I whipped these up on a rainy Sunday recently and they were so warming and comforting. Top with a poached egg, serve with chunky cheesy toast or just enjoy on their own. These beans make a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can even freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Smokey homemade baked beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 rashers good quality middle bacon, rind removed, finely chopped (I used a maple-cured bacon from the Barossa Valley)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 sprig fresh thyme)
2 x 400g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
sea salt and cracked black pepper
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, bacon, garlic, paprika and thyme for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the beans and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, stock/water, sugar, Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. Bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce had reduced and thickened.
For a delicious dinner, make these beans into cheesy pot pies. Just spoon into small, ovenproof dishes. Combine ricotta cheese with an egg, grated parmesan, chopped herbs or chopped, wilted spinach and a little lemon juice. Season and spoon over the beans. Place dishes on a tray and bake in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve with sourdough toast.