Bourbon Maple Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Source: Averie Cooks http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/bourbon-maple-slow-cooker-baked-beans.html
Yield about 8 cups
1 pound dry Great Northern beans (or navy beans)
1 cup bourbon
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup barbeque sauce
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
heaping 1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard (if using stone ground or Dijon, consider using slightly less)
1/4 cup molasses (use mild/light/medium, not dark/robust/blackstrap)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Vegan Worcestershire sauce (omit if you have no vegan Worcestershire or use Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce)
- Rinse and sort dry beans in a colander over the sink.
- Add beans to a large pot and cover with 8 cups water and let soak overnight (about 8 hours). OR to save time....
- ...Use the 1 hour rapid soak method. Bring beans and 8 cups water to a boil. Allow beans to boil rapidly for 3 minutes, uncovered. Shut the heat off, cover the pot, and let stand for 1 hour.
- In either the overnight soak method or the 1 hour rapid soak method, drain soaking water and rinse beans well under running water in a colander over the sink.
- Return beans to pot, cover with 6 cups water, and allow to simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes, or until quite tender; cooked about 80% of the way. They'll be transferred to a slow cooker where they'll cook for 12+ hours so you don't want them or need them to be totally done, but they shouldn't be overly hard either (taste a few beans, you'll know when you bite into them)
- While beans are simmering, combine all remaining ingredients in the slow cooker, and whisk to combine until smooth.
- After beans are done simmering, drain them, add them to the slow cooker, and stir.
- Cover and cook on low heat for about 12 hours (start checking at about 8 hours), or until beans are tender, the sauce has thickened and reduced dramatically, the flavor is concentrated and robust, and the smell in your house is intoxicating. If after 12 hours your sauce is still liquidy or on the soupy side, remove the lid, increase the heat to the highest setting, and cook uncovered until thickened to desired level. Note - Because slow-cookers and temperatures vary greatly, you can tinker with the temperature settings as you see fit. You could possibly cook on medium for 10 to 12 hours, or cook on high for 8 to 10 hours, or do a combination of settings until your sauce has thickened and beans are tender.
- Serve immediately. Beans will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, and taste better on days 2 and 3 as the flavor marry even more. I would anticipate finished beans could be frozen for up to 6 months, however I have not tested it. Take care all ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs if keeping vegan and gluten-free, reading labels and selecting specific brands that meet your needs.