24 November 2010

Homemade baked beans

I made baked beans and pork last week. It was delicious and very filling. Recipes for baked beans are similar but you can change the recipe to suit your own tastes. If you like hot beans, add fresh chilli, or chilli flakes; if you like a mustard taste, increase the mustard. This is a great frugal family recipe that can be frozen or served again the following day and it will taste even better than the first day's serving. Do it from scratch, don't substitute canned beans because you'll be robbing yourself of the real experience. Everyone should taste real baked beans at some time during their life.

You'll need navy|haricot beans because they'll take on the flavours you add while keeping their shape, more or less, over the long cooking period. Wash the beans and discard the water, then soak the beans in water overnight. Don't add salt to the water because you'll harden the beans; you'll be adding all your delicious flavourings and seasonings later.

2 cups uncooked navy beans that have been soaked overnight
2 litres|quarts water
1 large onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses or treacle
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
pork of some kind - this can be leftover from another meal, or bacon, ribs, pork chops or shoulder. Use whatever is a cheap cut that week at the butchers or whatever you have as leftovers. If the pork is uncooked, cook it in a frying pan first, then put to one side.

After the beans have been soaked, discard the water, add the beans to a large pot and add the water, bay leaves and the quartered onion. No seasonings at this point. Bring the beans to the boil, then simmer for about an hour. If you cooked the pork in a frying pan, use that in the next step. Add the diced onion and saute for a couple of minutes, add the mustard and stir it in, cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for two minutes, while stirring. This will increase the flavour and get rid of that sharp tomato taste. Then add the rest of the flavourings - the brown sugar, molasses, sauce, salt and pepper, stir it all until well combined and add one cup of water to bring it all together.

Now you have to transfer everything to either a slow cooker, cast iron pot or casserole dish with a lid. Drain the beans and place them in the pot, mix in the flavourings, then cut the pork and add it. Mix well to combine. Have a test taste to make sure you have your seasonings exactly right. Adjust to suit, then either turn on the slow cooker (low setting) or put the pot in the oven on a low setting. Cook very slowly for at least six hours. It is the slow cooking of this dish that makes the difference. It allows all the flavours to fully develop. During the cooking process, stir the beans occasionally.

This very homely meal can be served with salad but we like it with crusty homemade bread. Perfect! It's one of the best winter meals, but it's also a winner at other times, so don't only serve it when you're cold.



  1. Lovely Rhonda. Next time I am shopping I will be buying navy bean seeds to plant so we can have home made baked beans.

  2. I make mine in the slow cooker and our family favourite is using ham juice left over from a ham dinner. Rarely do we put in any tomato type ingredients.

  3. Sounds great for tomorrow. Here in France we expect our first blast of winter weather at the end of the week. Eating baked beans with homemade bread is delicious but even better with home grown desiree potatoes. Might just finish off with lemon suet pudding and custard. Then sleep all afternoon!

  4. And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, well this old dog has never cooked baked beans so yet again I have gleaned a new trick from your blog. I, like Kimmy have added them to my shopping list. Hope Hanno is feeling chipper again.

    Blessings Gail

  5. I'm sure my youngest daughter would live on baked beans if I let her so I'm going to try this! Thanks for the recipe :)

  6. I may have been a strange kid. My dad made great baked beans. I loved to take the leftovers, warm them up and make a baked bean sandwich for lunch. I love bread, I love baked beans, so why not. - Margy

  7. oh...I want to try making this. Thanks for the recipe!

  8. I'm trying to increase the number of bean dishes we eat, as beans store so well as well as being good for you. I can also grow several varieties in the UK.
    We do like 'proper' baked beans (being English, my children have a taste for the tinned ones too!) and we all also loved beans with ham hock.
    Hock is a very cheap cut here (also called the hough or knuckle- the pointy end of the shank) and is available smoked or unsmoked. I used unsmoked and cooked it with beans (black eyed, I think)in the slow cooker. I had some caramelised onions in the freezer, so I added them towards the end. You don't need extra salt.I pulled the meat off the bone to serve.
    We ate it with sweet chilli sauce, so a bit of a mish mash of cuisines, but very tasty, very filling and made enough to freeze some. (I put that in an enamelled iron casserole dish and heated it on top of our woodstove, much to my 9 year old's delight! It's not a cooking range, just for heat, but the cooking heat was 'free' and meant I could stay by the fire!)

  9. I'll add this to my cooking plans for the summer here in S Africa along with baking bread. I have stockpiled all of the ingredients for both for ages, but always say 'not enough time' to do either. I'm working very part-time over the summer and with the schools almost out, no more excuses! Can't wait--yum yum!

  10. Homemade baked beans always taste nicer. It's good enough to be a fancy dinner in my house. I use individual baking dishes and drop an egg in the center and bake in the oven until the egg is cooked. It looks good, tastes good, very healthy meal.

  11. Hi Rhonda from marketsandmore.blogspot.com.Your recipe sound delicious.I buy the most amazing pork from a market in country Victoria and like you just love to cook those old fashion meals for my family.Love your posts Rhonda.
    Thanks Lori

  12. What a coincidence, I searched for a baked beans recipe last week. I will give this recipe a try also. It sounds delicious and very suitable for the time of year as we entered the 'dark months' here in the Netherlands

  13. What a coincidence.. I had my baked beans soaking last night for preparation today.. glad to see you posting about them..

  14. You had me from "Homemade Baked Beans" lol I love them with a little bit of bbq and brown sugar flavor! Now I know how to not rely on cans. Thanks for the recipe :)

  15. I've had a packet of haricot beans on the kitchen counter for ages intending to try making my own baked beans. I also bought a slow cooker a couple of months ago but didn't connected the two - til now! My mother tried making her own baked beans when we were kids - not very successfully. They were very hard - she only tried the once!

  16. I love to put chipotle peppers in my baked beans, oh what flavor! With the turn in the weather to icy temperatures a pot of beans sounds like a good idea.

    Enjoyed the simple instructions.


  17. Hi Rhonda, I've been reading your blog for a while so I think it's time I started 'paying' for your wonderful posts by commenting! My husband and I are off out on what will be a long day tomorrow so I'm popping to the farm shop on my way home to pick up some beans so this lovely meal can be ready and waiting in the AGA when we get home. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it already, especially as they're forcasting snow for us here in the UK over the next few days! Kate.

  18. For those who need to be gluten free - please check the contents of that tin/container of dry mustard powder as many contain wheaten flour. Suggest you substitute this with your own favourite made up, gluten free mustard, whatever the type of mustard will be - it will still add to the flavour of this wonderful dish
    (beause you will already have checked to the gluten-freeness of the pork cut you are using in it)

    All so yummo, dear Rhonda - is the beans my innards can't cope with.

    Happy cooking and eating of real, proper baked beans, YUMMO beans,

    Michelle in Wellington

  19. If I hate tinned baked beans, am I likely to enjoy this?
    We had tinned baked beans once a fortnight as a breakfast treat. It wasn't a treat for me, but in retrospect, I am not sure if the problem was the flavour or that other well-known effect of baked beans. I used to feel quite unwell for days afterwards, but didn't make the connection until I was an adult!

  20. Beans are beans, Chookie. I guess the only way to really know is to try them. They taste much better than tinned beans but the after effects will probably be the same.

  21. Hi Rhonda, having never liked canned baked beans...all that mushy dry taste when you bite into them....Not sure I would like it, but I am always introducing new and healthy foods into the house...this may be the inspiration I have been looking for....I'm going to buy some now and give them a try....Thanks


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