Bill's Recipes                  

Bill's Calico Beans
(This is based on a bunch of recipes and my own creativity.)

This makes a large crock pot full of Calico Beans.  A wide variety of bean shapes and colors adds interest to the meal so feel free to expand the variety.  I have used up to 11 different kinds of beans before.  If you use lima beans, add them in the final 4 hours so they don't break down too much.

large crock pot
big knife
cutting board
can opener
small spatula
large colander/strainer
pans for cooking ground beef and bacon

  2 medium cans Bush's Homestyle baked beans (zesty option, use Barbecue beans
  2 small cans dark red kidney beans
  1 can black beans
  1 small can chili beans (hot or mild)
  1 small can pinto beans
  1 small can butter beans
  1 small can garbanzo beans
    (other bean choices are Great Northern beans, lima beans,
      light red kidney beans, blackeyed peas, and cannellini beans - feel free
      to use them all for more color)
  1 cup chopped Vidalia (sweet) onion
  1 cup ketchup/catsup
  1/4 cup mustard (hold on this until doing a late taste test)
  1/4 cup brown sugar (hold on this until doing a late taste test)
  2 lbs. of lean ground beef, cooked, chopped, and drained
  8 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, well drained, and broken into pieces

Here are the *destructions*:
1. For best flavor, start this 24 hours in advance of the meal.
2. Start crock pot on low, 8-hour setting.
3. Brown, thoroughly chop, and drain lean ground beef into colander - hold for later.
4. For all beans added, do not drain beans and be sure to scrape cans.
5. Add 2 cans Bush beans to crock pot and stir in.
6. Add ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust flavor, if needed.
7. Finely chop 1 cup of onions, add to pot, and stir in.
8. Add ground beef and bacon to pot and stir in.
9. Add remaining beans, stirring in each can as you add the beans - do not drain.  Pot will probably be very full.
10. Place lid on pot and cook on low temp for 8-12 hours.  Stir occasionally if you are around.
11. If you want it thicker, for the final 6-8 hours of cooking, remove lid so some of the liquid can evaporate and beans can cook down a bit.
12. If you can, stir beans every 30 minutes to an hour or so.
13. Around an hour before serving, do a taste test and add ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar to taste.
14. Serve either in a bowl, like chili, or on buns.  How you serve it may be impacted by how thick it is.

Well, that's it.  Let me know how it turns out!
(rev. 6/2/06)