BOSTON BAKED BEANS ala SLOW COOKER

Not too long ago I researched Navy beans for my Navy Bean & Ham soup. During that research I also found that navy beans, named after the bean of choice of the U.S. Navy, are the main bean used in Boston Baked Beans. I have been making my BBQ Bean dinner for years using canned BUSH beans, but decided it was time to make true Boston Baked Beans my way. I found that most versions used salt pork, but I like the bacon too so I chose to use both. You could substitute if your prefer though. I also eliminated all mustard due to an allergy, but also because I prefer the sweeter version.

Here is my version:

BOSTON BAKED BEAN DINNER ala SLOW COOKER
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound salt pork, cubed & browned
2 large Vidalia or Maui onion, chopped small
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1 cup molasses
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup vinegar
1 pound navy beans

  • Soak beans overnight.
  • Brown hamburger, drain and layer into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Cube and brown the salt pork. Add to slow cooker.
  • Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon into pieces. Add to slow cooker.
  • Chop onion into small pieces and scatter over the meat.
  • Add the beans to the slow cooker.
  • Scatter the brown sugar over top evenly.
  • Stir together the molasses, ketchup, chicken stock, vinegar, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Pour evenly over everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve with Beer Bread or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.
  • Great dish for a church pot luck.

NOTE: Add enough chicken stock so that the beans are COMPLETELY covered.

BOSTON BAKED BEAN DINNER
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 pound salt pork, cubed & browned
2 large Vidalia or Maui onion, chopped small
4 tablespoons liquid smoke
1 cup jalapeno ketchup
1 cup molasses
3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup vinegar
1 pound navy beans

  • Soak beans overnight.
  • Brown hamburger, drain and layer into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Cube and brown the salt pork. Add to slow cooker.
  • Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon into pieces. Add to slow cooker.
  • Chop onion into small pieces and scatter over the meat.
  • Add the beans to the slow cooker.
  • Scatter the brown sugar over top evenly.
  • Stir together the molasses, ketchup, vinegar, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Pour evenly over everything in the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Serve with Beer Bread or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.
  • Great dish for a church pot luck.

OLD FASHIONED BOSTON BAKED BEANS
1 pound Navy beans, washed and sorted
1/2 pound salt pork, diced small
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup PURE maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses

  • Dice salt pork and layer on bottom of slow cooker.
  • Chop onion and scatter over salt pork pieces.
  • Wash and sort beans.
  • Place beans in slow cooker on top of salt pork.
  • Cover with 5 cups water.
  • Cook on low overnight for 12 hours.
  • Drain beans, reserving liquid.
  • Return beans to slow cooker.
  • Add vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses and blend well.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of bean water as desired for consistency.
  • Heat through for an hour or so.

THYME ROASTED BABY YUKON POTATOES

THYME ROASTED BABY YUKON POTATOES
2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • Heat oven to 400°.
  • In a large bowl, toss clean washed potatoes with the avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  • Transfer potato mixture to a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Roast potatoes, stirring a couple times, for 20 minutes or until JUST tender.
  • Sprinkle with thyme and roast another 10 minutes.
  • Transfer potatoes back to large bowl.
  • Sprinkle potatoes with vinegar, tossing to coat.
  • Serve.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS in CAJUN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

ROASTED ASPARAGUS in CAJUN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE – serves 4
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
2 1/2 tablespoons Avocado oil
1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama Creole Seasoning
Pinch paprika, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Cover baking sheet in foil.
  • Snap off woody asparagus ends.
  • Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and seasoning, turning to coat.
  • Roast until asparagus is is tender and beginning to darken in color.
  • Top with sauce and serve immediately.

SAUCE
8 tablespoons salted butter
2 LARGE egg yolks
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama Creole Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Frank’s original hot sauce

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan until sizzling.
  • Pulse egg yolks in a small food processor.
  • Add lemon juice.
  • VERY SLOWLY drizzle in the hot butter. Sauce will immediately begin to thicken.
  • Add the Cajun seasoning, pepper and hot sauce, blending JUST until combined.
  • Drizzle sauce over asparagus and serve immediately.

NOTE:  If sauce thickens too much, add 1 tablespoon hot water at a time until you reach desired consistency.

