The Stein family traditionally turns to this dish for those big family gatherings in summer, but we recently made it on a cold drizzly October weekend and it’s really good comfort food.
I’m not even sure I met cousin Barb at the gathering with which I most closely associate my introduction to this dish, but I’m posting this as a thank you for her generous donation to my recent Walk to End Alzheimer’s event.
I was newly married into the Stein family when a reunion was hosted at the folks’ Washougal house on a 4th of July weekend. As always, we were there and pitching in. It rained buckets the day of the gathering and instead of overflowing onto the deck and into the yard, we set up rows of tables in the garage and Mike grilled burger after burger with the grill tucked under the eaves.
We doubled this recipe at least: ten cans of beans (well, not really – we always used Mike’s own home canned green beans, so one of these was a quart jar) and all the other ingredients went into LaVerne’s vast cooking pot, so huge that James carved her this spoon for cooking in it.
Five Bean Barbecue Bake
Drain one can each:
Green beans, Yellow beans, Kidney beans, Lima beans (baby limas are best).
Open but don’t drain one can pork and beans.
Brown then dice six slices bacon, and sauté one chopped onion in the drippings. Drain off fat.
Combine above ingredients and add 1/2 cup ketchup , 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 – 1/2 cups brown sugar, and 1/4 pound diced cheddar cheese. Place in casserole, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake 350°F for one hour.
Because of the richness of this dish, it really is a side and not a main offering. Our advice is to save it for that crowd. It was a really big commitment for just the two of us.
We found that if you pack the brown sugar as usual for measuring, it can make the beans very sweet.
When this dish was created, canned baby limas were a thing. For quite some time they were not available and we doubled the green beans. Now they are available frozen, but yellow wax beans are very tough to find. Substitute your favorite beans if you can’t find the ones suggested here.
Do not use shredded cheese. The cheddar gets chewy and wonderful in the cubes, and is an important aspect of this dish.
I remember feeling that I must really be a true part of the Stein family that weekend, cooking a favorite recipe for an army of folks, sharing laughter and good food in spite of the miserable weather.
Cousin Barb, do you remember this long-ago party?