Baked Beans Cowboy Style ~ Texas BBQ Baked 4-Bean Medley
Y’all, the day has arrived! I am just busting that the time has finally come to share with you one of the most wicked recipes my mind has ever devised–Baked Beans Cowboy Style. Ladies, make these baked beans for the men in your life and you will have them howling at the moon! If they don’t, well, my Lord, at the very least, there will be some major nibbling on your neck! Major. I promise. Of course, I only speak from experience. Ha!
This top-shelf baked bean recipe for Baked Beans Cowboy Style was created especially for The Big Lug to take to a work BBQ luncheon to enjoy with his team on July 26, 2011. It received rave reviews and the guys were offering even to pay for the recipe! Men. They’re so gosh darn sweet, aren’t they? Well, they are when they want to be—especially when they are well fed!
Our quick-style recipe (with no overnight bean soak as with dried beans) calls for fine-quality B&M Baked Beans (made with small pea beans of the white bean variety) and organic pinto beans, small red beans (small red kidney beans) and black beans to create a 4-bean medley with a blend of quintessential “sweet-heat” Southwest flavors in the sauce. Quality beans is essential. The organics hold up well and have a toothsome bite which I just adore. Who wants mushy beans?
My secrets for Baked Beans Cowboy Style are to include plenty of chopped Applewood-smoked bacon, sweet Vidalia onion and sweet red bell pepper in a veggie sauté as well as a rich, dark beer reduction and both ancho and chipotle chili powders to make these baked beans especially wicked and quintessentially Texan in true cowboy style.
When I dared to title this recipe with the term “cowboy style” or with the word “Texas” in it, and being from the Midwest, I could hear the ol’ retro TV commercial for Pace® Picante Sauce in the deep recesses of my mind. Remember how it went? Sitting around a campfire at night, cowboys, decked out in their Wrangler jeans and cowboy hats, were enjoying digging into their evening supper, but were astounded that the tasty picante sauce they were eating was made in a far off land far removed from their macho locale, “Somewhere in Texas” as the card read. They exclaimed, incredulously, “New York City?!” Only, this time, when I heard the old commercial in my head, there were a bunch of Texan cowboys exclaiming incredulously, “Indianapolis?!” At the end, one of the cowboys demands, “Get a rope.” Ha! Classic and memorable line from a fabulous retro commercial. Darrin Stephens and Don Draper, once the Creative Director and partner of the advertising firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Price, would be proud! If you aren’t familiar, check out the link below.
Retro TV Commercial: Pace® Picante Sauce
In all sincerity, when I developed this baked beans recipe nearly two years ago now, I asked myself, “What would Bobby Flay do?” Yeah. I went there. And, it worked y’all. In fact, I would challenge him any day of the week in a baked bean “throwdown” and feel absolutely confident this recipe would come away wearing the crown. Woot! (Again, this is just confidence talking, not arrogance.) Of course, Bobby would receive some credit as he was the inspiration behind the recipe!
What makes our Baked Beans Cowboy Style wicked good? The richest, sweetest and spiced-just-right sauce made with a dark beer reduction and plenty of fine-quality BBQ sauce, brown sugar and molasses. The zip and tang from Tabasco® sauce, raw organic apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce and cilantro. The finest quality beans to create an impeccable 4-bean medley plus plenty of smoky applewood-smoked bacon for an unbeatable smoky flavor. The sweetest veggies to include chopped sweet Vidalia onion and sweet red bell pepper along with a handful of chopped green onions for some extra color, flavor and crunch. A perfect blend of spices to include both ancho and chipotle chili powders, garlic powder and cumin. And, finally, a cook time of 90 minutes to ensure perfect oven-baked baked beans in a decadent, top-shelf sauce.
Do yourself a big favor this summer and try Baked Beans Cowboy Style for your next BBQ cookout. I guarantee there will be second helpings…galore. They’re absolutely irresistible!
- For the Beer Reduction
- 2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer, I used Michelob® Amberbock®
- For the Bacon & Vegetable Sauté
- ½ pound Applewood smoked bacon, chopped
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 medium to large red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- For the Baked Bean Medley
- 2 (16-ounce) jars B&M® Original Baked Beans, or fine-quality Boston-Style
- 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, such as Eden Organic®, drained
- 1 (16-ounce) can small red beans, such as Eden Organic®, drained
- 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, such as Eden Organic®, drained
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chiles, such as Old El Paso®, drained
- Kosher salt & fresh coarse ground black pepper, to taste
- For the Texas BBQ Baked Bean Sauce
- 1½ cups Beer Reduction
- 1 cup Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce, such as KC Masterpiece®
- ¾ cup ketchup, such as Heinz®
- ¾ cup unsulphured molasses, such as Grandma’s®
- ¾ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon or spicy grain mustard, such as Grey Poupon®
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, such as Braggs®
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, such as Lea & Perrins®
- Tabasco® sauce or cayenne pepper, to taste (a few dashes)
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 tablespoon fresh
- ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder, such as McCormick®
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, such as McCormick®
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, such as McCormick®
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, such as McCormick®
- For the Optional Topping
- 8 slices (about ½ pound) Applewood smoked bacon
- 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
Tips:Beer reduction can be prepared one day ahead. Cover and chill until ready to use. For Gluten-Free Option: Replace dark beer with a gluten-free beer. And, substitute all sauce ingredients with gluten-free alternatives.