Start with a wide variety of canned beans and separate into different batches depending on how long you want them to cook:
Hearty beans go in first
- Dark red kidney beans, light red kidney beans, garbanzos beans or chickpeas, red beans, pinto beans, black beans
More delicate beans go in later, once the mixture begins to simmer
- Navy beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, baby lima beans
- Tomato juice, tomato puree, diced tomatoes and/or tomato paste. (48 ounces or more)
- Other liquid includes wine and soup stock, as needed.
- 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce or some liquid smoke
- 2 onions, diced and sautéed
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1-2 green pepper, diced
- Dashes of Worcestershire and hot sauces
- Dried or fresh spices, including chives, celery seed, black pepper, basil, oregano, coriander, chili pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs or more of honey or brown sugar, to taste
- 1/4 cup or more apple cider vinegar, to taste
- 1 Tbs each beef and vegetable Better than Bouillon stock base
- 1 - 2 lbs bacon, thick sliced, cut in one inch pieces
- 1 - 2 lbs ground beef, turkey, venison, rabbit,
- Sausage (optional)
Drain and rinse the beans with fresh water in a colander. Start with the more hearty beans, and add the more delicate beans after the cooking has begun. Start cooking the meat mixture and onion, garlic, pepper on the stove, then finish the cooking in the oven for 1-3 hours, depending on the heat. This will work well in a low heat oven, just might want some smoke from the coals for flavor. You might also need a cover or more liquid in a hotter oven if they dry out too much.
Note on dried beans: Use dried beans to reduce the unwanted salt and preservatives.
Note on Liquid: It often seems tough to stir at first. The mixture needs enough liquid to heat up and be able to stir it gently without breaking the beans too much. That’s why I’ve used the tomato juice and/or red wine and/or soup stock. As it cooks it will thicken by some reduction and the broken beans, or you can thicken some with potato flakes later. I’ve usually got it covered in a roaster and just simmering for a couple of hours).
This is a very flexible dish you can adjust to individual tastes. The bean mixture is very tasty. Use more of what you like.
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