Can you tell that I had a thing for leaves when I took these photos?

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They made an appearance on Wednesday’s post as well, though I think at this point icicles and snowflakes would be more appropriate dancing in the background.  As I take photos next to a window, I can feel the frigid air seeping in through the old, poorly insulated panes.

It made me want to hug this big pot of beans and never let go.

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I love beans, I really do.  Growing up on this recipe, I got hooked on beans early, but it’s taken me until now to start expanding my legume horizons.  That, and the fact that once you have an awesome recipe, it’s hard to stray.  At first, I did feel a tad guilty about making a different bean recipe.

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But life’s too short to only have one kind of slow cooked bean dish  in my life and I wanted to see what else was out there.  Now that I have, I’m glad I branched out, because I really enjoyed these slow cooked, hard cider laced beauties.

They aren’t as heavy as the baked beans I’m accustomed to, and I found their flavor, which comes from slowly sweated onions and carrots and hard cider, to be refreshing.  Is that a weird way to describe beans? Hmm…

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Happy weekend, dear reader, and if you’re on the East Coast, stay warm!  (With some beans perhaps?!?)

Two Years Ago: Apple Cider Bundt Cake

One Year Ago: Caramel Nut Bars

Slow Cooked Hard Cider Beans

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry Great Northern beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1½ tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups hard cider, or regular apple cider
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put the soaked beans in a medium saucepan and pour in 4 cups of water, or enough to cover the surface of the beans by about 1”. Set the pot over medium high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer (don’t let them boil) the beans for 1 1/2 hours, until they are tender and creamy.
  2. While the beans cook, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots and cook them for 30 minutes until the onions become a little flimsy and take on a smidgen of color from the carrots. The carrots will soften a bit. You should not have to stir too frequently while the veggies are cooking.
  3. While the veggies cook and the beans boil, make the cider sauce. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, molasses, dry mustard, and brown sugar until smooth. Slowly add the vinegar, whisking until a looser paste forms. Pour the cider in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to make a fluid mixture. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir again to incorporate and set aside.
  4. After the onions and carrots have sweated for 30 minutes, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the cider sauce into the pot with the vegetables and stir everything together to coat evenly.
  5. When the beans are tender, strain them, reserving the cooking liquid. Add the beans to the pot with the cider sauce. Measure 1½ cups of the bean cooking liquid and add it to the beans in the cider sauce. If you don’t have enough simmering liquid, simply add more water to hit the recommended 1½ cups.
  6. Simmer the beans for another 30 to 45 minutes, until the beans thicken the sauce to your liking. For saucier beans, simmer closer to 30 minutes. For thicker, richer sauce that coats the beans and makes your taste buds sing, simmer for 45 minutes or longer. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper to your taste and serve!
  7. Cool leftovers to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container for storage. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to three months.
http://www.bashfulbao.com/2014/01/slow-cooked-hard-cider-beans/

Adapted from The Kitchn

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