Slow-cooked Boston baked beans with molasses, maple syrup, bacon or salt pork, onions, garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar and a touch of cloves.
I usually think of beans as “man” food. I cooked these for my Dad who absolutely loves beans of any kind. . . the ladies in my family. . . eh, not so much.
Even though it’s a crock-pot recipe there’s a little work to do beforehand. The recipe starts with dried northern beans that you have to soak overnight and cook briefly before using.
You can use bacon or salt pork – I used bacon but I think salt pork has more flavor. Whatever you decide to use it has to be cooked first in a frying pan followed by the onions and garlic right in the grease for another layer of flavor.
There’s the old rule that you should never add salt to dried beans while you’re cooking them or they’ll be tough. I don’t know if there’s truth to that or not. I didn’t test it. I do know they needed a ton of salt once they were cooked – I added at least 2 teaspoons if not more. Add it gradually and taste as you go along.
The same goes for the apple cider vinegar – start with 2 tablespoons and add more if you like it tangier. <- I do.
This makes a vat of beans! Enough for all your friends so cart it along to your next picnic or barbecue.
Or throw your very own party.
|Slow-Cooker Boston Baked Beans|| |
- 1 pound dried great Northern beans
- 6 cups water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 8 ounces bacon or salt pork(rind removed, cut into ½-inch cubes)
- 2 cups diced yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup maple syrup, divided
- ⅓ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- black pepper and sea or kosher salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Soak the beans in a large Dutch oven or soup pot with the lid on in 6 cups of water overnight.
- Add the baking soda to the beans and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat, keeping a close eye on it as it will bubble up and possibly spill over the sides. Skim off the scum/foam on top. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid. Add the beans to a 4 or 5 quart crock-pot.
- In a large frying pan cook the salt pork or bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and, if using bacon, not quite to the crispy stage. Drain on paper towels. Chop and add to the crock-pot.
- Add the onion to the fat and cook 3 - 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the slow cooker.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, the molasses, mustard, ginger, cloves and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Add it to the crock-pot.
- Add 2½ cups of the reserved cooking liquid to the crock-pot - if you have less than that reserved use water to make up the difference.
- Cook until soft and tender 4 - 6 hours on high or 8 - 10 hours on low. If there's a lot of liquid left take the lid off and cook for a half hour or so.
- Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup and vinegar - adding more to taste if you like tangier.
- Season generously to taste with salt and pepper.