Maple baked beans
Let the oven do all the work with this spicy one-pot dish inspired by Boston baked beans – they're perfect for stuffing into jacket potatoes or spooning over toasted sourdough
- Serves: 6 persons
- 500g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1large onion, finely chopped
- 2stalks celery, finely chopped
- 150g smoked bacon (whole piece ideally), cut into 3cm pieces
- 3tbsp tomato purée
- 1sprig rosemary
- 2bay leaves
- 600ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 2whole dried chipotle chillies
- 4tbsp maple syrup
- 2tbsp cider vinegar
- 2tbsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
- jacket potatoes, cornbread or soured cream, to serve
Step 1Drain the soaked cannellini beans and rinse again in cold water. Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
Step 2Heat the oil in a casserole or heavy, lidded, ovenproof frying pan, and fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to turn lightly golden around the edges – turn up the heat slightly, if you need to.
Step 3Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute until it turns deep red, then add the herbs, beans and stock – if necessary, top up with more stock or water to cover the beans. Bring to a bubble and stir in the chillies, maple syrup, cider and mustard. Season well – the beans will absorb a lot of flavour as they cook.
Step 4Once bubbling, stir well, add the lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours until the beans are tender, adding a splash of water during cooking if the beans look like they’re too dry. Remove the lid once the beans are tender and cook for 15-20 minutes or until thickened and saucy. Taste for seasoning, adding extra vinegar, mustard and maple syrup, if you like. Add an extra splash of water if needed to make it saucy. Fish out any whole chillies, chop and stir back into the beans. Discard the bay and rosemary. Serve in jacket potatoes, with cornbread, or on its own with a swirl of soured cream.