Baked Beans with Chinese Five Spice Powder
With the Holidays all around I keep searching to recreate the comfort foods so familiar to us. Here is my Gaps legal versions of sweet sticky baked beans. I am in love with Chinese Five Spice. It is a mixture of five spices, encompassing all five flavors of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. Containing the sweet tones of star anise, cloves and cinnamon with the bite of Szechwan pepper, all married together wtih ground fennel seeds and sometimes ginger. I think it sings in this recipe.
It may seem complicated but you can enjoy it for many days and it’s well worth the trouble. You can serve it with a steak and salad with a good homemade dressing. Or bring it along to a potluck.
I also wanted to add in another thought. I’m all about keeping food alive and sneaking pro-biotic food into my family. I left about half of the raw ingredients out that I put a star** next to below and added them in after the beans cooled. You can try that too and keep it much more healthy. Play around and have fun, leave out what you don’t like and add what you do.
Please Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
1 pound White/Great Northern beans, soaked (at least 48 hours with whey added)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 slices high quality bacon, salt pork, finely chopped (or use smoked ham hock)
1/4 cup dates, very finely chopped
1/4 dried apricots, very finely chopped
1/4 black current or raisins, very finely chopped
4 teaspoons mustard** (organic, Gaps legal)(lacto-fermented if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2/3 cup raw honey**
1 teaspoons organic orange rind (zested)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons of Chinese five spice powder (Mountain Rose Herb)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (Mountain Rose Herb)
1/2 teaspoon paprika (Mountain Rose Herb)
4 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar**
1 small can of a good tomato paste (just paste, no fillers)
1 cup chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup fish sauce**
1/4 cup cultured butter**(optional)
sea salt to taste
Drain beans, rinse them and place them in large saucepan. Add fresh water to cover beans by about inch. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so beans simmer gently, uncovered. Cook about 1 hour, or until tender. Drain.
Place beans in 3-quart bean pot, large cast iron pan or casserole. Add remaining ingredients (see below**) and stir well. Bake, covered, in preheated 300º oven until beans are tender again and colored as brown as the sauce around them, about 6-8 hours. Stir beans at least once an hour while they cook. Serve
(**remember for Gaps or Weston Price to check which things to save and stir after it cools a bit)
Keep in mind, these are high in sugar and we will only have these about once a month.