Friday, November 15, 2013

Southern-Style Cowboy Beans

     If there's one thing that I've learned since I started cooking, it's that guys like meat. Lots of it. I mean lots and lots of meat. And they aren't even picky! Chicken, beef, deer, pork, whatever. Just so long as something died to feed them (too harsh? I wondered.) Sometimes the guys will just brown a pound of hamburger and eat it plain. Me? I need spices and ketchup, but I'm a gal. That's normal, right?
     Anyway, last night, I made what I thought was a pretty big batch of beans, a very male-friendly meal! Funny thing is, we ate almost all of them at one sitting…  Of course it helps that we had a couple friends over. But still, that was a lot of beans!

You'll need:
1 lb. bacon
1 T. brown sugar
1 t. liquid smoke
2 lbs. hamburger (I used deer and beef), browned
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red pepper, chopped
6 (15 ounce) cans pork n beans 
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard

First, cut your bacon into pieces, dump in a large dutch oven, and start frying on medium-high heat.

Fry it until the edges start getting brown, and it curls. It isn't thoroughly cooked, but you'll finish that later.

Once the bacon's curled, add in the 1 T. brown sugar.

And the 1 t. liquid smoke.

Stir this in well, then put the lid on and let it simmer on medium-high heat for around 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop your onions and pepper.

Check up on your bacon. If it looks about like this (don't cook it all the way yet) then you can shut off the flame and...

Put it all in a bowl using a slotted spoon. Leave the drippings in here, you really need those babies!

I know it isn't all the way done yet, but it tastes wonderful at this point! As my family could probably tell you.. 

Okay, now toss your pepper and onion in the drippings and sauté.

 After a couple of minutes they should look like this.

Then add all of the other ingredients…

 And mix together.

Sprinkle the bacon on top.

Although your kitchen probably started smelling wonderful earlier when you were frying the bacon, it will smell even better now with the bean/bacon/vinegar smell. Trust me.
Now, let it all simmer for 2 hours. Stir (yes, I'm sorry, but you'll have to stir that beautiful bacon in!) every 20 minutes so that the bottom doesn't burn (or at least not too bad).

This picture doesn't do it justice at all. 
But anyway, that's it! You're done!! Yes, you now have my permission to taste it. 
Everyone seemed to like it last night, so hopefully you do too!

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