Friday, May 26, 2017

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

As soon as summer gets here, I start thinking about cookouts. Backyard barbecues and family gatherings that instantly make me think of hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks and chops.  And especially those sides like coleslaw and pasta and potato salads. And what's a barbecue without baked beans? I like to make mine in a slow cooker so I don’t have to worry about heating up the oven for hours.  I don't use canned beans ...I usually start from scratch.  

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

1 lb. dried navy beans, rinsed and picked through for debris 
1 tablespoon salt 
3 cups water 
6 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces 
1 ham shank 
1 cup onion, finely diced 
1 cup. ketchup 
1/2 cup dark brown sugar 
4 tablespoons molasses 
4 tablespoons honey 
1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
2 teaspoons garlic powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoons pepper 
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

Soak the beans overnight in 4 quarts of water and the tablespoon of salt. 

The next day drain the beans and pour them into your slow cooker. Add 
3 cups of water and the ham shank and cook on high for about 6 hours or
until  beans are tender.  Stir one or two times during cooking. If needed, 
add a little water during the last 2-3 hours of cooking. The bean mixture 
should be loose, but not watery. 

Remove shank and allow to cool. When the ham shank is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bone and chop into small pieces. Add to beans. In a large bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard and honey. Add mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper and the apple cider vinegar. Pour mixture into slow cooker with beans and stir well.  Cook on high for another 45-60 minutes until heated throughout.

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