400g/1lb dried haricot beans *
150g/¼lb smoked bacon rashers, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick
pinch ground allspice
1 tsp English mustard powder
5 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
splash Worcestershire sauce
* Alternately forget the soaking, boiling baking etc. and just use canned beans – I bet you wouldn’t know the difference! Make the sauce on the hob and then add the drained beans, leaving it to simmer for about an hour.
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water.
- Drain and place in a large saucepan
- Cover with cold water.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes
- Fry the bacon in a lidded casserole until just golden – for about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Stir in the beans and remaining ingredients
- Season to taste.
- Add 400ml water
- Bring to a gentle simmer
- Cover and transfer to the oven preheated to 160˚C.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Stir in another 400ml water
- Re-cover, then bake for another hour – if the beans look too wet, uncover and return to the oven until some of the liquid has evaporated and a thick sauce coats the beans.
- Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and thyme sprig before serving.