My Favorite Foods Yesterday And Today

I love food and always have. I enjoy cooking and also trying out new recipes.
I still use some of the old recipes that my mother used when I was a child growing up and want to preserve them for others to enjoy also.
I like trying new things; but don't have a lot of patience for playing around with recipes that take forever to prepare.
Hope you enjoy reading the recipes and trying them too.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Homemade Pork And Beans

This recipe I have adapted over the years from many I have found in different cookbooks, so can't really attribute it to anyone.
I used to make a huge batch of these when my boys were eating copious amounts, I baked them in the oven and canned them in jars and then we had them to just grab and use.
 I remember my oldest son bringing home some of his buddies one day just as I brought them out of the oven, so naturally they had to eat. The batch that I usually got 8 quarts out of to can, that day only produced 4 quarts!! Amazing what teenage boys can pack into themselves when they like something!!

The only commercially canned Pork and Beans that I like are Heinz brand, which are not available in Mexico and to me this homemade recipe comes pretty close to them. The only American brand that I have found even remotely edible are Bushs baked beans and of course they are not available here either, so I am back to making my own; although with no teenagers in the house I now make much less and use my crock pot to do them.
It is a fast and easy recipe to prepare, you just need to remember to start them the day before you want to eat them.

My Homestyle Baked Beans With Molasses

I use about 1 kilo, (approx. 2.2 pounds) of dried beans, pinto, peruano whichever kind you like best.
I clean and wash them and then put them to soak in boiling water for 6 or 7 hrs..  (The water starts out boiling and cools down, I don't cook them for this amount of time only soak them in what starts out as boiling water).

While they are soaking I prepare the sauce so that I can just drain the beans, dump them in the sauce and put them in the frig. to soak overnight.

**REMEMBER**** when you drain the water off of the beans to reserve the water for use in the sauce.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup or tomato juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 chopped onion, (I love onion so I use a large one)
? garlic cloves, chopped fine and smashed, (I also love garlic so I put in 2 or 3 cloves)
Cut up raw bacon, as much as you like or you could finely cube any type of pork cut.
Some Chili Powder, sorry I don't measure this.  Use as much as your family likes or leave it out.
Approx. 2 cups of reserved bean soaking water.

If you want it vegetarian, leave out the bacon/pork.

I mix all the sauce ingredients right in the slow cooker, (which I also spray liberally with PAM first), then when the beans have soaked for 6 or 8 hours or when you remember them, drain them, dump them into the prepared sauce and add enough water to cover the whole mess.  I then stick the crock pot into the frig. and let the whole thing soak overnight.  First one up in the morning plugs in the crock pot and by lunchtime you have a tasty pot of baked beans.  We eat our main meal here at mid day so adjust your times and crock pot settings to accommodate your schedule.

**I don't add salt until they are cooked as salt supposedly toughens the beans if you add it during cooking, sometimes it doesn't need it.  Taste just before the cooking is done and decide for yourself.**

Adaptations for things you can't get in Mexico.  At the moment I actually have real Molasses; but when that runs out I will use Piloncillo which you buy in a cone shape and is actually brown sugar with the molasses in it.
Dry Mustard Powder: not available in my city; but I suppose you could try prepared mustard.  I have some dry stuff yet so haven't tried it with the prepared stuff.

If you don't have Ketchup or Tomato Juice use Tomato Sauce.

**Additions you might want to try:

Any type of peppers to your personal taste.

Finely chopped, peeled tomatoes, finely grated carrots.

My cooking is not done by following recipes the majority of the time, unless I am baking.  When I am cooking something and have some veggies that need to be used soon, they will get chopped or grated and thrown in, especially in a spaghetti sauce.  You can hide a lot of veggies from kids in a slow simmered spaghetti sauce, my kids never knew how many veggies they ate lol.

Photos tomorrow after they are cooked.