These can definitely also be baked in the oven – the recipe says to do so in an uncovered pot at 350 for about an hour – but I love my slow cooker, and I love making things ahead of time.  We’ve already enjoyed these a couple of times and not only is making them a day ahead handy (I allow the mix to cool on the counter, then put the whole ceramic pot from my slow cooker into the fridge overnight, covered) – but after trying the beans both days, they’re definitely more flavorful the longer they sit.  This goodie is borrowed from Julie Van Rosendaal’s and Sue Duncan’s book, ‘Spilling the Beans’ – enjoy!

Guinness Baked Beans (Slow Cooker)

1/2 lb. bacon, chopped

2 onions, diced

1 1/2 c. ketchup AND 1 bottle Guinness

1/4 c. EACH apple cider vinegar AND molasses AND Dijon

2 cans (540 mL/19 oz) EACH red kidney beans AND white beans, rinsed and drained well

1 t. EACH salt AND freshly ground pepper

hot sauce to taste (we just added it to our own bowls later)

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, then remove it to drain on a plate covered with paper towels.  I then put mine in the fridge overnight as you don’t add it until right before you serve it.  Add the onions to the bacon fat and cook for a good 5 minutes until they’ve started to turn golden.

Add the ketchup, Guinness, vinegar, molasses, Dijon, all 4 cans of rinsed beans and the salt and pepper and bring the mix to a simmer while stirring.  Once all is combined well, turn off the heat and carefully ladle it into your slow cooker.  Cook on LOW for about 6 hours.  You can serve them straight away, but they truly have more flavor if made ahead.  Leave the slow cooker to cool for a few hours, then cover it well and put the removable bowl into the fridge.  Allow the beans to come to room temperature (a day or 2 later), before turning your slow cooker to low to gently reheat them – then stir in all of the bacon right before serving.  Enjoy with just about anything, but we highly recommend Brock’s smoked brisket!

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