Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans
Beans are always welcome on my kitchen table, whatever the season, but, there is something very comforting about a big bowl of beans during the cooler months, and I often make a Sausage and Bean Casserole in autumn and winter. Tinned beans are fine, and I regularly served them on toast for a quick and easy lunch, and they are wonderful with eggs and chips or sausage and chips, but I also love those deeply flavoured molasses beans that you sometimes get in the States, Boston Baked Beans, and so when I was asked to create a recipe for #Crocktober this year, in my crock pot/slow cooker, I decided to create my own Boston baked bean recipe using a carton of molasses I had lurking in the pantry.
I searched through my recipe books for inspiration; it seems that bacon (salt pork) is used in lots of recipes, and although it renders the recipe non-vegetarian, I decided to go down that route for extra taste and flavour. (Any vegetarian readers can quite happily omit the bacon of course) The ingredients list is very simple – Boston baked beans have just a few key ingredients………beans, tomatoes, onion, mustard, molasses, sugar, spices and bacon. There seems to be very little variation and so it was up to me to create a baked beans recipe that suited our taste – not too sweet with a spiced, smoky deep flavour. I think I have managed to create the perfect Boston baked beans recipe here, and for ease, my recipe is cooked on a slow cooker.
You can serve these beans with ribs, sausages, as part of breakfast and with barbecued food, but for my first meal I went very British and served these beans on toast for a comforting beans on toast lunch. After 8 hours of slow cooking, they were thick, rich and unctuous with molasses tang and a subtle smoky flavour from the bacon…..these are NOT your every day tinned baked beans, but are beans with a radical attitude and a robust taste. I soaked the beans overnight and par-boiled them for 10 minutes before cooking them in the slow cooker and the result was creamy, soft beans that just melted in the mouth with no discernible bite. We thought the sweetness was just right, as you do need a bit of sugar to counteract the metallic taste of the molasses.
My Crocktober recipe is shared below and if you fancy breaking out your slow cooker for any other autumnal recipes, then I’ve shared a few links to other slow cooked recipes below too. If you want to join in the #Crocktober fun, then share any recipes or photos you have of your crock pot food on Twitter with the hashtag: #crocktober. That’s all for today, I’ll be back with more tales from Canada and beyond and with some new recipes, Karen
As featured in The Telegraph:
Disclaimer: I was commissioned to create a recipe for Crocktober and was sent a Crock Pot to cook my recipe; all views and opinions are my own.
Links to more slow cooker recipes on Lavender and Lovage:
Two more friends have also risen to the #Crocktober challenge: