I miss baked beans, I really do. But even if I could tolerate the tomato sauce (which I cannot), most are also flavoured with cloves, which there is no chance any of us could have! This version is made on the hob as opposed to being baked.
Makes around 3 to 4 small portions of beans of the size to serve with a meal, or 2 portions to have as a meal by themselves e.g. on toast.
1 small onion, peeled and diced finely
2 – 3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and diced finely
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced finely
1 medium carrot, grated
100ml red wine
between 30 – 100ml of a dark vinegar (I used a combination of malt vinegar and balsamic vinegar – I like it quite strong so I used 100 ml but if you aren’t such a fan of vinegar, use less and add more water instead – see method)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon yeast extract (a safe, spice-free version e.g. vegemite or Tesco’s own)
400g – 500g can of cooked, ready-to-eat, beans (haricot, borlotti or cannellini all work well – other varieties of bean, or even chick peas, would probably also work), drained and rinsed
1. Put onion, garlic and oil in a large, high-sided frying pan that has a lid, and cook on a high heat for a few minutes until they begin to take on some colour.
2. Remove your hot pan from the hob, take it to the sink and add about 100 ml to 150ml of cold water (don’t do this over the hob as it will splatter and sizzle quite badly and could potentially be a little hazardous). Stir and return to hob when it has stopped splattering.
3. Add the sweet potato and carrot, stir well, and add a little more water if needed so that they are just covered. Put the lid on and leave to steam until they start to soften and the water is almost all evaporated (but not completely gone).
4. add the wine, vinegar, sugar, yeast extract and stir well. Add a little more water if necessary to ensure that all of the vegetables in the pan are well covered and there is sufficient liquid in which to simmer the beans without burning.
5. add the beans, stir so they are well coated, turn the hob down to a simmer and leave to cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetable sauce has turned syrupy and the beans are soft and hot.
6. the beans can be left at this point and re-heated when needed. They also store for up to 2 days in a covered dish in the fridge and actually almost taste better when refrigerated overnight and reheated the next day!