Here's a quick, relatively simple, versatile and tasty recipe for homemade baked beans. To be honest I'd better confess that it is a reworking of a recipe I first discovered at my local Waitrose supermarket but I've decided to put it on here because it has become a trusty favourite in the Booglers household. It's great as a topping for jacket potatoes, makes a wonderful beans on toast and even works cold as part of a salad. It can be made in advance and reheated when required, if anything the flavour improves if this is done. It works very well as a vegetarian dish if you omit the bacon or replace it with vegetarian bacon. Oh yes, some chopped or sliced chorizo in it is rather good too!
1 400g tin of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 or 2 rashers of bacon, smoked or unsmoked, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed/finely chopped
1/2 of a red pepper
1 small chilli (with or without seeds, adjust according to taste)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 of a teaspooon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olives (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 teaspoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 - Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan or deep-sided saucepan and over a medium heat fry the bacon for a minute or two. Next add the onion, pepper, celery, garlic and chilli and continue frying for 4 -5 minutes, stirring regularly until the onion starts to turn a golden brown colour.
2 - Add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help with the softening of the onion, pepper etc. Continue to fry until the water has been absorbed or has evaporated.
3 - Add the sweet and the smoked paprikas, the cayenne pepper and the olives and stir for 1 minute.
4 - Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée and sugar, bring to the boil and then stir in the beans. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 - Stir in the chopped parsley and check seasoning (at this point I usually add 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt and a generous load of pepper). It is now ready to serve or can be left to cool to be reheated or eaten cold later on.