Some time ago, I made baked beans for the first time. Experimentation hasn’t stopped, just because it was delicious. Oh no, dear reader – I am in search of the ultimate baked bean! Perfection is a difficult state to achieve, and while I don’t think I’ve reached it just yet, this is quite close. Mouth-wateringly close. Excuse me while I look for a tissue to wipe my chin…
- 1 cup dry lima bean
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 4 slices free ranged bacon (optional)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Soak the lima beans over night in ample water with a pinch of bicarbonate soda. An hour before use, boil the beans in clean hot water for 20 minutes, and allow to cool before using them.
- In a saucepan (or a slow cooker with a sear function) sauté the bacon until cooked. Remove from pan.
- In the bacon fat (or some olive oil if bacon is omitted) fry off the onion and garlic until it is fragrant. Add the diced vegetables and sauté lightly.
- Add all ingredients back to the pot and cook at a low simmer for 4 hours on the stove top. If you are using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. The longer the better.
- Serve hot.
This meal could easily become vegetarian by omitting the bacon. The flavour loss shouldn’t be too dramatic.
Diabetic Note: I have to admit that I shudder just a little at the amount of pre made sauces I used here. The brown sugar, BBQ sauce and Tomato Sauce are all exceptionally high in sugar. Those six tablespoons are divided amongst six serves, making that about a tablespoon of sugar per serve. Monitor your blood glucose levels accordingly.
Ethical Note: I love using dried beans. Although canned beans are much more convenient, they have a much higher carbon footprint. Consider planning your meals ahead of time and utilising dried stocks where possible.