Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cowboy's Baked Beans

Cowboy Greg Martin demonstrates Cowboy Cooking
This recipe share by Oklahoma Cowboy Greg Martin has long been a favorite for those who worked the cattle drives.  Although, Cowboy Bake Beans also complements many other dishes during any gathering, whether served as a side dish with Barbeque Brisket, Chicken Wings, Steak or as a hearty staple with some cornbread. 

Greg enjoys the out-door traditional cowboy style cooking where his friends and family enjoy the splendors of those meals.  Stemmed from a love of western history, Greg has been inspired from the old ways of Cowboy life but his cooking blossomed a few years ago when he worked for a working ranch that performed several large events including the Oklahoma Cattleman's Dinner cooking on a much grander scale.  His average seated meals grew from the mere 8 to 10 people to over 150 to 200 plate settings.  

Greg also enjoys riding his motorcycle and has assisted with the organization "Patriot Guard Riders" who are a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation that have an unwavering respect for those who have risked their lives for America freedom and security.  Greg states, "Being apart of the Patriot Guard Riders has been one of the most amazing things I've ever been part of.  Having the family of a fallen hero make it a point to come say thank you, when in fact we are there in order to say thank you to them, humbling to say the least." 

"Since my cooking is conducted outdoors, weather conditions effects how you cook, and I am always honing my skills about the many techniques and types of different foods."  Looking forward to spring and getting out cooking more often for family and friends, Gregg emphasized that a great deal around his cooking style is also education. "Many people are not aware as to the lifestyle and old ways of the cowboys. Often getting the crowd to ask questions from my fashionable attire of a cowboy or the cookware, to sharing stories about the cattle drives and ol' cookie, the chuck wagon cook), helps keep Cowboy traditions alive. 

Cowboy's Baked Beans

1 lb. Dried navy or Pinto beans 
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 lb. Slab bacon
3/4 cup maple syrup ( the good stuff)
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Dry mustard
Dash of cayenne pepper if you want


Soak beans in about 5-6 cups cold water and allow to soak over night.  Beans should be just slightly covered by the water.  

Build a fire when the beans have soak and are ready to cook.  Have an ample supply of wood or coals to keep a good fire going. 

Drain beans and place in your dutch oven, add enough fresh water to cover beans and place the Dutch oven over the coals and bring to a boil with out placing the lid on.  Once at a boil, put the lid on and continue at a slow boil for another 30 minutes. 

Remove from heat, drain and save your water.  Add in onions, cut your bacon into 3 or 4 chunks and toss into beans and mix.  

In separate bowl, take the water you drained off and mix with syrup, salt and mustard.  Using a dash of red pepper if you desire for some added bite, then stir and pour back over the beans stirring gently.  

Put the lid on the dutch oven, place back over coals and keep a medium heat for about 4 hours.  Occasional, lift lid to inspect, give a slight stir and keep an eye on the water level. Then after 4 hours, add additional coal to the lid and continue cooking for two more hours. This will allow the water to cook down a bit and should thicken up, but cautions not to burn the beans.  

Remove from heat and the beans are ready to serve.  Will feed about 8 people or 5 to 6 hungry cow hands. 

return to cowboy and chuckwagon cooking:

This recipe was proven to be an award winning recipe: Wayne Calk, 2013 President of the American Chuck Wagon Association wanted to step up his bean recipe for chuck wagon competition.  Receiving 8 different recipes, he narrowed his search down to two.  Liking the idea of using Maple Syrup in the recipe, he selected Greg's and took the recipe to the Cowboy Country Round-Up held in Hondo, Texas where Wayne's gamble on a new recipe proved success as his wagon team won First Place in the Beans:  Wayne caters using his restored John Deere Triumph Chuckwagon. He also has a converted Ford Model TT Truck which he restored into a Chuck-Truck.  One of perhaps three remaining in the USA today.  Read about the Amazing Truck here: 
Wayne Calk, ACWA President and Roger Edison, Cowboys and Chuckwagon Cooking


  1. Amazing. Very impressed. Beautiful way of life. Thank you.

  2. What s Cooking Food Wine Life All mixed up Love my Coach sneaks! Cooking with Amy A Food Blog.