Let me tell you about the ultimate comfort food – British Baked Beans. This humble dish is a beloved staple across the UK and for good reason. Imagine a warm, thick, tomato-based sauce with plump beans cooked to perfection, infused with smoky bacon bits and just a hint of sweetness from black treacle or molasses. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine certainly is.
This homemade recipe for British Baked Beans takes this classic dish to the next level with a blend of pinto beans, haricot beans, and navy beans simmered slowly in a savory tomato sauce with back bacon and caramelized onions. The result is an irresistible aroma that will envelop your kitchen in a cloud of warmth and coziness.
But why make baked beans at home when you can simply buy them canned? Well, simply put, there’s no comparison between the two. Homemade British Baked Beans are packed full of flavor, wholesome goodness, and customizable depending on your taste buds. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to make!
So join me on this culinary adventure as we learn how to make the ultimate British comfort food. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Hear ye, hear ye, dear food lovers! I present to you a recipe that will bring warmth to your soul and smiles to your face. I’m talking about the homemade British Baked Beans Recipe – a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations and stands the test of time. If you’re looking for an easy and delicious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day, then look no further than this baked beans recipe.
What makes this recipe so special? For starters, it’s made with fresh ingredients that pack a lot of flavor. The combination of tomatoes, garlic, onions and black treacle infuse just the right amount of sweetness and savory taste that will transport you back to the streets of London. The bacon adds a smoky taste and gives it a satisfying crunch in every bite.
Not only is this British Baked Beans recipe packed with flavor, it’s also incredibly versatile. You can enjoy it on toast for a hearty breakfast, as a side dish with eggs and bread or serve it as a one-pot meal for those busy weeknights. And if you have any leftovers (which is unlikely), you can store them in the fridge for later or even freeze them for future use.
This recipe also offers flexibility when it comes to ingredient substitutions or modifications. Don’t have pinto or haricot beans? No problem. You can easily swap them for navy beans or any small white beans. Prefer an American-style baked bean? Simply leave out the black treacle and use molasses instead.
And let’s not forget about how easy it is to make this dish. With just a few simple steps and minimal prep time, you’ll have a delicious meal ready in no time. Whether you prefer to make it on the stovetop or use a slow cooker, this recipe can easily fit into any busy schedule.
So, why should you love this British Baked Beans Recipe? Because it’s a classic, versatile, and flavorful dish that is perfect for any occasion. It’s easy to make, can be customized to your preferences, and is a great addition to any meal. Trust me, once you try this recipe, you won’t want to go back to the canned version.
To make homemade British Baked Beans, I require the following ingredients:
- Pinto Beans – one can (15 ounces)
- Haricot Beans (Navy Beans) – one can (15 ounces)
- Onion – one medium-sized
- Tomato Puree – 2 tablespoons
- Chopped Tomatoes – 1 can (14.5 ounces)
- Black Treacle – 2 tablespoons
- Brown Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Garlic Clove – one medium-sized clove
- Back Bacon – 4 slices, cut into small pieces
- Olive Oil or any other cooking oil of your choice – 1 tablespoon
- Worcestershire Sauce (British Style) – 2 teaspoons
- Fresh Parsley (chopped) to garnish
These ingredients are easy to find and readily available in your nearby grocery store. You can use any beans that you like, but traditionally, pinto beans or haricot beans are used to prepare baked beans. Moreover, feel free to add or reduce the amount of ingredients as per your taste preferences.
The Recipe How-To
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, let’s get started with the recipe! This British Baked Bean Recipe is a flavourful and hearty meal that is perfect for breakfast or lunch. In this section, I will provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious British classic.
Step 1: Preheat the oven
Before starting with the recipe preheat the oven to 325°F.
Step 2: Cook Bacon
Place a frying pan over medium heat and add bacon strips to it. Cook them until they are crispy and browned from both sides. Once done remove them from the flame and place them in a separate bowl.
Step 3: Sauté Onion and Garlic
In the same frying pan, add diced onions and chopped garlic. Sauté them for some time until they soften.
Step 4: Add black treacle, tomato puree and canned tomatoes
Add 2 tablespoons of black treacle to the onion-garlic mixture, followed by 1 tablespoon of tomato puree. Mix well. Now add a can of chopped tomato to the mixture and stir everything together.
Step 5: Drain beans and add to Mixture
Drain one can of navy beans and one can of haricot beans, and add them to the mixture. Stir well together.
