1 lb dried roman beans (aka cranberry beans)
2 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
2 dried japones chiles
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon cocoa
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1/2 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon pecan liquid smoke
juice and zest of 1 minneola tangelo
freshly ground black pepper
The night before you want to make the beans: Place the beans and dried pepper in the insert of a 4 quart slow cooker. Fill with water. Cover and allow to soak overnight.
The next morning: tear the peppers into small pieces. Drain the beans and peppers. Return the beans and peppers to the slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 10-12 hrs.
Note: If you want them to cook for 8-10 hours, boil the beans for 10 minutes before adding them to the slow cooker.
Although I’m super ready to move on to spring, I’ve been trying to eek out the last bit of juice and flavor out of citrus while I still can. I love minneolas* because they are large, juicy and have a lovely floral flavor. I’ve been experimenting lately with using dried beans and when I saw roman beans (aka cranberry beans) for sale among the usual red, black and pinto I bought a few bags. I like them because they hold their shape even after a long cooking time. Since I vastly prefer using the slow cooker for dried beans than any other method, roman beans are perfect. I decided to turn them into a simple baked bean side dish. I love making side dishes in the slow cooker even if I’m making a main dish another way because it really cuts down on my cooking time in the evening. I prepped the beans and measured out all of the ingredients the night before then got them going in the morning. That night I just heated up a pork loin I had marinating and heated up some mixed vegetables. Very little effort, maximum rewards.
Try the leftover beans under a fried egg for a quick breakfast.
*Also called honeybells, minneolas are a cross between Duncan grapefruit and a Dancy tangerine.