My mom used to make this rich bean dish when I was a kid. I hated it. Of course, I wasn't a very adventuresome eater back then--I didn't let my foods touch each other on the plate, much less in a casserole dish.
Now that I am older and more sophisticated, I recognize the simple beauty of a casserole that includes canned beans, bacon and ground beef. Bronco Beans are not low-calorie, low-fat or low- anything else; they are made up of a veritable truckload of carbs. The recipe calls for ketchup and brown sugar. It is lowbrow food at its sloppy finest, so if you are looking for something to serve at a swanky dinner party, do not make this.
If, however, you are having a barbecue or potluck and want to come home with an empty dish, this is a great go-to recipe.
And a small disclaimer: I lost my mother's recipe (sorry, Mom), so this may not be exactly her concoction per se, but it tastes pretty close. I'm sure if I've omitted anything truly important, she'll comment on it.
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. ground beef, browned with 1 medium onion, diced
1 can pork and beans, undrained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can butter beans (or Great northern beans, if you prefer), drained
1/2 c. ketchup
1 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. mustard powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine bacon, beef and onion, pork and beans, kidney beans, and butter beans.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and mustard. Combine with the bean mixture in a large casserole dish.
Cover, and bake for 1 hour.
Serves 8 as a side dish.