Tag Archive: beans

delicious baked beans

Let me start this blog by i how much I hate HATE HATE baked beans. Those revolting orange squishy things in snot-like sauce just make me gag.

But one day my mom asked if I wanted baked beans for dinner and after I had scowled at her she explained they were home made baked beans, not these things: [cue gagging reflex]

They were delicious. So yesterday I made some for myself. They are a night and day job but a very passive one so don’t balk

You need:

4 cups of beans – I used speckled beans. This is 2 cups after cooking, which is a dumb measurement to have really. A bag is 3 dry cup and about 6 cooked ones. I soaked a whole bag and made the recipe and have some beans left over.

500g streaky bacon. If you are a veggie, jewish or muslim you can leave this out.

2 onions finely diced

6 Tablespons of molasses. You can get molasses at Everfresh or Fruit and Veg City (same name different provinces). Buy crude molasses – in addition to being less sweet, the jokes on the way home are worth it.

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard. I discovered too late that I didn’t have any so i used 2 generous teaspoons of English mustard

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce. You can use 1 cup of tomato sauce only if you want. Or 3/4 – 1/4 or what ever proportions take your fancy.

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar.

You do:

Day 1.

Soak the beans overnight. Soak them in the pot you will cook them in as you cook them in the soaking water.

Day 2.

Simmer the beans in their soaking water for about 2 hours until tender. When cooked, drain and keep the cooking water.


Preheat the oven to 165.

Put the molasses, salt, pepper, mustard, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, worcestershire sauce and brown sugar in a pot. Bring to the boil.

When scraping the molasses out of the spoon, do not lick your fingers expecting sweet syrupy molasses – as I discovered molasses is not yummy. I expected syrup on steriods but did not get that. It clearly needs to be cooked or something. Yuck

Dice the onions.

Put a layer of beans in an over proof dish – pyrex is good. I used a rectangular dish about 15cm x 30cm. Put a layer of bacon over this layer of beans, if you are using bacon. Then scatter half the onions. Pour some of the molasses mixture over the layers.

Repeat. Make sure the liquid just covers the beans. Use some of the cooking liquid if necessary.

Cover with foil or a lid and put into the oven.

Bake for 3 -4 hours in total. Mine took 3 hours. My mom warns that it is a good idea to check them after 1 1/2 hours and add more liquid if necessary. I didn’t need to but I may have put too much liquid in to start.

Really really delicious and they don’t take much work but your house will smell amazingly nutritious.

Serve on rice, toast, mash, baked potatoes, pasta etc etc.


bean curry

I love beans. I really do. Kidney beans, speckled beans, white beans, chick peas – beans beans glorious beans.

I also much prefer soaked and home boiled beans to tinned beans although sometimes I cave in and buy easy to use tinned beans. Not this time no. This time I did the soaking overnight and the boiling thing and so I have a bag of mixed bins in my freezer for future meals.

In the last half an hour or so of boiling I added chillies and garlic cloves to the boiling beans just to give them some depth of taste. I also added salt only at that late stage to add flavour but to prevent toughening the skins with too early salt.


I decided with all these gloriously freshly homemade beans it was time for a bean curry for dinner – it being meatless Monday n’all.


I started by sautéing onions, garlic, chilli, celery and fennel for a bit. I then added coriander, curry powder and cayenne pepper and let them heat in the dry pan. The smell of these spices heating with the beginnings of the curry had the bf lurking around the kitchen, just inhaling through his nose.


I then added a tin of chopped tomatoes, 4 ladles of mixed beans, a half a tin’s worth of red wine, chopped carrots and topped and tailed green beans. I chucked the last handful of parsley and fresh coriander I had into the pot too. Lid on and gentle simmer.


I decided we needed a mash to soak up what I hoped would be a yummy sauce, so I made a parsnip and potato mash. I let the bean curry simmer, with the lid off for the second half of the time, for as long as it took for the chunky root veggies to boil.

And serve!

The carrots were still crunchy, the fresh beans still whole and the whole lot combined into a really fulfilling and delicious meal. Good for the universe and good for the pocket.

While eating the bf and I were discussing the pros of properly made beans and he said that the superior taste was why our grandparents spent a day making food rather than opening a tin.


Soaking beans may take all day but it does not use up a whole day of your time. You just leave the chaps to soak away and then the next day you boil them. If the next day doesn’t work for you, you can change the water every 12 hours for about 3 days before it gets urgent to cook the beans. And remember – DO NOT salt the water until the very end of the cooking process. If you do, the beans skins with toughen up and be indigestible.


ostrich burgers

Last night I went to a friend for dinner but until about ten minutes before I left work I thought it was Wednesday and therefore not the day for Thursday night dinner. This really just means that I had already bought the bits and pieces I needed for the ostrich burgers I had planned to have for my dinner and today’s school lunch. I had time after getting home before the dinner so I decided to make the burgers anyway and then just have them today for lunch.

As carb-free burgers these were more patties with salad than burger, but they could so easily have been burgers proper.

In a bowl I mixed 500g of beef and ostrich mixed mince, 1 can of squashed red kidney beans, 1 fined diced red onion and 1 garlic clove, mixed herbs and salt and pepper. I mixed it all up into a satisfying smoosh with my hands and then portioned it into 10 patties. I put these in the fridge for a bit to firm up.

The recipe called for me to fry the patties and I did start out doing this. However, half way through the process I remembered I actually don’t much like fried food so after sealing all of the patties in the frying pan of hot olive oil, I transferred them to a baking tray and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I admit I may have tasted one, by accident of course, before going out for dinner. It was really nice. I had two with salad for lunch today – they are pretty darn good cold too. on a burger they would be awesome!

The beans add a nice texture and reduce the meat, and fat, content.

A winner all round really.