Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Turkey with Pinto Beans


I kind of cheated on this one.

Instead of making a sauce, I just threw in a bunch of my frozen Heinz on Crack (sweet and spicy tomato jam). So if you make this recipe, don’t replace it with ketchup or salsa. It won’t be the same.

The bones you see are the ones I took the meat off of and then added to the slow-cooker to enrich the broth (like making turkey stock). They end up with a tiny bit of meat on them, but you can chew that off Flinstones style and then take out the bones instead of plating naked bones, as I did. I think I have an inner Betty.

Flinstone, not Draper.

So the boneless result is basically a meaty baked beans recipe. You can sauté any veggies that are stew-friendly (carrots, celery, onions, leeks, parsnips, potatoes even) and toss them in the slow-cooker with cooked beans, seared meat and the sauce ingredients. And if you want to make it vegetarian, leave out the turkey.

Voilà. A delicious dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Slow-Cooker Turkey with Beans

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 lb green tomatoes, finely chopped,
1 1/2 cups cane sugar,
5 tbsp fresh lime juice,
2 tsp freshly grated ginger,
1 tsp cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
1/4 tsp ground cloves,
2 tsp salt
1 – 2 tbsp chili powder (to taste)

1 large bone-in turkey thigh, skin removed (or 1 boneless thigh, chopped into large cubes, about 1 lb)
1 tsp salt

2 tsp oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots


Combine the tomatoes through chili powder in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Get your butcher to debone the turkey thigh or slice the meat from the bone yourself and chop into large cubes. Add the bone to the slow-cooker. Sprinkle the meat with a teaspoon of salt and sear the meat in the oil in a large skillet until brown on all sides (about 30 seconds per side on medium-high heat). Add to the slow-cooker.

Add the celery and carrots to the skillet and cook 2 minutes. Add to the slow-cooker. Deglaze the skillet with about a cup of the tomato mixture, then scrape into the slow-cooker and pour the rest of the tomato mixture over top. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8. Woohoo!


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