I've always loved baked beans, and for several years now I've made my own from scratch. Aside form the nutritional virtues of homemade that tinned food just doesn't have, these homemade beans have much more flavour in them, and they're very quick and easy to throw together.
I enjoy these in a variety of ways, but my favourite is to put the warm beans onto a piece of sourdough toast, sprinkle with freshly grated cheese and then cook under the grill until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Yum!
Traditionally made with navy beans, for several years I used to make my baked beans with cannelloni beans. Now I prefer to use butter beans, as they are larger and also firmer, so they're not as easy to mush when stirring the pan. The fresh oregano adds a wonderful fragrance and depth of flavour, but use whatever fresh or dried herbs you have on hand.
Stove-top Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce
A good glug of Olive Oil
1 small Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp of Rapadura or brown sugar
1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 400g tins of Butter Beans or Cannelloni Beans, drained and rinsed
2 400g tins of Tomatoes
2 stalks of fresh Oregano, leaves plucked and stems discarded or other fresh or dried herbs of your choice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Drizzle a medium frying pan with olive oil and heat to low-medium
2. Gently cook the onion until soft but do not allow it to brown
3. Stir through the rapadura, vinegar and beans and cook for another minute or two. You can add a little more oil here if necessary to stop the beans from sticking
4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced and everything has cooked through nicely. You can add a little water if it reduces too quickly and you want it to cook a little longer
Serve hot or cold with an English style cooked breakfast, on a slice of thickly buttered sourdough or in a bowl by itself!
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