Monday, July 25, 2016

Instant Pot Baked Beans

So...I got an Instant Pot.  I need another kitchen gadget like I need a hole in the head. But it's a rice cooker!  A slow cooker! A pressure cooker!  A yogurt maker! (Um, yeah I already have all of those two, including TWO pressure cookers).  But it was the Amazon Prime deal and I *had* been thinking about it before it was on sale half price.

So now it lives on my counter.  So far, it's been great. First weekend, I made:
Spanish rice (which I've done on the stove and in the rice cooker also).  It's much faster in the instant pot.  Word of warning, most recipes call for 1-to-1 liquid to rice.  I generally do closer to 2-to-1.  So in this case, I think I did 1.25 to 1.5 to 1.  And it was soupy.  Listen to the manual!!

Salsa chicken.  Frozen solid large chicken breast.  Water.  Salsa.  Done in 30 minutes.  (Well, 30 minutes at pressure, took a little longer total).  If I can get my shit together, it might be a mid-week game changer.

At some point in the last two weeks I was perusing one of my cookbooks from a vegetarian author, and saw a recipe for barbecued baked pinto beans.  What??  All baked beans recipes I see call for northern white beans.  But you see, the 10 lb bags of pinto are only $6.  So how do I use up the pintos, aside from refried beans and bean burgers!!  I've been searching for other recipes.

Sunday morning after my run I put on the beans to soak for 4 hours.  I still hadn't quite decided what to do with them.  I looked through the cookbook that I was SURE had the recipe.  No luck.  Then went through the next two candidates.  Nope.  By #4 I realized that I'm getting old, and maybe it was on the web?

So I googled.  I got nothing.  By then I gave up and decided to wing it.  I googled some more. Here's what I wanted:
1. Information about cooking pintos in the Instant Pot (how long)
2. How to make baked beans (what flavors to add)
3. Information about which spices you can add to the pot (will you get sticking, etc with the sugar?)

So I found this pressure cooker recipe for baked beans and this pressure cooker recipe for pinto beans and this recipe for sweet and spicy pintos on the stovetop.  And I combo'd.

Instant Pot Baked Beans
3 cups dried pinto beans (I only used 3 cups because I felt like it.  Most recipes call for 2)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 c ketchup (It was the last of the bottle and I didn't feel like opening another)
2 Tbsp molasses
1/4 c unpacked brown sugar
3.5 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce
cider vinegar (I didn't measure!  Maybe 1/4 cup)

Soak the beans in enough water to cover by an inch, for about 4 hours.
Drain and rinse the beans

In the instant pot, turn to saute.  Add the oil.  Saute the onions until soft and beginning to brown.  Add the garlic and stir.  Cook until fragrant.  (This will only take about 30 seconds to a minute).

Add the 3.5 cups of water and stir.  Add in everything else (chili powder, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, salt, soy sauce).  Add in the beans and stir.

Turn instant pot to off.  Put on the lid and lock.  Turn on cooker to "beans".  Set at 30 minutes.

Let it run.  After 30 minutes let it do natural pressure release.  I have no idea how long this takes.  The beauty of this thing is that you can walk away from it.  It was surely done by 45 minutes.

Check the beans.  Mine were cooked but were a little soupy.  So I turned it on to saute for about 10 minutes, stirring, because that stuff will boil like crazy.  Then I let it sit to thicken.  It was delicious and very easy.  We took the beans to our potluck in the park.

I was tempted to add some pork fat...because of course.  Pork fat and beans!  I have pork fat in the freezer.  But there's a lone vegetarian teenager at our pot luck and his mom doesn't really do pork.  So I left it out.