Whether it’s the dead middle of winter – that time of year when the dark, dreary days seem to drag by – or the middle of summer when the sweltering sun scorches the streets, this recipe with baked beans as the base will be a hit at any get-together.
Caveat: I have made variations of this recipe for over 20 years. While I have a basic idea of what the outcome will be, never once have I used a measuring spoon or cup when it comes to my seasonings and spices. I have always added the amount which seems “tasty.” Feel free to do the same!
The recipe is prepared in a Crock Pot style slow cooker for hours… the longer they cook, the better they end up tasting.
- 2 – 55 oz Cans of Baked Beans (or about 2/3 of a crock pot)
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 1 lb Spicy Italian Ground Sausage (Spicy breakfast sausage will work)
- 4 Strip Lean Bacon (sliced into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 Diced Onion
- 1 Diced Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Diced Yellow Bell Pepper
- 1 Diced Jalapeno (with seeds)
- 4 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/8 Cup Hot Sauce (Louisiana Style)
- 1 Tbs Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tps Liquid Smoke
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef. Once browned dump it into a colander to drain off the fat and oil. Do the same for the ground sausage and the bacon. Once the fat has drained off, press down on the meat with a few folded paper towels to eliminate more of the fat/oil.
- Saute the onion, bell peppers, and jalapeno in the skillet until soft and the onion is translucent. Just as they look finished, add the minced garlic and saute for about 90 additional seconds. When done, pour veggies onto a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up any residual oils.
- Dump the meat and veggies into the slow-cooker first. Next add the baked beans leaving room at the top for the honey, sugar, etc (any flavor of baked beans will do. I often go with what’s on sale.)
- Add the Worcestershire Sauce, honey, brown sugar, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper; stir well to combine.
- Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.
Notes: After the beans have been cooking for about an hour, I begin sampling them in 30 minute intervals. Sometimes they need a bit more salt, pepper, or hot sauce. On one occasion I accidentally used an “extreme” style hot sauce and they were incredibly hot… inedible. In that instance I drained off almost all of the liquid, added another can of beans (with the liquid,) and ended up just right. All that to say, just play with it a bit; make the recipe yours!