Back To School BBQ

Back2schoolOur neighbors, on both sides of us, have established a back-to-school tradition of getting together the evening before school starts and having a barbecue together.

Even though my baby is 28 years old, and thankfully out of school and gainfully employed, they allow John and I to attend. Our three houses, between children, parents, and guests, has swelled to 14 people!

One house always hosts.  They also have a picnic table that the children like to gather around, giggle, and enjoy their time together away from the eyes of their parents (so they think). This house barbecued three different varieties of brats and some hotdogs. They also provided fresh veggies with a dip that consisted of one packet of Hidden Valley seasoning and a 16 oz container of sour cream. Everyone loved it! I may try this with Fage 0% Greek yogurt and see if there is much of a difference.

Our other neighbors provided a potato casserole and fresh fruit. To round out the menu, I make a dessert and apple baked beans.

These beans are so good, that I have never met a person that didn’t like them.  Even non-bean people like them I pinky swear.  I have made them at least 6 times this summer.  They go great with burgers, ribs, or just about any grilled protein.  They also reheat well.  I have even put them in the freezer, and they reheated just perfectly.  Since the recipe makes so much, I will often put extra in the freezer in smaller containers, for when it’s just my hubby and I.

Apple Baked Beans - HostessAtHeartI love cooking in cast-iron. I am lucky that my husbby and his family were campers. We inherited a great variety of skillet sizes. I bought a dutch oven some years back, and we use it in the oven, on the grill, and on John’s “Big Green Egg”. If you take care of them, they will last longer than you. The only drawback is that they are heavy. Take care when removing one of these babies when it’s full of food from the oven. I leave it up to my hubby, and his strong guns, when he’s home. You don’t have to use cast-iron for this recipe. A large deep sided oven-safe pan would work just fine.  I will refer to our pan as a dutch oven for the recipe instructions.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Heat a dutch oven over a medium heat. When hot, add 3 to 4 pieces of bacon, diced. You could use ground beef, pulled pork, or sausage in addition to or instead of bacon. Bacon for Apple Baked Beans1HostessAtHeartContinue cooking bacon until cooked but not crisp. Remove the bacon from the dutch oven and set aside. To the bacon grease, add 1 medium diced onion and 1/2 diced green pepper. Allow this mixture to cook until softened and slightly brown. Remove the dutch oven from heat and add 3-16 ounce cans of pork and beans, mostly drained. I like the Original Busch beans. You can use whatever you like. To the beans, add 1 can of apple pie filling (chop apples into smaller pieces), 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (whatever you like), 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce, 1 or 2 finely diced jalapenos, and 2 tablespoons yellow mustard. My hubby used Dijon mustard once, and I think it made a difference. I like the plain ole yellow stuff better. Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Bake for 1 hour without a lid. I like them to reduce and it allows the sauce to thicken. Stir a couple times throughout the cooking time. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can simmer on the stovetop for 30 minutes.

You can add more beans if you have a larger crowd. I have added up to 5 cans, but don’t increase the brown sugar. They will be sweet enough. Also, you can add more jalapeno if you like it spicier or even add a a teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder. My 3 cans would have fed 18 to 20 people.

Apple Baked Beans

  • Servings: 18-20
  • Time: 1 hr, 20 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

3-4 Slices Bacon, diced
3 16 oz can pork and beans, mostly drained
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (your preference)
1 can apple pie filling, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs yellow mustard
1-2 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced

1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Brown bacon and remove from pan. Saute onion and green pepper in bacon grease. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake uncovered for 1 hour, or simmer on stovetop for 30 minutes.

Recipe provided by HostessAtHeart

I can’t wait until our next gathering.  We have such a great time, and I am sure the memories we are making will be happy ones.

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13 thoughts on “Back To School BBQ

  1. What a neat idea that all the neighbors get together and do this! What a great menu! I love, love baked beans …what would a BBQ be without them!? I make mine the same except I have never thought to add the apple pie filling …I will definitely have to try this.


  2. It is so nice to be close with your neighbours and to have a BBQ together :)
    So kind of them to let you and your son still attend :) But I believe that’s actually quite normal given the fact that you are neighbours ^^
    That dish of yours looks great!


  3. It looks really really good and I love cooking in cast iron too :) I have a different recipe use lamb instead of pork and I drizzle a little of vinegar on the top before serving! Your recipe look very yummy, Julie!


  4. Wow, I have never heard of putting apples in baked beans before! I’m taking baked beans (one of my few specialties) to a picnic tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll try this! Your back to school picnic sounds wonderful! :)


  5. Pingback: Skillet Apple Pie | HostessAtHeart

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