Friday, July 18, 2008

The Best Baked Bean Recipe Ever and a Tag!

Years ago at a get together I tasted the BEST Baked Beans EVER! I knew immediately I needed that recipe! And I was prepared to do anything to get it! Fortunately for me, I didn't have to break into the cook's house in the middle of the night while they were sleeping to get it! My best friend's Mom, Sandy, had made it. Thank goodness! She's like my second Mom and loves me so I knew she would hand it over to me without me having to use unscrupulous methods to obtain it. He he! I was right. I asked and she ever so kindly gave it to me. And lucky for you, I am about to share it with all of you. I promise this is the BEST baked bean recipe you will ever taste! It's called "Calico Baked Beans." It makes a lot so it's probably not a good idea to make it for dinner if you are a family of two...unless it's the only thing you make. But then you'll end up hating it because you ate too much and it made your belly hurt and then you'll disagree that it's the BEST ever and then you'll email me and say that it wasn't the best and then I'd have to find you and make you agree with me that it's the best because it really is! Oh gosh, just save the recipe for a get together and you'll save us both a headache! I make it every year for Allison's birthday party since it's the only time that I get to cook for a crowd. It's always a hit and usually there are no leftovers! It's the perfect recipe to make the day ahead so you'll save yourself some time on party day. On party day, I just throw it straight from the refrigerator into a Crockpot a couple of hours before I need it. I put it on high to get it started. Once is gets going, I stir it and either switch it to low or warm and forget about it. It's perfect every time.
I didn't take a picture of the ingredients before I started. I just started making it and then thought that I should share it with all of you. I've listed the ingredients and amounts below with the directions but so you won't be lost with the pictures, here the list: bacon, ground beef, fresh onion, can of pork & beans, can of kidney beans, can of lima beans, brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar and yellow mustard.
Let's get started!
Start with 1 pound of bacon. Make sure it's one pound and not those 12 ounce packages they sell these days. What are those about anyway? A 4 ounce difference? Seriously friends, does anyone really stand there and say, "Cool, 4 ounces less! I'll take this package!" or do they get home and say "Dang, this isn't a pound!" I swear the latter happens more often. I know I made the mistake once! Oops! Sorry for getting off track with my consumer comments! Okay, let's get back to the pound of bacon. I cut the whole slab into thirds and then put it in the pan. Since the bacon doesn't have to be perfect long slices I use my deeper smaller pan instead of my large pan with a big flat surface. I feel like I can control it better in this pan and anyway, it's my favorite pan! So I am attached to it! As the pan starts to heat up the pieces will start to break up. Give it some help with a pair of long handled tongs. I know a lot of people do not like to cook bacon. It's not that bad. The key is to cook it at the right temperature. Too hot and you'll get it crackling and spitting at you as if it's saying "Hey! Our bath is too hot!" and then it burns before you know it. Not hot enough and it takes forever and it never really gets crisp.
While you have the bacon cooking nicely, grab a BIG bowl. Now open your can of pork & beans and throw it in! I only use Campbell's Pork and Beans and not the small one. It's the next size up. Around 20 ounces or so. They have a really big one but that's too big. I know some of you are probably thinking that other brands are better. I am sure they are but you will be adding the flavor to it and the Campbell's work the best. Trust me here.
Add a regular sized can of kidney beans. Dark Red? Light Red? It doesn't matter. Throw in whatever you have in your pantry. These happen to be light red.
Next it's time for the lima beans. Open the can and make sure you rinse very well under cold water before you add them to the bowl.
Don't forget to check on the bacon! Hmmm, I love the smell of bacon cooking!
Now back to the bowl. Add 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar. The recipe doesn't say if it's dark or light brown sugar. I used dark brown this time because that's what was in my cupboard. Light brown works well too!
Now go get that bacon out of it's hot bath! Drain it on a couple of paper towels on a plate. Let it cool while we get back to our bowl.
Now add 1 cup of ketchup. Heinz is my brand of choice. Not only because it's the best but it's also from Pittsburgh! Next add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. I use apple cider vinegar of course it's Heinz!
One more tablespoon to go! And this time it's yellow mustard. Any ideas on the brand?? Yes! If you guessed Heinz, you are right!
By the way, now would be a good time to start preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Now it's time to go back to the stove. Throw in the pound of ground beef. Start to break it up and brown it over medium to medium high heat.

