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Red-Eye Baked Beans #CowboyDayCookAlong

Recipe for Rebels invited me join in on a Cowboy Day Cook Along. Read his invitation here.

Not knowing what to make, I put out the question to social media. I got sixty-six responses. Sixty-six? Who knew that that many of my friends and family would have opinions. Here are some:

  • Beans
  • Steak, baked beans, and cornbread
  • Baked beans. Steaks over a campfire.
  • Cowboy caviar
  • Beans and cornbread
  • Pinto beans, cornbread
  • Beans, bacon and lard
  • Ribeyes. Beans.
  • Ribs. Beans.
  • Meat and potatoes
  • Beans in a can
  • Short ribs and ranch beans

You see a trend, right? The funniest suggestion was my cousin's who wrote: "Cowboy cooking + Cam = Rocky Mountain oysters." My nephew, a rancher, responded that he could help. Gulp. I will try anything once, but I raised the question to my trio and they all shook their heads. No, no, and nope. Fine. Back to the beans.

I started with dry beans. Click for a how-to: here. You can do this the night before and keep in the fridge till you're ready to use them. If you are using pre-cooked beans, I think I had about 4-5 cups. These are red-eye beans because I add in espresso or coffee. If you don't drink coffee, skip it and substitute apple juice or stock.

  • 1 lb dry beans, soaked and prepared (or 4 to 5 C cooked beans)
  • 5 strips thick bacon
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into coins
  • 2 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 C organic ketchup
  • 2 T mustard
  • 2 T unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 C espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/2 C organic dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 C apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 3 links cooked pork sausages, sliced into thick coins

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large, thick-bottomed pan, cook the bacon and sliced leeks until the fat has been rendered but the bacon is not crispy. Add the apples and beans.

Stir in everything else until well-combined. Place in a baking dish. Bake, covered with foil, for 90 minutes. Uncover and stir in the cooked sausages. Cover again and return to the oven for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.

I served this batch with spareribs and coleslaw.


  1. Those look like about the tastiest beans I've ever seen! I can practically smell that sweet and spicy fragrance wafting through the house now! Love your recipe! (It's a shame those Rocky Mountain Oysters got such a vehement veto! lol) Thanks for contributing Camilla!

    1. Thanks for inviting me. One of these days, I might be able to convince them. I mean, they eat tripe and fish eyeball for goodness sake. LOL.


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