Burrow the onion down into the center of the beans. Carefully pour additional boiling water into the slow cooker to cover the contents by two inches. Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours* (overnight, most likely!) Remove and discard onion. It has done its job!

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