What does the term “Baked Beans” conjure up in your mind? Is it quick snacks with a slice of toast, the full English breakfast, diving in straight from the tin, cowboys ‘singing’ around a camp fire or that favourite childhood dinner with fish fingers or burgers or something completely different?
Well, whilst you’re musing over those occasions let me tell you what I think – baked beans are great and we’ve got very lazy indeed. OK so most of us have a favourite brand and they’re easy to buy, easy to open and easy to cook and I really haven’t got a problem with that but for just a small amount of effort you can create your own. I’m going to look for a recipe that most approximates my favourite brand but for today I wanted to create something a little different.
What you’ve got here is an example of how to make baked beans, please be creative and go for whatever it is that you like the most, after all, why cook something you don’t want?
Wife loves curried beans and I’m also quite a fan so I thought I’d go for something with the usual tomato base but a hint of curry flavour, not spicy at all, just a little bit fragrant. I’ve basically adapted the recipe from the the sausage and bean bake I did a while back
- Tin of haricot beans, drained
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Method of Preparation:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Put a tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic, turn it on to a low/medium heat and gently heat them until the onions are soft and the garlic is fragrant
- Add the beans and the tomatoes, give it a good stir, turn up the heat and bring the mix to a boil
- Take it back down to a low heat and start to add your garlic powder, cayenne, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Have a taste and bring it your preferred balance (another 1/2 tbsp of cumin was all I wanted) and don’t forget your salt, pepper and sugar – you can play around with these, this really is to my taste
- Put a lid on your pan and stick it in the oven for 1 hour
- If, when you take them out of the oven, the sauce isn’t thick enough just get them on the hob without the lid and reduce the sauce down over a medium heat.
That’s it, serve with whatever you like – I just fried up some thin steaks and that was that.
There really is loads of variation you can do here. I’ve used cumin as my main flavour and backed it up with some cayenne but you could try loads of different stuff, here’s a couple of ideas off the top of my head:
- Volcano Baked Beans – Try adding chilli flakes and some chopped up fresh chilli
- Barbecue Baked Beans – Add some BBQ seasoning or BBQ sauce with some paprika or chipotle
- Italian Baked Beans – Basil and wilted spincch with some parmesan grated over the top
I can see that this isn’t feasible for cooking every night of the week but once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder why your brand doesn’t taste this good; they’re so clean and healthy compared to tinned produce. With the summer season coming up quickly I would recommend these for the BBQ as all you’ll need is a bigger pot and to multiply everything up and they’ll be a really effective side dish to impress your friends with.