Gampy’s Beans

Sunday, September 21st, 2014
Dried beans, canned milk, and bacon were staples out west as they’d keep practically forever without refrigeration. This dish is one  the Grandfather grew up with on the ranch in Montana. He introduced it to us at Indian Point over fifty years ago. It was an immediate home run with everyone who tried it. One day when my mother was down at the Point, Grandfather treated her to a lunch of these beans. She loved them so much she declared that she was going to finish the whole pot. And she did.


  • 1 twenty-four ounce bag of Hurst’s dried white lima beans or baby white lima beans soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 lb. of bacon
  • Two teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • Water
  • 2 five ounce cans of evaporated milk
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté on low heat a pound of bacon cut into quarters until most of the fat has been rendered. Do not discard any of the bacon fat.
  2. Put the garlic thru the garlic press and add to the bacon and sauté for about thirty seconds.
  3. Add the ground pepper and stir into the fat and garlic.
  4. Add the beans.
  5. Add water until it is almost level with the beans.
  6. Simmer the beans for half an hour.
  7. Add the 2 can of evaporated milk.
  8. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the beans are tender
  9. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt or to taste.
  10. Stir the beans and mash a few against the sides of the Dutch oven to make thick gravy.
    The beans will continue to tighten up as they cool. If they need more liquid, thin out with heavy cream.
  11. Serve over buttered bread with a simple salad.

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