I'm making beans (from scratch--I have a lot of dried beans) for a pot luck, and thought cowboy beans would be good with the rest of the menu. I don't really want to just do my own thing which might end up less desireable for the company (e.g., not sweet enough, too spicy, etc.) What I like about cowboy beans is beef rather than salt pork, several different kinds of beans, less sweet than regular brown sugar and molasses baked beans, and general "barbecue" flavor. None of the recipes I've read online sound just right.
Please post any recipe you'd care to share, as well as advice, druthers and anything else you have to say about them. I can always just make my mother's baked beans, but I'd rather eat cowboy beans, even if they're homemade and not from cans and jars (which I know was the whole point when they started).