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I have to say, owning a crock pot can truly be a life saver for the bachelor or bachelorette. Throwing food into the black box and waking up eight hours later to delicious food seems like magic to me. Soups, various meats, stews, and even desserts can come out of this handy little machine... but I digress. Lately, I've been experimenting with various ingredients to see if I could come up with something original to create... and after a bit of trial and error, the Sweet and Spicy Beans were born!


Oh, one more thing: grab a hefty crock pot. I think I've got somewhere around a five or a six quart piece, and this recipe just about fills it up.

Now for preparation. Grab your largest pan and heat it over the range. Proceed to caramelize your onions in the olive oil. (As you have three pounds of onions to work with, it's easiest (and fastest) to do this in batches.) As they finish, toss them in the crock pot. Put a few sips of beer and the vinegar into the pan to deglaze it, and throw the resulting sauce into the crock pot. Open up the cans of beans, and throw them on top of the onions.

Here comes the part where you have to be a bit careful. Chipotle peppers can be quite spicy, even when they're a very small portion of the recipe by weight. That said, mash up the peppers and the adobo sauce together in a small bowl. If you know what you're doing, you can just toss the whole red mess into the crock pot, but if it's your first time, I'd highly recommend only putting in half and reserving the rest in the refrigerator.

Smash and peel the garlic, and throw it on top of everything. If the juices from everything you've put into the crock pot so far is not sufficient in covering the solid material, put in just enough water to do so. Set your crock at low heat and sit down in front of the telly with the rest of your beer. In somewhere between five and eight hours, delicious smells will flood your house. Around then is when you will be able to drop a spoon in for tasting. That bowl of spice can be added at this time if you find that you need more fire; otherwise, save it for your next taco night. Serve warm.

As I've never been one for serving sizes, just note that you have around 5 quarts of beans and other assorted foodstuffs. According to the can of beans, each serving has 20% of your USDA daily recommended fiber in each serving, and there are 24 'servings' of beans in the pot. Doing the math, you may get a bit gassy.

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