Maple baked beans

This is a pretty darn easy recipe for some pretty darn good beans.

Surely that’s enough to encourage you to have a go.

If you were smart enough to put your Christmas ham bone in the freezer so it may wait for a good and noble use, now is the time to rip that sucker out.

The beans go into the pot with all of the good bits of smoked pig


(serves 8 as a side)

1 ham bone with last skerricks of ham (or 300-400g chopped ham, bacon, smoked pork, smoked sausage or whatever smoky-porky goodness you may be hiding)
1 brown onion, diced
4x 400g tins cooked pinto beans
½ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1lt water
A pinch of salt and pepper to season

Sauté the onion with the ham.
(This can be done in a kettle BBQ or bullet for a little extra smoke if you like it like that. I like it like that).
Add all other ingredients and cook over low-medium coals with the lid on for 45 or so minutes, adding a splash or two of water if it starts to get a little dry (this could also be cooked in a preheated 160C (320F) oven or on the stovetop).
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Remove bone and pick over for any little bits of ham that want to be thrown back into the beans. Throw said ham back into the beans.
Eat beans with a fat slab of ham on the side… or some BBQ…or eggs… you get the picture, right?

All good to go

Cowboy beans! Yeehaw!

So I made some cowboy beans.

Actually, I’m not even sure what cowboy beans are, but this is what I imagine they may be. But they may not be this at all. Definitely do not tell your friends these are OG cowboy beans as that may not be fact. I would even go so far as to say there is a high chance it would not be fact. It could even be said that you pretty much just shouldn’t take any of the words on these here pages, or indeed those that pass my lips, as being fact. I’m pretty much a big fat faker. This is not gospel and I am not the lord. Onto those beans…

I feel they would be most authentic served from a big pot on the back of the chuck wagon. That is a fact.

Time for oven loving

Now it’s get into my face time


(For the family. Like the whole family. Like extended family, neighbours, stray kids and those carnie folk just barely clinging onto life in the cage under your back stair case… and then there will probably still be some to freeze down for later.)

500g navy beans, black beans or whatever the frick kinda dried beans you have floating about in the back of your wagon, soaked over night and then cooked until tender
500-800g whatever meat you have floating about in the back of your wagon. BBQ leftovers are the best for this – smoked brisket, pork ribs, actually any cut of pork or sausages… roast left overs… or just some nice smoky porky things from your local man
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce
1 tablespoon each American ballpark mustard and Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Big Red Rub or your favourite BBQ dry rub
½ cup tomato ketchup
3x 400g tins crushed or chopped tomatoes or something similar
Salt and pepper
Fried eggs (or crack them straight into the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes for tasty-assed one pan glory), chopped fresh herbs, jalapenos and toast to serve

Chop meat/s into bite sized chunks.
Heat a splash of oil in a large oven pan over medium heat. Add meat/s and sauté until browned a little.
Add all other ingredients and cook out for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary (that’s what your salt and pepper is for).
Place into 180-200C oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if mix starts to dry out – kinda saucy is kinda good I reckon. (You could finish these beans totally on the stovetop if you don’t feel like lighting your oven… or you just don’t actually have an oven… but they really do benefit from a little oven bubbly caramelized tomato bits. Jus’ saying)
That’s it. Serve it up – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty simple, just how the cowboys would’ve liked it. Yeehaw.

Another rant about home made baked beans

baked beans
I know I have waxed the lyrical, stood atop my soap box spruked about and just down right pleaded with you to make your own baked beans. They are a totally different world of awesome. If you do not believe me and choose a path of abstinence from making your own beans then there is nothing more I can do to help you. You are on your own now child.

There are several rules when making top notch baked beans;

1. Get some smoked pork in there; Good baked beans 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… wait, no pork I should say… beef should be A.O.K
2. Bake the beans; They are called baked beans for a reason. They can not get the same oven-generated crusty bits when cooked on the stove top and so lack a little extra depth of flavour (I’m sorry you had to read those words. I should definitely have prefixed them with a large, illuminated sign that read “wanker alert”). Also, they are more prone to sticking and burning with the direct heat from the burner. Pretty shit time all round actually…
3. Read points 1 and 2 again before you move on

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 garantee, yes guarantee, you will be a happy camper. Unless of course you are actually camping but hate the outdoors, in which case I can guarantee you will not be a happy camper. I’ve really got to get my story straight somewhere along the line.

