I’m sure every food blogger will be writing some sort of post around this time of year inspired by leftovers, but how could you not? There is so much food to be saved from the dark corners of our refrigerators. Luckily, baked beans are an all year delight that can be made with or without leftovers. The real highlight and/or conundrum of making beans is the toast that will be served with said beans. Here, practically empty moi made her appearance. It has been a week of travel, visits and irregular hours. That being said, we have not made it to market, the only place one can purchase bread that checks off all of the boxes (organic, locally milled, wild yeast, yadayadayada…).
I realized that this lack of bread was going to be a real situation. You can NOT have beans without some sort of bread going on.
As I have mentioned before, the only flour in the house is spelt flour, due to it being the only local organic option I currently have access too. I’m not much of a bread baker, but I have helped my mother whip up plenty of biscuits over the years. We also still have AWESOME LARD IN THE FRIDGE, which makes me feel so incredibly wealthy I can’t even believe it. Perhaps some would find that odd, but the fact that I have flour and lard handed to me by the farmers themselves is the most glorious thing I could ask for.
What does any of this have to do with using leftovers? Christmas Ham, with the bone in, was served this season and I got to take the bone home!
Baked Beans (that I did stove top)
I knew I was going to have some time off today, so I soaked the beans last night in preparation. While canned beans are convenient they produce a lot of waste in the processing end of things. Commercially canned food have a lot of unnecessary preservatives in them and the cans used can also contain materials that are potentially harmful to humans. I personally feel more comfortable using dried beans.
Tip: Something I’ve done in the past, is cook a large quantity of beans and then freeze them in meal size portions. This allows me to make last minute dishes on the fly, in the same way you would with canned beans.
1 cup of dried beans*
2 medium onions diced
1/2 cup molasses
2 tblsp cider vinegar (or any other acidic ingredients you have)
2 tblsp maple syrup (or any other sugar you have)
1-2 cups of pork**
A) Soak beans overnight, rinse, then boil for 1 hour.
B) Put everything into a pot and cover with water, simmer on medium heat for another hour.
*any kind will work, navy beans are the classic go to, I would avoid black beans, or chick peas, I found some beautiful white ones with red spots from a local shop, no idea what kind they were, but they were delicious!
**I used a bone from leftover ham roast, after simmering with beans I pulled off all the meat and tossed the bone. You can use bacon (crisp in pan first), pork chops, pemeal or no meat at all***
***the smokey caramel taste of baked beans comes from using delicious cuts of smokey or salty pork, in a vegetarian version I would recommend caramelizing some additional onion and adding it into the pot for a well rounded flavour
Whole Spelt Flour biscuits
2 cups whole spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder or baking soda
1/4 cup lard/butter/shortening/oil
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water*
a) Mix dry ingredients
b) cut in lard with a fork
c) Add wet ingredients
Dough should be fairly soft, once coated with flour can be easily handled into small round biscuit shapes.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 min. Serve warm.
*start with less, add more as needed. Most recipes call for milk, however I often replace milk with water in recipes and everything still tastes delicious. I don’t really drink milk, and never have it on hand so I’ve tried this often in recipes such as, waffles, muffins, and pancakes. Obviously not ideal, but when you’re in a pinch, don’t be afraid, go for it!
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYONE!