Friday, October 22, 2010

Boston Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Ah, the slow cooker. One of the best inventions for working people. Turn it on in the morning and when you walk through your front door in the evening, the whole house smells like dinner. The dinner you didn’t put much effort into. The dinner you still do not have to put much effort into. Last night I decided I wanted to make Boston Baked Beans. I had ALL the ingredients therefore I didn’t need to go shopping. I did the cutting work in the evening, put the remaining ingredients in the pot this morning and left the house. When I got home, I had to mix the other ingredients in and let it cook some more. I had a serious craving for boston baked beans. They are comfort food. On a cool fall evening like today, they are the perfect dinner. They taste oh so good going down... not so great later in the night.. looking on the bright side, they contain lots of good-for-you fibre. I could always use more fibre. So here is the recipe for a 6 quart slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker, go buy one. 
Boston Baked Beans
1 900g bag of dried Navy Beans
10 cups of water
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup (approx.) salt pork, cut into 1 inch cubes * - See note below
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard 
1/2 cup Ketchup
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (because I’m Canadian - optional for non-Canadians)
2 cups reserved hot bean liquid
  1. Wash and sort the beans. Put beans in pot. Add water, salt, onion and pork. Mix well so that pork is covered by beans. Cover pot.
  2. Place pot on base and cook at Setting #3 for 10 to 12 hours until beans are tender (My beans were tender after 10 hours). 
  3. When beans are tender, drain the liquid and reserve 2 cups. To the beans add molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard and ketchup; stir. Add bean liquid; stir. Taste it now. I ended up adding more molasses to darken the colour and cut some of the ketchup taste which I didn’t like.  
  4. Cover and simmer beans on base at Setting #3 for 2 hours. Keep warm at setting #2. 
Makes a lot.
  • Note: I used a few good slices of baked ham instead. You could also use bacon. And what is salt pork, anyway? I wouldn’t even know where to get it and it sounds nasty.
  • P.S. This recipe came from my Slow Cooker manual with some yummy modifications.

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