I never liked my grandpa’s second wife. There, I admitted it. She was pushy, she treated his kids and grandkids like crap and considered hers from her first marriage to be saints, and she didn’t like that we “took him away from time with her family.” Uh, what?!
However, the lady did make a mean calico bean dish. I wasn’t able to find a recipe online that was close enough to my favorite, so I’m posting it here for the good of humanity. Mmm, beans.
*Note– you definitely can sub in canned beans, but I like dried beans because they’re cheaper, and no pesky cans with goopy smelly bean-snot to rinse and drain off. Your choice.
per Darlene E.
1/3 cup each of the following dried bean varieties:
- kidney beans
- navy or pinto beans
- butter or lima beans
- black beans
- great Northern beans
- garbanzo beans (optional)
You want to end up using about 2 cups of dry beans, give or take. You can use more of your favorites, or include smaller amounts of even more varieties of beans. I don’t consider a recipe to be “calico” unless it includes kidney, butter, black, and white beans, but that’s me. :)
1 can pork and beans or baked beans of your choice
8-12 slices of bacon
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 clove minced garlic, or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the dried beans in a large bowl and cover with 5-6 cups water. Let sit at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Or, if using canned beans, drain and rinse the beans and toss together in a bowl; set aside.
Heat a large skillet and cook bacon until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels; get rid of the majority of the bacon grease. In the same skillet, brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Crumble or chop the bacon, and add back into the skillet. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 5-10 minutes. Pour mixture over drained mixed beans and stir to combine.
This can be frozen or refrigerated until ready to serve. To warm with the crock pot: spoon mixture into a crockpot and add 3/4 cup water. Cook on low until warm, or up to 5 hours. To bake: spoon into greased baking dish and cover with 1/2 cup water. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and hot.