Old Fashioned Settler Beans

Years ago when I lived in Alaska, I had a friend named Kathy (Tebow) Sharp who incidentally happened to be the winner of the 1976 Miss Alaska competition.  Kathy was a lovely lady inside and out, but my not being a fan of beauty pageants in general, I was more impressed with her culinary abilities. After sharing a meal with her, I was thrilled to get her recipe for the delicious Settler Beans she had prepared.  It was a perfect dish for the cold Alaska winters and continues to be a great choice for an easy at home meal lending itself perfectly for potlucks, family get togethers, and as a dish easy to share with friends and neighbors.

Kathy's Recipe is offered below as it was given to me.  However, I rarely make a recipe without changing it somewhat.  Instead of using canned beans, I cook up a variety of dried and frozen beans that I have on hand.  Today, I used a mixture of pinto beans, butter beans, black beans, and horticulture beans. (An informative article on beans including tips on how to cook them can be found at this link.)  I use approximately four pounds of my cooked beans and substitute them for the canned beans in Kathy's recipe.  I use my homemade ketchup instead of store bought and eliminate the white sugar (one could also use molasses).  Instead of baking in a casserole dish, I put all the ingredients in a slow cooker to cook.  

Old Fashioned Settler Beans 

1/2 pound of bacon chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 pound of hamburger
1/4 pound of smoked sausage sliced and halved
(2) one pound cans of pork-n-beans
(1) one pound can of kidney beans drained
(1) one pound can of butter beans drained
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/3 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 tsp of liquid smoke
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon of dry mustard

Brown bacon, onion, hamburger and sausage together.  Drain grease.  Thoroughly mix sugars, catsup, liquid smoke, dry mustard, salt and pepper.  Add to meat mixture.  Combine with beans in a large casserole dish and bake covered at 350 for one hour.  


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