It was -33 today. I can think of no better argument for bringing out the slow cooker.
Wait – there was a better reason. Kelsey and Phoebe and Cara (from Big Girls Small Kitchen – who’s new cookbook I became smitten with in early December when I was bedridden with a wrecked back) asked me to be a part of their slow-cooker love-in. It’s cold, and I love slow cooked food. Why not?
They’re giving away some slow cookers too, if you want to get in on the action. They’re also swapping ideas and links and pins and such, if you’re looking for slow cookin’ inspiration, which if my inbox is any indication, a lot of people are.
I must keep this short – have a story due today, which technically ends at midnight, right?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to slow cookers. So many cool things to make, but I couldn’t see past a bowl of baked beans. These are thick and sweet and tangy and everything baked beans should be, plus the beer. (As Sue puts it – feel free to swap apple juice or stock if there’s no beer in the fridge, or other members of the household protest its use this way.)
Guinness Baked Beans
a few slices of bacon, chopped (optional)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans white kidney or navy beans, drained
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 bottle Guinness, or 1 1/4 cups beef or chicken stock or apple juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup Dijon, yellow, or grainy mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. molasses
salt and pepper, to taste
a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (optional)
In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove it from the pan, crumble and set aside. Sauté the onion in the bacon drippings (or dump them and replace with a drizzle of oil) for about 5 minutes, until tender and beginning to turn golden.
Transfer the onions to the bowl of a slow cooker and add the beans, ketchup, barbecue sauce, Guinness, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, molasses, and a hit of salt and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Stir the bacon back into the beans right before you serve them. Makes lots.