New! Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Québec Maple Syrup
I remember so well the pantries of my childhood, my grandmother's and my mother's, stocked with several sizes of classic bean pots, along with molasses and maple syrup. Several times a year, the bean pots were dusted off and put to use, and then the aroma of bacon, molasses and maple would fill the house.
A few years ago, I bought my own bean pot at a flea market, but I was already accustomed to making beans in a roaster. It's an all-day project, and I like those. This time I wanted to try beans in a slow cooker.
On a trip to Québec City last fall, I purchased a small bottle of maple syrup at the market. Since then I have been waiting for a free day - a day with no meetings or obligations - so I could bake some beans. Luckily Mother Nature complied by providing yet another blizzard, just so I could make these.
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
- 2 1/2 cups pound dried navy beans
- 6 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut into small pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 1/2 cups water, plus more for soaking the beans
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Soak beans in cold water - at least three inches - overnight. The beans should soak for at least eight hours, but I find that longer guarantees a faster cook time.
Drain the beans and place in slow cooker, along with cut-up bacon and diced onion.
Blend water, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Whisk or stir briskly and then poor over the beans in slow cooker. I cooked mine on low for an hour, then turned the heat up to high for the remainder of the cooking time, which is at least 6 hours.
I check mine frequently, using a lot of spoons. I season with salt, pepper and cloves as necessary while cooking. You may need to add a bit more water during the process.
These are sweet beans. Today they will become part of this recipe which is one of my most popular recipes.