Crock pot and beans
[This thread was moved from the Western Canada Board --The Chowhound Team]
I recently purchased an electric slow cooker (crock pot).I would like to do a baked bean thing in the crock however I'm not sure if I should just bung everything into the crock,dried beans and all and slow cook for 8 or 10 hrs or should I precook the beans first and then bung it all in? The manual says sugar and acid have a hardening effect on the beans.I read an epicurious.com reader review on BBs which says throw it all in, no presoak or cooking the beans.
Any suggestions or tips?
I have done it all at once and with the beans precooked... even though I was raised to add nothing until the beans were cooked. Anyway, either way you go, you will need to presoak overnight and then boil them until the husks loosen. Dump the water and rinse the beans then dump them in the crock. You may habe to adjust the liquid if the recipe calls for just dumping the dried beans from the bag without a soak. That would be just wrong. BLECH. Anyway, the liquid should be at least an inch over the beans. Remember to give the ingredients a stir before you put the lid on so you wont be tempted to lift the lid. Sometimes I add cut up grannie smiths (peels and all) to the mix about an hour or so before they are done. YUM!
I've done a bean, meat and potato dish called "cholent" in the crock pot. I soak the beans overnight, then drain and rinse. Next, I brown my meat and set it aside. I then sweat my aromatics (onions, garlic), add some flavourings like tomato paste, dried herbs, then add the beans, potatoes, meat and broth. Bring it all to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Then I dump it all into the crock pot and forget about it. I'd put about 2 inches of liquid above the level of the beans.
This sounds great. What kind of meat would you suggest... I did a beef brisket with potatoes,carrots,bay leaf,pepper corns and cabbage,covered with water and s cooked for 8 hrs.It was the best brisket I've ever cooked.Very Irish.I'll try your "cholent" next time,meanwhile please tell me more about this recipe.Thanks.
Hi garlicer. I prefer to use short ribs - the meat is incredibly flavourful after long, slow cooking, and anytime there are bones in a braised dish, the flavours and textures (a thicker sauce, for instance, because of the gelatin in the bones) are always intensified.
I just pulled Joan Nathan's recipe off the internet for you. Just follow her directions and place everything in the crock pot instead of putting the pot in the oven. I've adapted Ms. Nathan's recipe a bit - I add a bit of tomato paste (1 to 2 tbsp) to the vegetables at the end of sweating them (or a couple of tbsps of ketchup to the liquid), and also some fresh or dried thyme, 2 or 3 bay leaves. I also cut the potatoes into large chunks, and place the cut potatoes at the top of the crock pot (spoon some liquid over them). They brown beautifully, taste amazing, and the presentation is gorgeous. I've also, on occasion, added carrots and sweet potatoes.
I've made "Red beans and rice" in a crock pot and all I did was soak the beans over night. Added everything the night before, set in the fridge and put on in the morning. That's it and it was fabulous. No need to worry.
Is it as good if you brown the veggies and sausage and what not. No, but you don't have the time to do that either.
Hi there, Next time you might want to give this a try.
Feijao is served with every meal in a typical Brazilian restaurant, and too make it is simple...I dont feel there is any need to soak the beans if you are cooking in a slow cooker, just clean them as they can contain alot of loose impediments, then saute chopped onions and garlic, with dried salted pork (or bacon as a substitute)and tomato paste (cook tomato paste out to remove bitterness) in a little dende oil (or lard) add the beans, chopped linguica (favorite spicy sausage) cover with water, add bayleaves and leave it too slow cook. A clay pot is best, sealed with a flour paste, or you can cook alot quicker with a pressure cooker(in whihc case you might soak the beans), with similar results...serve over white rice...looks good on the plate with chopped fresh green herbs and salad leaves...