Baked beans

Baked beans


5 people made this

About this recipe: These oven-baked beans are cooked slowly to create a richly flavoured vegetable dish – a revelation if you've only ever eaten the tinned variety. Serve alongside grilled pork chops, together with potatoes or bread.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 6 

  • 225 g (8 oz) dried haricot beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 5 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (225g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) dry cider
  • 30 g (1 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Prep:9hr30min  ›  Cook:3hr30min  ›  Ready in:13hr 

  1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse under cold running water. Put them in a saucepan, cover with plenty of fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 50–60 minutes or until tender. Drain well and place in a beanpot or casserole dish.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3). Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the shallots, garlic and celery, and sautéfor about 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in all the canned tomatoes with their juice, the dried herbs, cider, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the sugar, treacle and mustard to the tomato sauce, and mix well. Pour the sauce over the beans and stir to mix. Cover the beanpot or casserole and bake for 3½ hours, stirring occasionally. Serve the beans hot, garnished with flat-leaf parsley.

Some more ideas

Use dry white wine or a well-flavoured vegetable stock instead of cider. * Instead of haricot beans, try other dried beans, such as black-eyed or cannellini beans. • For a spicier result, replace the herbs with chilli powder, using mild or hot. * Make Boston baked lentils. Cook 225 g (8 oz) green or brown lentils in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until tender, then drain well. Make the tomato sauce as in the main recipe, but replacing the shallots with 1 large onion and adding a 2.5 cm (1 in) piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped, with the garlic. Instead of cider, use 200 ml (7 fl oz) red wine, and omit the mustard. Mix the cooked lentils with the tomato sauce in an ovenproof dish, cover and bake in a preheated 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) oven for 1–1¼ hours.

Plus points

Shallots tend to have a milder, more subtle flavour than onions, but like onions they contain some vitamin C and B vitamins. * Unrefined sugars such as muscovado retain a proportion of molasses – the brown residue that contains the nutrients of the sugar cane. In general, the darker the sugar, the more molasses it contains, and the more nutrients. * Treacle is a sticky fluid refined from molasses. Though it is primarily carbohydrate in the form of sugar, black treacle can provide useful amounts of potassium, calcium and iron.

Each serving provides

copper * B1, B6, C, E, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc

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Reviews (4)


Delicious, this is how British baked beans are supposed to taste. Modifications: (i) boil the haricot beans with kombu (1 x 4 in) for easier digestion (less wind); (ii) substitute equal amounts of molasses and light brown sugar for the black treacle and muscovado (which is an equivalent mixture); (iii) substitute ten whole pickling onions for the shallots (since I didn’t have any). Caution: in my fan-assisted oven the cooking time was reduced to 3h10 at 150°C. - 13 Dec 2011


Great recipe. Never lets me down. - 13 Jul 2010


Used different ingredients. I added red chillies and bacon (half way through cooking to keep its texture). Also added smoked paprika to give it that smoky flavour. I also subbed the haricot beans for pinto beans. All this gives the dish more texture with the combination of the spicy chillies and sweet sugar and treacle it becomes a taste sensation at any BBQ. - 13 Jul 2010

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