I love beans. Sometimes, I think beans get a bad reputation. Sure, they make you musical and you can start your own band, but they also have the magical power to clean you out and fill you up. Not many foods are like that.
If I eat a big bowl full of beans, they keep me satisfied for a long time. We’re a bean-loving family. When I ask Annie what she wants to eat for dinner, (just for fun) she always says “Bean!” Beans, beans, good for your heart. *Cough*
Let’s make some Crock Pot Cowboy Beans, y’all! You need ground meat (I used venison), 4 cans of various beans, onion, sweetener, barbecue sauce, ketchup, dry mustard, vinegar, and salt.
Now, I used some canned beans and some frozen beans. I’m trying to use up a lot of my canned beans so I can make dried beans in the crock potand freeze them instead of buying canned. I think they taste better and they’re a WHOLE LOT cheaper.
In total, you’ll need about 6 cups of beans. One can of beans is equal to about 1 ½ cups. The best part about this recipe is that you can use whatever you have. I used Great Northern Beans, Pork-n-Beans, chili beans, and pinto beans. If you have all of one type of bean, go for it. Or if you have black beans or lima beans, those work too. Anything goes…..and these go too…….fast.
Grab a skillet and brown your ground meat and onions. Every time I use this skillet I dream about replacing it with cast iron enamel. Ahhhhhh. I think I might have an obsession with kitchen pots, pans, and skillets. And glass jars. Have I mentioned that? You can drain your meat if you like.
Spray or butter your crock pot. I found this olive oil spray at the store and I’ve been using it. It’s unique…..and I’m trying to use it up. Butter is better. Better butter, better butter, better butter.
In the crock, mix the beans (NOT DRAINED), sweetener (you can use honey if you like), barbecue sauce, ketchup, dry mustard, vinegar, and salt. I also added pepper but forget to mention it above or take a photo. Oops. I’m really on top of things.
When your meat is done, pour it into the crock with the other stuff and give it a good stir.
Put the lid on and cook on low for about 4 hours. It will let the flavors really mingle and learn stuff about each other. Beans are not wallflowers. I have a lot to learn from beans.
Beautiful! Tasty! Gone! These went fast. Our family loves Cowboy Beans. These are excellent to make for a crowd (and very cost effective) and they’re also a good dish for freezer cooking.
Make up a crock or two of these and a few batches of cornbread and you’ll have some happy visitors. One batch is about 8 servings.
Crock Pot Cowboy Beans
- 1 pound of ground meat
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cans of beans, undrained (or 6 cups of cooked beans total)
- 1/3 cup sweetener (I used Sucanat)
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground meat and onion in a skillet. Drain if desired.
Combine beans, sweetener, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in the crock.
Stir in browned meat and onions.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Serve piping hot with cornbread.