14 November 2008

Beanz Meanz ....Christmas?

Boston baked beans.
I have to admit that I adore good old baked beans, on toast with bacon chopped through it, heaven, not much beats it for comfort food. This recipe comes from Nigella Christmas, Nigella's newest gorgeous offering and I love, love, love this book.
This recipe was one of the first that really caught my eye, yes, in a book filled with luscious, decadent food I fall for baked beans. I was slightly mystified at first, why on earth would baked beans ever be classed as Christmas food? Hardly up there with turkey, stuffing and bacon wrapped chipolatas is it....yet still, I knew this was the first thing I would cook from this book.
Baked beans are not something I have ever cooked myself from scratch, they are one of the few things I am quite happy to open a tin for, my OH was mystified when I told him I couldn't go swimming as I had to spend the next 3 hours making baked beans, in fact is actual reply was "havent you heard of Heinz?" this was a adventure into the unknown.
Boston baked beans
Serves 8
500g haricot beans
2 x 15ml garlic oil
125g smoked streaky bacon, chopped somewhere between finely and roughly
1 onion, peeled and chopped
100g grainy mustard
2 x 15ml tablespoon tomato puree
100g dark muscovado sugar
1 litre of water, plus 60ml
1 x 15ml tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Maldon salt or 1 teaspoon table salt, or to taste.
The night before you want to make this recipe, soak the beans in plenty of water for 24 hours.
Once the beans are soaked, drain and rinse them and put aside. Preheat the oven to 150c / gas mark 2 and heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or a ovenproof pan with a lid.
Fry the chopped bacon briskly in the hot oil and, after 5 minutes, turn down the heat and add the chopped onion. Cook alongside the bacon for about another 10 minutes.
Add the mustard, tomato puree and sugar and 500ml of the water, stirring everything together well.
Stir in the rinsed beans, and add a further 500ml of water. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 10 minutes.
Put a lid on the casserole or pan and transfer to the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours or until tender.
Remover from the oven and add the remaining 60ml water along with the vinegar and, after tasting carefully (don't burn your mouth), the salt if wished.

The beans were a doddle, quickly flung together and then left to bubble away for hours, the aroma of these beans was amazing but when would sugar, bacon and mustard not be amazing. We ate these beans as Nigella suggested with sausages, they were the perfect match. The were far superior to any tinned bean, slightly to firm for my OH's taste but I suppose that is to be expected when using dried beans, they weren't hard, just firmer than tinned beans. My daughter absolutely loved them as did I, although they didn't convert my son, baked bean hater, we can't please everyone.

I will certainly make the beans again the salty, sweet, smoked flavour was to die for, but not for a quick midweek supper. Perfect for posh sausage, chips and beans.


Anna said...

Ooh, they look really fantastic! Beautiful!

Rhyleysgranny said...

Not for a minute would it have occurred to me to cook baked beans from scratch. Now I can hardly wait to try. They look and sound lovely

Nickki said...

They look wonderful!

The Blonde Duck said...

I got curious about the Christmas thing too, but all I could find stuff on lima beans...they look wonderful though! I think homemade ones are much better than in a can!

Sophie said...

Nothing beet sweet and savory slow cooked beans! These sound delicious; I agree, sausage sounds like the perfect complement!

arista said...

they sound really tasty. I have a son who hates baked beans (and all beans) too - it's a pain isn't it?

Rosie said...

I love Nigella's Christmas book too and those baked beans look and sound very delicious!!

Rosie x