Spring is here and I’m starting to think about grilling and all the side dishes that go with it. One of Josh’s favorite restaurants is Famous Dave’s. He loves BBQ and especially BBQ ribs. When I was out of town about a year ago, somehow he got Brianna to eat and fall in love with BBQ, and now they both love Famous Dave’s. If I had to, I could order for Josh every time we go, because he always has the same thing: a slab of ribs with two sides of their beans. So last summer, I decided to try and recreate the Famous Dave’s beans. I went looking for a knockoff recipe, and after I found one, I did what I always do: adapted it to suit our tastes. One word of warning, this isn’t the quickest recipe ever but it is SO tasty.

Knockoff Baked Beans

Ingredients:
* 6-8 strips of thick cut bacon
* 1 beef strip steak or BBQ rib meat**
* 1 teaspoon steak seasoning (whichever brand you prefer)
* 8 oz Hillshire Farm smoked sausage
* 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
* 2 (28 ounce) cans bush’s baked beans (whichever flavor you like)
* 1 (20 ounce) bottle your favorite brand/flavor barbecue sauce, I usually use a brown sugar bold sauce but anything goes

Directions

1.Fry bacon in a skillet until crisp. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.
2. Chop or crumble the bacon and set aside.
3. Sprinkle steak with seasoning, grill or saute over high heat until medium. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes (you can do this first if you’re sauteeing).
4. Grill or saute sausage until nicely done. Slice the sausage length wise into halves then slice into quarters then cut quarters into cubes. (again, you can do this first if sauteeing).
5.Saute onions and jalapeno in reserved bacon drippings in a skillet until tender.
6. Stir in bacon, steak, sausage, beans and bbq sauce.
7. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

The flavor is enhanced if stored covered in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours and reheated just before serving.

**I included the original recipe instructions, which makes this sound like a LOT of work for baked beans, with all the meat you have to cook. The trick here is to throw leftover meat (steak, BBQ ribs or pork chops) already cooked and cut up into a baggie in the freezer. Even small amounts. Just keep adding to the same gallon-sized bag. Then, when you want to make these beans you’re 1) using something you might have otherwise thrown away and 2) not having to worry about cooking up the meat. You’ll just defrost it and give it a quick saute to heat it up a little.

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