As that is starting to brown, grab an onion! The recipe calls for an onion. This is something I struggle with when I read recipes that say "an" onion. Does this mean a small one? A medium one? A large one? I use either one small or 1/2 of a medium one. Of course this all depends on your perception of small or medium! This is my idea of a 1/2 of a medium one...but it doesn't matter! That is the best thing about cooking! There is room for adjusting recipes to fit you and your family. So if you like a lot of onion, go for it! Now get going and chop that onion!

Add it to the ground beef and continue to brown it all.

While this combination is browning nicely, I go to my cooled bacon. I run my knife through it on the cutting board to help crumble it up. You can crumble it if you like but I like it some crumbled and some little pieces.

See what I mean? I like to see the bacon in the finished product. Now add your bacon to the big bowl.

Your beef and onions should be done by now. Drain it well.

Add it to the big bowl and stir, stir, stir!

Now transfer it to some sort of oven safe cookware. Make sure it's big enough to allow it to bubble some. I use my CorningWare.

Go ahead and cover it before you put it into your preheated 350 degree oven. If your cookware doesn't have a lid, just use good old aluminum foil.

Bake it for 45 minutes and be careful when you take off the lid or foil. There will be steam in there and you don't want to burn your pretty face.

Grab a spoon and give it a good stir. Click on the pic to get a good look. Doesn't it look yummy?? I really hope you try it. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Calico Baked Beans


1 lb. bacon

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion (chopped)

1 medium can of Campbell's Pork and Beans

1 can Kidney Beans

1 can Lima Beans (drained)

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

~Cook off 1 pound of bacon, drain and when cooled, crumble.

~Brown 1 pound of ground meat with chopped onion. Drain grease.

~All all ingredient into a big bowl and mix together well.

~Bake at 350 degrees covered in oven safe cookware for 45 minutes.

Okay, now it's time for me to respond to a tag! Kim, my fellow blog friend who lives in Florida, tagged me on her blog. Here it goes:

Ten Years Ago: I had just bought a new car a couple of weeks ago. It was and still is a 1998 Ford Taurus which is emerald green. Her name is Emmie and I still have her. She's my second car and has 190,000 miles on her. Sometimes I feel the same as I'm sure she does...tired and old. I was also single and probably depressed because my biological clock had been ticking for some time and I never thought I would ever be a Mom.

Five things on today's to do list: 1. Finish this blog post. 2. Clean the living room. 3. Help Allison with her puppet show. 4. Make dinner. 5. Laundry! Laundry! Laundry. No Kim! It's never ends for any of us!

Snacks I enjoy: Right now it's been watermelon. I can't get enough! I love it! I've also been eating those new Baked Tostitos Scoop with salsa. Yummy!

Things I would do if I were a millionaire: Secure Allison's college education. The online calculators tell me it's going to $200,000 by the time she goes! I would also buy an old farm house back home by my family and friend to fix up and spend my time fixing it up. I would have time of course because I would have quit my job if I were a millionaire. I would also invest a good portion of it so we could continue to live in my dream farm house. I would also donate to children's charities because we have been so blessed that Allison is healthy, I would want them to find cures for all childhood diseases.

Places I have lived: Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

I am now supposed to tag 4 people so I tag Stephanie, Jolene, Stephanie and Stephanie! We need to get Stephanie to back to blogging. Sorry Steph but I am not picking on you! You weren't all of my 4 choices! Love You!

That's it for now!

Have Fun!

Pin It

1 comment:

Jolene George said...

That recipe looks yummy!
Thanks for the tag!


Related Posts with Thumbnails