Appalachian Food

Papaw’s Mountain Beans

Papaws Mountain Beans

Mountain beans is one of my favorite things to eat when we visit Papaw and Nana. Papaw usually fixes mountain beans when he has a fish fry. His hush puppies are so good!

Easy baked beans or mountain beans

The recipe couldn’t be easier. Cook 3/4 of a medium onion chopped fine in a little oil till it starts to turn brown-then add a can of pork n beans and stir until the beans are heated.

One can of beans wouldn’t feed my bunch so I use more onion along with two cans of pork n beans.

Mountain beans

The Deer Hunter said when he was little, Papaw often took him camping in the middle prong area of Haywood County NC. Papaw cooked the beans with onions while they camped because it was an easy thing to fix. Since they were indeed in the mountains-he started calling them mountain beans.



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  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    July 11, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Pork-N-Beans and Vienna Sausages was our camping and backpacking staple when I was growing up, that and peanut butter and crackers and gorp. Of course, the highlight of any trip was when someone would toss and unopened can of Pork-N-Beans into the campfire. When we would go to my mamaw’s house, the only thing I ever recall eating was pinto beans and homemade cornbread made in a black skillet. Man, that cornbread had a great scald on it and add a load of fresh butter to it and that’s all you needed. We ate so much pinto beans there that my cousins and I, to this day, refer to them as “Mamaw Beans.” For dessert we would often have angel food cake, or a stick of peppermint or horehound candy. When nature called, we headed to the outhouse, unless Mother Nature kept us inside. Mamaw had an old JFG Coffee can, which was known as the “pee can.” But, as my momma used to say, “It’s better to have a canopy over your bed, than a can of pee under your bed.”

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I just heard that Ralph Stanley died. Oh how his voice reminds me of your father! Beautiful music in heaven.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I’d forgotten about pork and bean sandwiches! In our family we always tried to guess who would get the little cube of pork in in their serving of VanCamps pork and beans. There was never more than one cube per per can, nowadays maybe the cube is smaller.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I have fond memories of eating a can of pork n beans with my daddy. Open the can, poor in a little vinegar and always had to have saltine crackers…..yummmm… I like them warm, but I still put vinegar in them…ill have to try the sautéed onions..

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    June 13, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Sounds so good, especially with cornbread or biscuits to sop up the juice. I’ll admit I’ve gotten lazy about beans and usually make Bush’s Homestyle, but sometimes, if I have it, I’ll add a sauteed chopped green pepper and, of course, bacon bacon bacon. Yummm…
    Prayers everyone’s having a safe and blessed week.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    June 13, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I love beans and this recipe reminds me of how I fix mine – doctored pork and beans. I started doctoring cans of beans years ago after I read The Baked Bean Supper Murders by Virginia Rich. Baked beans were a big deal in the town the book takes place in. One of the recipes in the book (she had the recipes in the back) was Margo’s Heretical Baked Beans – instead of cooking dried beans, she used, gasp, 2 cans of pork and beans, onion, pineapple, and… whiskey! That began my quest to try all sorts of things with a can of pork and beans. We’re always changing it up.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Mmmm Mmmm MMMMMM! Nothing like some good ‘ol beenie-weenies! Early in my Army career C-Rations had them….one beenie – weenie meal in a case of 12… They were like “gold”.
    Now-a-days…. …MRE’s not so much so… Although, I always have a couple in my hunting pack just in case
    Thanks for bringing back more good memories Tipp!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I thought this recipe may be like I just made for supper. Until I married my husband, I’d never had hamburger & beans. Fried hamburger (venison) with onions & celery & whatever seasonings you like. Two to three cans Bush’s beans (any variety). I prefer putting them in the crock pot to cook slowly. Sometimes I add a small can of tomato paste to thicken it a bit. Yummy & very hearty. Corn bread is great with it.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Tom-follow the link below to see the hush puppy recipe. I need to do an updated version-Ill add that to my list : )

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I eat a lot of pork and beans and rarely find the little cube of pork any more. Pork is list as an ingredient but it is 9th on the list . The little cans I eat have 2% of the daily fat intake and a trace of cholesterol. Personally I think they would be just fine without the the pork anyway. It’s that red gravy that makes them so good.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    June 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

    I wonder how many young people ever eat pork and beans, I can remember eating them on Saturdays with my father when we went out to cut wood or fishing, nothing better and I still like them. As stated above the Vienna sausages went with them.
    I guess they were poor people food, but I never felt poor. You are not poor as long as you have food to eat, a place to live and a loving family. The food we ate back then was healthier than today’s fast food and everything packed full of chemicals.
    Beans like this are a main ingredient for an English breakfast so this isn’t just in the US.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 13, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I like my pork and beans cold. Like in the refrigerator cold. And my onions the same. I had some last night. Hot broccoli with cheese sauce and cold pork and beans.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    June 13, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Love me some pork and beans. My dad and I used to eat them cold with a slice of white bread when I was little. I like to fix them with onion, brown sugar, a little mustard and bacon put them in the oven, YUM.

