My slow cooker and grill are our saving grace right now. The heat is breaking and at night you can almost begin to feel that fall cooler air will be arriving soon. I love fall and all that it brings (except pumpkin spice flavored items, but that is for another day).
With all our traveling and trying to have as much fun as we can before school starts I am trying to be frugal and use what we have on hand or only pick up items that I can use in several dishes. I bought beans and bacon for this dish.
This dish was hearty and flavorful. Both kids liked that they could customize their dishes with hot sauce or chili powder to their specific taste. My daughter preferred to add chili powder while my son added hot sauce. I thought it was fine just as it was.
I served this dish with a side of hearty, warm bread and butter to so up all the sauce with. It was so good!
Slow Cooker Cowboy Beans
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 (15 oz) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (28 oz) can baked beans or pork and beans, I use Bush’s Original but that is my personal preference use your favorite
- 2 cups+ barbecue sauce, I use Sweet Ray’s Honey Barbecue but again use your favorite
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- salt and black pepper to taste
- serve with extra chili powder or hot sauce to add spice to your favorites balance
- Cook bacon in a large skillet until it starts to release the fat. Add the onion to the pan. Cook onions and bacon until bacon is crispy and onions are turning translucent. Remove bacon and onions with a slotted spoon and put them in the slow cooker.
- Cook ground beef in the same skillet as the bacon. As beef is cooking break into tiny pieces with a spoon. Once ground beef is cooked through use a slotted spoon to remove the meat to the slow cooker and leave the grease in the pan.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- When ready to serve stir well. If barbecue sauce has cooked in (the longer you cook it the more sauce you need) add more barbecue sauce and let sit for 10 minutes to allow to heat through. Taste and adjust spices to your liking. To make is sweeter add brown sugar or spicier add more chili powder and black pepper.
- Serve hot with warm bread and butter for dipping.