Food for Friday

This being a summer holiday weekend and all, one of the big ones that traditionally features sparklers and grills and watermelon seed spitting and weak paper plates and bugs and sunburn, it seems a good time to share a recipe from a coworker that is my new and most favoritest dish of the year.

She served this at a Relay for Life dinner ~ at which I decided that it was delicious enough to be counted as dessert ~ almost as tasty as a Key Lime pie ~ and I then served it at my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner.  I made two huge pans of it, and they were both absolutely licked clean…the pans I mean, not the wedding party… (it still wasn’t pretty to watch).  This is the perfect dish for your weekend extravangaza, whether indoors or out, so grab a BIG SPOON and enjoy.

Recipe shorthand:  T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon; C = Cup.

Rancho Beans, courtesy of Laura Elkins, Kitchen Goddess

2 1-lb cans of pork & beans, drained
1 lb ground beef
1 C brown sugar
1 C ketchup or catsup, your choice (I’m just listing it the way it was given to me!  Ha!)
2 C diced onions
1 T vinegar
2 T prepared mustard
1 t salt
Optional:  4 to 6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

Brown the beef and onion together in a skillet.  Place this and all the other ingredients into a crock pot and cook for 2 to 3 hours.  Optionally, you may bake the mixture in a 325- to 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

I did the oven bake option, which was good because I forgot to drain my pork & beans so they were kind of soupy.  However, when we reheated the dishes several hours later for dinner, the extra juice kept everything just right.  Also, feel free to vary the ingredients to your taste – I think a few shots of Tabasco sauce would be a fun addition.

Laura, you rock the beans!  These are for you, babe: 

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have.  ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick