Do you have success cooking with a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot?  I never have - ever.  I suspect the reason for this was:  too much liquid?  overcooking?  not enough flavors/seasonings? Probably all of these reasons.
On a recent grocery shopping day, I passed by a Garage Sale and decided to stop by.  Looking at this crock pot (which was quite filthy) a gentleman approached me saying I could have it for $3.00.  I stood there looking at it trying to decide "Should I give it one more try?"  "How many crock pots have I given away"?  Then the gentleman said "Okay, I'll give it to you for $2.00".  Sold!
What sold me on it besides the price, was the high and low cooking times.  I liked the feature of an 8 hour or 10 hour low cooking time.  Maybe now I will get it right?
Once I got the crock pot home, I gave it a good scrub, and disinfected the crock with boiling water.  It came out squeaky clean.
I always think of Pork and Beans as a side dish in the summer, as well as being a great side to any BBQ main dishes.
My favorite Baked Beans dish is a version from Emeril Lagasse's Book:  Emeril At The Grill, so this recipe is a modified version of the original.
This dish is the first tasty Crock Pot Meal I have ever made....there may yet be hope.  Anyone wanting to share your favorite Crock Pot Meals, please do - I would be most happy to feature your recipes with this post. (there will be a link at the bottom of this post) (thanks DH - I do not have a clue on how to set up a link to a blog!)
1 lb. Great Northern Beans, rinsed and soaked overnight (12 hours)
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 large shallot, diced
6 minced garlic cloves
1 cup of coffee (I used de-caf, having recently given up regular coffee)
3/4 cup Homemade Ketchup or Organic store bought Ketchup
1 Tblsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tblsp. dried rosemary, thyme, garlic
fresh cracked pepper (season with salt at the end of cooking time)
2 1/2 cups water
one 5 1/2 oz. can of tomato paste
2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar  (I added the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar at the end of the cooking time just before serving)
After soaking the beans for 12 hours, drain in a colander, rinse, and set aside.  Brown the bacon on medium heat, then transfer the bacon to a bowl.  Add in the onions, shallot, and garlic, turn down the heat to low, sauteing about 5 minutes.
Then add in the seasonings and continue to saute another 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the beans to the crock pot, with the coffee, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard and water, stirring to combine.  Then add in the bacon and sauted onions and garlic.
Stir well, put the lid on and set to low to cook about 10 hours or until the beans are tender and sauce is thickened. (we also turned this down to warm for another 2 hours, because I had to work later that day)  Add in the Soy Sauce and Balsamic Vinegar, then taste to season with salt and pepper.
Serve with any main dish or as a meal itself.

What's your favorite slow cooker dish, if you would like to share - post here:

Ina Gawne
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    1. Janet - wooohooo you are not a robot!!! Yeahh! Just so you know, pretty soon Jim will be doing an overhall on my blog, so it may be unavailable for a few days? But happily your comment got through - bless your heart! 🙂

  1. Yay - NOT a robot!!! 🙂
    I love using my crock-pot for making stocks. Put a whole pile of bones in - usually chicken - and some aromatics, slow it overnight then drain, refrigerate (to let the fat set on top), use the jellied stock in all sorts of other deliciousness!
    ALSO, I am deeply JEALOUS of your ability to find these magnificent bargains... I only every find junk...sigh... XO

    1. Janet I must try stock in the crock pot. Not sure how I sometimes find wonderful gems...but I do really appreciate it when I do! 🙂

    1. Janet...actually I did buy a lovely Chandelier once for $25.00. It so does not work in my house sadly. It needs to find a new home soon!

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June 30, 2012