With all the barbecues, potlucks, and family gatherings that will be taking place this weekend, I thought it was time to pull out my classic recipe for a big pot of beefy baked beans. This is a real crowd pleaser and the perfect thing to bring along to a summer potluck.
I love to cook beans from scratch but when I had a house full of little ones, this was the recipe I turned to most. It uses canned beans, is easy as can be, and my little ones loved it. Especially Boy #1, thus the name. This recipe was published on Allrecipes back when he was just 17 years old. He is 25 now but I think he is just as fond of them as ever.
The grocery list - 6 slices bacon,1 pound lean ground beef, onion, 2 large cans pork and beans, 2 cans kidney beans, 1 can pinto (or other) beans, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, liquid smoke flavoring, salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
My original recipe calls for lima beans but I am using pinto beans here. I know lima beans have a bad rap and apparently my local Safeway feels the same way because they don’t stock them anymore. You can use anything you like. Black beans would be wonderful, white beans would be marvelous. Just reach in your cabinet and use whatever you have. But I’m telling you, give lima beans a chance! They are really good in this dish.
Start by cooking the bacon till nice and crispy in a large Dutch oven.
Drain and crumble the bacon. Pour off the bacon grease from the bottom the Dutch oven.
In the same Dutch oven, cook the ground beef and onion till beef is no longer pink and onion is softened. If there is a substantial amount of grease, pour it off. There probably will not be much if you are using lean ground beef.
You want to keep the liquid in one of the cans of pork and beans but drain the remainder – one can of the pork and beans, the kidney beans, and pinto (or other) beans. Just let them sit in a colander and allow the liquid to drain off. Don’t rinse them.
Now you can add all of the beans, the ones you have drained and the can of pork and beans with the liquid, into the pot with the meat. Add the crumbled bacon as well.
Next goes in the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, salt and pepper
Give it a good stir, cover the pot, and transfer it to a 350 degree oven. If you are making this ahead, transfer the mixture to a Crock-Pot set to low.
After an hour in the oven, your house smells heavenly and the beans are ready.
Ryan’s Favorite Beans
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 (28 ounce) can pork and beans, drained
- 1 (28 ounce) can pork and beans, with liquid
- 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto, lima or other beans, drained
- 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place bacon in a Dutch oven. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. Drain bacon grease from pot. Place the ground beef and onion in the Dutch oven. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onion is tender. Drain grease if necessary.
Return bacon to the Dutch oven. Mix in the drained pork and beans, pork and beans with liquid, kidney beans, and pinto or other beans. Stir in the barbeque sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and liquid smoke. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover Dutch oven, and bake 1 hour in the preheated oven.
Transfer any leftovers to a freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Crock-Pot Method: Instead of baking in the oven, transfer the mixture to your Crock-Pot set to low. Cover and allow to cook for 3 to 5 hours.