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  • Toby Kramer



500 g butter beans 500g haricot beans 5 tablespoons oil 2 white onions – diced 4 carrots – diced 800g ham hock or shin of beef 4 bay leaves 2 sprigs of thyme Salt and pepper to taste


To use dried beans in a slow cooker they must be properly soaked and cooked. Most beans contain varying amounts of a toxin known as kidney bean lectin, red kidney beans having the most. Throwing away the soaking and rinsing water gets rid of leached toxins and boiling the beans for at least 10 minutes with fresh water makes them safe to be added to the slow cooker where they need to be cooked on high setting for the first hour. It’s better to add salt near the end of the cooking time, as salt tends to toughen the bean skins.

  • Soak beans for at least 5 hours – preferably overnight.

  • Discard the water.

  • Rinse and boil beans in fresh water for 10 minutes.

  • Drain the beans and discard the cooking water.

  • Spray inside the slow cooker pot with cooking spray or lightly grease.

  • In a large frying pan, gentle sautée onions until soft – about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Transfer the softened onions into the slow ccoker pot.

  • Set slow cooker on high.

  • Add carrots and stir.

  • Add beans to the slow cooker and push meat in amongst the beans.

  • Tuck bay leaves and sprig of thyme around the meat.

  • Season with pepper.

  • Add boiling water until it covers the ingredients.

  • Replace lid and cook on high for 1 hour – DO NOT OMIT THIS.

  • Turn slow cooker to low and cook for a minimum of 10 hours. Bean Jar can be cooked for up to 24 hours, I usually cook mine for 16 hours.

  • Do not disturb for at least 3 hours.

  • You may need to check the water level.

  • Season with salt and remove the meat bone from the slow cooker.

REMEMBER: each time you take the lid off your slow cooker, it adds 30 minutes to your cooking time.

Serve with crusty bread and Guernsey or Jersey butter.

Recipe from Sarah James

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