[ANECDOTE ABOUT HOW EVERY TIME I EAT THIS RECIPE, I’M TRANSPORTED TO SKIING IN THE ALPS.]
The economic and ethical conveniences of eating premade baked beans is often undercut by the presence of bacon in the “bean juice”. So I made this alternative, cutting as much of the “difficult” ingredients as I could — my corner store doesn’t always have molasses and BBQ sauce, but it had ketchup and maple syrup.
[ANECDOTE ABOUT STUDYING UNDER ZEN MONKS AND WHAT THIS TAUGHT ME ABOUT THE SPLENDOR OF SCARCITY.]
I make these in a slow cooker because I have a habit of getting sucked into an email or twitter discussion and letting things burn on the stove. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you could make it in a covered pot on a stove (about 2 1/2 hours) or baked in an oven (at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours). Other baked beans recipes will have you saute the onion and garlic beforehand or simmer everything in a frying pan before you bake it in the oven, and this all changes the “minimum cook time”.
[FLUFFER ABOUT HOW BAKED BEANS USED TO PLACED IN POTS BY THE FIRE IN HOUSES OF YORE.]
I just threw everything in the slow cooker; for our first recipe together, I wanted it to be as low effort/high yield as possible.
I promise this will work.
3 cans of navy beans, rinsed and drained.
3 cups vegetable broth (I used stock I made from scraps)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, etc)*
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp mustard (the grainier and spicier the better)*
1/2 tsp salt *
1/2 cup ketchup*
1/2 brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup*
(OPTIONAL: 1 Tbsp corn starch for thickening. I opted out because I knew I was going to let this reduce down and wasn’t in a rush.)
The * denotes something you can find in condiment packets freely available (after a fashion) at restaurants, cafeterias, or fast food places. When I order hot cakes at McDonald’s, I ask for extra maple syrup and I usually get it without an extra charge. Keep in mind that condiment packets aren’t always vegan/gluten-free.
HOW IT’S MADE
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Don’t worry too much about a uniform shape. It’s all going to liquefy in the cooking process.
- Dump it in the slow cooker.
- Dump in 3 cans of beans (without the juice).
- Dump everything else.
- Cover. Set on LOW.
- Leave for at least 8 hours. I cooked mine for 16. It comes down to the consistency of beans you want. I like them less soupy, so I reduce as much as I can.
AND THE RESULTS ARE IN: This is a very good recipe. This recipe gives you a lot of beans, almost a week’s worth, depending on how you portion it. The batch I made for my article on toast lasted about a day between 3 people in the same house.
Because I used ketchup and not BBQ sauce, the mustard is more pronounced, which I love.
[MORE FLUFFER SHIT ABOUT HOW EATING BAKED BEANS WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE REALLY ANCHORS YOU TO THE ARTIFICE OF AMERICAN IDENTITY.]