Start with a 14-inch Dutch oven. Place 14 coals on top and 20 coals below.
1 lb. peppered bacon (regular bacon or pork shoulder trimmings work, too)
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 gallon Bush’s Baked Beans (or your favorite brand)
2 cans dark-red kidney beans (15 oz.)
2 cans black beans (15 oz.)
1 cup mustard 2 cups barbecue sauce (your favorite)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed tight
2 tbsps. barbecue spices (your favorite)
1 tbsp. hickory-flavored liquid smoke
1 tbsp. mesquite-flavored liquid smoke
1 bottle hot-pepper sauce (4 oz. bottle of Tabasco or similar)
Chop bacon into small pieces and fry in Dutch oven. After a few minutes, add diced peppers and onions and cook until onions start to become translucent. Add all other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil (add more coals below oven if necessary or use camp stove).
Add or subtract coals to keep beans at a simmer for 2 to 2½ hours. Stir frequently.
Remove the lid for the final 45 minutes so sauce will thicken.
Serves: 30 to 40 people
H. Kent Rappleye is past president of the International Dutch Oven Society.