Barbecue beans and cookouts. They're just a natural fit. Whether you're grilling steaks or hotdogs, baked beans pair well.
This semi-homemade barbecue bean recipe begins with my favorite classic pork and beans from Van Camps. These awesome beans have definitely stood the test of time.
The Van Camps brand has been on America's grocery shelves since the Civil War began. They first offered their version of canned pork and beans in tomato sauce in 1894.
Our grandson loves barbecue baked beans. Recently, he and his girlfriend came over for dinner so I decided to cowboy-up his old favorite a bit.
So of course, I started with some bacon. I always cook bacon in the oven because it's quick and much less messy. The secret is parchment paper on a rimmed sheet pan. Here's exactly how you do it.
Once the bacon was nice and crisp, I moved it onto paper towels to drain off any excess fat. However, I poured every bit of the drippings from the sheet pan into my old 9" iron skillet.
I love cooking in cast iron because it can go straight from the stovetop to the oven. And, I'd planned to serve the beans right out of the skillet.
Next, I sauteed some onion in the bacon drippings until they were soft and transparent. Then, I cooked them a little longer until they began to brown a bit and released all the sweetness from the onion.
Feel free to chop the onions instead if you want to hide them in the beans. Kids, you know. Sneak them in there if you have to! The caramelized onions are just too good to leave out.
Next, I simply drained off part of the sauce from two cans of pork and beans and added the rest of the ingredients. I let it simmer for a little while. Finally, I crumbled half the bacon into the bean mixture.
Then, I cut the remaining pieces of bacon in half and arranged them in a spoke pattern on top of the beans. It might not have added anything to the taste but it made my eyes happy!
The bacon on top created a sort of wagon wheel look that went well with my happy cowboy-themed supper plan. I'd set the table with a checkered tablecloth and bandana napkins. (By the way, the girlfriend is from Texas!)
What else did we have for dinner that evening? Every grandmother would do the same, I made his favorites! And everything tasted great together. We had grilled steak and buttery mashed potatoes (made from scratch, of course!)
Boy oh boy, did those beans ever taste good with the potatoes!
Our supper at the ranch also included my simple coleslaw recipe and something new. Pork and beans muffins! Watch for the recipes!
Do you ever plan a dinner around a theme? I'd love to hear about it if you do. I guess it's the old caterer coming out in me.
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Love, GB (Betty Streff)
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