|A medley of mixed beans make up this baked bean dish, often referred to as Calico Baked Beans because of the variety.|
Baked Bean MedleyI'm pretty sure that The Cajun has had his fill of baked beans, after the Hawaiian Pineapple Baked Beans that I made last month and my classic Southern baked beans I made before that, and now this Baked Bean Medley.
I just really don't really know how to make a small version of baked beans without changing the flavors, so we end up eating them for days! Of course they can also be frozen pretty successfully. Trouble is, both of my freezers are full and every time I work things down a little bit, my favorite sale items like ribs and sausage or whole chickens go on sale again, and I fill it up again. Not complaining.
Anyway, this is a great mixed bean version of baked beans that's been around a long time and is sometimes called calico baked beans because of the varied mixture of beans. There is no set in stone bean to use. Folks use a wide variety of canned baked beans or pork and beans, great northerns, pinto, kidney beans, lima beans or butter beans, all of which are good to use.
While you can use plain ole pork and beans as the starter, I have always started my baked beans with a large can of Bush's, and from there, I just add in a mixture of three other cans. This time I used what I had in the pantry - Bush's Original Baked Beans, Bush's seasoned black beans, Margaret Holmes seasoned pinto beans and Ranch Style brand beans, which is also a type of pinto.
I like to use the Ranch Style brand beans sometimes because, depending on the variety used, it adds a sort of southwestern, Tex-Mex bend, and sets them apart from my usual brown sugar baked beans recipe. There are a number of flavors in the Ranch Style brand available now.
These can be made using only with beans with no meat, although many recipes will also include ground beef to make them into a meatier version. I love using a seasoned breakfast sausage myself, though Italian sausage, removed from the casing will work well too.
Of course, as a Southerner, I just have to include bacon too, and look y'all, I even put a few strips on top as a garnish, although like the Hawaiian Baked Beans, I precooked them.
I think you'll enjoy this variation on traditional baked beans. Here's how to make them.
Recipe: Baked Bean Medley©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 12 servings
For the Beans:
For the Sauce:
- 1 pound roll of breakfast sausage
- 8 slices of bacon, divided
- 1 large Vidalia or other sweet or yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 large (1 pound 12 ounce) can of Bush's Original Baked Beans, undrained
- 3 (15/16 ounce) cans of varied beans (see suggestions below)
- 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
- 1 cup of chili sauce or ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of molasses
- 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Remove and set aside; drain off any excess fat. Cook 3 slices of the bacon until the fat is rendered but bacon is still limp and not crisp. Remove and set aside to drain on a paper towel. Chop remaining bacon and add to skillet; saute until fat is rendered. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add all of the beans and return sausage to skillet.
Combine sauce ingredients and add to the beans, cooking until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Transfer to a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish and add the precooked bacon strips to the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for about 30 to 45 minutes or just until bubbly and warmed through.
Cook's Notes: May substitute ground beef or a loose raw seasoned sausage (such as Italian) for the breakfast sausage. May substitute pork and beans for the large can of baked beans. May also include a packet of taco seasoning and/or a cup of salsa or a can of mild Rotel diced tomatoes for more kick.
Suggested Canned Beans: Pork and beans, lima beans, light or dark kidney beans, small red beans, baked beans (like Bush's), pinto beans, black beans, butterbeans. Do not drain and rinse sauced beans such as Ranch style, pork and beans, or baked beans, but rinse and drain all others such as lima, kidney, red, pinto and black beans.
Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, except eliminate the bacon garnish. Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot, cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.
Root Beer Baked Beans: Omit the barbecue sauce and reduce chili sauce or ketchup to 1/2 cup, substituting a 12-ounce bottle or canned root beer (Barq's recommended).
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©Deep South Dish
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