Beans and franks or franks and beans, also known regionally by the brand name Beanee Weenees, is a dish that can be a main course or a side. Often served in informal settings, it is similar to pork and beans, but substitutes hot dogs for pork.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beans_and_franks
My last post, a few days ago, was the final post in my series exploring how fasoulia differs from country to country around the Arab world (it turns out it doesn’t actually vary that much, except in Yemen.) When I started on that series I thought I knew what was coming next. Beans and franks wasn’t it… It’s a little bit of a long story.
My long term followers might know what my inspiration for this blog is from occasional hints in the past, but unless you’ve really poked around my site and read the about page (note to self: the about page is over due for an update), I don’t really talk about it much. Here’s a hint: it has something to do with the quotes I start almost every post with.
I’ve been semi obsessed with lists, indexes, etc, and doing things “in order” my whole life. I started a project to cook every recipe in all my parent’s cookbooks (in order, of course) when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. That one eventually fell by the wayside, but I’ve had numerous other schemes for choosing what to cook over the years. Back in 2019, when I started this blog, I was bored with the methods I was using to choose what to cook, and stumbled across Wikipedia’s List of Foods. A new list to work my way down! Perfect! Since Wikipedia doesn’t (usually) include recipes I started using a method I’d developed a few years earlier to create an “average” recipe based on multiple online sources (maybe I’ll go into a little more detail about that in another post). At first I was just doing it for myself, but after a few weeks of it I thought I should really share my work with the world. Honestly, I think if I hadn’t started this blog I’d probably have abandoned this project by now, or at least put it on a back burner to some other project.
At the time I started, legumes were at the top of the List of Foods, hence the name and theme of this blog. Of course, you’ll notice that if you follow that link today the list starts with baked goods. Because Wikipedia is a publicly editable website, things don’t stay static, and I’ve had to come up with some protocols for what to do when I run into that. In the case of legumes vs. baked good, I’ve determined that if I ever manage to get through all the chains of pages the start from Legumes, and so “back out” to the main list again, we’ll look at whatever is on top at that point (at the moment I’m not really expecting to ever get that far… but maybe in a couple decades we’ll get there). The same thing, a major edit to the page behind me, is what happened here that has me cooking beans and franks, instead of whatever it was that I was expecting when I started on the fasoulia series.
For the last couple years I’ve been working through the baked beans page, which had a long list of “baked beans dishes from around the world”, which had devolved into just a list of bean dishes from around the world (hence my feijoada and fasoulia explorations). A month or two ago someone came along and removed that list, pointing out, rightly so, that it didn’t really belong on a page devoted to a specific preparation. While I can’t argue that the Wikipedia page needed the edit, it did change the course I’m following, and there were a few dishes on the list that I was looking forward to that I’ll now have to wait until they come up again somewhere else.
Anyway, we’ve now backed out to the “category: baked beans” page, which will have me revisiting a few old recipes, as well as a few new ones, and also puts me much closer to having to decide what to do about pages devoted to specific brands of baked beans and the Baked Bean Museum of Excellence.
Ok, so now that I’ve explained all that, what is there to say about the actual recipe? I grew up in a vegetarian household, so this dish wasn’t part of my upbringing, but apparently it’s something that a lot of Americans grew up on and remember fondly. For a lot of people it’s a regular menu item when camping. At its simplest, it’s just hot dogs sliced into the contents of a can of baked beans and warmed up, but many people take it a step further, and doctor it up with extra ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, etc. Or, if you want a slightly healthier dish you could add the hot dogs to your favorite made-from-scratch baked beans recipe.
My only real advice is to use good hot dogs. Of course I almost never buy hot dogs, so I don’t really have a sense of what I think a “good” hot dog is. Most of the recipes I looked at said they used Hebrew National all beef hot dogs. I used a different brand of all beef weiners, because they came in packs of 5 rather than 4 or 8, making it easy to get to the 10 I called for in the recipe. Luckily they were tasty and worked well in the dish.
Beans and Franks
Prep: 30 Minutes
Cook: 1 hour
8-9 strips of bacon
10 hot dogs, sliced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
3 (16 oz) cans baked beans
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 ¼ Tablespoons yellow mustard
½ cup ketchup
⅓ cup barbecue sauce
6 Tablespoons molasses
½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ⅓ teaspoon salt
3 (16 oz) cans pork and beans, in place of baked beans
A few drops of liquid smoke, to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ⅓ teaspoon celery salt
3 (15 oz) cans great northern beans, in place of baked beans
2 Tablespoons spicy mustard, in place of yellow
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place the bacon in a heavy, oven proof skillet. Turn heat to medium low and cook until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels until cool enough to handle, then crumble into bite sized pieces.
Drain off excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 Tablspoon in the pan, and cook the hot dogs until lightly browned. Set aside.
Melt the butter with the bacon grease, and sauté the onion until translucent.
Return the bacon and hot dogs to the pan, along with the baked beans, brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, barbecue, molasses, Worcestershire, pepper and salt. Mix well.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 1 hour.