So here is what I came up with, over 30+ years of cooking these beans. You can adjust the amounts easily, as I have cooked them for just a handful, or for as many as 400. Yes, I did say 400.
They go well as a side dish with pork and chicken, but I have served them from time to time with beef, as well.
They are as colorful as they are good, and only YOU will know how to make them this good...
...it starts with the meat! Now, we all know that in a medium sized can of 'pork' and beans, there is a little slither of pork fat and that's about it. THAT, I thought, was the main missing ingredient! So we start with a pound of pork, a pound of poultry (chicken or turkey), or a pound of beef. Pick the two you like best, or even do all three! But at least pick two. We are going for flavor here...
I chose pork and chicken on this cook, as I often refer to them as my "Pork and Beans".
Saute the pork until it is just pink, then remove to rest. Do the same with the chicken.
For a serving for 12-15, I use one pound of each meat.
Place the chopped meat into your trusty crockpot. You've seen that I do a lot of slow cooking. These beans CAN be prepared on my Big Green Egg, and if in bulk, they go into turkey pans in the cooking chamber of my rolling smoker. That's how you cook for a crowd, though. A turkey pan holds 50 servings of my beans. But that's another story. Drag out the crock pot. Dust it off, and plug it in on high temp.
Next, we are both looking for color and taste. In this sized cooking, use 4-6 Roma tomatoes, diced to the same general size as your meat. Roma are best because they are more meaty, and hold together better cooked than most other types of tomatoes. Add the chopped/diced tomatoes to your crock pot with the meat. One bunch green onions should then be completely sliced into 1/4 inch lengths and added to the pot. Dice one small to medium onion into small pieces and add to the pot.
Open a 53 ounce can of Van Camp's Pork and Beans, and discard the liquid. Pour beans into the crock pot. Open a 15 ounce can of Van Camp's P & B, pour it WITH its liquid, into the crock pot.
Add 1/4 cup of yellow mustard, 1/2 cup of brown sugar (light or dark, your choice), 2 teaspoons of celery seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Mix all ingredients well.
1- 15 oz. can Van Camp's Pork and Beans
1 bunch green onions
4-6 Roma tomatoes
1 small to medium sweet onion
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup Brown sugar (light or dark, your choice)
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound each of TWO of the following three meats:
`Boneless chicken breast
Cook in crock pot for 4-5 hours at high heat in covered crockpot, stirring occasionally. If beans become too dry, add a small amount of water and stir. After no more than 5 hours, reduce heat to low. Beans may remain on low for up to three hours before serving.
This volume serves 12 people. Add more beans for up to 20 without adding any other ingredients.