It’s Springtime up here in Montreal, Canada. That mean’s its Cabane à Sucre time (Sugar Shack). A time tested passion here, where we dine on Breakfast foods like Bacon, Eggs, Pancakes, Maple syrup, Tire (boiled Maple syrup until it’s super thick and served on a popsicle stick on snow to make a nice Maple lollipop), and of course – Baked Beans. I wanted to tr a different spin on Baked beans, so this year i’m doing the recipe with Black Eyed Peas. My mother always made baked beans around Easter time, and it was always one of my favorite dishes. Full of rich flavor, slow cooked for hours, resulting in a dark, smokey & savory dish that would never be left on my plate during Easter dinner. Sometimes the best recipes are the ones passed down through the generations, and this is one I’d like to share with you.
Maple Baked Black Eyed Peas
2 lb of Dry Black Eyed Peas
4 slices of Smoked Bacon (Optional)
1 large Onion
1/2 cup Fancy Molasses
1/2 cup Ketchup
1/2 Cup of BBQ Sauce
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp Wostishire
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp Apple Juice
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 clove of Garlic (or 2 tsp of Garlic Powder)
1 cup of water (beans may dry up, good to keep hydrated)
Method to the Madness:
First step is to sort peas, remove any unwanted pieces and soak peas over night in cold water (they will almost double in size). Once peas have soaked overnight, bring pot to boil for 30 min. Drain, rinse and leave aside.
Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and saute until cooked, drain – then add to slow cooker
Chop onion into desired size, add to Bacon. Prepare all the ingredients (Molasses, Mustard, BBQ Sauce, Ketchup, Sugar & Syrup). Add peas to slow cooker and add all wet ingredients and spices. Keep a cup of water handy in case you find the beans are drying out as they cook.
Cook for 4 hrs (High), 6-8 hrs on low (also can be done in the oven in a over safe baking dish, at 300°, which will give it a deeper, darker color). With the pre-boil, it should help the cooking time as many recipes I viewed did not include a step of a 30 min boil prior to cooking. Peas should be a bit soft after boiling, but not mushy. basically you should be able to crush them with a little bit of force between your fingers.
If you prefer a vegetarian option, omit the bacon and substitute with some liquid smoke to add that smokey flavor (or use a smokey BBQ sauce). I used Diana’s BBQ Smokehouse sauce. I also added some Maple sugar with the brown sugar, because up here in Montreal – we love our Maple.