CREAM OF POTATO HAM SOUP

CREAM OF POTATO HAM SOUP
1 pound YUKON gold potatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup water
1 teaspoon FRESH ground Pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups small diced ham steak
Grated sharp cheddar cheese for garnish

  • Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a dutch oven.
  • Add potatoes and cook JUST until fork tender.
  • Remove potatoes and save 2 cups of the broth. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, dice one third of the potatoes.
  • Toss the diced potatoes with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  • Mash two-thirds of the potatoes with 1 cup of the steaming broth, whisking until smooth.**
  • Melt butter in large sauce pan.
  • Add shallot, sauteing until soft.
  • Add the garlic, sauteing until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle in flour, stirring to blend until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in the whole milk, heavy cream and remaining 1 cup of broth.
  • Stir in Cream of Sherry and thyme.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
  • Stir in potato puree.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add ham pieces, cooking a few minutes until ham is heated through.
  • Top with grated cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

**NOTE: DO NOT use a food processor.  Your potatoes will become gummy.

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP
1 pound of asparagus
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon FRESH ground Pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon FRESH ground tri-color peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Wondra
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Parmesan cheese for garnish

  • Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a steamer.
  • Add asparagus to steamer basket.  Steam 4-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove asparagus and save broth, adding enough water to measure 2 cups. Set aside.
  • When the asparagus is cool enough to handle, trim off tops and halve the stalks in half.
  • Toss the tops with a pinch of salt and set aside fr garnish.
  • Add the stalks to food processor with 1 cup of the steaming broth. Blend until smooth.
  • Melt butter in large sauce pan.
  • Add shallot, sauteing until soft.
  • Add the garlic, sauteing until fragrant.
  • Sprinkle in flour, stirring to blend until golden.
  • Slowly whisk in the whole milk, heavy cream and remaining 1 cup of broth.
  • Stir in coriander and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens.
  • Stir in asparagus puree.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top with asparagus tips and Parmesan.

BRAISED SHORT RIBS ala TAMY with Creamy Mashed Yukons & Sesame Snow Peas

BRAISED SHORT RIBS ala TAMY adapted from ANTON & MICHEL with CREAMY MASHED YUKONS & SESAME SNOW PEAS

RIBS
3 pounds beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large shallot, sliced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
12 ounces Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (or flavor of your choice)
1 cup hoisin sauce

  • Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary.
  • Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.
  • Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the ribs back to the pot.
  • Add the beer and the vinegar.
  • Stir well, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 300°.
  • Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Remove ribs and ginger from sauce.
  • Discard ginger.
  • Strain fat from the top of the pot so that you’re left with just the good stuff.
  • Serve with Creamy Mashed Yukons and Sesame Snow Peas – recipes below.

MASHED POTATOES
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup half-and-half
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch chives, chopped

  • Boil potatoes until fork tender.
  • Heat the butter and half-and-half over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
  • Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and mash with a hand masher or use a ricer.
  • Add hot liquid to potatoes and whip with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  • Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • Add chives and mix before serving.

SESAME SNOW PEAS
1 pound snow peas
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

  • Rinse the peas and trim off the ends.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oils and heat.
  • Add snow peas and saute until bright green, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and toss.

HONEY ROSEMARY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Personally, I had never been fond of squash, but have recently found that with different textures and flavors, it’s really quite good 😀
HONEY ROSEMARY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH rosemary
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated Pecorino cheese

  • Heat avocado oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • When oil is sizzling add squash, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown on all sides.
  • Add water, stir and recover for 2 minutes.
  • Add honey and rosemary stirring until squash is coated in honey and rosemary is fragrant.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

BAKED SPICY BACON GREEN BEANS

BAKED SPICY BACON GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds FRESH green beans washed and trimmed
1 shallot, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1/8 cup Frank’s Original Hot Sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices thick bacon, diced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Brown bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel.
  • Add shallot to hot oil and saute 1-2 minutes until browned.
  • Add garlic and saute’ 1-2 minutes more until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, hot sauce and broth, stirring to combine.
  • Season to taste.
  • Top with bacon pieces, cover and bake 30-40 minutes until beans are tender.

COWBOY BEANS ala SLOW COOKER and GREEN CHILE CORN BEER BREAD

It’s cold, wet and windy up here in the Pacific Northwest as a series of winter storms have been moving through one after another.  It’s the kind of weather that wants to make you turn over, pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep – the kind of weather that makes me crave serious comfort food.  One of our favorite comfort foods for this weather is Cowboy Beans. The best thing about this recipe is that it cooks ALL day in the slow cooker and the aroma makes the house smell cozy and homey. BE SURE AND SOAK YOUR BEANS OVERNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.

As this recipe cooks your beans will start absorbing the flavor AND the color.  They actually become more and more tasty in the days that follow.  I usually make BEER Bread with this and it’s a HUGE hit.

