|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Opening a can of British or Irish baked beans and serving hot on toast is the ultimate, tasty, fast food, and there is barely a home which does not keep a tin in the cupboard. However, homemade baked beans add another dimension; not only are they delicious, you can control what goes in and avoid the added sugar found in the canned variety.
Also, of importance is that making your own beans, in the long run, is not only more nutritious but more economical too. Unlike a can that you pull from the shelf, these beans do take a little time. But make a large pot full as they freeze really well.
- 110g (1/2 cup) dried white haricots blanc
- 1 small onion (peeled)
- 4 cloves
- 4 teaspoon tomato concentrate
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 6 large cloves of garlic (peeled)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tomato (diced, peeled and deseeded)
- Dash of salt
- Dash of freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place the dried beans in a large bowl or pan, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.
Next day rinse the beans and place in a large ovenproof pan or deep roasting tin, with enough cold water to cover.
Preheat the oven to 320 F / 160 C / Gas 3.
Pierce the peeled onion with the cloves and add to the beans with 2 teaspoons of the tomato concentrate, black peppercorns, bay leaf, sage, garlic, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil on the stove top then place in the oven for approx 2 to 3 hours until the beans are quite soft.
From time to time during the cooking, check the beans aren't drying out. If they appear to be lower the heat and add a little boiling water.
Remove the bay leaf, cloves, and onion. Add the diced tomato and the remaining tomato concentrate, stir, then cook for 30 minutes more. Season to taste and serve sprinkled with olive oil if using.
Try adding a little curry powder to the beans for a tasty alternative that's good on toast or on a baked potato.
When cooking any previously dried bean or pulse, you should never season while cooking. Adding salt during the cooking process makes the beans tough. Leave it until the dish is completed then season to your taste.