By revered Wyoming chef, outdoorsman, historian, writer and all-around good guy
A recipe that tastes great and even a guy can make um!
A quick search of the internet will give you many ways to prepare cowboy beans, but they all have one thing in common – they have too many ingredients and they take too long to prepare. Wait a minute that was two things. Note how I cleverly used all forms of the word 2 in the above couple (means 2) of sentences?
You can make them in a crock pot but Cowboy Beans are made to be cooked over a camp fire in a big ol’ iron skillet. OK you caught me I make them in a crock pot most of the time myself. Inside winter blues got you down and you need um quick? Use the biggest frying pan in the bottom of the cabinet turn the burner on high, super high if the old range will do it (remember when we called the stove in the kitchen the range? Must be why cooking outside is sometimes called, home on the range cooking, but I digress.
First the list – Ingredients
• 1 pound lean ground beef – I still call it hamburger (I like 90 or 93 %) If you actually shot something at hunting camp last year, any wild game meat will do. Note do not use the tree, soup can or rock you shot. If you use the game meat dice it up small as you can cut it without hurting yourself.
• Chopped onion – cut one up about the size of a tennis ball
• 1 large tablespoon of ketchup – or just squeeze in a gob
• Shot of barbecue sauce
• Shot of mustard – the yellow kind nothing fancy here
• 1/3 c. granulated sugar or brown sugar
• Shake in some pepper – more if you like it a lot
• Quarter teaspoon of ground sage
• 1 tbsp. chili powder
• 1/8 tsp. salt – or none at all - easy on the old ticker
• 2 cans red beans
• 1 can black beans
• 1 can kidney beans
• 1 can Navy beans
• 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled – or buy the crumbles, much faster.
• Fry up the meat, after it gets a good start toss in the onion – if it starts to dry stir in some of the liquid from the beans. Mix in everything once the meat is cooked. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Take the entire mixture and bake in the oven or turn to low and simmer. After 30 minutes or half an hour, whichever comes first, move off the heat, cover and let set for an hour. No peaking.
• Final dish should be a casserole type dish, not a soup. The ladies at the church will love it till they found out who made it. Just Kidding! :)
• *Serve with coke-a- cola, chips and carrot sticks.
• *In hunting camp serve with warm beer, chips and Oreos.