I'm just as surprised as you are to see a semi-homemade baked beans recipe gracing the posts of the Sparkle Kitchen. But bear with me. These are fantastic, and you will thank me later.
The developers of this recipe, the Hales, have been making these baked beans forever. It's a finely-tuned camping staple that my family has enjoyed for years. The Hales are the kind of people who will show up early at your wedding, make a side dish, then party all night with smiles on their faces. They served these beans at our wedding, cooking them "low and slow" all night over coals in the firepit next to the lodge where we got married the next day.
Since we make these beans from the comfort of our own house rather than on the side of a river, we modified the recipe slightly. We added smoked jalapenos. Smoking the jalapenos reduces the heat significantly, as does removing the seeds. The peppers are left with a distinct, smoky taste, but not a significant amount of heat. The texture combines well with the rest of the beans.
After all of the ingredients are ready, heat the dish through to warm it up and help the flavors combine. I structured the recipe based on baking the beans in the oven. That said, we also sometimes cook the beans in the smoker on about 200 Fahrenheit. There is nothing "raw" in the dish by the time that it hits the oven or smoker. Using the smoker just adds an additional layer of flavor. It's certainly not a "must do" by any means, but if you have a smoker, give it a try.
I think I may attempt to thoroughly gild the lily next time and add roasted sweet potatoes or butternut. Thoughts?
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
You will need:
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 28 ounce cans baked beans (we like Bush's Best Original Beans)
- 1 pound spicy sausage
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 5 smoked jalapenos (if you are using fresh jalapenos, cut back to three).
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 2-3 teaspoons hot sauce, optional
- Dash cayenne
- Preheat the oven to 275 Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large pot or cast iron skillet to medium-high. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion and stir for about three minutes.
- Add the sausage, ground beef, and bacon and cook until browned. Turn off heat.
- Finely chop the green bell pepper and the smoked jalapenos. Remove the seeds from the smoked jalapenos.
- In a large oven-proof dish, combine beans, peppers, hot sauce (optional), cayenne, and contents of the skillet. Stir in barbecue sauce.
- Cook for one hour, until the dish is heated through.