Good baked beans are super easy but they do owe a debt of gratitude to a good ham bone or smoked sausage, it just improves the flavour of these little legumes ten fold. Unless you are vegetarian or one of the other groups of people out there who are wrong about smoked pork. Except Muslims… I got no beef with them. Add a good hit of patiently-slow-cooking and the holy trinity is complete (I know it’s actually a pair, but trinity really does have a more regal ring to it). These bad boys can’t be rushed. Oven baking also helps them get a nice extra flavour due to the little crusty bits, which can’t be achieved on the stove top.
This recipe is not one of those times where you have to follow it to the letter. Use different beans if you want, different herbs or whatever you got. As long as you have a bit of good smoked or cured pork product in there (You can even use salami as the meat product if you want) I guarentee, yes guarentee, you will be a happy camper. Unless of course you hate the outdoors, in which case I can guarentee you will not be a happy camper. I’ve really got to get my story straight somewhere along the line.
3 400g tins canellini beans*
2 400g tins crushed tomatoes
1 ham bone or ham hock or some smoked sausage eg.chorizo
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon each dried oregano and thyme, or whatever herbs you like
1 pinch dried chilli flakes
1 cup of breadcrumbs if you want an extra crusty crust. I recommend the extra crusty crust
Toasted sourdough, grated pecorino, fresh herbs and olive oil are always good for that final “yeah I’m boss at this shit” flourish to serve
- Sweat off ham or sausage (hmmm, sweaty sausage. Sounds heaps appealing), onion & spices
- Add beans and tomato, cook in 180C oven for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times
- Check seasoning
- Add eggs straight to the pot if you have them and top with bread crumbs and a bit of cheese
- Back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes
- Serve with all the stuff it says up there.
*or if you want to get special, soak 2 cups of dried cannellini beans over night and then cook them with parmesan rind. Yep. The hard rind that you don’t eat. It’s great to flavour stuff like this. Save it in the freezer for these occassions. You don’t eat parmesan? Not even I can help you with that one my friend…