Not much makes me happier than a pot of something delicious bubbling away on my stove (or better yet atop our fire throughout Winter), filling our little cosy farmhouse with scrumptious smells and then filling our bellies with warm comforting food. To me, baked beans mean that comfort food. And I am NOT talking about the variety that comes out of a can. Gag. Puh-lease! Don’t eat that crap. It pains me how much my husband enjoys tinned spaghetti. Sigh. So, in some sort of counter attack, this week my mind turned to making some baked beans of the homemade variety. It just so happened that I visited the girls at Stella’s Pantry recently (you can see their beautiful store featured here) who hooked me up with the business in chorizo. Husband dearest is a big chorizo fan (only the mild variety though, pffft) so I snagged two sausages, so to speak. In my opinion there’s no point beating about the bush with inferior chorizo, you can’t go past a good quality sausage from a great deli like Stella’s Pantry offers. Speaking of shopping local, our friends Stuart and Sandra are dabbling in some farm gate trading from their property here in Thorpy, selling their produce direct to the people. Locals, you can like their Facebook page here. It just so happens that Sandi dropped over some yummy shallots this week along with the onions and purple potatoes I bought, perfect for me to add to my baked beans recipe…
Homemade Baked Beans with Chorizo
400g dried cannellini beans
2 chorizo sausages, diced
4 shallots, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chilli sambal (store bought or you can make your own, or I find great ones at local farmers markets. Can also substitute for any chilli/tomato/plum chutney or relish, whatever you like or have on hand.)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons golden syrup
1 beef stock cube
1 cup water
Soak the dried beans overnight in enough water to cover them.
In a heavy based ovenproof dish fry off the shallots, garlic and chorizo until shallots are translucent. I like to dice the chorizo rather than slice, so it’s roughly the same size as your beans. Throw your softened beans in and stir through, turn down to medium heat.
Add the tomato paste, chilli sambal, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and golden syrup. Stir through to combine and cook on medium heat for a few minutes. Crush your stock cube over the mix, add water and stir. If you have a good quality beef stock ready in the freezer that would be great, unfortunately I didn’t today. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer gently for about an hour. This is when the flavour really infuses into those beans and your sauce will thicken to all sorts of deliciousness. It should go darker and thicken right up. You can add more water if needed if it is all absorbed, I like my sauce quick thick.
Serve with crusty sour dough, like I got from our local baker Jon this morning. Loads of butter too. Gobble these beans up for breakfast, lunch and lazy (but deliciously hearty!) dinner.
I have made baked beans various different ways before (using a ham hock instead of chorizo, in the slow cooker for hours and hours, with tabasco for extra kick) but this variation is a general crowd pleaser, especially for the chorizo loving husband. The golden syrup gives it a lovely sweetness balanced with the Worchestershire (I am quite the Worchestershire fan so you might not want quite this much in your baked beans).
Now please don’t tell me you eat baked beans out of a can. Say no, people! Just no. All those numbers and preservatives – jeepers.
Bought anything delicious at a local store or farm gate recently?
Or better yet had it delivered to your door like my shallots? Sandi, I still owe you ten bucks!