I recently bought a slow cooker. Seemed like the thing to do, everyone has one, raves about them, and I got it dirt cheap from Canadian Tire.
About a year ago when I first started using my cast iron dutch oven, my mum sent me a recipe book for slow cookers, with broad guidelines of ‘don’t cook it for as long, low means blah, high means blah’. I made a few recipes but then forgot about it. When in Australia recently, my sis-in-law made an amazing chicken and lentil curry, which she says ‘took no effort at all’. I think that’s what sold me on the slow cooker. So after asking for the recipe when I got back to Canada, I noticed the ol’ book my mum bought for me. Flicking through the pages, I found that exact recipe, and more. So here I am, a new slow cooker owner, with a slow cooker cookbook. One of the recipes I wanted to try was chilli beans. I want to say baked beans, but not sure if it counts as they are not specifically baked. But anyway, I am going to go with it, home made slow cooked baked beans. I kind of made a bit of the recipe up rather than following it, but it served as a good guideline. Here’s what happened:
2 tins white kidney beans
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 small tin tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed/grated
1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about 2cm)
2 green birdseye chillies, finely sliced (with seeds)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp fine sugar
So I heated the olive oil on medium in a pan, added the onion, then celery, chilli, garlic & ginger, and heated until soft. I added the tomato paste, cooked for 1 minute, added stock, cooked for another minute then removed from heat. I drained & rinsed the beans, threw them into the slow cooker, with the large tin of tomatoes, then threw in the paste mix. Two teaspoons of sugar later, I set the cooker on low, cooked for 8 hours, and voila, we woke up to a breakfast for champions. Home made baked beans. Topped with a poached egg, served with black Hawaiian macadamia coffee.
Variations next time will include pancetta/prosciutto (its currently a mostly meat free month), and I would like to stay away from the tinned tomatoes so will try my own sauce. It’s almost illegal that tinned tomatoes contain so many ingredients. Also might try a splash worcestershire sauce which might add a new level, maybe even some Motts Clamato juice. Oooh… Caesar Beans!