It’s been a while since I’ve made straight-up simple comfort food, and after a particularly long week, comfort food was definitely in order.
These BBQ Beef and Beans are a cross between baked beans and beef chili. They’re hearty and flavorful, they prepare meals well, and they can be as simple or as “from scratch” as you like.
I’ve included instructions for making them vegetarian or increasing the vegetable content below, so keep scrolling to see more!
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN
To make this dish vegetarian, replace the Worcestershire sauce with a vegetarian version (Worcestershire contains anchovies).
The most popular brand is Annie’s Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, which can be found at stores such as Whole Foods or other large grocers.
Simply replace the ground beef with one more can of beans to make your BBQ sauce vegetarian.
I recommend pinto beans so you have a nice variety of shapes and colors with your beans, but you could also double up on kidney or black beans.
SEARING GREEN BEANS
Unlike our Chicken with String Beans recipe, the string beans in this recipe are seared, similar to our Sichuan Dry Fried String Beans recipe.
The green beans become wrinkly as a result of the cooking process, making it easier for them to cling to the sauce in the dish.
You can also steam the string beans, as we do in the chicken version of this dish.
Overall, this is a simple and tasty recipe, especially if you already have our 10 Essential Chinese Pantry Ingredients on hand!
WHAT DOES CUTTING AGAINST THE GRAIN MEAN?
Cutting against the grain is something I talk about a lot when it comes to cooking thinly sliced meats (especially lean meats like flank steak or chicken breast).
Consider meat (which is essentially muscle tissue) to be a collection of interconnected fibers. If you had a bunch of green beans banded together, that’s what you’d get.
Instead of chewing on a long piece of green bean, cut thin sheets of many green beans.
When chewing, you’ll notice how much easier it is to chew through these smaller pieces rather than one long piece.
PUMP UP THE VEGETABLES
Normally, I try to incorporate vegetables into my dishes whenever possible, but today I just wanted to keep things as simple as possible.
If you want to add some vegetables to balance things out, you can do so with a diced onion, diced bell pepper, or even shredded cabbage (make it easy and use bagged shredded coleslaw mix, a couple handfuls added when you brown the beef should do it).
HOMEMADE BBQ SAUCE VS. STORE BOUGHT
I had been working on a homemade BBQ sauce recipe this week, so I used it in this recipe instead.
If you don’t want to make your own or don’t have the ingredients on hand, substitute 1 cup of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce.
HOW TO SERVE BBQ BEEF AND BEANS
I served mine bowl-style over brown rice, topped with cheddar and green onion, but you could also serve this as a slider or sloppy joe on a bun! Or simply by itself with some saltine or oyster crackers.
HOW TO MAKE A GROUND BEEF STIR FRY
For this recipe, we make a quick sauce that is more flavorful than any store-bought stir fry sauce, then pour it over the ground beef and let it marinate for about 20 minutes while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.
I usually prepare some rice to go with this. After that, trim and cut your green beans.
The green beans will be quickly sautéed until browned and blistered, which gives them great flavor and texture.
Then take the pan off the heat and add the ground beef. When the ground beef is done, return it to the pan and stir to combine.
Allow to cook until the majority of the excess moisture has evaporated – this will concentrate the flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fill a large pot halfway with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender but firm. Depending on the variety, most beans will cook in 45 minutes to 2 hours. Try a taste test or mash a bean against the side of the pot with a fork or spoon on a regular basis.
Traditional seasoning meats like salt pork, bacon, and ham are what give a pot of simmering beans that savory, meaty flavor.
Toss drained/rinsed/dried beans with olive oil (or avocado oil) and seasonings of choice. Crushed whole seeds (coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard, and so on), woodsy herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage), red pepper flakes, crushed garlic cloves, and, of course, salt and pepper can be added.
Beans and other legumes can help you lose weight. Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and other legumes are examples. These foods are high in protein and fiber, two nutrients that promote satiety.