Step 6: Add Molasses Pork Sauce
Now its time to make the dish more flavourful by adding 2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce, followed by 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and finally, pour in a jar of Molasses Pork Sauce. Mix everything well together.
Step 7: Bake
Pour the entire bean mixture in an oven-safe casserole dish, place bacon strips evenly over it. Cover it with aluminium foil and cook it for about one hour at 325°F.
Note: If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, you can leave out the bacon and instead cook the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Now that your delicious British Baked Beans are baked to perfection, it’s time to serve them!
Step 8: Serve
These tasty baked beans are perfect with a slice of bread or toast for breakfast. You can also enjoy them as a side dish with eggs or as a one-pot meal for lunch. Garnish them with some chopped parsley and dig in!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and don’t forget to let me know in the comments how it turned out for you!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you looking to add a twist to your homemade British baked beans recipe? Look no further because I have some delicious substitutions and variations that are sure to leave you wanting more.
If you don’t have black treacle on hand, you can try using molasses or dark corn syrup instead. These substitutes will give your baked beans a similar depth of sweetness and color.
For those who want to skip using meat, try adding some smoked paprika or liquid smoke for that savory smoky flavor found in bacon. Alternatively, mushrooms also make a great meatless substitute as they give a meaty texture and umami flavor to the dish.
To switch up the beans used in the recipe, consider swapping out pinto or navy beans with cannellini or kidney beans. These alternatives will give your baked beans recipe various textures and flavors.
Want to add more depth to the tomato sauce of your baked beans? Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce or even a dash of soy sauce in with it. This adds richness and umami without overpowering the dish’s other flavors.
For those who love spice, adding a minced jalapeno pepper or crushed red pepper flakes would be a great way to add heat and depth to the recipe. Be careful not to overdo it though!
Lastly, chopped fresh parsley is a great addition as a finishing touch on top of your finished plate of baked beans – it adds color freshness and flavor.
With these substitutions and variations in mind, feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients until you find the perfect British style baked beans recipe that satisfies your taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving British Baked Beans, there are so many delicious meal pairings that come to mind! The recipe makes a hearty and satisfying dish on its own, but it can also be jazzed up with various sides and toppings for an even more decadent eating experience.
One classic way to enjoy these beans is on top of some crispy buttered toast. The beans’ tangy tomato-based sauce pairs perfectly with the rich, savory flavor of the toast – it’s a match made in British breakfast heaven! And since this recipe already includes some smoky back bacon, you can simply add an egg or two for a protein-packed meal that will keep you full all morning long.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try adding some chopped parsley to the top of your beans for a pop of fresh flavor. You could also serve them with a side of sausages or rashers, as is common in a full English or Irish breakfast.
Another creative option is to build a “Baked Bean Bowl” – simply place your hot beans in a bowl and top them with ingredients like diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce. It makes for a fun and customizable meal that will please everyone at the table.
Finally, if you’re looking for something lighter, you could always serve your British Baked Beans as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish. The protein from the meat will help balance out the carbs from the beans for a well-rounded plate.
No matter how you choose to serve them, these homemade British Baked Beans are sure to become a new household favorite.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
I know that life can be hectic, and sometimes we need to plan our meals ahead. That’s why I love this British Baked Beans recipe – it’s perfect to prepare in advance and store for later. Of course, like most dishes, there are certain tips and tricks you should keep in mind.
For make-ahead preparation, you can simply follow the recipe until the very end. Once the dish is cooked, let it cool down to room temperature before transferring it into an airtight container. It can last up to five days in the fridge or up to three months in the freezer. Just remember to label and date your container!
When reheating from the fridge, you can simply microwave it on high for a couple of minutes or heat it on the stovetop on a medium heat. If you’re reheating from frozen, let it thaw overnight in the fridge before following the same reheating process.
It’s important to note that if you find your beans have become too thick during storage, simply give them a stir and add water to thin out to your desired consistency.
So go ahead and enjoy this delicious homemade British Baked Beans recipe whenever you want – whether as a quick breakfast on toast or as a savory one-pot meal on a lazy evening.
Tips for Perfect Results
When it comes to making British Baked Beans, there are a few tips and tricks to ensure you get the perfect result every time. These might seem small, but they can make a big difference in the final flavor and texture of your beans.
