Beans on toast, you ask? Has she gone mad? Not at all. It’s been a stressful week, and I need comfort food. This fits the bill perfectly. Baked beans straight from the tin – I can take them or leave them. But baked beans which have been worked on a bit, with the addition of a smoky bacon, lots of garlic and sweet fried onion, some darkly smoked chilis and gouts of black, glossy treacle or molasses are transformed to something beyond good. They become positively delicious.
I enjoy this dish with a lot of kick from the chilis. If you prefer a bit less heat in your beans, reduce the amount of chipotles in adobo you use.
Chipotle peppers are actually Jalapenos, smoked until dark and full of woodsmoke flavour. You can buy them either dried or in a jar with adobo, a rich, tomato sauce. (This is a tin I bought last year in America. In the UK, chipotles in adobo are available from the Cool Chile Company; Sainsbury’s carry them in their exotic foods section. They’re addictive. If you buy one jar, buy several, because you’ll want more later on.)
1 tin baked beans
2 onions, sliced finely
12 rashers smoked, streaky bacon, diced small
6 cloves garlic, sliced
3 chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon black treacle or molasses
large pinch salt
Saute the onions, bacon and garlic together in a medium saucepan with a large knob of butter until the onions are soft and the bacon is cooked through. Upend the tin of beans into the pan, and add the chilis and adobo sauce. Bring everything to a simmer, and add the treacle and salt. Stir well, taste to see if it needs more treacle or salt, and serve piping hot.
I particularly like this with toast cut into soldiers. It has been suggested that this is because mentally, I am about eight. I am ignoring these suggestions and going to play dressup-teaparty with the cats.