The baked beans of greatness

These beans are supergreat. I invented them and aptly titled them the baked peans of greatness, because they are so great. It’s science. With no further ado…

Tha beans:

400g (14 ounce) pork belly strips

480g (17 ounce) pre-prepared borlotti or cannelli beans. This is about 240g (8.45oz) dried beans, or two 400g (14oz) cans.

400g canned chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp sucanut, or coconut sugar, or brown sugar – whatevs you like to use. Maybs even honey, but I haven’t tried it. Please let me know if you do!

1 large garlic clove, crushed and chopped

1 small-medium brown onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, or dijon works too

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven nice and hot, around 220ºc (430ºf)

Get out your little stockpot, or your big saucepan, or if you are lucky enough, your cast iron dutch oven and get it on the stove. Whatever you get out, make sure it is both stovetop and oven safe! I mean, you can get around it by transferring the hot beans from the un-oven safe saucepan to a oven crock for the baking bit, but I likes to save dishies.

Chop up the pork belly into little cubes. Real little cubes, around a cm sq or so.

Chuck them in to fry, on a lower heat at first to let the natural fat melt out so a bit of lubrication, then heat it up a little bit and fry, stirring, so you’ve got some yummy crispy-yet-still-juicy little squares, and lots of nice fat in the pot. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, so you are leaving the fat in the pot. Set aside in a bowl.

Add the onion and garlic and stir for a minute or two, until golden and fragrant. Add the mustard, fennel and paprika and stir about for a maybe a minute.

Return the pork belly, and add the tomato, paste and brown sugar. Cook over medium for 5-10 mins to let the flavours infuse, season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the beans and mix in and cook for another couple mins. Not too long, we will bake’ em for a bit and we don’t want the little dudes to get mushy.

Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the beans and chuck the pot in the oven, uncovered. Crisp up that cheese for a crunchy top. I like to serve the beans in the same pot on the table. Serve with sourdough toast with some flat leaf parsley. And sweet, milky English Breakfast Tea, should we be keepin’ with tradition and having these for brekky.

Girlfriend loves these beans.

Pics coming soon!


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