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    Wednesday, November 06, 2013

    Molasses Baked Beans...were a disaster. (Still learning how to use re-hydrated beans.)

    So I was all excited about an 'easy' family recipe for Molasses Slow Cooked/Baked Beans that I was going to make in advance for the weekend (and bring to my Civil War event). The beans always turn out well and I even like them cold.

    This time I decided *instead of using canned beans* (what I grew up using & my recipe assumes), I'd try making this batch from scratch using re-hydrated dried beans. Something different, and a challenge for me (as I haven't had much practice cooking using re-hydrated dried beans. It's something I should get more comfortable using, so I need to make recipes using them to "practice".)

    So Monday night I got out a mix of dried beans that seamed like they'd be good together, measured them out (I measured out too much, first mistake!), and set them to soak overnight. In the morning I drained & rinsed, then set them to soak some more while I was at work.

    Tuesday I cooked up my bacon (in the oven - I like it crisp) and drained the soaking beans & put them in a resealable bag for the fridge. Wednesday morning I assembled all my ingredients (trying to estimate how much more on the sauce ingredients because I had re-hydrated a tad too many beans) and set the mixture in my crock-pot on low and left for work.

    Big Mistake.

    I didn't adjust enough for the uncooked re-hydrated beans. I forgot that on my last recipe using re-hydrated beans I had to boil them first before slow cooking, so I didn't do that this time. Nor did I put any of the reserved liquid into the crock pot (to add extra liquid to compensate for the re-hydrated beans) for while I was gone all day. They were dry and not done.


    Plus I used Great Northern Beans (which I hadn't used before) and I think they have a different cooking time than the other beans - black, red, pink, & small white beans. (Nothing against the Northern Beans, just a factor I didn't take into consideration.)

    I tried added more liquid (water plus more of the sauce ingredients - molasses, ketchup, Worcester sauce, mustard, & salt/pepper) and let it cook an hour or 2 on high last night so it was bubbling. Then back to low for overnight....they're better, but I still get a few beans not quite done...and I've got a bit of a bitter taste. Boo!

    Realistically - I think I need to toss this pot of beans and start over. I don't think I can 'pull out' the bitter taste.

    To say I'm disappointed (in the beans but mainly in myself for forgetting key steps after I did all that work) is an understatement.

    I think if I had taken the time to boil the rehydrated beans before mixing it recipe up & setting it to slow cook (and used the reserved liquid from the boiling process), my beans would have turned out. Live & Learn. :)

    At least my test batch of gluten-free pancakes this morning (testing out a mix I picked up, that I want to bring to the event this weekend) came out beautifully. One small good thing in a disappointing morning.

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