Recipe: dinosaur-style bar-b-que beans
Technically, we have more than half the summer left. But every one I know has been exclaiming, “I can’t believe summer is practically over!” That’s because some folks are tied to the academic calendar whether by profession, attendance, or the fact that they have spawn old enough to catch the yellow bus to school. So the end of August ushers a premature end of summer. And if that doesn’t do it, Labor Day here in the States seems to mark the end of vacation season, or at least the end of wearing white. Well, that last one is an old rule I heard about growing up in the South, because *I* break all manner of fashion rules (my idea of getting dressed up is rummaging about for a clean t-shirt).
Yet, from my perspective – and that is from the perspective through my lens – summer ends when summer really ends. It’s around the equinox when the aspens begin to turn yellow and that crisp chill hangs on the air. The autumn light has a completely different look and feel, call it a glow. It is my favorite season even though I thoroughly enjoy all of the seasons.
Okay, snap out of your reverie! *clap clap* It’s still summer and we are doing summery things, yo!
herd of elk running downslope… perhaps running from mr. mountain lion?
Summery things include barbecue. In truth, we grill year-round, but it’s more reliable to grill in summer since the crazy high winds rage from late October through early May and our deck gets the full brunt of it. We had some friends up a few weeks ago and for the first time I intentionally prepared an all gluten-free meal. That took a little doing, and it kinda stressed the hell out of me because a little gluten can make Andrew a lotta sick. I verified every ingredient and realized how much we (as in, those of us who stuff just about everything down our gullets without thought) take for granted. I had to be really careful about what I ate during my treatment last year – that is, when I could eat – but this was more like trying to catch a potential enemy cleverly disguised as “natural flavorings”. How vague is that?!
a good start: garlic, onion, green pepper
I like that I cook. I like that food isn’t a mystery to me. It’s a basic necessity of life that (despite the number of food blogs out there) more and more people seem ignorant of. I considered using a known gluten-free pre-made barbecue sauce in the beans, but when I compared ingredients with the homemade Mutha Sauce I decided to stick with the Mutha Sauce. I just had to make a new batch since I couldn’t recall if the jar in the refrigerator was made with white vinegar (some Celiacs have trouble with that) or cider vinegar.
browning the sausage with the vegetables
One curiosity I tweeted about: why is it that most baked beans recipes call for canned baked beans? Just tossing that one out there. If it weren’t so ding danged hot in summer, I’d have ventured to make my own baked beans. Convenience, you are a temptress.
pour in the baked beans
If you do go the canned baked beans route (which I did – Bush’s are my favorite brand that I can easily find at my tiny mountain town grocer) this entire recipe slaps together in mere minutes. Okay, like ten if you don’t count mise en place. Who says mise en place when blogging about barbecue baked beans? What? It’s Tuesday already?
don’t forget the mutha
The beans are a spicy, tangy, meatier spin on the baked beans I grew up eating (bacon – it’s all about the bacon). I preferred the leftovers with a side of honey-sweetened cornbread the next day, but I’m happy to report that Andrew is alive and well, as are the rest of the dinner guests. If you like to turn up the spice, these might be your beans.
she packs a bite
Dinosaur-Style Bar-B-Que Beans
from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que by John Stage
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 large onion, medium dice
3/4 cup green pepper, medium dice
pinch ground black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 cans (56 oz. total) baked beans, preferably Bush’s, drain off excess liquid until same height as beans in can
3/4 cup Mutha Sauce
1 tbsp Creole mustard or spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tbsp molasses
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over high flame. Sauté the onions and green peppers until soft. Add salt, pepper, and garlic and cook for another minute. Crumble the sausage into the pan with the vegetables and cook while breaking the meat into small pieces. When the meat is no longer pink, mix in the beans. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the Mutha Sauce, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, Creole Seasoning, and molasses. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 10-12.