Blogging the Recession: Obligatory Pot O’ Beans

March 4th, 2009 by katie

Blogging the Recession: Beans and Sausage

I hate beans, like really really.  Unfortunately people just keep telling me how good for you they are and how cheap to make they are and how delicious and filling they are.  Eventually even the staunchest bean hater starts to wonder if she’s missing out.  So in the nature of being open minded, I began plotting a big pot of beans.  It took weeks to settle on the right recipe but Lisa at Homesick Texan never ever steers me wrong.

I wanted something sweet and spicy and not too beany and I wanted a recipe that didn’t start with “one can pork ‘n beans.”  Seriously try to find a baked bean recipe out there that doesn’t start that way, it is hardBeanie Weenies for Grown-Ups sounded perfect with some delicious locally smoked sausage links.

Beans and Sausage

serves 8, prep 10 min, cook 4 hours (soak beans overnight)
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3 tbsp good quality chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional, my chili powder was spicy enough to omit this)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 pound thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 cup strong black coffee
  • 2 pounds smoked sausage links, sliced thick
  1. Soak beans overnight, sort and drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot with an oven-safe lid or dutch oven.
  4. Saute onions and garlic until soft.
  5. Stir in molasses, chili powder, spices, and sugar.  Add beans, bacon, and coffee.
  6. Add enough water to cover beans by two inches.
  7. Cover the pot and place in hot oven for 2 hours.
  8. Check beans, stirring and tasting.  Add more water if needed (mine didn’t), cover, and cook in oven for another 30 min to an hour depending on the tenderness of your beans.
  9. Check beans again, add additional molasses or spices.
  10. Sear smoked sausage pieces quickly in a hot skillet then stir into beans.
  11. Heat oven to 400°F and cook beans and sausage uncovered for 30 min to thicken the sauce.
  12. If the sauce isn’t thick enough you can put the pot back on the stove top and simmer while making cornbread, etc…

I really enjoyed this dish and want to experiment with different chili powders.  It was just barely sweet and very spicy (I used a combination of chipotle, del arbol, guajillo, and ancho chile powders) and didn’t have that beany horrible-ness at all.  This meal was not as cheap as you would have expected, though.  The smoked sausage links were more expensive than hot dogs but really made it great.  Also I used salt pork which was pretty expensive for some reason and difficult to find.  Next time, I would use thick-cut bacon instead for both flavor and price.

Cost Analysis:

  • 1 pound local crop pinto beans: $0.84
  • 1 onion: $0.20
  • 1/2 a head of garlic: $0.17
  • 1/4 pound salt pork: $2.12 (use bacon next time)
  • 1 cup molasses: $1
  • 2 pounds local smoked sausage links: $7.58
  • not included: oil, spices, sugar, coffee
  • Total cost for 8 servings: $11.91 or $1.48 per serving

Serve with cornbread and some light green vegetable (I made asparagus that needed to be used up).  This is a serious meal, as in it makes you want to go find some cattle to rope.

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Posted in Budget, Easy, Main Dish

12 Responses

  1. Melissa

    See now how could you think blogging the recession would be boring? Everything you’ve posted so far is delicious.

    Using all the chile powders was a good bet. And I’m glad you, a bean hater, loved it. I never looked at beans the same way after eating Rancho Gordo. But then, I don’t eat them all that often anyway and I’m partial to the black ones.

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    I just blogged Lisa’s chocolate pie and had this recipe in my “to make” basket as well. Thanks for making it so I can see how it turned out for you, lol. I love beans!

  3. Cheryl

    All right, that really looks good. I think I would have shied away if it weren’t for the little wieners, but they really make the whole thing look soul-satisfying. Coffee??? Who would have thought?

  4. maris

    These sound so good! I don’t know if I’d dig the sausage in tehre but don’t know what I’d substitute.

    All I know, is I just had dinner but now I want maple smoked beans and cornbread! lol.

  5. sweetbird

    “Beans and Franks” occasionally make an appearance on our menu, though usually I just use canned beans (I have a nostalgic attachment to Bush’s Baked Beans). I’m going to have this recipes out.

    I have no idea where you manage to find things like local crop beans. I live in a damn agricultural breadbasket and I’m lucky to find local spinach. Ridiculosity.

  6. noble pig

    I have always been on the bean wagon…these look awesome.

  7. stephen

    it’s funny how no matter where you’re pallet is in life; nostalgic foods always win the heart over.beans and franks make me think of after baseball practice and road trip microwave food.

  8. tami lyn

    I have always been afraid to make my own baked beans. I hate green beans and butter beans, but serve me up some Bush’s baked beans, and I am in heaven. But the can doesn’t say what kind of beans they are, they just say “prepared white beans” and I have no clue what those are. I may have to step outside the safety zone and give these a go.

  9. Nick

    Love the “Blogging the Recession” series of posts. Keep them up. Need more cheap recipes!! 🙂 Great site.

  10. Happy Cook

    Wow this is one of the best bean recipe i hve ever seen.
    If you don’t have smoked sausages can i use normal ones.

    The flavor will change depending on your sausage. You can also use hot dogs. -katie

  11. Da Pom

    Girl! What planet you from? “and didn’t have that beany horrible-ness at all.” There’s no such thing as that.

  12. Marie

    Having grown up on all sorts of canned foods, I don’t shy away from pork ‘n’ beans (although I will admit to doctoring them up quite a bit). However, the photo included with this recipe is what drew me in and I’m going to attempt making it this week. Thanks for posting it!

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