From this...
From this…

To this...
To this…

To this... served up with morcilla, cottage cheese, egg and rocket, and the remainder portioned and frozen down behind the postman :)
To this… served up with morcilla, cottage cheese, egg and rocket, and the remainder portioned and frozen down behind the postman 🙂


3x 400g tins canellini or navy beans
2x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
300-400g 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 dried oregano or thyme, or a mix of both, or whatever herbs you like (you’ll work your favourite combo in time I’m sure)
Some kind of chilli. I had 1 fresh long green chilli but a good pinch of dried chilli flakes or a splash of hot sauce would do the trick, and a fresh jalepeno would be really good
A splash of BBQ or worcestshire sauce if you’re feeling it
Eggs (cooked), toasted sourdough, cottage cheese (or feta or 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. Tastes heaps better then it sounds), onion and spices
• Add beans and tomato, cook in 170C oven for 1 hour (possibly a little longer if you are using ham hock as it will need a little time to soften up), stirring a couple of times
• Check seasoning
• Serve with all the stuff it says up there
• I like to make a batch that is double to triple the size of this recipe so I can freeze it down in portions in the boxed icey tundra that is my freezer, right behind the postman… er, let’s just pretend you didn’t read that. He was a nasty prick though… had it coming…

Five ingredient exploding tastebud technique for Troppo #3… Baked beans

I don’t know how it works for the rest of the civilized world, but starting a new job as a head chef is plenty time consuming. There are menus to be written, recipe cards to be measured and weighed, new staff to work out and quite possibly the odd flogging to be administered… and all the beer you have to drink to deal with all the additional stress… and the strange looks and constant mockery when you let it slip that you’re into ethnic carnie midget sex. I just must keep my mouth closed sometimes…

Rant done. Time it short at the moment is possibly the point I was trying to get across. Hence the lack of posting… but not today.

I’ve mowed the lawns, cleaned my car and now it’s just starting seriously pissing down rain (which is quite lucky because since the floods this year there are sea creatures in our backyard whose skin was starting to look a little dry. Sarcasm is a pretty high form of wit where I’m from) so I am going to get another post or two done while I have this time, in a sure fire and steadfast fashion… even though I do not know what that means.

The pool is full, the garden is watered, but the washing alas, did not stand a chance
The pool is full, the garden is watered, but the washing alas, did not stand a chance

I’m sure I’ve posted a baked beans recipe previously and I have noticed that I have so you can find that here. But if I had to break it down to the five lowest common denominators it would be thus… beans, tomatoes, onion, pork product and herbs. You’ve got everything you need in the cupboard. Rock and roll!

Get these things out of your cupboard and or fridge. Except the novelty moustache mug. You probably didn't get one of those
Get these things out of your cupboard and or fridge. Except the novelty moustache mug. You probably didn’t get one of those
Ready for the fire
Ready for the fire


2 tins cannellini beans. Mine even came with a recipe that contained only five ingredients just to stick with the theme of this little segment. Winning or what?

2 tins crushed tomatoes. Or 1 tin of tomatoes and a handful of cherry tomatoes from your garden

a handful of salami, prosciutto, bacon, ham… whatever smoked or cured pork product you can get your grubby little hands on. Unless you are carnival folk in which case you will need to use your grubby little hooves

1 brown onion, diced

a sprig of rosemary or thyme or both or some dried oregano or dried mixed herbs… are you getting the picture


I also had a few “optional extra” ingredients that didn’t quite fit into the top five. In no particular order they were some Japanese peppers, parmesan cheese, a novelty moustache mug that Jennee bought me, a fire and a camp oven because, as has been said before on these pages, good things start with fire. Unless of course your foxhole is getting flushed out with a flame thrower, in which case you should stop reading this and get the fuck out of there. Seriously, you should be more alert than that.

  • Sweat off your onion and pork product until onions a soft and smelling porky
  • Add everything else, put the lid on the camp oven and cover with a few coals to get that camp oven goodness effect (in lieu of a camp oven and a fire, at this time you may put the beans into the oven at 180-200C)
  • Bake for 45 minutes while you sit around the fire talking about how good it would be if you could have a sneaky beer right now
  • Smell the goodness? Trust your nose, it’s telling you the time has come
  • Dish it up, add a handful of parmesan cheese and a good splash of olive oil and eat it in your face!

These are clearly the goods for camp breakfast too. Crack a couple of eggs in at the end and cover for another two minutes and glory be. Awesome baked beans for breakfast and wide open spaces for you to be flatulent in…