I used to make “baked beans” by buying a can of Bush’s baked beans, and adding some BBQ sauce and some beer, and cooking it for an hour or so. Granted, that’s pretty good, but now that I’m not afraid to branch out a bit, this is way better.
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Optional: 2 jalapenos (or Habaeros), chopped
  • 5 16 oz cans pinto beans (I look for beans that are just beans & water)
  • 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup of catsup
  • 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite beer
  • A couple Tablespoons of dijon, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 8 or so slices of thick cut bacon, cut into 1-2″ pieces


  • Cook bacon over medium heat just long enough to render the fat, but don’t get it crispy
  • Remove bacon
  • Add onions to fat, cook until they just start to get translucent
  • Add peppers and garlic, cook until peppers get soft, about 2 minutes
  • If beans came in salt “goo”, rinse the beans before adding, don’t really need the extra salt
  • Add beans, BBQ sauce, catsup, vinegar, brown sugar, dijon, and beer
  • Stir a few times, turn heat to low
  • I like to cook this for 30 minutes or so at a low simmer
  • At this point, you can reserve the beans, if you want to finish them at a later time
  • Pre-heat oven to 325 
  • Pour everything into a large casserole pan
  • Cover with reserved bacon
  • Put in oven for about 2 hours, this will result in nicely browned bacon, and thick beans