A few weeks ago when we featured good old baked beans in this column as an economical alternative for supper, Peggy Drinkwater in Green-bush was inspired to send along a recipe she likes that uses baked beans. Chuck Wagon Beans will remind you a little bit of chili with its mixture of ground beef, beans and a healthy shot of ketchup.

It occurs to me that this might be a good way to use ground venison or moose meat if you have that in your freezer or in the offing with a hunter in the family. If you want to take a lower-fat route, you could use ground turkey. If you like spicy sausage, substitute that for the hamburg. Don’t forget that if you have leftover baked beans you can use 3 cups of those instead of canned beans.

Peggy recommends pea beans, and adding ground gin-ger, optional, to cut down on gas. Ah, yes, beans, beans, the musical fruit, etc. Even if the ginger has no impact on the famous side effect of bean eat-ing, it might very well improve the flavor. Feel free to be generous with the mustard, ginger, onion and Worcestershire. You could put a little chili powder in it, or even cumin and garlic.

Chuck Wagon Beans

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound hamburg

1 28-ounce can baked beans or 3 cups leftover baked beans

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Salt and pepper

1 large onion chopped

½ cup ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon ginger

Brown the hamburg and drain off excess fat. Put beans, browned burger and the rest of the ingredients into a 1½-quart casserole, cover, and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

To microwave the dish: put into a microwave-safe dish, cook on high for five minutes, then 10 to 15 minutes on medium.

To make in a crockpot, cook on high for two hours.

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...