Three Brothers Casserole

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This is a recipe that I found somewhere a long time ago and had wanted to make, but had never done so because it called for a tin of Ranch Style Beans, and that wasn't something you could get over here in the UK.  There's plenty of beans in tomato sauce . . . a multitude of brands, but that's the only baked beans you find here.  There are also lots of different types of tinned cooked beans, plain in water, but no such thing as Ranch Beans.

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Not knowing what Ranch Style Beans are, always kept me from  making it.  But I found this recipe again the other day and I thought I would do a search on Ranch Style Beans and I found a copycat recipe for them.   So I decided I would take the bull by the horns and make my own Ranch Style Beans and then I could make this delicious sounding casserole.

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I was very pleased with the way it turned out.  It was quite delicious and even had the household pasta hater going back for seconds!  Having never tasted real tinned Ranch Style Beans, I can't vouch for it's authenticity.

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I think I might even dare to say that this version using a home-made version of the beans is much tastier than any version using a tin of ready made beans.

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It was hearty and filling and quite, quite delicious.  I served it to several hungry missionaries (who were both American) and had no complaints either!  I love it when that happens. ☺

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*Three Brothers Casserole*
Serves 6 to 8
A delicious and economical casserole.   Plan ahead as the beans need to simmer for about an hour before proceeding to the rest of the recipe.  (If you are in America you may forgo that part of the recipe and just use a tin of Ranch Style Beans, undrained.)

For the beans:
1 400g tin of cooked pinto beans, undrained (14 ounce tin)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (14 ounce tin)
100g of bacon lardons (about 1/4 cup) (chopped bacon pieces, thick cut)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp mild chili powder or to taste
1 tsp powdered chicken stock
1 TBS soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp seasoning salt

For the remainder of the casserole:
4 ounces of uncooked spaghetti
1 pound of extra lean ground beef
1 tin of condensed cream of tomato soup (batchelors or campbells)
4 ounces (1 cup) of grated strong cheddar cheese
salt and black pepper to taste

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First make the beans.  Add the bacon lardons to a medium sized saucepan.  Cook until the fat begins to render out and they start to brown.  Add the chopped onion.  Cook stirring until the onion has softened.  Stir in the garlic and remainder of the seasonings, along with the brown sugar.  Cook and stir until it's quite fragrant.  Add the undrained tomatoes and the undrained beans.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for about an hour, til slightly thickened and well flavoured.  Set aside.

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Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions and then drain well and rise.  Drain again.  Dump into a bowl.   Brown the ground beef in a skilled, stirring frequently.  Drain and then stir into the spaghette along with the tin of soup and the beans.   Mix all together well.  Season with a bit of salt and black pepper to taste.   Pour into a 9 inch square deep baking dish.   Sprinkle with the cheese.   Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling, heated through and lightly browned.  Serve hot.

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Note:  You can make this ahead up to the baking point.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator.  IN this case cook the spaghetti until only al dente.  Bring to room temperature before baking.


  1. This looks so good. I'm sure the seasoning you used gave it a great flavor.

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  3. I'd rather have your version than the canned ranch beans any day!

  4. Yum, I am heating up the oven too! This looks like perfect comfort food. I love your spooky shepherd's pie too! What fun for the kiddies.

  5. Thanks girls. It's really tasty! Go on, heat up the oven! xx


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