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beans to kick you in the gonads

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!

indian paintbrush

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
[print recipe]
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 salt
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.

26 nibbles at “beans to kick you in the gonads”

  1. Eesh says:

    We recently made your Dinosaur style bbq chicken. Oh. My. God. It is so ridiculously delicious. I licked my plate clean. Thank you a million times– you rock! I’m gonna have to try these beans with some of the leftover Mutha sauce.

  2. Veron says:

    I like bush baked beans too! That dinosaur style chicken looks temptingly good!

  3. Steve Gallow says:

    We make these a few times every summer, and have the cook book. I also really like there cucumber/tomato salad, and they’re key lime pie. They are great!!

  4. Aran says:

    oh summer and bbq beans…. i know i tell you this every single time i look at your photos, but you always make me miss CO so much… unreal!

  5. Adrienne says:

    i think i laughed the whole way through your post! the beans look delicious – will have to try very soon. but not before your zha jian mien (sp?), will be attempting that tonight!

  6. Rosa says:

    Terrific recipe and pictures! Legumes are so versatile and delicious…



  7. Irina (PastryPal) says:

    This is something even my finicky boyfriend would eat. I, on the other hand, could easily devour your entire website.

  8. Erin says:

    These look delicious! What a great way to make baked beans even better

  9. charlane says:

    bushs beans are just the best to me too – well worth the price

  10. Anh says:

    Oh this stuff is good!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I have two celiac friends and I always panic before I feed them. I’m terrified that I’ll poison them “on my watch”…I can’t imagine anything more horrifying/embarrassing.

    As always, photos and food look great.

  12. Abby says:

    Ditto. I make a lot of baked beans, but I always use canned beans because as you say above that’s what the recipe always calls for. (I do use Bush’s Vegetarian beans and add my own fixer uppers.)

    Those pickles on the side? Icing on the cake.

  13. Margie says:

    Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more I eat, the more I crave….. ;)

    Yummy. Totally.

    I thought I had a good recipe, but I think we have a CHALLENGE here. ;)

  14. joey says:

    These look seriously fantastic! As does the recipe for the mutha sauce! How long will the mutha sauce keep?

  15. Meeta says:

    summer bbq and these beans totally brilliant. i admit i seem to have fixed my calendar to soeren’s school calendar and as summer break is over at the end of the week – i seem to think “oh my gosh can’t believe summer is almost over!” LOL! thanks for reminding me it’s not really ;-)

  16. Karen B says:

    Oh, wow, that whole meals looks good! I always think of beans as a winter food, maybe because the dried beans require so much cooking time, and I just don’t do that in the summer. This is definitely summer-able!

    My daughter has a good friend with a severe peanut allergy. We love having her over, but it requires so much caution, as you said. It’s the ingredients at the end of the list, or manufacturing facility, that causes so many problems!

  17. SteakFeed » Recipe: dinosaur-style bar-b-que beans | use real butter blog says:

    […] Barbecue baked beans recipe : use real butter seems to be a blog about food, advocating the use of real butter. This here is a case of a recipe for baked beans. It sounds tempting, to put some of these on the side-burner while roasing up a shitload of brisket or something. One beef though: where’s the bacon?! […]

  18. jennywenny says:

    Well done for not making andrew sick! I’m feeling particularly maudlin as I’ve taken on too much this summer to be able to get outdoors much. Hopefully that will change next week, I plan on riding my bike and all that good stuff in the evenings. The wierd thing is that here in San Diego summer starts in July and kind of carries on until October so I dont need to be sad!

  19. Lori says:

    OMG- that Mutha sauce IS the Mother sauce. Dang does that look good. Now how on earth did I miss that recipe? Anyway, beans are getting to be my favorite, over meat even. I need, no, I NEED to make these beans. Okay after my Ethopian lentils, these are next!

  20. jenyu says:

    Eesh – that is one good recipe. I love the cookbook. And once you make one recipe, you usually have the components (sauce, seasonings) for others :)

    Veron – the chicken is GREAT!

    Steve – ooh, I’ll have to try those too – thanks for the tip!

    Aran – :) Well, why don’t you guys move back? :)

    Adrienne – good luck with that!

    Rosa – yes, and good for you :)

    Irina – ha ha, finicky people are hard to please but if you find something they’ll eat, it’s like mana from heaven!

    Erin – thanks!

    Charlane – I like them too. Muuuuch better than any other brand I’ve tried.

    Anh – you’re welcome!

    TKW – I hear ya. It gets to be a tad nerve-wracking.

    Abby – I love cornichons (actually, these are either giant cornichons or mini dill pickles – take your pick)

    Margie – That’s a good Texas girl, love those beans! :)

    Joey – it will keep for months in the fridge in a tightly sealed glass jar. (I have several jars!)

    Meeta – it’s hard when kids go back to school to think it’s still summer, but you can still cook summery things :)

    Karen B – yes, that’s how I think of beans too. Except in Virginia, beans were everywhere year round! Yup, re: allergies, I think those of us who cook from scratch probably have the greatest ability to control what goes into our food. I feel sorry for people with all manner of allergies who have to rely on company labels to disclose everything. Ugh.

    Jennywenny – yay! Ride the bike! :)

    Lori – mmm, Ethiopian lentils sound great!

  21. Manggy says:

    I dunno, it’s hard for me to knock baked beans recipes that call for canned baked beans, because I love the stuff. Would eat it everyday for breakfast if I could. But yeah, spicing things up will always make ’em better! :)

  22. Ursula says:

    well, i made these beans a few hours early, and planned to let them sit on the stove to reheat later, after we make the dinosaur bbq chicken. (the “chickies “are in the fridge, with rub rubbed on them!) dave just ate two servings of beans, all while i am asking him how they compare to texas beans. he won’t say, just keeps eating.

    in a few hours, we’ll fire up the bbq, grill the chicken, make a potato salad, and probably some feta stuffed zuchini. i’ll let you know what we think!

  23. jenyu says:

    Mark – I love them too :) Never had beans for brekkie though! Good idea ;)

    Ursula – awesome! Hope you guys had a great ‘cue. xxoo

  24. Mrs Ergül says:

    This would make for a nice meal to pack for lunch! I am sure you would have taken extra care to ensure Andrew’s well being after the meal! No worries about that at all.

  25. Ida says:

    Love your recipe – will give it a try! Fall is the best season – the crisp air is wonderful.

  26. Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans Recipe (Kids Cook Monday) — Andrea Meyers says:

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