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On baked beans

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by modelmaker, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Whilst the lurkers are among us and realise this is not an elitist forum...
    I'm not afraid to say that although I love fine food, I haven't yet got my head so far stuck up my arrse I'd dismiss things I enjoyed as a child. I occasionally eat baked beans, yet every time, I think what would improve the recipe.
    Depending how much time I have, I've added other ingredients to improve the flavour, susch as onion, peppers, other vegetables and of course, chilli or whatever. It generaly improves the flavour.
    Because you can buy a can of cheap baked beans at a fraction of the cost of a can of haricot beans I've considered getting some, rinsing all the sauce off and starting from scratch in making the sauce and adding the beans at the end
    I'm sure baked beans came about from a recipe when they were indeed, baked, and I'm sure the sauce that made them popular wasn't the sweet **** that accompanies them these days.
    Am I alone in wishing to evaluate the full potential of this cheap food? What might you you for the baked bean?
     
  2. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Whilst the lurkers are among us and realise this is not an elitist forum...
    I'm not afraid to say that although I love fine food, I haven't yet got my head so far stuck up my arrse I'd dismiss things I enjoyed as a child. I occasionally eat baked beans, yet every time, I think what would improve the recipe.
    Depending how much time I have, I've added other ingredients to improve the flavour, susch as onion, peppers, other vegetables and of course, chilli or whatever. It generaly improves the flavour.
    Because you can buy a can of cheap baked beans at a fraction of the cost of a can of haricot beans I've considered getting some, rinsing all the sauce off and starting from scratch in making the sauce and adding the beans at the end
    I'm sure baked beans came about from a recipe when they were indeed, baked, and I'm sure the sauce that made them popular wasn't the sweet **** that accompanies them these days.
    Am I alone in wishing to evaluate the full potential of this cheap food? What might you you for the baked bean?
     
  3. I don't faff around with baked beans as I do not believe in reinventing the wheel.
    They are great as they are, heaped on a couple of slices of toast, with oodles of butter. It is one thing I don't care about being processed (although I do sometimes make a big pot of my own slowed baked haricots in tom sauce, but I use dried beans, so I suspect I cook more cheaply than you do).
    At the very most, when I am feeling like a change, I will add a dollop of marmite.
    Or make my often posted fish finger and baked bean pie.
    Some things need no improvement.
    Baked beans are one of those things.
    Like Heinz Tomato Soup.
    Or goose dripping.

     
  4. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    I LOVE baked beans. Personally, I favour Co-op own brand as the beans are firmer than Heinz's and the sauce is less gloopy.
    Marmite is a good addition, but I sometimes scoot a bit of tabasco sauce or Worcestershire sauce in the beans before heating them up.
    Sausage (good butchers sausage), mash and beans is a great, cheap dinner.
     
  5. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Nowt wrong with baked beans. We eat them propbably once a fortnight, or even more regularly. As a quick fix, on toast, on a jacket spud or with fish fingers and chips they're a winner. On a jacket spud, they form quite a nutritious meal, other than the sugar. Plenty of fibre and other nutrients - half a can of beans counts as over two of your 5 a day. If you don't want the sugar, MM, try one of the healthier, more highly spiced versions they sell in health food shops, such as the very good Whole Earth ones that are organic and flavoured with apple juice rather than refined sucrose.
    If we're talking brands, I prefer Branston and HP over Heinz as they're slightly heavier on the spices.
    When I was a student, living on the obligatory beans as a staple meal, I used to jazz them up with all sorts - a favourite was frying up some chopped onion and chilli and then whanging in the beans and cooking until quite dry.
    These days the only mandatory adornment is lots of black pepper to counteract the sweetness, but cheese is often seen, and the copious butter spread on the toast first that mingles in with the beans is a treat!
    Home made baked beans are great though - although the title is something of a misnomer as they're just as easily cooked on the hob as baked in the oven. They originated in Boston, hence the often called Boston Baked Beans which are excellent. Made with either pre-cooked dried or tinned beans (either stick with haricot or use a mixture - butter beans are particularly pleasing in terms of texture and flavour); salt pork or bacon in big chunks; onions, tomatoes, chillis and spices - they're wonderful as a meal in themselves, or on toast or alongside a pork chop.
    I recently ate some amazing baked beans in one of Jamie Oliver's new ventures, a cafe in Brighton. They were slow-cooked, soft, velvety and packed full of spice and flavour.
    If you wish, modelmaker, I'll post you a recipe for home made baked beans. They are excellent, but worth thinking of as different to what the baked bean has become known as in its tinned form.
     
  6. I love Boston baked beans and make them if Mr C is ever away from home but I cannot eat those horrid things in bright orange sauce that come in tins. Ugh.
     
  7. Even the sight of baked beans makes me feel quite ill. I rather suspect it's cos my Dad is a bit veg phobic and would only ever eat meat, potatoes and baked beans - even with a roast dinner although thankfully he would not put gravy with them. He was also pretty poor at remebering that I don't like them and would often stick them on my plate, any food that had touched that horrible orange sauce i just couldn't eat.
     
  8. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    To go back a little further Nick, I think you'll find Boston Baked beans originated with Cassoulet, which is heavenly. I am a fan of baked beans as well, love them in a jacket potato with cheese and on toast or with bacon and hash brownies.
     
  9. Hash brownies lapin? Really? [​IMG]
    Oh I want that recipe!
     
  10. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

  11. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

  12. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    I buy the reduced sugar versions of baked beans because I find them too sweet.
    I love them on a baked potato with butter and a really good, strong cheddar.
    Or in a buttery toasted sandwich with cheese.
    I have an American friend who brought home a jar of her Mum's (or should that be Mom's?!) special Cajun spice mix and I often stir a teaspoon or two through the baked beans if I want to spice them up a bit.
    I love little cubes of feta cheese stirred through it and Greggs do a cheese and bean pasty which I often turn to in weak moments. [​IMG]
    (I think they are two for the guilty pleasures thread!)
     
  13. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Cassoulet is one of my very favourite things. I didn't know it inspired Boston baked beans.
     
  14. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    It's good innit CQ?
    I buy cured corned beef and cook it in the bottom of the aga in a casserole with water, bay leaf, a clove or two and a bit of mace.
    I then shred it and mix with chopped cold roast potatoes, fried onions roughly sliced and baked beans then heat through in the oven. Soooooo yummy. Probably not an authentic recipe but so darn good I don't care!
     
  15. ah, that sounds nice, I may give it a try.
    Mine is very different (bunty was very disappointed at my suggestion! She wanted a crispy thingie out of a frying pan!).
    I place the corned beef in chunks in my big pyrex dish (for some reason, I always do my corned beef hash in my ugly big pyrex dish) and then I chop up some potatoes and put them in.
    Then I use some GOOD gravy (quite thin, as it will thicken) and pour over until just covering the meat and tatties, with a bay leaf, some sliced onions, lots of pepper.
    Cook on slow heat in the oven until it all starts to melt together and the gravy has been soaked up a bit and it all turns into a velvet silky thing.
    Heaven!
     
  16. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    but sounds just as good!
     
  17. I think we need a new thread...!
     
  18. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    Please do, Nick. If you own a recipe and will share it with us, this is on of the purposes of this forum. I think it's great that among us we can find so much inspiration from a can of beans.
    It's a thought I should probablly have added to the Recipes Whan the Chips are Down thread, intended to be one that would inspire people to make the most of what's available, even if it's mostly a can of beans.
     
  19. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    Don't mention it, modelmaker, not at all, etc.
     

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