We all need it at one time or another. We all have our list of favorites. This time of year with bad weather and gray days surrounding us, something warm, nutritious with slightly baked brown edges will most certainly comfort us and our families. This recipe is one of those good ones. The one your grandma, mom and you have cooked up a couple hundred times. You can reheat this dish beautifully. Stuff them into a thermos and take some to work for lunch. Use it as a side or the main dish. Calico Beans makes you look like you really “know” how to cook. Even today, in the year 2012, you can tweak it as I did and make your own vegetarian version and yet somehow it turns out perfectly every single time. One of those recipes that when you bake it, you draw it out of the oven with two big huge oven mitts………you take a big spoon and make that first swoop through its smooth and rich texture……….you are more than glad you took the time to make it.
You will need to brown a pound of hamburger (veggie crumbles work perfectly) and one pound of bacon (vegetarian works just as well). Pour off any grease. Add one chopped onion and cook a bit more. Add 1/2 cup catsup, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of real salt…..simmer a bit more to dissolve the sugar. Add this mixture and the following to a baking dish for the oven: 1 can Pork & Beans (vegetarian works perfectly), drain the rest of the cans…..1 can of Kidney Beans, 1 can of Lima Beans, 1 can of Butter Beans. Bake at 350* for one hour or a bit more. The heavenly rich scent will seep out of that oven of yours and OH BABY, you will know when it is done. You will just know.
So put on a pair of your favorite fuzzy socks, turn on some great music, light a candle or two, set the table, and for the love of soul soothing comfort food, SAY GRACE and dig in!