Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Eating on the Cheap - Cowboy Dinner

Okay, in keeping with my post yesterday, I thought I'd post a recipe or two this week to help the budgetarily deficit.  So here's a recipe I came up with that we had for dinner the other night (and many other nights).  I call it Cowboy Dinner.

Cowboy Dinner

1 large can baked beans
1 small can baked beans
4 bun-sized smoked sausage
1/2 large onion
2 strips bacon
ketchup (optional)
BBQ sauce (optional)

Slice bacon strips into approx. 1" pieces.  Begin browning bacon.  Slice smoked sausage into about 1/2" thick slices.  Add sausage to pan with bacon.  Chop onion into about 3/4" pieces.  Once sausage and bacon are browned (but not crisp), dump them into a crock pot.  Put onion pieces into pan to brown.  Open cans of baked beans and dump those into the crock pot.  Stir together.  Take onion (not too browned or only just beginning to get clear is fine) and add that to the pot.  Stir until well combined.  Add in about one good squirt of ketchup (about 1Tbsp) and two dollops of BBQ sauce (about 2 Tbsp).  Stir.  Turn crock pot on high and let sit for 3-4 hours - stirring occasionally.  Add salt or pepper to taste if you choose.  Spoon into bowls and serve. 

With this recipe, you can obviously add more of anything or less of anything depending on your budget and the number of people you have to feed.  If you can't afford bacon, leave it out or use whatever REAL bacon bits you can find (Walmart's version of them is inexpensive and good.)  If you can't afford BBQ sauce, add in some chili powder and some brown sugar.  Don't have brown sugar, try maple syrup - but go easy on those or it'll be too sweet. 

As for the smoked sausage, I used BAR-S because I bought a bulk pack of 12 of those puppies and they weren't awesome on a bun, so I came up with this recipe to make them not suck.  And you could probably use pork-n-beans if you can afford those more easily than baked beans.  Work with it and work with your budget until you hit on a combination you enjoy and that you can afford. 

If you don't have a crock pot, use the biggest pot you have and cook it on low until it bubbles.  Everything in it is already cooked, so use your best judgment.  The extra cooking just helps meld the flavors better.

This fed both of us with enough leftovers for two lunches or another dinner (so 2-4 more bowls).


  1. Sounds lovely. I always tell my kids that if I've got bread, eggs & tins of beans I can eat like a queen! Obviously they think I'm nuts, but there you go.

  2. Lawyer Guy would love this, especially if I switched the smoked sausage to hot links. :)