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Crock It! Kielbasa And Beans

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This recipe is a loose adaptation of this one from a Williams Sonoma catalog. I”ve always been a sucker for their recipes and this one looked easy and delicious. However, I ended up veering so far away from it based on what was in my pantry, that my adaptations are so far from the original it’s almost not worth mentioning. I’d even say it’s worth going to the original to see how it turns out. In the meantime, my version worked well and was delicious and better yet, used what was already in my pantry. The final flavors were mellow enough for my kids, but tasty enough for us adults. And, as it true with most stew type meals this was even better the next day.

 

Ingredients:

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1 red pepper cut in a  large dice

1 orange pepper cut in a large dice

1 onion cut in a large dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

red pepper flakes, to taste depending on how spicy you like it

1 bag of dry pinto beans

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3 bay leaves

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1-2 lbs. kielbasa depending on how many people you are feeding

1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained

What’s Next:

  1. Brown kielbasa on stove and slice into diagonal pieces. Set aside.
  2. Saute onions and peppers in remaining oil for about 8-10 minutes. Add minced garlic and thyme. Saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add sauteed vegetables to slow cooker. Pour in broth, water and beans. Add kielbasa and stir to combine. Nestle bay leaves into mixture.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until beans are soft. Add drained diced tomatoes, stir, cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with warm baguette.

Notes from my experience:

  • This recipe was easy enough to make and great for a cold rainy night.
  • Do not under any circumstances leave out the diced tomatoes. They give this recipe an added dimension of flavor that does not exist without them.
  • In the future (and I would definitely make this again) I would try regular sweet sausage and brown it without the casing (just as loose meat). Keeping everything else the same, I think it would make a great soup (this was more like a light stew).
  • And one last thought: the bread dipped in the sauce was awesome!

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