In honor of my Mom, Karen's, birthday this week I'm posting real baked beans from scratch the way she taught me when I was, being the oldest of five kids, her sargeant-in-arms in the kitchen. She died in 1988 when I was 23 years old. I could spin a tale about my Mom and I being really close and best friends, but the truth was that we had a very volatile relationship. Even though I can't say I missed a great relationship, she was my Mom. I loved her and I know she loved me. What I miss most is the potential for what could have been. We had just started to become friends when she passed away so I like to think had we had more time together we would have become close with time, patience, and practice on both of our parts. I also like to think that despite the fact that I have now lived longer without my mom than I lived with her in my life that we've both found peace about our relationship and have forgiven each other for our faults.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.
Slow Cooker/Crock-pot Three Bean "Baked" Beans
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse, inspired by Karen Haggard (Mom)
This recipe makes a FULL 4-QT slow cooker. it's perfect for big potluck parties but can easily be cut in half.
- 1 lb small red beans
- 1/2 lb navy beans
- 1/2 lb black turtle beans
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (can render by hand or use Hormel Bacon pieces which have much less fat comparatively--I keep a 20 oz bag in the freezer to be used a little at a time as I need it.)
- 32 oz beef broth
Plus enough water for the beans to be covered in liquid by 3-4".
- 2 cups Ketchup
- 1 15.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 2 Tbsp coarse ground brown mustard
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup Sorghum
- Optional: 1/3 cup Jim Beam or Jack Daniels
Pick over and rinse beans. Put into slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients on List #1. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until beans are plumped and tender. Leave enough liquid to generously cover beans but remove any more than that.
Add rest of ingredients from List #2 and cook on high for an additional 3 hours until beans are tender and sauce is thick and dark.
Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.