Firstly, be sure to rinse and drain your beans before using them. This removes any excess salt or starch and ensures that your beans won’t be too mushy or too salty.
Secondly, don’t rush the cooking process. British Baked Beans are traditionally made by slow-cooking them in the oven or on the stovetop. This slow cooking is key to achieving those thick and rich tomato sauce flavors that baked beans are famous for.
Thirdly, when adding sugar to your recipe, be mindful not to overdo it. While sugar is essential in bringing out the sweetness of the beans and balancing out the acidity of the tomatoes, too much sugar can make your beans cloyingly sweet. A little goes a long way!
Fourthly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different bean types! Pinto beans and navy beans make great substitutes for haricot beans if you can’t find them easily where you live.
Lastly, consider using molasses or black treacle instead of brown sugar sauce when preparing vegan-style baked beans. Molasses add depth of flavor and work well as a substitute for the pork salt bacon usually used in traditional recipes.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to achieve fantastic results when cooking up a batch of delicious homemade British Baked Beans!
As with any recipe, it’s natural to have a few questions or concerns along the way. That’s why in this section, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about my British Baked Beans recipe, so you can cook up some delicious and satisfying beans without any worries. Whether you’re wondering about ingredient substitutions or cooking time, I’ve got you covered with answers to your burning questions. So, let’s dive into the FAQs!
How are British baked beans different?
In the United Kingdom, the beloved baked beans consist of navy beans, also known as haricot, in a savory tomato sauce that has a subtle sweetness. Unlike the American variation, the British version does not include any pork and the brand of choice is typically Heinz, although there are alternative options available.
What is the difference between English baked beans and American baked beans?
Baked beans are a staple dish in both American and English cuisine, but their recipes differ in flavor and ingredients. While American baked beans are slow-cooked with molasses and pork salt or bacon, English-style baked beans feature a more savory taste with a tomato sauce base – Heinz baked beans being a popular example.
What do British call baked beans?
The classic British dish of baked beans on toast is typically prepared using a type of white bean known as navy beans or haricot beans. These small but mighty beans also go by other monikers such as Boston beans and white pea beans in England.
Are Heinz baked beans different in the UK?
In comparison to the American style, the British variety of baked beans, such as Heinz Beanz, have a tomato-based sauce that is not as thick nor flavored with smoky or sweet notes, as stated by the culinary expert, Ginger. Additionally, these baked beans are vegetarian-friendly.
In conclusion, homemade British baked beans are the perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch. This recipe is easy to make and offers a rich, comforting taste that is sure to become a household favorite. Using fresh ingredients like chopped tomatoes, black treacle, garlic, and onions can elevate the flavors to a new level.
By following my tips and recommendations, you too can make a scrumptious pot of traditional British baked beans in no time. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to make this recipe your very own. Whether you prefer a stovetop or slow cooker version, adding parsley or molasses pork for an extra kick, or serving it with bacon and eggs on toast, there is no wrong way to enjoy homemade British baked beans.
So next time you’re in the mood for a hearty meal, look no further than this delicious beans recipe. I guarantee that once you try these homemade British baked beans, Heinz beanz will be a distant memory.
British Baked Beans Recipe
- 250 g pinto beans or 250 g haricot beans
- 200 g unsmoked back bacon (tastes better with) (optional)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons black treacle
- 800 g chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- parsley, chopped
- Soak the beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Then cook according to pack instructions (I leave the lid off the pan, and add a tsp of baking soda to combat the gas producing side effects of beans. It works very well). Remember to boil well for 10 minutes before simmering, or you may get a tummy upset!
- Heat a large pan and add the bacon if using (if not using, make sure you use something else to lift the beans - more salt, a bit of chili, worcester sauce or whatever. These can also be added to the bacon version for still more flavour). Fry for 1 minute.
- Add the onion, celery (I use celery salt) and garlic, and continue to fry for 4-5 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the onion has started to soften.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, black treacle and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the cooked beans. Return to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (or put into crockpot on low to be ready and waiting later).
- Stir in the chopped parsley then spoon over toast, into jacket potato, or whatever.
- Freezes well.
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Brian is a British chef cum food blogger who has been in the kitchen since he was a young lad. Growing up in Manchester, he developed a passion for cooking and a keen eye for the perfect dish. He now runs his own blog and YouTube channel, which is dedicated to sharing his passion for food with the world.