Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beal Street Baked Beans

Seventy degrees outside and I'm off to the store to purchase yet another bag of mesquite chunks of wood. About to fire up the grill and throw some all American red meat on those hot coals and aggravate my neighbors one more time as smoke permeates the entire block we live on.

I have two great stories of my summer barbecue shenanigans while living in Dallas but I'll save one for another day and spill out this one for now.

My senior level account executive that I was working under at this small agency in North Dallas in 1992 knew very well of my affections for smoked meat. I had brought in a fairly decent job and as a thank you, he went out and purchased me my very first barbecue pit.

Well I couldn't wait to get it home and quickly put it together and placed it strategically in my back yard ready to break in a ten pound brisket that I had taken great care in rubbing down with all kinds of goodness.

I fired up the pit and went inside not really thinking too much about it and pulled the brisket out to warm into room temperature.

About one hour later, the entire University Park fire department had ascended into my backyard with truck in tow geared up with oxygen masks and axes in hand ready to put out what they thought would be at least a three alarm fire.

Much to their surprise and aggravation, they were shocked to see a barbecue pit pushing out more smoke than probably what was allowed in the city limits.

With disgruntled looks on their faces, they headed back to their truck at which point I yelled at them, "You boys come on back in about ten hours!"

They were not amused.

With any barbecue dish, you've got to have baked beans and summer time is definitely a calling card for this staple side item. And the best recipe I've ever had for baked beans comes right out of the Memphis Junior League Cook Book titled, Heart and Soul.

I promise you that they will come running back for seconds on this so make sure you make plenty. I double it on most occasions.

Beal Street Baked Beans

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I've replaced this with sausage before and it's off the hook.)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 cups catsup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
2 16-ounce cans pork and beans

Cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown, sprinkling with lemon-pepper seasoning and garlic powder. Drain and add catsup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Carefully stir in beans until well mixed. Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 10-12

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