Monday, December 3, 2012



These beans are slightly sweet and smokey, not to mention VERY flavorful and an inexpensive (and nutritious) way to feed a crowd. The trick is to start them the day ahead, then let them cook in the crockpot all day (or overnight). Your kitchen will smell heavenly.


  • 3 cups DRY navy beans  (soaked overnight)
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 3/4 cut ketchup
  • 2½ cups (bean) water   (see note)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons DRY mustard powder
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 pound of bacon (fried and crumbled)

Rinse and sort the dry beans (sometimes, there are tiny rocks or pieces of dirt in the bag). Cover them with water (about 3" above the beans) and put them in the fridge for about 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and rinse them again.

Put the beans in a large kettle and cover with with enough water to measure  3-4 inches above the beans. Gently boil  for 1 to 2 hours (all beans cook at different rates, so just test for doneness after an hour ...just don't let them get mushy). If you want to skip this step, see alternative method below.

Drain  the beans, but reserve 2½ cups of the bean water. Put the drained beans, onion and crumbled bacon in the crockpot. 

Mix the 2½ cups of bean water with the tomato puree, ketchup, molasses, sugar, dry mustard, and salt until smooth then pour over the beans, stirring very gently to distribute everything.

Cover and cook on low setting of your crockpot for about 8 hours. Don't be afraid to add a little water towards the end if it looks like it needs it (it won't effect the taste).

NOTE: If you don't want to mess with boiling the beans, you can soak them all day and then before you go to bed, put the beans in the crockpot, cover them with water (water only) and let them cook on low all night.   In the morning, drain the beans (saving 2½ cups of the bean water) and then  proceed with the rest of the recipe.

NOTE: Navy beans work the best for this recipe, but northern beans or any small white DRY bean will work, just don't use a dry lima bean...they get mushy too fast.

NOTE:  "Bean water" is simply the water that you boiled the beans in.
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