Thursday 27 November 2008

Baked Beans

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.

Baked Beans

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.


Bettina Douglas said...

I think beans and bacon are an obvious combination. And what better than home made baked beans!

MrOrph said...

A great bacon application! I just made some for a work party that I had at my house. A pot-luck where I did all the cooking.

I cook mine in the oven for about 6 hours the day before. Then I slowly bring them to temp. Must have bacon!

Sam said...

Home made baked beans are way better than Mr Heinz version, I never would have thought to use stout though!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Mother - they were very good beans. I wouldn't want a bottle of Grange with them, but they were good!

MrOrph - in the oven for 6 hours sounds like a very good idea. I must try that next time.

Sam - I thought I was pretty clever adding the stout. It added molasses sweetness without too much sugar.

kat said...

what a great use for that homemade bacon!

Sarah said...

Mercy sakes, does that sound delicious! Bacon and beans are a great cold weather combo and your addition of stout and hot English mustard really sound great. I'm giving you a big high-five for this recipe :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - thanks!

Sarah - I don't know how any American can think about food the day after Thanksgiving! From the sounds of the feasting I am impressed that you were able to read my post.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Foodycat, I'm so glad you gave us a down home recipe. Holidays are great, but after a while, everyone needs real food. Thank you my friend.

Deb in Hawaii said...

What a great homey recipe--sounds like a little comfort in a bowl!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Teresa - thank you as always for dropping by! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Deb - it was! It is quite cold at the moment but those beans warmed us to the bones.

Ruth said...

Yum this looks so good. I have never had homemade baked beans

Leslie said...

A have a funny story about baked beans. When I was about 7..I wouldnt eat my baked bean at the dinner my dad shoved them up my nose! Funny now..but not so funny back then!! Yeah..his nickname was Hitler!!!So needless to say, I am not a big fan of baked beans!!!LOL

Alicia Foodycat said...

Ruth - thank you! They aren't tomatoey like the bought ones, but they are tasty!

Leslie - I am not surprised you aren't a fan! You poor thing.


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