Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Calico Beans & Cornbread

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Now that Spring is in the air, Ken and I have been spending every weekend trying to get caught up on all the neglected yard work and burning that has got to be done. It's a hard job, but something I'm very much enjoying. It just feels good to be back doing things that I love after several years of being too busy to appreciate the simple things.

And speaking of "simple things" one of our favorite weekend dinners practically fixes itself. Calico Beans is one of those hearty comfort foods that can be put together in a flash, cook all day and be ready when you come in from the yard.

What you'll need:
Crock Pot (a dutch oven would work too)
1 lb. Bacon
1 lb. Hamburger
1 can each of Garbanzo, Pinto, Kidney, Butter Bean, Pork & Beans
1 sm. chopped sweet onion (optional)
Worcestershire Sauce
Brown Sugar

In a large skillet, crumble the hamburger and cook till browned. Drain and add to the crock pot. In the same skillet, cook the bacon till crisp. I like to use my kitchen scissors to cut the raw bacon in smaller bites before cooking.

DON'T DRAIN! Scrape the cooked bacon, grease and all, into the crock pot with the hamburger. (I know, I know. It goes against every thing you hear now a days about removing every bit of bad fat that you can. But trust me, it adds wonderful flavor and it's not greasy at all. Live a little and throw the dang grease in the crock pot!)

Next,  open all the cans of beans.


Pour the Pork and Beans in the pot with the hamburger and bacon.


Pour all the other beans in a colander and rinse well with cool water.

Then throw them in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Add 3 tbs. of Worcestershire Sauce, 1/4 cup of Ketchup and 3/4 cup of brown sugar. To be honest, I don't even measure anymore and probably add a bit more brown sugar. Mix it all up, put the lid on, turn the crock pot on low and let it cook all day till you have this.....

....a big pot of wonderfully gooey, stick to your ribs comfort food. Yummmm.... We like to mix up some cornbread muffins with some honey butter to go with them. So good. So easy!

Do you have a favorite "quick but amazing" meal?

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