What beans do you use?
Why would you go to the bother of making your own baked beans when you can buy them by the tin load? Well, to be honest, that is exactly the reason to make your own.
Tinned beans are fine, but when you make your own, you get something that is on a far higher level better level and you can choose your bean. In the picture above, I did use Haricot beans, which are what you will find in most tinned beans. But I have also used butter beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans - pick your own! Grow your own, if you wish.
Here I have used tinned beans because it was quick. I have also used tinned tomatoes, but there is a very good reason for this. Good quality tinned tomatoes are perfect for cooking, whereas the "interesting" fresh tomatoes you get in your average supermarket can be a bit acidic, which is not what you want. So...
- 1 tin Haricot Beans (or other)
- 1 tin chopped Italian tomatoes (not cheapo ones)
- 2 tbs tomato purée
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- good chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- sea salt
- freshly milled black pepper
This is dead easy!
Chop up the shallots, garlic and carrot finely. Fry very slowly in a little olive oil for about ten minutes till softened.
Add the tomato, chilli (don't make it too hot - wrong dish) and marjoram. Simmer for fifteen minutes.
Add the haricot beans, complete with their juice and the tomato purée.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Keep simmering for another thirty minutes and you are done! Watch it doesn't stick and burn.
You will notice that there was no baking involved, and this is common with baked beans. However, if you want to, here is a variation.
Once you have added the beans and seasoned, put in a small oven dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake in a medium oven, uncovered for twenty to thirty minutes. Make sure it doesn't dry out.
And that really is it. As you can see, there is a lot of scope for messing around with this and I would love to hear about your variations.