COWBOY BEANS serves 6
1 pound navy beans
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 pound ground beef
4 slices thick bacon, chopped
1 cup water
3 cups beef broth
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ sauce
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • Rinse your beans and drain.
  • In a large skillet brown bacon pieces over a medium heat until browned and ALMOST crisp. Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add beef to bacon grease browning and crumbling to small pieces until cooked through. This adds are flavor! Drain well of excess grease.
  • In slow cooker whisk together the water, molasses, apple cider vinegar, liquid aminos, brown sugar and beef broth with garlic powder.
  • Stir in beans, ground beef and bacon pieces until well blended.
  • Cook covered on high 6 hours.
  • Stir in BBQ sauce,
  • Cover and cook another 2 hours or until beans are tender.

NOTE: BE SURE AND SOAK YOUR BEANS OVERNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE!

These beans make for wonderful leftovers too.  We really like them over hamburger patties like the old chili sizes from Bob’s Big Boy.

GREEN CHILE CORN BEER BREAD

3 1/2 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 small can chopped green chiles, drained WELL
1 can Green Giant white shoepeg corn, drained WELL
12 ounces Beer
1 stick butter, divided 6 + 2, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar and salt.
  • Add 6 ounces melted butter and beer.
  • Add green chiles and corn.
  • Knead together uniformly, but DO NOT OVERWORK.
  • Form into a well oiled loaf pan.
  • Pour remaining 2 ounces of butter over top.
  • Bake 50-60 minutes until cooked through.

APRICOT PINEAPPLE PORK CHOPS with SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE

APRICOT PINEAPPLE PORK CHOPS with SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE

PORK CHOPS
4 boneless pork loin chops (no thicker than 1/2 inch)
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup Smucker’s Apricot Pineapple jam
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously season pork chops.
  • Using the pan you cooked the bacon in, heat over medium high heat.
  • Add pork chops and sear for 2 1/2 minutes per side. Remove to baking sheet. Keep warm in pre-heated oven for 7 minutes.
  • In the same pan add onions to remaining bacon drippings and saute’ until soft.
  • Add jam and continue sauteing until heated through and slightly reduced.
  • Add pork chops to pan, turning to coat well.
  • Serve with a small amount of sauce over each pork chop.

SWEET & SOUR RED CABBAGE
3 slices bacon, chopped, cooked crisp (save bacon drippings)
1/2 head red cabbage
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup + 1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • Wash and shred cabbage.
  • Cut onion into thin rings.
  • In a dutch oven bring 1 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white vinegar to a boil.
  • Add shredded cabbage and onion rings.
  • Cook until tender, but still crisp. DRAIN.
  • Add 4 tablespoons bacon drippings, 1 cup water and apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and flour whisking until well blended.
  • Add the cabbage and onions, coating well.
  • Heat through.
  • Top with crumbled bacon before serving.

BACON GRUYERE SMASHED POTATOES

BACON GRUYERE SMASHED POTATOES serves 4-6
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds red or white rose potatoes, washed and halved
2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon FRESH minced thyme
1/3 cup milk
4 slices bacon, chopped and cooked crisp
1/3 cup grated Gruyere or baby Swiss cheese

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat in a large skillet
  • Add onions and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes until onions are soft. Reduce heat to medium low and cook an additional 45 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in thyme during the last 5 minutes.
  • While onions are caramelizing cook potatoes in salted, boiling water for 20-25 minutes until tender. Drain and add potato pieces to mixing bowl.
  • Add milk, remaining butter and season with salt and pepper.
  • Coarsely mash potatoes to desired consistency.
  • Stir in bacon and onions.
  • Top with cheese and let stand covered until cheese melts.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

MELTING POTATOES

MELTING POTATOES serves 4
1 1/2 pounds Yukon potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon FRESH minced thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely minced parsley

  • Preheat oven to 500°.
  • Cut of potato ends so they are flat.
  • Slice each potato 1 inch slices.
  • Whisk together the butter, salt, pepper and thyme.
  • Toss potatoes in butter mixture.
  • Arrange potatoes in a single layer in a 13×9 inch baking dish.
  • Roast potatoes for 15 minutes.
  • Use a metal spatula to loosen and flip potatoes.
  • Return to oven and roast another 15 minutes.
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and garlic.
  • Flip potatoes again.
  • Add chicken broth and garlic to pan.
  • Return to oven and roast another 25 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and sauce has reduced.
  • Spoon a small amount of sauce over each potato as you serve it.
  • Top with minced parsley.