Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grandma's Baked Beans

Growing up we lived far away from my Grandparents most of the time. Consequently, we only visited a couple times a year usually for holidays or other important family events. As a child I never really got to know my grandparents and as an adult I moved even further away from her, and there were times when I wondered if she knew me. Usually when we visited my dad's parents my Grandmother would make Baked Beans which I tended to eat the whole weekend. Once I was grown and moved out I called my Grandmother and got the recipe. It has become my go-to recipe for potluck picnics and it is always a hit. When my Grandmother passed away and our family gathered we all talked about the food we loved that Grandma made and we realized that whenever we visited she always had our favorites. I realized then that my Grandmother not only knew me but cooked food just for me (she also made these pecan bar cookies that were to die for) because she knew I liked it. Anyway, whenever I make this recipe I think of her and I feel loved. I hope you enjoy it also.

Grandma's Baked Beans
1 lb ground beef*
1 small onion, minced*
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can butter beans, drained**
1 can pork and beans
1/2 C barbecue sauce
2/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C molasses or honey***
1/2 C ketchup
2 tsp mustard
1/2 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled****

This is my quick method.
1. Brown ground beef and add onion, cook until tender.
2. While browning drain beans

Don't they look pretty

TIP: When opening a can of beans, open from the bottom, then you don't need a spoon or spatula to get the beans off the bottom of the can, the can just drains cleanly.
3. Measure sauces & seasonings

I use a 2-cup measuring cup and just add all the (except sugar) to that, starting with the BBQ sauce. Then I just take a spatula & clean it out. It is a lot easier than finding different measuring cups. If you notice, my mustard is approx.

4. Dump the ground beef mixture, bean mixture, pork & beans, sugar, sauce & seasoning mixture together & stir well.

Pour into a 3 qt casserole dish, top with bacon. Bake at 350-degrees covered for 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake for 15 more minutes

Pour into a crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

*I often replace this with a can of black beans drained, or if I double the recipe I do 1/2 ground beef & 1/2 black beans. If you use black beans either sub onion powder for the onions (which I did this time) or saute some onions and toss in. You can also add a beef boullion cube if you would like
**I didn't have butter beans so I used Great Northern
***I have used either. Molasses gives it a deeper flavor and a little more smokey, honey makes it sweeter. Whichever you prefer. For me, it just depends on the day.
1 can pork & beans, undrained
****TIP: When frying a lot of bacon, if you use a griddle and cover the bacon with tin foil, the bacon grease doesn't splatter everywhere and you can fry the whole pound quickly.

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