In our family the 4th of July screams Calico Baked Beans so today I’m sharing my mom’s recipe for the American classic. Mom’s recipe has a few twists from the norm using a variety of beans, bacon and hamburger meat, a dash of liquid smoke and a 12-ounce beer.
Mom made this for many occasions, yes, it is an old-time favorite, but conveniently, it can be baked in the oven or made in the slow cooker. It’s a dish that travels beautifully and it’s better tasting the next day, if you have any leftovers to taste.
Family Reunion (Calico) Baked Beans
1/2 pound bacon, diced, browned and drained
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 29-ounce can Pork and Beans, drained
2 15-ounce cans red Kidney beans, drained
1 15-ounce can baby lima beans, black-eyed peas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound hamburger, crumbled, browned and drained
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
8 to 12 ounces beer (optional)
Brown bacon and hamburger in a large skillet, drain in a colander, and rinse under hot water, if desired. Spray a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray; place all ingredients in baking dish, cover and bake for 1 hour at 350° or place all ingredients in crock-pot and cook on Low for 8 hours. Yield: 12 to 16 servings as a side dish or 8 to 10 servings as a main dish served with hot corn bread.
Original recipe comes from the kitchen of my mom, the late Betty Belles, Auburn, Washington, but I think she might have gotten the recipe from my aunt, Mary Janet Belles, Boise, Idaho.