……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Beer-Baked Beans May 4, 2011

I recently read that you’re supposed to throw out all of your spices and get new ones after a year or two because the flavors get “muddy.” Uh, ok, but who is going to pay for that? Spices are the most expensive thing on my shopping list. The reason I don’t cook with saffron is I can’t afford it.

Anyways, it got me thinking about how I need to use up some of the staples I keep around, just to make sure they stay fresh. And what I wanted to go through this time was my remaining dried white beans. And, I happened to be attracted by Everyday Food’s “Cooking with Beer” series of recipes…So, we get beer-baked white beans.

So delicious. They have a good tangy flavor and aren’t so heavy that I’m wishing I’d made them in the fall. Really awesome side dish. (If only I had the wherewithal to make a main dish this week…) recipe below

Beer-Baked Beans 

3 slices bacon, cut into 1-in. pieces
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 Tbs. dijon mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/2 pound dried white beans (like cannellini or Great Northern), picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
1 bottle Belgian-style white ale
7/8 cup chicken broth (ok, ok, the original recipe was bigger…but who wants to make a whole pound of beans for themselves?)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 Tbs. cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350. In a large dutch oven or heavy pot with tight-fitting lid, cook bacon over medium until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp and browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Increase meat to medium-high and cook onion and garlic for about 4 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add mustard and honey and continue cooking for 1 minute. Then, add rosemary, beer, broth, and beans to pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven.

Bake until the beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 2 hours. Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. To serve, stir in reserved bacon.

If you divide this into 3 meal-sized portions, you get 434 Calories per serving: 9 g fat, 23 g protein, 19 g fiber…but I’d recommend serving this as a side dish in smaller portions. They’re good, but not good enough to calorically justify eating as whole, bacon-filled servings.


5 Responses to “Beer-Baked Beans”

  1. vespachick Says:

    Wow–using dried beans!!! I’m impressed. Bacon and Beer–how can you lose?

  2. m.d. Says:

    i wish i were eating this right now… and not cold leftover burrito. (internet) siiiiigh.

  3. Jason Says:

    I tend to use turmeric as a low rent district saffron in case I want to yellow up some rice. Works just as well for color, and since usually I’m making yellow rice to put something else on top of it, the flavor exchange is not a huge loss. Nice blog, by the way. You ever use Niman Ranch bacon? Those dudes know their way around a pig.

    • krandle Says:

      Good call on the turmeric. And a brand of bacon that’s more delicious than bacon? That’s dangerous…I’ll have to look for it. Thanks!

  4. […] — krandle @ 10:29 pm Tags: bacon, beans, dinner menu, eggs, Soup I like bacon as much as the next gal – but I only ever buy it when it’s on sale (and when I’m feeling […]

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