BEST BAKED BEANS
1 pound white pea beans
12 ounces salt pork belly
1 apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup hot water
Place the beans in a bowl. Cover them with cold water. Soak the beans overnight.
Rinse the beans with cold water. Drain and set aside.
Trim excess fat from the salt pork. Cut the salt pork into 1/2-inch (1.25 cm) squares.
Put half of the salt pork, apple, and onion into the slow cooker pot.
Add the beans to the pot. Cover the beans with the remaining salt pork, apple, and onion. Stir the ingredients together.
In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, molasses, dry mustard, black pepper, and maple syrup. Mix well.
Pour the 1/2 cup of hot water into the brown sugar mixture. Stir well.
Pour the brown sugar mixture over the beans. If necessary, add more hot water in order to almost cover the beans.
Cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours or until the beans are tender.
Check the beans after 4 hours. If necessary, add hot water to bring the level of the liquid back up to just covering the beans.
If there is too much liquid when the beans are ready, remove the lid and slow cook on high for 30 minutes.
Tip: For a southern, smoky flavour add a drop or two of liquid smoke to the brown sugar mixture in this recipe.
(Makes 6 to 8 servings)