Many of the crock pot recipes that I feature on my blog are some version or other of my mother’s favorite recipes. Mum died late last year, but her love of cooking will live on with these Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans.
January 6 is National Bean day. That means that it’s time to dig out the crock pot and cook up a batch of one of my favorite comfort foods – Boston Baked Beans.
These Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans are a must have dish for any backyard BBQ or Pot Luck Dinner.
Do you ever wonder why baked beans are called Boston Baked Beans? The reason is the ingredient molasses. Early Native Americans made beans all the time and served them with corn bread. When the trading of slaves first started happening in the 18th century, Boston became an exporter of rum, which is produced by the distillation of fermented molasses. About that time, molasses started getting added to local bean recipes, creating what we now know as Boston Baked Beans.
I grew up eating Boston Baked Beans on Saturday nights. My mother used to make her recipe on the stove. Mine is an adaptation for the slow cooker. I soak my beans over night and then just add all of my other ingredients to the slow cooker the next day to come home to the delicious aroma of these Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans.
In addition to my soaked beans, I also need brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, bacon, (mum used salt pork in her beans, but bacon works fine too), a yellow onion, dry mustard, ground cloves, and pink sea salt.
Dried beans take a long time to cook and also need to be soaked. Start by inspecting your beans and removing any bits and pieces. I’ve even found bits of sticks and pebbles in mine! Once they are inspected, add the dried beans to your slow cooker.
I placed mine in the crock pot the day before I wanted to cook them and covered them with water and just left them. If you are in more of a hurry, you can boil them in water on the stove top for two hours or so. I just find it easier to plan ahead and soak them overnight (or even the morning of the day before. The longer they soak, the quicker the cooking will be!
The next day, drain off the soaking water, and add your ingredients to the crock pot. These will add the flavor to the beans. TIP: Spray your crock pot with a non stick cooking spray such as Pam before you add the ingredients. The beans will be cooking for a long time and spraying before cooking will save a LOT of clean up later.
Pour in the drained and soaked beans and mix everything together. Now it is time to set and forget about the dish for the rest of the day.
Cover the crock pot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. If you are at home during the cooking process, you can stir the beans a few time during the cooking process. (not necessary but it does blend the flavors well and gives you a chance to see how the tenderness is going.) My beans were older, so I wanted to make sure they were tender enough. If yours are a new package of beans, you won’t need to worry about checking.
These beans are so full of flavor! If you have only ever eaten canned beans in the past, you won’t believe how great they taste.
I served my beans with some of my homemade buttermilk corn bread muffins. After all, you will need something to sop up the delicious liquid, won’t you?
This was such a nostalgic meal for me. The beans are rich and yummy with the flavor of the soft bacon bacon pieces. And the sweetness of the molasses and brown sugar is comfort home cooking personified!
What is your favorite family recipe that you like to make today? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
For more slow cooker meals, be sure to see my Crock Pot Recipes board on Pinterest.