Ultimate BBQ Baked Beans (even if you don't like beans at all)
Usually when you see baked beans at a get together, they are pretty lack luster and uneventful...basically "meh" and not worth including on your plate. People crack open a can and at best, put a little onion or bacon in there to jazz it up, but it really doesn't do enough.
The recipe below changes all of that. I have served it to people who don't like baked beans who literally shovel spoonful after spoonful in their mouths and can't believe how good they are.
Note that this is a pretty flexible recipe, so I usually start with the ingredients listed as a basic guideline and deviate each time. I don't really measure things anymore and it comes out different, but fantastic every time.
This is a pretty big recipe, makes enough for probably 20-30 people as a side item.
Prepare to taste awesomeness.
1 pound Jimmy Dean "Hot" Sausage
3 big cans Bush's Baked Beans (different flavors)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 or 4 tablespoons of liquid smoke
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2-3 cups of BBQ sauce (I like to mix sauces, some sweet and others spicy)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: cayenne pepper, Sri Racha hot sauce, onion, bacon, etc.
Break up and brown the sausage in a pan over the stove. When finished, drain the meat and drop into a crock pot.
Remove lids from BBQ beans and hold the lid down over the beans while you drain out the liquid from the inside into the sink (sometimes I keep a little liquid).
Drop the beans into the crock pot and stir in with the sausage. Go ahead and turn crock pot on at this point (high if you need them soon, low if you have a few hours).
Combine maple syrup, brown sugar, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper to taste and BBQ sauce into the crock put, stirring after each ingredient. At this point you will want to start taste testing and adding ingredients as needed.
Cook on low for half a day or so, or if you need to serve sooner, cook on hot for 2-3 hours.
My preferred ingredients above and beyond the basic recipe are Cayenne Pepper and Sri Racha hot sauce. I like it sweet and spicy, so usually add about 1 tablespoon of Cayenne to start, then increase as needed. Add Sri Racha the same way until the taste is right to you.
Get creative adding new things! I think next time I might use 2 sausages since people really seem to like the sausage too (that's what she said).
I'll add pics the next time I make it...forgot to this time.