Mmmm. I love baked beans. One of my great regrets now that I cannot eat toast or butter is the missing out of toast, smothered in butter and topped with Heinz baked beans that I have stirred a good spoonful of hot curry powder through. Mmmm.
Right, enough of that, no regrets for what was, here is a really lovely little baked bean recipe for you that is very good on toast, or, as a side dish, which is what I have used it for.
Mmmm! I love baked beans!
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 finely diced onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a red capsicum, finely diced
1 tablespoon combined fresh rosemary and thyme, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh basil, shredded
1 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
375g of canned beans, drained and washed (I used a four bean mix as I like the surprise when I hit a chick pea)
Heat the oil in a small pot, sauté the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and your woody herbs, give that another minute on the heat until everything is lovely and fragrant, stir in the basil and capsicum, keep it moving around, cooking out until everything has collapsed just a little bit, like this -
Add the tomatoes, salt and beans. Give it all a good stir and bring to the boil. NOW this is where it becomes a BAKED bean, we are going to cook this in the oven, not on the stove top in our pot, by cooking it in the oven we are utilising a more gentle cooking method, so the beans will not disintegrate as they cook and the moisture reduces, remember we are making BAKED beans, not bean pap.
So, into oven proof receptacles, I have used a large and a small ramekin here because it did not all fit in the large one, and into a moderate oven (180 degrees C), and let it bake for at least half an hour. Stir from time to time and keep on cooking it until it is very reduced and saucey. It will go from this -
To this -
Mmmm!. I paired it with a sautéed chicken breast and some pumpkin mash, and you know what? It was just exactly perfect.