Like many of you, there are recipes that I practically grew up on. Ones that my mom made for certain occasions, and that envelope me in warmth and coziness whenever I eat them now. These barbecued beans are one of those recipes. When I was younger, my parents would host an annual New Year’s Eve party at our house. When they first started, my sister and I were in grade school, and all the kids of my parents’ friends would come along, and we would play in the basement (Roller Racers, anyone?) while the adults had their party upstairs. As we got older, we started inviting our own friends, having our own mini parties. One year in high school it was even warm enough (in the 60’s in Pittsburgh – unheard of!) to play basketball out back. While we got older and the faces of those that came to the parties changed, one of the constants on New Year’s Eve was this bean dish. Served alongside other staples such as pork and sauerkraut, it just wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without it. It isn’t made nearly as often nowadays, so I savor it whenever I get the chance!
I labeled this a side dish because it is great on a buffet with a collection of other dishes, and as you can see, it went great with burgers and coleslaw for Father’s Day as well (although it does also have ground beef in it, so a tad redundant, but I’d never turn it down!). I actually think that this would be a perfect thing to make for football Sundays (or Saturdays, for you college fans) – you can make a big pot and let it stay warm all day! This is an old recipe that my mom got from a crock-pot recipe book back when my parents first got married, and it has certainly stood the test of time.
Do you have any favorite food traditions from when you were younger?
1½ lb. ground beef
1 lb. bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 (16-oz) cans pork and beans
1 (16-oz) can butter beans
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until crumbly; drain.
2. In the same skillet, saute the bacon and onion over medium heat until bacon is cooked and onion is browned; drain.
3. Combine the cooked ground beef, bacon, and onion with the remaining ingredients in a crock-pot, mixing well. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
* Note: If you don't have a crock-pot or slow cooker you could also combine the ingredients in a Dutch oven and cook on the stovetop over low heat or in a 300 degree F oven for the specified time, checking on it and stirring occasionally.