I’m sure that this recipe has hundreds of variations, and almost as many regional names but I call it Cowboy Beans and this is the recipe that is a home run whenever I make it to take along to a potluck.
Sometimes I use all canned beans, but when I really want something special I start with dry beans and cook them with some smoked ham chunks or bacon ends. Adjust it to fit what you like and it will be winning side dish. Add different kinds of beans – like black beans or black-eyed peas, throw in some chopped jalapeno for extra spice, a dash of cinnamon, or go Hawaiian with some pineapple chunks.
You might want to make a double batch because these go fast!
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp. molasses
- 1 tbsp. mild chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt IF needed
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. mustard
- 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) pork ‘n beans (I prefer a large can of Bush’s Country Style Baked beans or the new Smokehouse style)
- *choose 3 or 4 cans of beans from the following list*
- 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) butter or other large white beans beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) kidney beans, drained
- 1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (approx. 16 ounces) pinto beans, drained
- 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled – add in at the end of cooking
Cook ground beef until browned, breaking up and stirring as it cooks. Add onion and cook until tender; drain off excess grease. Add remaining ingredients, except bacon. Put in casserole or crockpot and top with bacon crumbs. Bake at 350° for an hour, or cook in covered slow cooker or crockpot on HIGH for 1 hour, then reduce heat to LOW and cook 2 to 4 hours. Crockpot is my favorite way and gives the best result.
Again, tweak it to your taste!