Cowboy Beans

5 from 3 votes
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Cowboy Beans Recipe by Mr. Make It Happen


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Introduction:

In the realm of hearty, soul-satisfying comfort foods, few dishes can rival the rugged charm and robust flavor of cowboy beans. This classic Western fare, with its hearty blend of beans, savory meats, and zesty spices, has been a staple of chuckwagon cooking for generations. Today, I invite you to embark on a culinary journey to the wild frontier of flavor as we explore the rich history and irresistible taste of cowboy beans, along with a mouthwatering recipe that’s sure to become a favorite in your home.

A Brief History:

Cowboy beans, also known as chuckwagon beans or campfire beans, trace their origins back to the Old West, where resourceful cowhands relied on simple, hearty ingredients to fuel their demanding work on the trail. Traditionally cooked over an open flame in cast-iron pots, cowboy beans were a staple dish on the chuckwagon menu, providing a nourishing and satisfying meal for hungry cowboys after long days in the saddle.

Begin by dicing your veggies and set them aside. Measure out your bbq sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, etc. Cook your bacon until crispy and then remove and dice. In the same skillet, add the ground beef and cook fully. Once the beef is cooked, add in the veggies and garlic.

Mr. Make It Happen

Japanese Steel Chef Knife

Next, add ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, and brown sugar. Season to taste and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Next, drain the beans and add to your skillet. Add the diced bacon. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Season to taste. You can adjust the spice level by adding hot sauce or red pepper flakes – if you need to sweeten the beans, add more brown sugar or bbq sauce.

  1. Cook the Bacon: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the bacon drippings in the pot.
  2. Brown the Beef: In the same pot with the bacon drippings, add the ground beef. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat from the pot.
  3. Sauté Aromatics: Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the pot with the browned beef. Sauté until the onions are softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Return the cooked bacon to the pot. Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans, kidney beans, and black beans. Stir in ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the cowboy beans simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Once the cowboy beans are thick and flavorful, remove the pot from the heat. Serve the beans hot, garnished with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, and sour cream. Pair with cornbread or crusty bread for a complete cowboy feast.

Garnish with diced Chives and enjoy!


5 from 3 votes

Cowboy Beans

Servings: 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
In the realm of hearty, soul-satisfying comfort foods, few dishes can rival the rugged charm and robust flavor of cowboy beans. This classic Western fare, with its hearty blend of beans, savory meats, and zesty spices, has been a staple of chuckwagon cooking for generations. 

Equipment

  • 1 Skillet, Boiling Pot, or Dutch Oven
  • 2 Medium Mixing Bowls
  • 2 Small Mixing Bowls

Ingredients 

Protein

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 4-5 slices thick cut bacon

Beans

  • 34 oz buschs baked beans
  • 16 oz black beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Produce

  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 onion
  • green onion

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce
  • 2 tbsps yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsps worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Seaonings

  • 1-2 tsps better than bouillon
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, smoked paprika, to taste
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Instructions 

  • Drain black beans and chop veggies.
  • Start by cooking your bacon until crispy, and then add your veggies.
  • Begin by dicing your veggies and set them aside.
  • Measure out your bbq sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, etc.
  • Cook your bacon until crispy and then remove and dice. In the same skillet, add the ground beef and cook fully.
  • Once the beef is cooked, add in the veggies and garlic.
  • Next, add ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, and brown sugar.
  • Season to taste and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Next, drain the beans and add to your skillet. Add the diced bacon.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Season to taste.
  • You can adjust the spice level by adding hot sauce or red pepper flakes – if you need to sweeten the beans, add more brown sugar or bbq sauce.

Video

Additional Info

Course: Beef Recipes, Comfort Food, Main Course, Side Dish

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About Matt Price

I’m Matt Price – A self taught “Home Chef”, or “Internet Chef”, lol, from Virginia. I’m super passionate about cooking and sharing recipes and techniques to elevate home cooking. Too many of us have drifted away from the kitchen – and my goal is to change that! Let’s Make It Happen.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Lynda says:

    Matt,
    Your personality and style are fantastic! Smile that tremendous smile and always be you! I am in Granger IN and hope to get to one of the brunches cause I would love to meet you! I love cooking and you have fantastic tips and tricks! I am so thankful that I found you!
    Lynda

  2. Todd Carter says:

    Completed a couple of your recy’s and enjoyed so far. Will continue to try others. Thanks

  3. Sam Fulwood says:

    I see the ingredients that are need but not the amount per ingredient. I can’t find the recipe. A little help please.

    1. Matt Price says:

      Hey Sam!! Sorry about that, the recipe has been updated!

  4. Journee says:

    5 stars
    These beans SLAPPPPPPPPPPPP HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even my toddler love them!!

    1. Mr. Make It Happen says:

      Who am I to argue with a toddler lol? They got it right!!

  5. Joe Smith says:

    Print function doesn’t work… only prints “In the realm of hearty, soul-satisfying comfort foods, few dishes can rival the rugged charm and robust flavor of cowboy beans. This classic Western fare, with its hearty blend of beans, savory meats, and zesty spices, has been a staple of chuckwagon cooking for generations.”

    1. Mr. Make It Happen says:

      Hey Joe, thanks for pointing that out for us, we have updated the page to show the recipe and the print function is back up and running.

  6. Kathy Hoos says:

    5 stars
    I made the Cowboy Beans today for an outdoor dinner, and everyone loved it!!!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Tony says:

    5 stars
    I tryed your cowboy beans, chicken and waffles so far the family loved them