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California Barbecued Beans, adapted from Cook's Country


I adapted this recipe for California Barbecued Beans after making it, the first time. By reducing the brown sugar, increasing the dry mustard and doubling the taco sauce, the beans turned out perfectly. The recipe called for taco sauce, but I made my own and it was very easy and quite tasty.

This dish is perfect served with our Santa Maria Tri-Tip recipe and homemade salsa.

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  • 8 slices thick cut bacon , chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 pound pink kidney beans , soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup canned tomato puree
  • 1 cup bottled taco sauce*
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dry mustard
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Servings 4
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 90mins
Adapted from


Step 1

If you can find them, pinquito beans (a variety grown in the Santa Maria Valley) are traditional in this dish. Bottled taco sauce is available in the Mexican aisle of most grocery stores. Don't add the tomato puree, taco sauce, brown sugar, and salt before the beans have simmered for an hour; they will hinder the proper softening of the beans.

Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until fat renders and pork is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beans and water and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until beans are just soft, about 1 hour.

Place in sauce pan and stir well, simmer at a very low temperature for 15- 20 minutes.
Remove and cool.
May be kept in refrigerator for several days.

Stir in tomato puree, taco sauce, sugar, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are completely tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 hour. (If mixture becomes too thick, add water.)
Season with kosher salt, if needed.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.

(Beans can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)


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