I have a bean pot. Most people my age don’t have one of those, but I do. I grew up with my mother making baked beans in the oven every Labor day for a big multi-family barbecue. So, naturally I was intrigued: Could a slow cooker produce the same results as my oven and a clay pot? Only one way to find out.
I have to say that about 6 hours into cooking, I remembered why I typically use canned beans for most recipes and skip the overnight soaking activity. I had to cook my beans for 10 hours rather than 6 and was ultimately missing a side for the roast pork I made tonight. I made french fries instead. Not quite the same.
Simple Baked Beans
1 bag (16oz) of dried small white beans (such as navy)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 white onion, diced
1/4 pound salt pork or thick cut bacon
1 teaspoon dried mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
The night before: Soak beans overnight with at least 3″ of water covering beans.
The next morning: Empty beans from bowl leaving about half the water from soaking the beans in the bowl. Empty both into slow cooker.
Saute diced onion in a pan and add to beans in pot.
Combine molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, mustard and pepper in a bowl and whisk together. Add to beans and onions in slow cooker and stir.
Place salt pork or bacon on top. Cover and cook for 6-10 hours on high.
Notes from my experience:
The beans I used were dried cannellini beans and I think they were too big. I was rushing through my online grocery order and wasn’t paying attention. While I do remember years where even in the bean pot the beans never really got soft, I think this is another case where size matters. The flavor was good, but even after 10 hours, the beans just didn’t seem right. So, be sure to use small beans.
If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute prepared barbeque sauce in place of everything but the onions in this recipe.
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