I'm loving my slow cooker at the moment. It's just so handy to get everything prepped in the morning so that come 5pm when the kids are ratty dinner's already made. And of course you get delicious cooking smells wafting through the house all day making it feel warm and cosy even when it's not.
The last time I made beans in the slow cooker we we having people over for brunch. I set them to go before I went to bed thinking how much time we would save in the morning if they were already done. What I didn't count on was being sick with gastro that night and honestly the smell of those beans while I was lying in bed trying not to throw up was almost enough to turn me off baked beans for life! Luckily I got over that.
The only problem this time was that some of the beans were still crunchy! After soaking overnight then 8 hours of cooking, how is that even possible? Anyway, next time I would soak and then par-cook the beans to guarantee tenderness. I have noted this in the recipe below.
The verdict? Packed with flavour and absolutely delicious. The perfect winter dinner or anytime brunch. We will definitely be making these again!
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
1 ham hock
375g dried four bean mix (or just cannelini beans)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbs worcestershire sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tins tomatoes
The night before, place the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with cold water.
The next morning, drain the beans and rinse them well. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to the boil. Boil uncovered for 15-20 minutes, scooping off any scum that rises to the surface. Drain and set aside.
Finely dice the onions and chop the mushrooms into pieces roughly the same size as the beans. Place the onions, mushrooms and all remaining ingredients into the slow cooker along with 1 cup water. Stir to combine. Place the ham hock into the middle and squish it down so it's about half covered with the bean mix. Cover and turn the slow cooker on to auto. Leave for 8 hours.
Serve with toast and a little fresh parsley. Serves 8-10.