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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce

White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce, a delicious ground beef and navy bean dish from my childhood. Simple to make, this hearty pot of beans will satisfy your hungriest of eaters! Once prepped, White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce simmers until dinner time! Feel free to use navy or great northern beans. 
Frugal and delicious, White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.

Growing up we ate very little food on a regular rotation. It seems my folks, my Dad especially, liked to eat a wide variety of different food. Living in California made this possible. Living in the Marin County area, made this easy, so many food shops of every kind are open for business. My Dad was a commercial refrigeration repairman. He was often called to the docks in San Francisco and worked on some of the largest refrigeration units in "the city" including many on large fishing and crabbing boats.

White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.

Pretty much food was everywhere, in one form or another. And Dad was in the thick of it, every day. More than once, he came home with some special "find" that captured his fancy in a market or deli tucked out of the way, yet frequented by all the hungry working people in the area. Now so many years later I realize that my Dad was a "foodie" long before the term had been coined. And lucky for him, he had a great cook in our Mom.

Easy stove-top method, White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.

But these beans were kind of a regular, maybe two or three times a year we would have White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce for supper. Usually on a Saturday, as these beans do take some time to cook. Not a lot of hands-on attention, but they do need about 4 - 5 hours of cooking time. My Dad could have eaten these much more often, there was only one little problem. Mom hated beans. So we ate beans as little as possible!

It took me years to learn to cook beans. I thought for the longest time that I didn't even like beans. Maybe it was something I had heard growing up? 
But truthfully I like beans. I simply did not know how to cook them. Once I mastered cooking beans on the stove, I began cooking them in a slow cooker, this also took some time to master. Beans, however, are worth the learning curve...and now many years later you will find many different recipes calling for beans. 

White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce, a frugal and delicious bean recipe
 Great Northern beans were used for this batch, they are equally delicious.

I have made a small change to how the beans are made. Mom and Dad both used tomato sauce. One can of tomato sauce does not seem to be enough, yet 2 cans yielded beans with too much tomato flavor. Dad would use a partial second can, Mom always used the 2 full cans. My small change is to use a can of tomatoes and "sauce" them in the blender. I think it provides just enough tomato flavor. This is a simple dish of ground beef and beans. It is homey and comforting. Serve on a soup plate and pass the salt and pepper.

Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • white beans
  • ground beef
  • thyme
  • garlic
  • canned tomatoes
  • salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
You will also need:
  • Dutch Over or large stockpot with lid
  • blender
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • large spoon
Now we are ready to begin!

Cooking White Beans and Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.
White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce. 

White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce, Our Dad Ken's favorite beans!
adapted from: my childhood memories and information gathered in conversations with my Mom.

1 pound of small white beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed. 
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 T thyme
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can ready to use diced tomatoes
black pepper (I use about 7 "grinds" on the grinder)
2 t salt


Crumble the ground beef into the bottom of the Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, brown the beef. Add the thyme, garlic, and pepper. Continue to brown until the flavors of each are fragrant. 

Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pan, stir and continue to simmer cooking the brown caramelized juices off the bottom of the pan.

Easy and delicious White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce.
Puree the tomatoes along with 1 can full of water in a blender to make a tomato slurry. 

Add to the ground beef, along with the soaked and drained beans. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pan. Let simmer for 2 hours, stirring at the one-hour mark. 

Add the 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover and simmer another 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until beans are tender. If the bean mixture is a bit soupy, turn the heat up and simmer off some of the liquid. Serve. 

Note: It was interesting to take a process that I observed as a kid and turn it into an actual recipe. I hope you enjoy these beans as much as we do. I always think of my dad as I dish up my plate.

Storage options for White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce. The cooked dish will keep very well in the refrigerator for up to four days. This dish freezes perfectly, for a second meal. Place cooked beans into a freezer bag or freezer container with a tight-fitting lid. Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat to serve. 

Featured recipe at: 
White Beans with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce featured at Farm Fresh Tuesdays Link-up!
Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household featured at Farm fresh Tuesdays Link-up!

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  1. We love beans in this house! So good for you and so filling.

  2. We do love beans, but they don't keep well in the tropics, tend to not soften up, so I usually keep the canned ones in stock.

    1. Interesting! I love learning about food and food storage from other parts! Until it is brought to one's attention, they would have no idea. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  3. I love beans! This sounds so good, comforting and filling! Yum! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!

    1. You are welcome, thanks for dropping by, I appreciate it!

  4. Nice memories of your childhood to share! We eat a lot of beans at our house. Especially during Lent, when my husband gives up meat for 40 days! This recipe sounds like a good Saturday supper meal. We'll have to try it when Lent is over! I learned to cook dried beans from my vegetarian cookbooks, so I've never cooked them along with meat.

    1. My dad was a solid meat eater, these beans however were one of his favorites. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  5. We love beans at our house!! These look delicious. Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope you have a great week and are staying warm.

  6. Yum, sounds good!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Monthly Link Party 22. Shared!

    1. Thank you Dee! I appreciate sharing with Grammy's Grid unlimited monthly party! Have a wonderful week ahead.

  7. Thanks for sharing with us at Farm Fresh Tuesdays Blog Hop! Your beans are one of my features at this week's hop, see you there!
    Melissa | Little Frugal Homestead

    1. Thank you Melissa! I appreciate sharing with Farm Fresh Tuesdays!


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