I was recently given some dried beans by an elderly neighbor. She only reheats her prepackaged food these days, and thought I might want a
freakishly large package of dried mixed beans for something, …”since you cook”.
I have been in the habit of buying canned beans, but there is no way that I *CAN’T* process my own beans… I just don’t, or more precisely, haven’t lately.
Oh fine. So I cooked the beans. Stop the presses! Alert the media! Cooking your own beans is cheaper, to be sure. And not difficult by any stretch of the imagination. And they are certainly gluten free… so I cooked them.
So…how do you cook beans from scratch? – Answer? Slowly. Yes, it takes hours. And yes, buying them already cooked in a can that I only have to open and dump into a recipe is easier. I hate to admit it, but these tasted better.
- 4 Cups of dried beans in 16 cups of water (I used filtered water) in a large enameled cast iron dutch oven. Heavy duty.
- Let them boil for 2 minutes and then take off the heat- cover and let sit one hour.
- DRAIN THE WATER.
- Refill the water and simmer the beans for 2 hours, or until tender. Don’t over think this part. They are done when they are done. This 4 cups of dried beans resulted in 12 Cups of cooked and ready to use beans for my recipes. Awesome. Thifty. Delicious.
After they had cooled off, I packaged them in 2 cup containers with a little bit of the cooking water. Some in the fridge to use right away in a delicious recipe, and some in the freezer to use later.
So far, we have had “COWBOY BEANS” and chili. mmmm …winter food.
- 1/2 lb of Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked
- 1/2 an onion, chopped and cooked with the sausage
- 4 Cups of pre-cooked beans (drained)
- 1 can of Bush’s baked beans (Do not drain)
Mix togther and pour over the top:
- 1/4 Cup warm water
- 2 T dark brown sugar
- 2 T thai chili sauce
- 2 T ketchup
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder
Bake at 300 for 1 hour covered, then another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.
Serve as a main dish, a side dish, or as a nacho topping with corn chips. These were also good as part of enchiladas. And going by the lack of any leftovers… everyone liked it. Useful dish to be sure.