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Multibean casserole - someone mentioned having leftover link sausage - sm

Posted by Carol Reese on May 01, 2008 at 23:39:10:

Here's one way to use them. But be aware that this recipe makes a LOT! However, it does freeze well.

3 Bean Casserole

1 to 2 packages frozen lima beans (10 oz each)
3 jars or cans baked beans (approx 1 lb. 2 oz. each)(about 6 cups)
3 cans kidney beans (approx 15-16 oz. each)(about 5 cups drained)
1 lb. Sausage (breakfast, Italian, pork link, or little smokies)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Cook limas and drain. Brown breakfast sausage, breakingi nto small bits as it cooks. (If using other sausage, simmer in small amount of water 5 minutes, drain, then fry til browned. Do not prick. Cut each into 3/4 inch pieces. If using little smokies, leave whole or cut into 2 or 3 pieces.) Drain kidney beans if juicy, reserving liquid in case it is needed later. Sometimes they are too thick to drain, so donít bother.

In a large (at least 4-1/2 quart) ungreased casserole or bean pot or crock pot, combine lima beans, baked beans, kidney beans, and meat. Stir tomato sauce, catsup, brown sugar, pepper, and dry mustard together. Mix into beans. Add some bean juice if it seems too thick. It will thicken as it cooks if baked and stay about the same or get thinner if done on the stove or in the crock pot.

Bake uncovered about 1 hour or cook in crock pot at low several hour or at high 2 to 3 hours. If done ahead and refrigerated, start in crock pot at high for an hour or two, stirring 3 or 4 times, and then turn to low for several hours.

NOTES: I always use at least 16-20 ounces of lima beans because I like them. I like B&M baked beans the best for this but any brown sugar or molasses type beans, such as Bushís Original or Boston Recipe, work well. I often use two 28-ounce cans or 1 56-ounce can. Pinto beans, red beans, dark red kidney beans, black beans, or any beans of this type work well. Use canned beans or home cooked beans. I usually use black, dark red kidney, and red beans. The original recipe called for salt and half a cup (?) Of diced ham, but Iíve never added salt or used ham, though the ham would probably be good and Iíd probably use it if I happened to have some leftover. I usually use regular breakfast sausage, but my husband likes it with the hot sausage. Sometimes I use both breakfast sausage and little smokies or smoked sausage. Iíve used up to 2 pounds of meat, which just about fills up my 5-quart crock pot, but I think it would be fine with more meat. Leftovers freeze well. When you reheat it, though, add some water, because it will be quite a bit thicker. I donít think dividing and freezing before cooking would allow the flavors to blend properly. Iíve only baked it once. I do it in the crock pot or in a large pot on the stove top. I frequently take this to potlucks and get asked for the recipe.


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