Every once in a while I get an email from my husband that tells me he has "snack day" at work and if I could put it on my calendar. This in turn also means that I have to come up with something to send with him. He usually requests a savory dish since by his account there are always more than enough sweet dishes there.
Dips or Salsas are always easy to send along but then again a lot of people think along the same lines so there is never a shortage of these either. He asked if I could figure something out he could take in a crock-pot, and always being happy to oblige, I looked through my giant recipe files and decided on an old stand-by; Block Party Beans.
I have made this countless times for potlucks, barbecues, and neighborhood get togethers since it easily feeds a crowd and people respond very well to this version. The ingredients are mixed up very quickly and then just "hang out" in the crock-pot. You can also bake them in the oven or cook them on top of the stove, whatever suits you best and makes you happy.
This time I just mixed everything together and gave it a quick heating on top of the stove since I knew it would be sitting a few more hours in the crock-pot. Serve them at your next BBQ or Potluck and watch everyone go nuts over a pot of beans.
Block Party Beans
2 lbs. lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
1 onion, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 (15 ounce) cans beans, drained and rinsed*
2 (28 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (use your favorite one)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
1 (10 ounce) package frozen lima beans
*I used a mix of beans. 1 can of the following: Black beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans and pinto beans.
Cook beef in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Stir in onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, sugar, vinegar, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer covered until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in lima beans and continue to cook, covered for another 20 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve.
*If you are using the oven, place dutch oven into a 350 degree F preheated oven after ingredients are added. Proceed with recipe.
** If you would rather use a crock-pot, cook beef, onion and garlic on the stove, then transfer to crock-pot.
Add additional ingredients and cook for 6 hours on low. Or you can prepare the recipe on the stove then add to a crock-pot for keeping warm.