Sometime ago we were visiting my Aunt for a special occasion when we ate some really great Baked Beans! I couldn’t ask for the recipe because this was a special occasion and the food was from a restaurant. Here at home we were looking for ways to simplify our cooking, especially on the busy days so we started looking through the Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cookbook. Every recipe is done in the crock pot. (I secretly would love to use the crock pot everyday because it seems so much simplier and efficient with our crazy life. Throw the recipe together in the morning and then we would have one less thing to worry about the rest of the day.)
The first part of the recipe says to rinse and drain the beans and then cook them in a large saucepan for about 2 hours, until they are tender. I don’t like leaving my gas stove on for that long just to simmer with all my Little Chefs running about so we decided instead to use the pressure cooker.
Little Chef A has not has a chance to use a pressure cooker before so it was a big lesson for her. I explained how the beans can have little rocks mixed in so it is good to rinse, drain and really look at them searching for any foreign objects. We decided to use two different types of beans for a variety; great northern and black beans. The clean, sifted beans were placed in the pressure cooker with water and then allowed to cook at pressure for 15-20 minutes. I showed her when the pressure is high the lid will not release so we need to wait until the pressure goes down.
While we were waiting Little Chef A got everything else ready. She first cooked the bacon. I realized I never explained to her why we place bacon on a paper town when it is done cooking. So we talked a little about the massive amounts of grease bacon creates as it cooks! She let the bacon rest for a little bit, then using kitchen scissors she cut the bacon into small pieces. This method is so much easier for her then using a knife!
In a crock pot she combined the freshly cooked and cut bacon, onion, water, molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, and pepper.
When we were able to open the pressure cooker the beans were drained and then added to the crock pot. Little Chef A gave it a little stir and then let it cook for the rest of the day.
The result was a little mixed. Everyone thought they were good, though not nearly as good as those we ate at my Aunts house. These beans needed more liquid. They did not need to be soupy beans, but there was almost NO liquid in the entire crock pot! We did like the variety of beans. This recipe was not quite as quick as we had hoped because of the extra step with the pressure cooker, but we usually have all these ingredients on hand and that is worth something in my book.
New England Crock-Style Baked Beans
Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cookbook
1 pound dry navy beans to dry great northern beans (2 1/3 cups)
8 cups cold water
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 pound salt pork, chopped, or 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Rinse beans; drain. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven combine beans and the 8 cups of water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till beans are tender.
- Drain beans. In a 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockery cooker combine drained beans, onion, and salt pork or bacon. Add 1 cup water, molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. Stir before serving. Serves 12.
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