Bear and I both grew up on Bootlegger Beans. He was raised in Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma and I grew up in Texas. But both of our mothers made great ‘Bootlegger’ or baked beans.
We have gone back and forth on whose recipe is best, and finally realized they were variations of the same thing. I did a little research and discovered that everyone from Heloise to Paula Deen has a version of this recipe. Some call for molasses, others use brown sugar or maple syrup. And all call for Pork & Beans! But the end result is very similar. And I still think my mom’s recipe is the best!
‘Mom’s Bootlegger Beans’ is a great side dish when summer grilling, preparing a meaty, Father’s Day feast or hosting an outdoor July 4th party. Enjoy!
Mom’s Bootlegger Beans
2 strips bacon
¼ green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cans Pork & Beans (Van Camp’s)
¼ cup Vinegar
¼ cup Molasses
¼ cup Ketchup
Mustard to taste (I used about a tablespoon)
1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
Cook bacon and remove from pan. Reserve for later. Saute bell pepper (I used yellow instead of green) and onion in bacon grease until onion is translucent. Add two regular cans Pork and Beans, cooked bacon, vinegar, molasses, ketchup, and a little mustard to taste. Add 1½ teaspoon chili powder. Pour into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling around edges, about 20 minutes. This recipe can be put together the day before and baked just before serving.