Yes I know the title is immature. Every time I think about baked beans, well Bart Simpson just jumps into my head. The ability to quote the Simpsons in almost any situation (whether appropriate or not) is one of my many talents.
When I first met Country Boy, he and his best mate were big Simpson fans. So much so that they had a 24 hour Simpsons Appreciation Day (or SAD for short – appropriately!) complete with 24 hours of back to back episodes, and Simpsons food. Think pork chops, donuts, Duff beer etc. I didn’t stay around for the entire time (I had a Chemistry final a few days later), so I’m not sure if baked beans were served or not.
Later, when Country Boy and I started going out, I got the ‘opportunity’ to learn many Simpsonisms (totally a word), that still stay with me today.
Country Boy has collected lots of dried beans from the garden, which we have sitting in some jars on the mantle. I mentioned to him that I had never made home made baked beans before, but they were meant to be really yummy and not at all like the canned version (which I find disgusting!). Last week I came home to find that Country Boy had made baked beans from scratch. Best husband ever… and best baked beans ever too! Double win!
Country Boy based his recipe on one by Stephanie Alexander in her cooks companion, but with a few small changes to accommodate the ingredients we had at home.
375g dried beans, soaked in water over night (borlotti beans are traditionally used)
2T olive oil
1 large onion diced
5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 carrots diced
2 rashers streaky bacon, coarsely diced
1 capsicum diced into 2cm cubes
1x 400g can diced tomatoes – pureed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1t ground coriander
3T maple syrup
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 160*c
2. Rinse soaked beans, place in a saucepan of fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Strain and rinse again.
3. Heat oil in an enamel pot and saute onion, garlic, carrot, and bacon for 5 minutes until the onion is clear.
4. Add capsicum and cook for a further minute.
5. Add all remaining ingredients except maple syrup.
6. Add enough water to just cover the beans.
7. Cover with lid and bake for at least 4 hours.
8. Stir after 2 hours, check to make sure it is still quite sloppy. Add a little more water if needed.
9. After 4 hours, stir in the maple syrup. The sauce should be thick and rich. Add a little water if needed. If too sloppy, remove the lid, and return the oven for a few minutes to reduce.
10. Adjust the seasoning. Remove thyme and bay leaf.
|Not the best photo|
This is beautiful, cold weather, weekend cooking at it’s best. Whack it in the oven at lunch time then spend the afternoon in front of the fire reading and feeling smug because you have cooked a beautiful, tasty and healthy meal. Well that is what we do anyway!
P.S. Contrary to Bart Simpson’s assertions, these baked beans will not make you ‘musical’.