Greetings from the Backwoods!
Game day is just around the corner and it is time to get your tailgating supplies together. It looks like it is going to be a cold one on Sunday and I have found few recipes better suited for frigid weather than this version of an American classic. This easy one-pot meal is great for the slow cooker at home or can be cooked the night before and heated up at the game. I often enjoy this dish at family gatherings, ball games, hunting camp and countless other outings. Much like last week’s “Fox Chow” recipe, “Backwoods BBQ Baked Beans” are excellent in a dutch oven. It will take a couple of hours to cook, but it is certainly worth the wait.
Backwoods BBQ Baked Beans:
- ½ pound bacon-cooked, chopped into 1-inch pieces or smaller
- 2 cups ham-diced
- 1 small can pork & beans
- 1 small can pinto beans-rinsed and drained
- 1 small can kidney beans-rinsed and drained
- 1 small can chili beans-rinsed and drained
- 1 large sweet red bell pepper-diced
- 1 large sweet Vidalia onion-diced
- 1 cup brown sugar (light brown sugar)
- ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays brand)
- 4-5 cloves garlic-minced
- Optional (for some kick): chipotle or jalapeño peppers-to taste
Also try: You can also try adding mushrooms, sweet corn, and if you are like me, an absurd amount of garlic (just remember, there is no such thing as too much garlic). You can also add any additional variety of beans that you enjoy (butter, black, navy, etc.)
Cook: Combine all ingredients, place over medium heat and simmer for a couple of hours, stirring often. Remove from heat when the onion and peppers are soft, dig in and enjoy. You may want to keep it warm, as you will likely be back for more. Recipe serves roughly 6-10.
Fun Fact: “Baked Beans” were a common staple in the old west. A trail-worthy dish, the beans were commonly prepared in dutch ovens, which could be buried under ash and coals until ready to eat. They would continue to bake, often for several days, thus minimizing the risk of spoilage, while making it a convenient and flavorful meal.
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