Markham cowboy beans [Recipe]


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Great northern beans got a bit of a shout-out in our bean roundup last month, and they are the star of the following cowboy beans recipe. The old family recipe packs a flavorful punch, and hits the spot for people in states where spring finally sprung only to let winter bully its way back in days later.



  • 1 pound navy or great northern beans, soaked fast or overnight

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1/2 pound bacon or salt pork, diced

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid

  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard or 2 teaspoons prepared mustard

  • 1/4 cup molasses (light or dark ) or 1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce



  • Boil the beans until tender, about 20 minutes. Do not salt.

  • Drain, reserving 1 cup of liquid.

  • Place 1/2 beans in casserole dish (3 quarts should do it).

  • Add half the onion, half the bacon or salt pork, all of tomatoes, half the mustard and half the molasses.

  • Repeat layers, adding hot and Worcestershire sauce.

  • Add reserved bean water to cover beans (you can also add additional water or stock to cover).

  • Cover with foil.

  • Bake at 250 for 4 hours. You can also cook in a slowcooker for 10-12 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.


Anne Markham Wurl is a home cook with three grown kids and a couple of grandkids. The recipe is her Nana's. She grew up in Arkansas and was an Olympic javelin thrower in the 1932 summer games.