I’ve been wanting to cook up a batch of Boston Baked Beans in my slow cooker for ages. So I searched the internet for the best recipe. Most recipes I found however contained quite a lot of brown sugar or molasses. So I adapted my recipe for a lower sugar version but it still packs a punch and has an amazing flavour.
There are quite a few ingredients in my version but but don’t let this put you off. You probably have most of them in your cupboard already. Just chuck everything into your slow cooker and let the pot work it’s magic.
The other great thing is that beans are not only really good for you but are an economical food to include in your diet. I probably ate my body weight in beans as a Uni student surviving on a budget but I managed to eat very well indeed by including plenty of beans and pulses in my diet.
This is the perfect recipe to serve at a BBQ straight from the slow cooker. Just keep it on the low setting once the beans are cooked so guests can dip in and help themselves. Also you can enjoy as a tasty breakfast or anytime snack…..gourmet beans on toast!
Don’t worry about making too much either as you can store in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze in portions. I guarantee your family will be asking you to cook up another batch. Kids will love them as well as husbands! My Boston Baked Beans also smell awesome when they are cooking so everyone will be dribbling by the time they are ready.
For a vegetarian version, simply follow the recipe below but for meat eaters, add a couple of chopped bacon rashers with the fat removed and this will really add to the lovely smokey flavour.
You can also add more or less of the chilli flakes depending on how spicy you like your beans. The vinegar and pickle add a lively tangy flavour and the smoked paprika and BBQ sauce give a wonderful smokey taste making this the perfect side dish to go with grilled meat or burgers for your Summer BBQs.
Hubby gave this recipe the thumbs up by the way AND had seconds, so I knew it was good enough a recipe for my blog, having passed the rigorous taste test!
500g of dried cannellini or haricot beans
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
5 medium fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 carton of passata
1 tablespoon of pickle, eg onion relish, Branston pickle or similar (I used some homemade rhubarb chutney)
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 can of chopped plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of ketchup
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce (eg Heinz or Tesco)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon of Teriyaki sauce
a quarter of a teaspoon of chilli flakes
6 crushed garlic cloves
a teaspoon each of garlic granules and onion grnaules
a tablespoon each of maple syrup and clear honey
a teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
1 cup of water
a quarter to half a teaspoon of salt to season to your personal taste at the end of cooking
Soak the dried beans in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours
Drain and boil in fresh water for 10 min in a covered pan on the hob. Keep an eye on it as it may start to foam.
Drain the beans and discard any odd beans which look bad
Add the drained beans to your slow cooker pot with all the other ingredients, except the salt. It might look a bit watery at this stage but as the beans cook it will thicken up.
Stir well to combine
Cook on High for 5 hours, checking half way through in case it starts drying out and needs topping up with a little more water. Give another stir and replace the lid to continue cooking.
Once cooked , test for flavour and season with salt. I added about a quarter of a teaspoon to mine but adjust to your personal preference.
You can keep on a low setting for another hour or so once cooked if serving at a hot buffet or BBQ, allowing guests to help themselves from the slow cooker.
This is definitely a crowd pleasing winning recipe and worth making, Enjoy!