Saturday, July 11, 2009

Love in a Pot!

Annie's Maple Baked Beans
[an all-day endeavor, but OH SO GOOD! Great for a day when you're going to be in and around the house all day anyway.]

soak the following overnight:
1 pound beans of choice (preferably not pinto)
(you can use one kind or have a mixture of Navy, Jacob's Cattle, Yellow Eye, Soldier, white, red, or black beans)
water to cover beans
2 T lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar

In the morning, drain and rinse beans. Place in pot with 4 c cold water. Cover beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for one hour.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the following:
  1. in a large mixing bowl, stir together:
    1/2 c maple syrup
    1/2 c packed brown sugar
    1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1/2 tsp celery salt [or chop a celery stalk
    very thinly and add to other vegetables]
    1/2 tsp dry ginger
    1 tsp pepper
    1/2 tsp paprika
  2. add to the seasonings:
    2 c finely chopped onion (about 2 medium onions)
    1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and coarsely chopped
  3. fry 8 strips of thick-cut smoked bacon (or your favorite--we really like black forest bacon!). Drain on paper towels.
    [optional: chop bacon into small pieces and mix into bean mixture in next step]
Remove the beans from the stove. Pour beans (including liquid) into the maple syrup mixture and gently stir till well mixed.
Place 1/2 of bean mixture into a 3 qt. pan or dutch oven. Layer 4 pieces of bacon on top of beans. Add rest of bean mixture and top with remaining 4 strips of bacon.

Cover the dish and bake at 300 degrees for 5 hours (!) [I have done it for three before; you just have to make sure the beans are cooked all the way through and the veggies are tender]. Check every 2 hours and add water as necessary.

Serve with warm whole-grain bread, cole slaw, veggie soup, and apple sauce.
(let me know if you want a really good cole slaw recipe that goes with this)

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