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Monday, March 7, 2022

Julia"s Slow Cooker Baked Beans

New to cooking beans? If so Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans is the perfect recipe, to begin with. Both the ingredient list and the preparation are simple but the flavor of these beans will win you over every time. 


This is the recipe that helped me learn to cook beans, successfully. Sure I had cooked a lot of beans, but they were either not cooked enough or cooked too much. We all have a specific cook's personality, and for whatever reason mine was not successful for cooking beans. Could this be why there are so many brands of canned beans on the grocery store shelves? Which I completely took advantage of before learning to cook them myself. But, why this recipe?

I found this recipe in a magazine article about Julia Child, so many years ago now, that I no longer recall the name of the publication. But one of the first cookbooks I was given as a gift was Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My respect for Julia Child and her honest straightforward style of cooking has never wained. I have been a lifelong fan even though I don't believe I have eaten much in the way of French Cuisine. 


Now truth be told, I never cooked from that book as French food itself did not call out to me at that time. Back then, I was a very young bride, with a very small food budget. Rarely did I think about trying food from different countries and cultures, for my own homecooked meals. Like many, all the food I had ever eaten had been "American". And that was the food I repeated for my own table. The food I was comfortable with and understood...

You know, it took me many years to realize that all along my folks had been cooking and serving food from many different countries. Funny, but it wasn't until I began cooking on my own and looking at different cookbooks, did I realize that the dishes of food on our own table each Sunday were in fact originally from another country. As a little kid, all I knew was that it was delicious!


But Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans were from her years after retirement when she had a good time simply being a cook in her own kitchen. They are classic American food, and the plus is that they are easy to make as well as delicious to eat. In this household, we enjoy cold beans alongside our sandwiches or as a side dish. My husband most of all, so these beans being a bit on the sweet side is a plus. Think along the lines of Pork and Beans, but so, so much better...

I have to say, I have never used the chunk of salt pork and really never missed it, but feel free to toss it in as Julia did. After I had made these a few times I felt that they needed a tiny touch of tomato. It is not much, but I have found that some dishes are improved with the essence of tomato, and for that, catsup is my go-to seasoning. I hope you give Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans a try...


Some thoughts on this recipe:

Great Northern Beans work as well as the traditional Navy Bean.

Like many bean dishes, these freeze great. I often make a double batch and freeze some in small containers for my husband to enjoy with a sandwich. 

The only preplanning is the overnight soak, but you can also do a quick soak!

The one-hour simmer guarantees tender beans every time, this is one trick to remember for all bean recipes.


Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • navy beans
  • salt
  • molasses
  • salt pork, if using
  • onion
  • catsup
You will also need the following:
  • Slow Cooker
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • large stockpot with lid
  • kitchen knife
  • cutting board
Now we are ready to begin!



Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans
adapted from: a magazine article 

1 pound small pea beans, soaked overnight and drained well
1 T salt 
2 T molasses
6 T sugar
1/2 pound salt pork cut into small chunks if desired (I have never used this and have never missed it....)
4 c water
1 onion left whole
1 T catsup

To soak the beans, place the navy beans into a large bowl, sorting as you go. You may find small stones, etc.

Cover with beans with water, plus an inch. They will drink more than you realize as they soak. 

The next day, drain off the soaking water, rinse and drain well. 

Peel the onion, leaving it whole, set aside.



Place the soaked beans and the whole onion in a large pot, add the 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 1 hour.

Transfer the beans, along with the cooking water and the onion into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Cook on low 8 hours, or until done.

 Before serving, discard the onion.

Storage options for Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. You may freeze for longer storage time, thaw in the refrigerator before serving cold or heating. 

UPDATE:  For your convenience, a "copy and paste" version of Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans has been included below. 

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Printable "copy and paste" version:
Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans
adapted from: a magazine article 

1 pound small pea beans, soaked overnight and drained well
1 T salt 
2 T molasses
6 T sugar
1/2 pound salt pork cut into small chunks if desired (I have never used this and have never missed it....)
4 c water
1 onion left whole
1 T catsup

To soak the beans, place the navy beans into a large bowl, sorting as you go. You may find small stones, etc.

Cover with beans with water, plus an inch. They will drink more than you realize as they soak. 

The next day, drain off the soaking water, rinse and drain well. 

Peel the onion, leaving it whole, set aside.

Place the soaked beans and the whole onion in a large pot, add the 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, simmer for 1 hour.

Transfer the beans, along with the cooking water and the onion into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Cook on low 8 hours, or until done.

 Before serving, discard the onion.

Storage options for Julia's Slow Cooker Baked Beans. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. You may freeze for longer storage time, thaw in the refrigerator before serving cold or heating. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This is a very simple recipe, one which I will make soon! I like the idea of leaving the onion whole and discarding it before serving the beans. (At first I thought the onion was a snail shell!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, that cooked onion is not attractive! But those beans are great, thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it! Have a great week ahead.

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  2. JUlia CHild was one of my favorite people in the world. I love seeing her on TV even today in commercials. What a talent. Thank yo for sharing your recipe and I hope you have a blessed weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you, she is one of a kind. Down to earth and yet she was still fun in the kitchen.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. I don't think you can beat a Julia Child recipe! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - hope your week is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always happy to share with you and your readers, thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing at My Big Fat Menopausal Life's Share the Wealth party. Have a wonderful week!! And happy Spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Always happy to share with you and your readers, thanks for hosting!

      Delete

Comments always appreciated, at Scratch Made Food! Thank you for stopping by!