One of the by-products of curing your own bacon is a bag full of rinds and bones in the freezer. And call me crazy, but to me that says "beans".
Now, I could have pulled some duck confit out of the freezer, grabbed some sausages and made a big cassoulet, but I wanted something a bit less refined. I wanted baked beans.
I read a lot of recipes and realised that pretty much whatever I wanted to put in I could put in, because almost certainly someone's grandmother used to do it that way. So instead of following any particular recipe I made it up as I went along.
My USP for this one is that I used a bottle of stout as the cooking liquid. Most of the recipes I looked at called for brown sugar and/or molasses, but I decided that I wanted the sweetness to come from the stout.
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
500g pinto beans, soaked over night, drained and rinsed
Bacon rinds and bones
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup smoky bbq sauce
1tbs hot English mustard
375ml bottle of stout
Into a cast iron pot, brought to the boil, reduced to a slow simmer, covered and left for 3 hours or so.
The first night we had it as was, in a bowl with a bit more bacon and a little grated cheese. Next day it reappeared as breakfast with crisply fried bacon and eggs. The bits of bacon rind had disintegrated into the most unctuous, gelatinous sauce with lots of rich flavour. The meat had fallen off the bones and added delicious little bites to the beans. And there is still a good amount for me to jar for another time. I may never send another penny Mr Heinz's way.