This crockpot beans recipe that I adapted from my mother-in-law’s (Gloria’s) recipe. It’s great for sharing at a picnic – easy to take and makes plenty to go around.
Now keep in mind you can add or subtract to make this to your tasting. I’ve decreased the sweet and increased the smoky. I make a bit different each time depending on what I have in my freezer and pantry at the time I’m going to make it. I’ve found, like with many of my Italian recipes, combining beef and pork makes it especially tasty.
So give this a try next time you’re grilling out or take it on your next picnic. Oh – and take a copy of the recipe with you – someone will ask you for it. 🙂
Prep time: 20 minutes + 2-3 hours slow cooking time*
*alternately, you may put this in a large, oven-safe stock pot and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1/2 hours
- 1/2 to 1 pound thick sliced or cottage bacon, browned crisp and crumbled or rough chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 pounds of ground beef or a blend of 1 pound ground pork and 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pork neckbone (optional)
- 1 large can of your favorite, prepared baked beans, undrained
- 1 can of chili beans, undrained
- 1 can kidney beans, drained slightly
- 1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained slightly
- 1 can butter beans, drained slightly
- Use any mixture of beans you like or have on hand. A mixture of light and dark beans makes it visually appealing.
Sauce and seasonings:
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 bottle chili sauce
- 1 heaping tablespoon of yellow, brown or dijon mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- 1 tablespoon of your favorite steak sauce (I use A-1)
- 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
In a large skillet, brown bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
Drain most of the bacon grease from the pan. Return pan to heat and brown together the chopped onion, ground beef and/or ground pork, and neckbone (optional). Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine together all ingredients under “sauce and seasonings” above.
Grease a 4-6 quart crockpot. Put in the hamburger mixture and all the beans.
Pour the sauce and seasonings mixture over the hamburger and beans. Gently stir to combine.
Cook on low for 2-4 hours or until you’re satisfied with the flavor. Or alternately bake in oven for 1 to 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
Crockpot beans can be served warm or at room temperature.