This recipe is modified from a cookbook that my parents gave me when my husband and I got married 32 years ago. It was a fund-raiser for St. Patrick's Catholic Church, where we belonged, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. I was always looking for new recipes to try, and this one is a family favorite. It is the most requested side dish when we have cook-outs, and my now adult children always take the leftovers back with them.
In a large pan, fry the bacon to crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1-2 Tbsp. bacon grease. Saute onions. Add the ground beef and brown. Remove excess fat. Season with Gateway to the North, salt, and additional pepper to taste. Now mix in tomato soup, flour, brown sugar, and Pomegranate molasses. Break bacon into small pieces. Place bacon and beans into a large dutch oven or oven save large pot. Add the meat mixture and mix together. Readjust seasonings to taste. Heat in 350 degree oven for one hour. Alternately: place in a crockpot and heat on low until warmed through, approximately 4 hours, then turn to keep warm setting.
The leftovers freeze well.
Also, re: the recipe: I don't use specific measurements for the seasonings, but rely on taste. I am guessing on the amount of Gateway to the North that I use.
Finally, I find that if I can make it the day before and let it sit overnight, the flavors meld nicely, but it is good either way!
This recipe was provided by Carole G from Appleton