Canadian Baked Beans
Canadians and baked beans is a combination that goes back hundreds of years. Baked beans were a vital food group for the pioneers and fur traders. Even with the chuck wagon gangs, a good “Cookie” better know how to brew a superb pot of baked beans. There is even a simple Canadian Baked Beans recipe in the 1877 The Home Cook Book.
Try this easy crock pot version. Although it takes a bit of pre-preparation, it is quite simple to make and the family will love them. There are 3 popular versions and their debate as to which is the Canadian favorite still continues. Do you prefer the molasses, tomato, or maple syrup version? Today, I’m sharing my molasses version.
Although not necessarily a money saver recipe, I do believe that everyone should try to make one authentic pot of Canadian Baked Beans in their lifetime. The taste difference from the canned variety we know so well, is just divine.
2 cups white navy beans
12 cups cold water
6 cups cold water
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 of a 375 g package of bacon
1 tsp salt
½ cup molasses
½ tsp ground mustard (optional)
1 cup boiling water
Did You Know? The Ground Mustard can be optional. However, did you know that the Mustard plant is a native edible wild plant of Canada? It is! And it can be found in all of the provinces and territories. So be proud to include this native plant ingredient in your cooking.
The Night Before
Place 2 cups of white navy beans in a large pot. Cover with 12 cups of cold water. Cover with the lid. Leave the beans to soak until morning.
Step 1: Finish preparing the beans
- Drain the beans.
- Return the beans to the pot and cover with 6 cups of cold water.
- On the stove top, bring the covered pot to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat, remove the lid and simmer for about 45 minutes. You will know when the beans are ready for the next step, when if you pull out some beans out of the pot on a spoon and you gently blow on the beans that the skins split.
- Once beans are at the split skin stage. Drain, BUT, reserve 1 cup of this bean water.
Step 2: While the beans are boiling
- As you are waiting for the beans to finish simmering, prepare the other ingredients.
- In a 2 cup measuring cup, start pouring the molasses to the ½ cup mark.Yes, start with this as the molasses can take a while to pour. In fact, sometimes, with the lid off of the container, I will pop the molasses container into the microwave. Set the timer on high for 10 seconds. Warming up the molasses helps them to run more quickly. After all what is that old expression? “Slower than molasses in January”
Which molasses to use? Fancy or Cooking? —The choice is yours—if you like a MILD molasses taste, use the Fancy Molasses. However, if you enjoy a STRONGER molasses taste, use the Cooking Molasses.
- Dice the onion and set aside in a small dish.
- Calculate how many slices of bacon you need. If you are using a 375 g package of bacon, calculate to use 1/3 of the package. If by chance you’ve been blessed to find a true pound of bacon (500 g), then you only need to use ¼ of that package.Telling you to use 4 or 6 slices of bacon is not accurate. Have you seen how thin some slices of bacon can be? Sometimes you can be left wondering if the little piggy even felt that scratch. So go by the 1/3 of the package measurement instead.
- Cut the bacon into 1 inch chunks
- After the molasses are measured out, add the Splenda Brown Sugar Substitute Blend, salt, and ground mustard to the 2 cup measuring cup.
Step 3: Prepare the Crock Pot
- Put a single layer of bacon pieces on the bottom of the Crock Pot.
- Add a light layer of onion over top of the bacon.
Step 4: The Beans are Skin Splitting
- Before draining the beans, remember to reserve 1 cup of this bean liquid.
- Pour the 1 cup of bean liquid into the 2 cup measuring cup with the molasses, sugar blend, salt, and ground mustard.
- Drain the beans.
- Add the beans to the crock pot.
- Make a hole in the middle of the pile of beans.
- Place the rest of the bacon chunks in the hole.
- Add the rest of the chopped onion over the entire beans and bacon.
- Blend the bean liquid and the molasses until well mixed and smooth.
- Pour the bean liquid/molasses mix over the top of the beans, bacon and onions.
- Add 1 cup of boiling water to the Crock Pot. The beans will be slightly covered at this point.
Step 5: Let the Crock Pot do the rest
- Put the lid on the Crock Pot. Turn to medium heat and cook for 6-8 hours or until desired doneness.
- Spoon it up and enjoy.
Makes 8 servings
Recipe by: Theresa Buker and is featured in the 150th Canadian Celebration Cookbook (available in June, 2017)