A recipe for comforting baked beans made in the crockpot, plus an easy tutorial on how to cook dried beans.
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
6 cups cooked navy beans
4 oz salt pork, diced
2 cups chopped onions
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup fancy molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a crockpot, combine all ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, until beans are thick and bubbly.
I love homemade baked beans; they’re so much more flavourful and less mushy than the canned kind. My family thought these beans were alright, but I think they would have liked them more had I not used cooking molasses instead of fancy molasses (I bought the wrong kind). They tasted very strongly of molasses as Tony pointed out right away. I highly recommend using the fancy kind so the flavour won’t overpower the beans. Maybe even use less than 1/2 cup if you want to be on the safe side. Other than that I thought this was a pretty good recipe. I love any recipe where you can just throw everything in a pot and leave it be all day. It makes an awful lot of beans but they freeze very well.
Now I’d like to teach you about cooking dried beans. I still use canned beans in a pinch, but they often have a lot of sodium and preservatives in them, and even BPA in some of the can linings, so I prefer to use dried beans whenever possible. It’s also very cheap to cook your own beans, and let’s face it, I’m cheap.
First of all you need to soak the beans. This involves placing the beans in a large pot with 3 times their volume of water and letting them soak overnight. A quicker way is to bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for a couple minutes, then remove from heat and let the beans soak for an hour. After the beans have soaked, drain and rinse them. Now they’re ready to be cooked.
To cook the beans, place them back in a large pot and cover them with 3 times their volume of water again. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until the beans are tender. The cooking time will vary depending on the type of bean:
Black beans: 30 minutes
Black-eyed peas: 35 minutes
Chickpeas: 45 minutes
Kidney beans: 50 minutes
Large lima beans: 55 minutes
Navy beans: 40 minutes
Romano beans: 45 minutes
Once they are cooked, drain off the water and let them cool. After they’ve cooled I usually freeze them in 19oz containers (same size as a can of beans). Then I always have beans handy in my freezer when I need them for a recipe.
If you’ve used the quicker soaking method, expect to reduce the cooking time by 5-10 minutes. Always check on the beans well before the end of the suggested cooking time to make sure they’re not overdone. They should be tender and easy to squash, but not mushy. You can also cook them in the crockpot instead of on the stovetop. Generally it takes about 10 hours for chickpeas and 12 hours for beans.
Reference: Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection
Linked to Potuck Sunday at Mommy’s Kitchen