Monday, 9 September 2013

Baked beans from scratch!

I love beans on toast.  Well, I usually don't put the beans on toast, more next to toast.  I'd never even heard of this delicious concept before my first trip to the UK.  It makes sense in a way because UK and US baked beans are so different - I can't really imagine eating US baked beans with toast.  If you're in the US and have never had UK baked beans, hit a Kroger (or whatever other store has a British section) and buy a can of Heinz Beanz.  They're far less sweet and more tomato-y than your Bush's baked beans or what have you.  I was about to suggest eating them with sausage (as well as toast, of course), but I don't think you can get a British-style veggie sausage in the US.*  But along with the toast, you can eat them with some tofu scramble, fake bacon and sauteed mushrooms for a (nearly) full English!**

So, with the slow cooker beans I cooked the other day, I made some baked beans.  I used this recipe, except that I obviously didn't cook the beans the same night.  I just threw 3 cups of cooked beans into the sauce at the stage that tells you to combine the beans and sauce.  I used sriracha for the hot sauce because it's the only hot sauce I trust.

I was looking for a recipe that emulated Heinz Beanz, but these tasted like reduced sugar Heinz Beanz with hot sauce.  Honestly, I questioned the hot sauce, but I thought this was supposed to be an authentic recipe, so I went with it.  That said, I'd definitely make these again, just with a few changes.

*This is actually kinda funny because I was just saying in a PPK thread about ex-pats that I didn't find the transition from US to UK that difficult because there are so many similarities.

**My understanding is that a full Scottish (breakfast) differs from a full English in that it contains tattie scones and haggis and/or black pudding.  I could be wrong, and I'm too lazy to GTS***, so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

***OK, so I did a bit of Googling and learned something pretty interesting.  Baked beans are native to North America, so they were originally sold in the UK at Fortnum & Mason as a high-end, exotic import for crazy money.  And now they're cheap as chips and are a staple in the diet of nearly every person in the UK.


  1. Ah, beans on toast. I literally used to eat that for breakfast every single day!

  2. The baked bean story makes sense, since American baked beans are associated with New England, and those colonists got it from the Native Americans. True Boston baked beans use indigenous heirloom varieties. Makes sense they would cross over to the UK. I've never eaten a "full breakfast" but I've witnessed it. They're pretty scary!

  3. I nearly always add hot sauce, or something else to jazz up my Brit baked beans, if that's any comfort to you!