I consider this time of the year to be my official start of the outdoor dining season. This means I take great lengths to keep my yard in comfortable condition and my grill is always ready for a party.
Beyond their musical qualities, this recipe is sure to become a classic outdoor menu option. The slow cooker is a great way tool to use during the hot summer months. All you have to do is dump everything in the vessel without the worry of overheating your kitchen. Plus, the flavor only gets better the next day making this a perfect recipe to prepare in advance.
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 cup onion, diced
- ¼ cup bourbon whiskey
- 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
- 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans
- 1 cup (about 4 plum) fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbl. brown sugar
- 2 Tbl. molasses
- 1 Tbl. prepared yellow mustard
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Drain and rinse the pinto, black and red kidney beans in a strainer. Add the beans, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, molasses, yellow mustard and red pepper flakes to the beans. Set the slow cooker to high. Adding these items first will save cooking time while allowing the slow cooker to preheat as the remaining ingredients are prepared.
- Sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon bits from the pan and add to the slow cooker. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the fry pan. Discard any excess drippings. Sauté the diced onions in the reserved drippings over medium heat for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Off the heat, slowly add the bourbon to the pan. Return the pan to the heat and vigorously scrape the bits from the bottom. Allow the mixture to simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the bourbon is nearly evaporated. Add the mixture to the slow cooker. Stir everything until well combined.
- Allow the beans to cook on high for 1 – 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally for even flavor distribution. Serves 6-8 people as a side.