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.