Sunday, January 8, 2012

Homemade baked beans - the breakfast of champions

My family love my homemade baked beans. My daughter in fact does not even eat tinned baked beans but she, and her friends when they visit, can't get enough of these. They are low in fat but high in both flavour and fibre.

This is a recipe I adapted from one in Jill Dupleix's cookbook, Old Food. I have had this book for years and it is very well-worn. Her baked cheesecake was a  make-ahead dinner party staple for years. My recipe varies from hers in a several ways but keeps the original flavours.

You will love these baked beans. They are inepensive but delicious. They do use maple syrup with can be expensive here in Australia but there Queen now bottles some in Tasmania and Aldi also stocks sometimes so there are options out there.

I use a ham hock, the end of the Christmas ham is perfect and is what I used when I made these a few days agao, but they sell them year-round at the supermarket deli.

Homemade Baked Beans
1 ham bone or hock
1 onion diced
4 240g tins of beans drained and rinsed (any combination of navy beans, white beans, cannellini beans will do, you can make one tin kidney beans for variety)
2 cloves
1 tin diced tomatoes
1tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp maple syrup
2tbsp worstershire sauce
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1 extra tablespoon brown sugar (optional)

Heat some olive oil in a heavy based casserolle dish or saucepan with a lid. Add the onion and cook on low until soft, about 5 minutes. Stick the cloves into the ham hock and add to pan. Add remaining ingredients (except extra brown sugar) plus 2 cups of water to pan. Stir and cover.

This is mine just before I put it in the oven.

Bake in the oven for 1.5 hours, stirring once or twice, if you feel it's too dry you can add extra water, though I have never had to. Remove lid and take out ham hock, remove meat and fat from the bone. Also remove the cloves and bay leaf at this time. Return meat to the pan and extra brown sugar if using and bake an additional half hour.


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