Warning: You need two days to make these! Not much time actually, just more prep and wait, don´t worry!
Such a good classic. I mean, yes some canned versions (or as I like to get: glassed versions) of baked beans in tomato sauce, are just so good ! But what´s even better is this homemade version. A big batch, perfect for freezing in portion sizes. Because, lets face it, if you´re gonna make the effort of making these from scratch, you might as well get a nice amount of servings out of it.
Why soaking it important
- It reduces the cooking time significantly, yay!
- It washes off dirt and potential bacteria
- It releases the indigestible sugars into the water (that causes gas when eaten, some people say, I don´t know if it´s really true or pseudo science, but just soak away anyway my friend, it makes the cooking time shorter)
Discarding the soaking water is also important, as all the stuff we don´t want gets released into the soaking water. Discard it, rinse the beans well and use fresh water for boiling in general. The salt is also of utmost importance as it makes the beans skin expand with water and makes it stretchier (remember osmosis from early school days?) so as they get cooked they are less likely to split and get mushy.
Here I chose to use a variety of beans, haricot, black eyed beans and pinto, use all if you like, but feel free to only use the traditional haricot. Most “from scratch” recipes I see use canned tomatoes and canned beans.. way to go.. or dry beans and still canned tomatoes.. I mean, nothing wrong with it, it´s easy, but lets face it, it´s not “from scratch”.. well, this is NOT it, this is the REAL from scratch with fresh tomatoes and dry beans.
It does have some sweetness, not like the Boston version, the “1-cup-brown-sugar-and-same-amount-of-molasses-craziness”, this is the English version, savoury, tomatoey, umami, slightly sweet and tangy, that´s a bit more healthy than the diabetes version. And..... These baked beans can actually be baked too! Freeze in portion sizes, thaw in the fridge and bake in the oven. Who knew? They are actually better straight out of the oven. Mind. Blown.
Makes about 1.7 liter / 0.5 gallon
Beans soaking 24 hours
- 2.4 dl Haricot beans (1 cup)
- 2.4 dl Black eyed beans (1 cup)
- 2.4 dl Pinto beans (1 cup)
- Water as to cover the beans double
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 kg red ripe tomatoes (2.2 lbs)
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grind black pepper
Add when the beans are finished cooking
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
What you will need
- 1 big bowl for soaking
- 1 strainer
- 1 stick blender and bowl OR 1 blender
- 1 measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- 1 big pot with fitting lid
- 1 spoon to stir
- 1 oven proof dish if baking
Prepare 1 day before:
- Measure the beans and put into a big bowl. Add the salt and enough water to cover the beans and double that amount of water as the beans will soak to about double the size. Cover and sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours
- Wash the tomatoes. Roughly chop, discarding the hard stem part and add to the blender. Peel the onion and garlic, add to the blender with the vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, dried vegetable stock, oregano, basil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Blend smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Best done the day before the cooking, as to get all the flavours in the sauce well combined.
- Strain the beans and rinse well. Add to a big pot with the prepared sauce. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer on medium-low heat with a lid on for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stir every 15 minutes or so, just to not make the beans stick to the bottom. (This cooking time really does vary ! It depends how old your beans are, soaking or not, sometimes it can take 1 hour, sometimes it has to be 2 hours, that is just how beans are, are your dried beans years and years old, they might take 2 hours, even a bit more, just be patient, keep and eye on it and check occasionally when you stir, if the sauce reduces too much with the longer cooking time add a little water as you go).
- When the sauce has reduced and the beans are fully cooked add water as needed, it really depends how liquid and saucy you like it, I like it quite thick. Add in the brown sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. When cooled down, you can store your beans in a tight lid container in the fridge, as freeze some one portion sizes as well as needed from the big batch.
- If baking: When wanting to serve the beans you can grease an oven proof dish with some vegan butter, add the beans to it and bake in a preheated the oven on 200 c (390 F) on convection until golden and slightly crisp on top. Same goes for the frozen ones, just thaw in the fridge before it goes into the oven.
- Or simply, reheat in a pot or microwave and eat as is.
- Enjoy these on toasted bread, in warm tortilla wraps, as a side for a vegan English breakfast, use in the Vegan Southern Bowl or as a side to any dish you like.
- Optional add ons or flavours for the leftovers. Each portion can be served a little different, here´s some ideas:
- More water as to make it as saucy as you like it (i like mine thick and can always dilute to make it saucy with my leftovers)
- Ketchup - for that familiar Heinz baked beans flavour
- Sriracha - need I explain?
- Grated raw garlic, because sometimes a garlicy baked bean is just the best!
- Your choice, pimp them as you like ! This recipe is just a base for your own perfect baked bean !