Friday, April 7, 2017

Wyoming Baked Beans (grain-free : gluten-free : dairy-free : nutrient-dense)

My children and I are continuing our homeschool unit on the United States, and that means I have the opportunity to find more family favorite recipes from the regions we are studying. The latest recipe is Wyoming Baked Beans. I created this recipe the way I often create new recipes: by looking at several recipe variants of a dish and then mish-mashing them all together in the way I think will appeal most to my family's tastes. So I would say this recipe has been inspired by recipes for Wyoming Baked Beans, rather than being an authentic recipe for that region. 

Wyoming Baked Beans combines beans, beef, bacon, and vegetables, with a tasty tomato-based sauce. This dish could be a main course or a side dish. Everyone in my family enjoyed this recipe. 

Wyoming Baked Beans
Serves 6-8
  1. In a large bowl, cover the beans with plenty of filtered water and the baking soda. The beans will soak up quite a bit of water, so be sure to add plenty. Cover and allow to soak overnight. This important step reduces the phytic acid antinutrient in the beans.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a medium-large pot, cover with filtered water, and bring to a boil. Skim off and discard the foam. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stir in 1 Tb salt, and cook until the beans are soft, about 1.5-2 hours. Stir occasionally.
  3. Drain the cooked beans, reserving the liquid for later use. 
  4. In a large (4 quart) oven-safe pot, sauté the bacon for a few minutes until the fat has been rendered (melted). Meanwhile, chop the onion.
  5. Add the onion to the pot and sauté in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, chop the celery and carrots.
  7. Crumble the ground beef into the pot. Add the carrots, celery, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
  8. Brown the ground beef for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, molasses, allspice, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine.
  10. Sprinkle the sucanat over the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir in the ketchup mixture and 3/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid.
  11. Put a lid on the pot and bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour 15 minutes. If the beans look too dry, stir in a bit more of the reserved bean liquid. Remove the lid from the pot for the last 15 minutes of baking. 
  12. Remove from the oven, stir the pot, and allow to cool a bit before serving. Marinated cabbage salad and/or fresh vegetables dipped in homemade ranch dressing pair well with this recipe.

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