Le Creuset Baked Beans

Ugggggghhhh. Saturday was flip-flop weather and today, Monday, THIS:


Here’s why Mark is great, or one reason anyway: Fortinbras was here last week and he and Mark went to the mall so Mark could buy a new computer. I refused to go because I despise the mall. When they returned, I was informed that once they got to the Apple store, Mark abruptly announced, “buying a new computer is stupid; let’s go buy Renae something instead,” so they went to Williams-Sonoma and got me a bean pot for no apparent reason. I hadn’t done anything to deserve said bean pot, especially a mere week after Christmas, when I got a Vita-Mix, but I’m not complaining because I’ve been wanting a bean pot, so yay!

The bean pot I suddenly came to own was packed with a couple of recipes so today I decided to make the included Oven Baked Beans recipe, which is slightly non-vegan with its can of pork and beans (and Worcestershire sauce, but since it’s easy for me to buy vegan Worcestershire, I don’t even register it as a non-vegan ingredient). So this is my adaption of the Le Creuset Oven Baked Beans recipe.

Le Creuset Baked Beans

1 1/4 cups dried kidney beans
1 1/4 cups dried baby lima beans
1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans
1 1/4 cups dried Great Northern beans
1 14.5 oz can vegetarian baked beans
1 medium onion, diced
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap; the original recipe didn’t specify a type)
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup prepared mustard
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
hot sauce to taste – I used homemade sriracha
1 packet Goya artificial ham flavoring (optional, but it’s weirdly vegan, so if you want some of the hammy flavor you’re missing from the can of pork and beans, do it up)

Place the kidney, lima, pinto, and Great Northern beans in a large vessel. Cover with several inches of cold water and soak overnight (or all day). Alternatively, cover with several inches of boiling water and soak for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dice the onion.

Stir or whisk together the rest of the ingredients.

Drain the soaked beans.

Stir together all of the ingredients in a bean pot, Dutch oven, or large casserole.

Cover …

… and bake until done. The original recipe said to bake for two hours, and after two hours it was certainly edible, but I like my beans creamier so I added more water and baked for another hour.

Serve. This makes way more beans than you will probably need unless you are feeding 40 friends.

Moving on to completely off-topic items, the lovely Zoa asked to see some of the infrared pictures I took in Charleston and I can’t turn Zoa down.

Infrared filters work by blocking all visible light and allowing only infrared light to pass through to the camera. Because all visible light is blocked, the filters appear to be nearly opaque and you need to use shutter times of several seconds to many minutes, and thus you need a tripod. The images you make will appear very red with black detail. Usually you’ll convert this to black & white, where things that reflect a lot of infrared light, like foliage, will be more exposed, or lighter in tone, than they normally appear, which can give pictures an otherworldly appearance.

Here’s what a photo looks like before being converted to B&W:

This is the first infrared picture I ever took. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing and just held the shutter open for a random amount of time, so I don’t know how it ended up relatively well exposed. This is from Middleton Place. The South, with all that gorgeous Spanish moss, is a great place for these types of pictures.

Another from Middleton Place.

My tripod boy (Mark, acting as my assistant, is in charge of carrying the tripod) staged this photo. Can you find him? You can click for a full-size version if you need help.

From Magnolia Cemetery:

From Folly Beach:

We got a little silly by this time and started goofing off with the long exposures. This is me and Mark HAUNTING YOU.

Mark calls this one Portrait of an Artist as a Dead Man.

Okay, nothing too amazing, but I had a lot of fun taking them and am looking forward to playing around with the filter some more.


  1. Mom Said,

    January 10, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    I finally was able to find Mark in that one picture when I made it full-size.

  2. foodfeud Said,

    January 10, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    Wow, I found mark but that is scary! Also, he’s great! Don’t lose anyone who randomly buys you bean pots! That thing is massive and gorgeous. Beans beans!

  3. Josiane Said,

    January 10, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    A bean pot – what a fantastic gift!
    Your infrared pictures are great; I particularly love the first one from Folly Beach, the one with the beach wood: it’s gorgeous! I also like the bits of silliness – yay for having fun!

  4. Jain Said,

    January 10, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    I’ve never had fresh baked beans before; I bet they’re amazing. And your pot is a beauty!

    The infrared photos are magical and professional-looking. This might be what pushes me over the top to buy a real camera. Hope you post some more some day!

  5. jamie Said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 1:11 am

    the bean pot, fantastic!! beautiful too! the baked beans sound scrumptious…i started laughing reading about the artificial ham flavor. That’s too weird!

    Thank you also for sharing the wonderful photos…those amazing southern trees, I have only seen trees like that in Savannah as I’m not too well travelled in the south, so very much appreciated! Incredible! Thanks for the post – I really enjoy the variety. Happy New Year!

  6. Zoa Said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    Okay, there are times, very infrequently, when I am maybe just a little teeny tiny bit sorry to be all free and independent and everything without an SO. Maybe, just maybe, I haven’t yet met the person who would randomly buy me a Le Creuset bean pot…now that is really, really sweet!

    And the photos! Good lord, they’re so beautiful! What a haunting, misty–yes, magical–effect. I’ve seen this from time to time and always wondered how it was achieved. Some of them are so gorgeously composed, too. The house in Middleton place, the huge tree, the cemetery, especially, if they were mine I’d probably frame them. I hope you continue to have fun with your extra-food photos, and continue to post them. My camera won’t do that uber-cool stuff, but I will be traveling to the Land of Giant Trees on Canada’s West Coast in April so I may have to give other effects some serious thought…

  7. Sarah Said,

    January 12, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    Nice bean pot! Is it me, or is it just super weird that most recipes for baked beans seem to have baked beans as an ingredient? It’s not like you’re making yogurt or sourdough and you need a starter or something. In my mind, if I want to make baked beans, it’s because I don’t already have baked beans. Baked beans are supposed to be the end product of the recipe, not the starting point. (For the record I have made baked beans without putting in baked beans from a can, and they come out fine.) Beautiful pictures too!

  8. Jes Said,

    January 12, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

    Wait, what, it snowed up by you?! How did I miss this! I mean, I guess it was cold, but wow, we must have missed it! We had some flurries here & there but definitely nothing real. I’m impressed. And that made it perfect perfect bean weather–your pot is gorgeous, go Mark! Happy 2012!! May it get & stay warmer!

  9. Nina Said,

    January 17, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

    Portrait of an Artist as a Dead Man is AWESOME

  10. Lovlie Said,

    January 18, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    That bean pot certainly looks majestic! I would now love to have one too! Some cool infrared photos you’ve got there, I like them! We still haven’t got any snow here yet. I hope it stays that way. 🙂

  11. JL goes Vegan Said,

    February 6, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    Fantastic recipe! I’m holding myself back from trying to find a bean pot to buy online — because I almost always make my beans in a pressure cooker. But I love that pot and suddenly feel it’s essential to have one!

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