Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A baked bean brunch





So here's a recipe that falls into the accidental vegan category. Home made baked beans form an excellent brunch option, and are more satisfactory than just pouring some out of  a tin (though the work of Mr Heinz has its place too). Making them means that you have the option of adjusting the levels of seasoning and adding some extra flavours and spices too. For this batch I added a little chilli, but soy sauce, thyme, and mustard have all made appearances previously (though probably not together). Using tinned cooked beans might not seem quite in the spirit of things, but it does make this a pretty excellent meal to make from stuff in the cupboard, and without the need for soaking things overnight. I think a key aspect of these beans is the chunky tomato sauce base, and with some garlic mushrooms, and sliced avocado, this made a really filling and tasty winter (vegan) brunch.


Recipe (enough for around 4 people)

1 tin (410g) cannellini beans, drained
1 tin (300g) haricot beans, drained
2 small dried bay leaves
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped (optional)
1 small stick celery, finely chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 fresh tomato, roughly chopped or handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tblsp sundried tomato puree
1-2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Some generous grinds of black pepper
2-3 tblsp olive oil
Some water

Warm the oil in a medium saucepan and then put in the onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaves. Stir well and leave to cook over a medium/low heat until the vegetables are soft (probably around 15 minutes), then add the garlic, dried herbs and chilli flakes and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add the fresh tomato if you're using any, and then the tinned toms and puree. Make sure everything is well mixed, stir in the sugar, salt and pepper, and pour in around half a tin can full of water. Leave the tomato sauce to simmer gently for around 30 minutes, adding a little more water if it ever looks super thick. Tip in the beans and simmer for another 5-10 minutes before checking the seasoning. Serve piping hot on some nice bread (I had some fancy sourdough and spelt and sunflower seed options), toasted and spread with something non-dairy (eg olive oil or a sunflower spread), and bask in the glow of being an accidental vegan.

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