I never cared for beans when I was a kid. I know, shocker, right? Ha! 😀 Yes, I was a picky eater! But when I first tried Great Aunt Bessie’s baked beans, (a friend of the family that we all thought of as family), everything changed from that moment on!
I had never had them with hamburger in them! And they had a slightly sweet barbecue flavor that made your eyes roll back and sigh! These were awesome! I was madly in love! I even went back for seconds!
No one could believe it! Including me! Frankly, I could’ve almost eaten just a bowl of those beans and been perfectly satisfied….except for maybe a fresh ear of corn on the cob and a sweet, juicy, wedge of watermelon! 😉
Now, though these sound like they include everything but the kitchen sink, you probably already have almost everything you need right on hand and they’re very easy to make! So don’t look at the list and run away, ok? I wouldn’t want you to miss out on these!! 😉
The list did grow “a bit” once I got my copy of her recipe, though. Tweaking here and there and adding extra goodies and spices! Before Great Aunt Bessie passed away, she got to try my version and said she liked mine even better! She asked me to send her a copy of my version and that I did. 😉 She was the sweetest, kindest lady you could possibly ever meet. And when she hugged you, she was a big hugger, this 4 foot tall woman could crush the ribs of a 6 foot tall man! 😀 We all loved her that much more for that!
So this recipe has really made it’s rounds through many families and generations. Each person adding their own special touches, and some of us even earning awards and ribbons for them. So I suggest to you, to make them “as is” the first time, then after they have baked and you get to try them, experiment on your own with them designing them to suit you and your own family’s tastes and likes! That’s the fun of recipes! Always think of them as a starting point, then take them wherever you want them to go! 😉
I hope this recipe starts a new tradition at your next barbecue! And if taking them to a special event, you might want to bring along a few copies of the recipe! You will surely be asked for it, I promise! 😀 Hope these bring you much joy this summer! Have a fantastic day! 😀
BLUE RIBBON BARBECUED BAKED BEANS with SAUSAGE, BEEF & BACON
Makes one 2 1/2 quart dish
1/2 lb. lean ground beef, sautéed and drained
1/4 lb. mild, hot or sweet italian sausage, sautéed and drained
4 strips lean quality bacon cooked crisp, torn into small 1/2″ pieces, I like Wright’s Naturally Smoked Applewood Bacon
1 medium onion, coarse chopped
3 (15 oz.) cans Van Camp’s Pork and Beans in Tomato Sauce, pour off liquid on top
1/2 cup ketchup, I like Hunt’s
2 Tbl. worcestershire sauce
2 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. sriracha sauce
1/2 Tbl. + 2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup mild or medium salsa
In large deep frying pan, sauté ground beef, sausage and onion until meats are no longer pink breaking up well as they cook. Drain grease well. Stir in rest of ingredients *except beans, until well mixed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour off juices accumulated on tops of cans and fold beans in gently until well combined. Spray a 2 1/2 quart baking dish and pour/spoon beans into baking dish and cover.
Place into preheated oven, covered, and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. Stir, leave uncovered, and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir again.
Serve hot. Goes really well with anything barbecued such as chicken or ribs, and a side salad such as potato or pasta salad, cole slaw, or fruit salad. Corn on the cob is also a nice accompaniment.
*Beans can also be made in a crock pot.