I can’t stand tinned baked beans. Apparently, as a baby, I used to sit in my high chair and spit them out. I’ve tried them again and again over the years, but even after all of this time they still make me gag.
However, as regular readers of my recipes will know, I love beans and pulses. My four-bean chilli and butter bean and tomato gratin are among some of my favourite dishes. So a little while ago I figured I’d attempt to make my own home-made baked beans. After all, once you take out the high quantities of sugar, salt and that mushy, over-processed texture, all you’re left with is haricot beans, tomatoes and some flavouring.
I read about nine or 10 baked bean recipes before deciding on my own. Some looked too bland, others had dozens of complicated ingredients, and some took ages to cook (I quite fancy the idea of actually baking them in the oven, as some recipes suggest, but I wanted something quicker than that!). This version is relatively simple to make but has plenty of flavour. My children were a little unsure to start with, as they look quite different to the canned variety, but they soon changed their minds. Cardiff Daddy has even asked me to make up a big batch and freeze it in little portions so he can use them in the same way as he would the canned variety. I’m still experimenting a bit with this recipe, trying out different spices, but this combination is pretty good!
Here’s how to make them.
Serves 4; 30 minutes to make
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 x 400g haricot beans, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry on a low heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and the herbs, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for around 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and tomato puree, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve exactly as you would tinned baked beans.
I enjoy these as part of a healthy alternative to a fried breakfast – with mushrooms fried in a little olive oil, baby cherry tomatoes dry-fried with a dash of balsamic vinegar added toward the end of cooking, and slices of fresh avocado. They’re also a great accompaniment to these roasted mushrooms, stuffed with chopped black olives, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, a dash of lemon juice and tahini.
You can see all my recipes on my Cardiff Mummy Says – This Week We’re Eating Pinterest page.