Monday, 8 December 2014

Homemade Baked Beans On Toast

Heinz baked beans.

With any dodgy breakfast-fry-up, it's the one thing you're guaranteed to be good.  The eggs will taste of rubber, the bacon will be dry, the mushrooms will be greasy, but you know that those baked beans will be alright. 
 I'm a foreigner and I find it fascinating that when British people talk of "proper baked beans" they mean the Heinz baked beans.  Not homemade, not some gourmet version sold by some small independent business, no, no, it's Heinz.  It's a staple in most people's households, isn't it?  And you wouldn't dream of any restaurant using anything else.
This is like a gourmet homemade version of it.  It's got smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, parmigiano, olive oil, and of course, on a nice piece of toasted sourdough.  I know, I know, it should be cannellini beans but my nearest Sainsbury's didn't stock them.  Anyway, adding some smoked bacon or pancetta to this would make it even better.  Or instead of parmigiano, some grated gruyere mmmm. 

This recipe is adapted from Jamie's Comfort Food -- a lovely birthday present from my friend.  As I'm now in culinary school I don't buy cookbooks for myself anymore.  I feel like with the the tuition I'm paying I cannot justify spending money on cookbooks, so I rely on others to give them to me and fortunately this birthday I've received two.  Expect recipes from Momofuku soon (there will be cucumber kimchi and miso butter). 

Recipe adapted from Jamie's Comfort Food
Serves 4
2 400g-can butter beans, drained
1 large shallot, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Worcestershire sauce
1 400g tin tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp tomato puree

Preheat the oven to 160C.

In an oven-proof pan, add some olive oil and over low heat, gently sweat the shallots until softened.

Turn the heat up to medium and add the garlic.  Fry for a minute and add the tomato puree and stir and cook for another minute. 

Add the balsamic vinegar and allow that to reduce a bit to take the sharpness out of it - just a few minutes.

Add the tinned tomatoes and butter beans.  Crush the tomatoes with your spatula/wooden spoon.  Add a pinch of sugar, Worstershire sauce, paprika and some tabasco.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Season. 

Scrunch up a piece of greaseproof paper, pop that on top of the pan and put it in the oven.  Let cook for about 1 hour until thick and sticky. 

Serve on top of toasted bread, scatter on some grated parmigiano and drizzle on some olive oil. 

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