Of course, you can always open a tin of baked beans! And this takes a lot of cooking. Still, there is little preparation, and it does taste much nicer!
2 tins of beans (see below)
1 pack of passata (see below)
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard (optional)
knife and board for chopping
spoon for stirring
time in oven: 2 hours
- Put a little oil in the frying pan for frying. Peel and chop the and fry it for a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Put it all into a casserole. Put the lid on, and put the casserole in the oven, and cook. It seems a long time, but this cooking makes the sauce thick, and - well - makes it like baked beans!
- Check that the dish is not too dry while cooking (if so, add a bit of water, not too much). If it ends up too sloppy after cooking, then heat in a saucepan to get it thicker (or eat it with a spoon).
- This needs something else to make a meal. Bread, or toast, is good, or potato.
- Passata is seived Italian tomato. In my supermarket, it comes in packs. If you can't find it, then use tinned chopped tomatoes.
- Vegetable stock comes in various forms, as stock cubes, 'little stock pots', or in a pack. You can add concentrated stock (such as stock cube) straight to the dish before cooking, without extra water. If you have a pack of stock, it adds water to the dish and it may end up sloppy, but you can deal with that (see above).
- are quite pleasant in this. Fry them with the onions. You can have . In fact, you can add anything you want, such as celery or carrot.
- The recipe suggest mustard. This adds a little zinger to the taste, to counteract the blandness of the beans, and the full-on taste of the tomato. But you can leave it out if you don't like mustard. Don't add too much! It can dominate the taste.
- You can add some herbs if you wish. Basil is supposed to go well with tomato. You can also add any other flavouring, such as spices. However, it can become less and less like baked beans. And this is a full-flavoured dish, so extra flavouring may not be required, and could start to muddle the tastes.
- There are plenty of different types of tinned beans. Don't buy beans in a sauce (it will probably be tomato sauce, and that's what you're trying to end up with, so a little odd to start with it!) Borlotti beans are good. I use a tin of those, and a tin of mixed beans, just to add interest. But experiment. By the way, don't buy small tins, unless you want to cook less, of course. But then you would need less passata or tomato.
- I suspect that traditional baked beans had salted pork in it. That got lost as the dish was modernised (although British baked beans sometimes have small sausages in, which seems a nod to tradition). Anyway, this is a vegetarian dish, indeed vegan. By the way, beans contain protein, so this is a serious meal. It is also filling.
© Jo Edkins 2007 -