When it’s cold and blustery out there, and all you’ve got is a rain-drenched dog walk to look forward to, sometimes you need something ordinary, easy, warming, and tasty to eat. I like to think of Boston Baked Beans as comfort food, but the fact is, it’s nothing more than homemade baked beans.
If you get the proportions right (sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t) it tastes just like baked beans out of a can, but without the mysterious ingredients that are not food as we know it.
Anyhow, Boston Baked Beans has bacon in it, so that’s a one-step-jump up from the tinned stuff anyway.
This is a really old recipe; I copied it from one that was written in my Nanny’s handwriting, and she’s been gone for over 30 years.
Boston Baked Beans
It’s best in the oven, but I do it in the slow cooker these days because I don’t have time to be worrying about the oven.
1-2 small brown onions, chopped roughly
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 350g tin plain beans (supposed to use navy beans, but whatever you have lurking)
1 tblsp black treacle
1 tblsp English mustard
A good handful of bacon scraps, scissored into bite-sizes.
1. The original recipe said to just throw everything in together, and it works really well, I assure you, but if you’re using shitty bacon with water in it, you get a better texture when you cook the water out, so I throw the bacon into a dry saucepan to begin with, and cook it without oil for a few minutes until the water boils off.
2. Add a bit of olive oil, crisp up the bacon a bit, and add the onion.
3. Tip in the beans, the tomatoes, the treacle and mustard, and mix. Salt slightly (the bacon adds enough salt really).
4. Either put in the oven in a lidded casserole dish for about 2 hours on a very low heat – maybe 140 degrees C / 280 degrees F or a little hotter, but keep an eye on it.
5. Dish it out over toast and cover liberally in grated cheddar. Total yum.
Image c/o wayoutwestfood.wordpress.com because I was too lazy to take a picture of mine