One-Pot Wonders

Baked Beans (Sugar Free)

June 30, 2020
Photo by Brian Coppola
Author Notes

I was going to make some BBQ pulled pork and I wanted baked beans, which are not at all diabetic friendly with their caramelized brown sugar base. Beans are not low carb, but they’ve got a good glycemic index and a little bit goes a long way.

I was inspired by the recipe of the great Lynne Rosetto Kasper. I used a full pouch (8 oz) of the Swerve brown sugar substitute, which really retained its sweetness at these low and slow temperatures. I added more vinegar to balance it out. I’ll bet you could get away with 4 oz of the Swerve. If you didn’t know, Swerve keeps its fidelity even at high temperatures and can even be turned into a hard toffee (which I have made and topped with 100% chocolate and crushed almonds.

I made these at the same time as the pork (see recipe, elsewhere), and fudged on the temperature because I was cooking both in the same oven. —Brian Coppola

  • Prep time 2 hours
  • Cook time 4 hours
  • Serves a lot
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dry Great Northern beans
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 8 large garlic cloves (large chop)
  • 4 Vidalia onions (small chap)
  • 1 pound good, thick bacon (think meat counter, not Oscar Meyer), chopped to about ½ inch
  • 1/3 cup spicy brown (Dijon) mustard
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. I used the same 8 qt Caphalon pot for the entire preparation.
  2. Heat enough water, to a rolling boil, that will cover the beans. Add the beans, cover and remove from the heat. Set aside to soak for 2-3 hours.
  3. Drain the beans, wipe the pot, and re-add the beans. Add the allspice, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 of the onions. Simmer, partly covered, for an hour.
  4. Drain the beans, this time reserving the liquid. Clean the pot.
  5. Heat the pot to medium and add the bacon. Slowly cook the bacon until it is lightly frying itself in the freed fat. Before the bacon turns too crisy (aim for a nice light brown), tip the pot and scoop out most of the liquid fat.
  6. Add the other onions, stir well with the bacon, and saute the onions to a light caramel color. Add the rest of the garlic. Stir and heat for a minute.
  7. Add the Swerve, a cup of vinegar, the mustard, and the black pepper. Quickly stir these together and then add the beans. Mix well.
  8. Add about 2 cups of the reserved liquid. Enough to just begin to see it, but not drown the beans in it. Bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste the liquid for the sweetness. I added another half a cup of vinegar, which is why I said you could start with less Swerve.
  9. I added these to my 275F oven in which my pork was cooking. The prescribed temperature is 325F. I was about 2-3 hours into cooking the pork, so I upped the temperature to 300F.
  10. Bake, covered, for 2 hours. Uncover and bake at least another hour to reduce the liquid to a glaze. Once I removed the meat from the oven, I pushed the temperature up to 350F for about 30 minutes to finish these off.
  11. I removed them from the oven, covered them, and they kept their temperature while I crisped the meat for serving.

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