Cheat's Baked Beans

Wednesday 3 June 2015

 photo SAM_9033_zpsszpszc3u.jpg

One of our favourite suppers when I was growing up was my mother's homemade baked beans.  Oh my but they were absolutely gorgeous.   She would start the night before by soaking the dried beans overnight and then early the next morning, often even before anyone else was up, she began her magic with them . . . putting everything together and into her bean crock and into the oven, so that by the time we woke up we could already smell the deliciousness that was waiting for us later in the day!

  photo SAM_9034_zpsxcbufvl6.jpg

Homemade baked beans are not a slow supper, but they are surely worth the wait.   We always had them with weiners, or ham and thick slices of homemade bread.   My mother always sprinkled vinegar on hers.  She said it took away the "snap," meaning the musical after effects.  My dad always liked to sprinkle sugar on his.

We sprinkled both on ours.  What can I say.  Try it, it's good.

 photo SAM_9035_zpsgpi7tcrb.jpg

I don't know what has happened to the weather lately, but today was bitter cold and we were craving something warm and comforting for our tea.   I had been eyeing this recipe up in a book of mine called "The Vegetarian Pantry" by Chloe Coker and Jane Montgomery, for "Homemade Baked Beans."    Today was the perfect day for me to make them.

 photo SAM_9037_zpsxmsy3ipz.jpg

I wouldn't exactly call them homemade, but after having made them todayI would say they taste pretty close to homemade . . .  with an extra bit of a pizzazz.   They were delicious actually and we both really, really enjoyed them.   Whilst they were not really quick to make, they were worth the extra time.  They made an excellent store cupboard supper.  Todd had his in the British way . . .  on toast.

   photo SAM_9038_zpsfjxcaeqe.jpg

*Cheat's Baked Beans*
Serves 2 to 4

 A delicious way to get something which tastes like the from scratch baked beans my mother made, in less than half the time.  Serve with plenty of crusty bread or cornbread to sop up all the tastiness! 

2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 TBS dark soft brown sugar
1 TBS dark treacle or molasses
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika (I like to use smoked)
1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
1 (400g) tin of haricot beans, drained and rinses (14 ounce)
1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice (14 ounce)
225ml of vegetable stock (1 cup)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

 photo SAM_9039_zps27kfmww1.jpg

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.

 photo SAM_9041_zpsqw9z4woh.jpg

Put the onion, oil and 2 tsp of water in a flameproof casseroe and cover with a lid.   Cook gently over low heat for about 10 minutes, without allowing the onion to take on too much colour.   Add the garlic, brown sugar, treacle, mustard, paprika and  vinegar.  Stir to combine.   Stir in the beans and tomatoes, as well as the stock.  Bring to the boil and cook for two minutes.  Cover with a lid and then transfer to the oven.

Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours.  If at the end of that time you think the consistency is too liquidy, put on the top over gentle heat and reduce the liquid to your desired consistency.   Season to taste and serve hot with crusty or corn bread.


  1. These sound yummy. Do you think they could be done in a slow cooker on low, rather in the oven? I'd love to come home to these after a long day at work.

    I enjoy your blog very much. I hope to visit England one day - but until I do - your blog will have to be the substitute.


  2. Debbie, I am sure they would work quite well on low all day in the slow cooker! Let me know how you get on!

  3. What is it about "baked beans" (whether they're truly "baked" or out of a can) that almost every person I've ever known, especially kids, ALWAYS like? Anyway, as soon as I read your comment about your mother and her remedy for the "snap" I had to laugh. This INSTANTLY brought back a hysterical episode that occurred in my family a LONG time ago. Now this occurred when my brother was about 6 or 7 years old. To let you know just how LONG ago that was he is now 48 and I'm 53, and we STILL have a laugh about this every once in a blue moon. Picture this, sitting around the dinner table in the evening, it's my mother, my father, me (about 12 years old) and my brother, about 7 having dinner and baked beans are part of the meal. I have no clue any longer what the rest of the meal may have been and with a completely straight face my brother begins quoting the following poem:
    "Beans, beans, the musical fruit
    The more you eat, the more you toot,
    The more you toot, the better you feel,
    Let's have beans at every meal!"

    And then he went back to just sitting there quietly eating his meal. I don't know if I EVER saw my parents laugh so hard in their lives. It was partly in the way he delivered the whole thing, completely straight face. It wasn't the way most little kids do things they think are funny, laughing and giggling the entire time, he was dead serious. To this day if we bring it up (usually its my mom that brings it up) he still only gets this cheesy looking grin on his face as if he knows something we don't. Geeezzzzz! Little brothers! Trust me ladies, they may grow up and become grown men but there will ALWAYS still be something in them that makes them annoying little brothers. At almost 50 years of age my brother has been known to STILL play a trick on me or a prank. I guess he'll never change, and yes, he STILL gets away with murder and NEVER gets in trouble!!!! I guess I'll keep him though.....

  4. Haha Pam, thanks for the story and the memory. We used to sing that ditty when we were kids as well! Baby brothers will always be baby brothers! I have one too! xoxo

  5. I love these beans too Marie:))


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!