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    June 13, 2016 at 10:39 am

    My buddy and me take pork and beans and an onion on our hunting trips.This works out good for me.He won’t eat the fat pork,but I will.Have any of you had a can of pork and beans that they left out the pork? I have.
    My wife fixes the recipe like yours,but adds hot sauce or cayenne pepper.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    When I first saw the topic, I thought Tony had some Green Beans we hadn’t never seen. After I saw it was pork n’ beans I decided us mountain folks are alot alike. I fix Native Rainbows and pork n’ beans and cornbread when I have fish.
    Me and James (my friend and neighbor) went over to Ledbetter Creek awhile back and had a fish fry. We had fried taters, fish, and pork n’ beans and I fried Garlic Bread and made the coffee. As we were enjoying our meal, Mildred Johnson’s daughter drove up with her grandson. They were gonna go up the Creek and get something special for his school project. When they returned, I hollered at them and offered food if they were hungry. We had never seen these folks before, and
    they lived at the top of Granny Squirrel. After we ate, we had the daughter to take
    her mama some Native Trout and other things. The next day Mildred called me and thanked us, saying that really hit the spot. …Ken

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I made a big pot of beans this very morning, and had a bowl for breakfast – and I also started with chopped onion and a big can of baked beans 🙂

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

    You can’t get much more Appalachian than a can of Van Camp’s Pork n’ Beans. Bringing back those memories with those Mountain Beans. I ate pork n’ beans lots growing up, and occasionally I still like to heat up a can with toast. I just may try the onions next time, because onions make just about anything taste good.
    So amazing how good food tastes while camping or fishing along the river bank. One of my favorites was sardines, and they were wonderful with crackers while fishing along the river. I never touched them otherwise, and I am certain I could never try them again. Pickled pig feet, chicken gizzards, and livers were eaten frequently back in the day–also not sure they will ever be on the table. Healthier replacements are used now, but they are sooo boring.

  • Reply
    Kathy Poteet Dubree
    June 13, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Slice up some wieniers and throw in the pot and you have you have a meal.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Yum! Those beans look delicious. We love a good hush puppy too. Is there any chance you could share Papaw’s hush puppy recipe?

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    June 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I would love this as I have been known to have pork and beans with crackers and a slice of sweet onion for lunch.
    We have to have white beans with fish plus fried potatoes, hush puppies, slaw, and sliced onions. We haven’t had much this year–my husband hasn’t had much luck fishing for a while. Not a single mess of crappie which is my favorite.

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 9:23 am

    I haven’t eaten pork n beans for a long time but I used to add onion like your Papaw and eat them with mashed potatoes. The beans went on top of the potatoes like gravy. Thanks for reminding me!

  • Reply
    June 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

    I love pork and beans and I love onions. When I fix pork and beans, I add bacon and a little brown sugar and stick them in the oven for a few minutes. Papaw’s recipe sounds better and easier too.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    June 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

    I used to love making baked beans from Pork-n-Beans when I was growing up. I would drain the juice, add sautéd onions, a little molasses and/or brown sugar, a dash of Worcester sauce, a tiny dab of yellow mustard, and black pepper. Stir is up, throw it in a casserole dish, top it with bacon and cook it in the oven. “Mountain Beans” are a lot easier, and I’m sure they are delicious, especially when camping! Yum!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Good basic guy recipe that can be ramped up with all kinds of additions; bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, barbeque sauce, ground beef, bacon etc. You’ve got me wanting some.

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    June 13, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Beans. The poor man’s meat. A lot of things are more expensive but with seasoning and cornbread there is nothing better. I will try these.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 13, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Most of the time adding onions didn’t happen….but I think the addition of the onions make pork n’ beans taste much better…When I was a girl, a fishing trip consisted of a can of cold pork n’ beans, a Mrs. Kinser’s store bought chicken, ham salad or pimento salad made on the spot and potato chips, if we were lucky! Potato chips wasn’t the norm! The salad was easy to pack in a old aluminum cooler, over ice, reserved to dip in cups for the tea. Usually we drank tea Mom made and put in one of those big thermoses…Dessert was graham crackers slathered in peanut butter, wrapped up in wax paper…This was the quick picnic for a short trip to the river! I don’t know how it tasted so good to us kids….
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Dad usually opened a can of Vienna sausages to go with his cold beans…back then us kids preferred sandwiches!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 13, 2016 at 7:58 am

    That is a fine looking meal on that plate! It’s been years since I ate mountain beans but I still remember how good they are. I’d probably add a little brown sugar to if I cooked it now.

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