Beans

Giant Baked Beans

1½ cups dried Lima beans
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 teaspoon each marjoram, oregano and thyme
1-2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
a few shakes hot chili flakes (optional)

Soak the Lima beans for up to 8 hours in cold water, or 1-2 hours in freshly boiled water, until doubled in size. Simmer gently in a large pot with plenty of water until tender. Salt the water and allow to stand for five minutes, then drain.

Finely chop the onion and sweat it in a saucepan with herbs until soft and golden-brown. Add sugar and salt (to taste), canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for a few minutes. Roughly puree using a blender / immersion blender.

Put the cooked beans in a large casserole dish. Pour in the sauce. Stir in two cups hot water and bake, uncovered, for 90 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve on your choice of rice, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc.

Note: If you don’t have Lima beans, haricot/cannellini beans work fine too. But they won’t be as big and fun and yummy.

Vegherd’s Pie

3 cups cooked / 2 400g cans kidney beans and/or chickpeas
2 red/yellow peppers (optional)
2 large onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons plain flour
½ teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and mustard powder
1 teaspoon each mango powder and paprika
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg mashing potatoes
milk / plant-based milk and butter/margarine, for mashing

Prepare and drain the beans. Bake the peppers (if using) until soft and the skin begins to char. Allow to cool, then remove and discard the skins and seeds. Roughly chop and set aside. Peel and gently boil the potatoes until tender, then mash with salt, pepper, milk and butter/margarine.

Dice and slowly brown the onion in the oil over medium-low heat. Add the peppers and sprinkle over the flour. Stir to coat, then add the stock, herbs, spices, soy sauce and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until thickened. Add the beans/chickpeas. Taste and adjust flavours if necessary.

Put the mixture in a large casserole dish and top with the mashed potato. Bake at 180° C for about half an hour to reheat and crisp the top.

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