Monday, October 5, 2009

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Boston Baked Beans

Recipe from BBC Food

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall's River Cottage Spring is currently being broadcast on ABC here in Australia, and though it is technically Spring, we have been having a bit of a cold spell, with accompanying rain, and it feels as though we're having a second attempt at Winter. 

I'm partial to a bit of cold weather, and not least of all because it means an opportunity to have a heaty one bowl meal. Oddly enough, I'd never actually had any home cooked Boston Baked Beans, so tucking into TM's, made using a recipe from Hugh F-H, was a treat indeed.

The following recipe, from the BBC website, was followed to the letter. It proved to be slightly on the sweet side, so I'd recommend reducing (possibly halving?) the amount of brown sugar.


500g/1lb 2oz white haricot beans, dried
400g/14oz piece pork belly
50g/2oz soft brown sugar
45g/3 tbsp black treacle
1 tbsp English mustard (made from powder)
4 cloves
8-10 pickling onions (or 2-3 small onions)
fresh ground black pepper


1. Soak the beans overnight in plenty of fresh cold water.
2. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.
3. Drain and rinse, then put in a heavy, ovenproof pan or casserole, with fresh water to cover the beans by about 5cm/2in. Bring to the boil and boil hard for at least 10 minutes. Lower the heat to get a gentle simmer, cover with the pan lid, and simmer for about one hour until the beans are tender but not completely soft. Remove from the heat.
4. Cut the pork belly in large 5cm/2in cubes, leaving the rind on and add to the beans. Stir in the brown sugar, black treacle and mustard.
5. Press the cloves into an onion and add, with the extra onions, to the pot. Season with pepper, but no salt at this stage. If necessary, add a little hot water so that the beans are covered.
6. Replace the lid on the casserole. Bake the beans into the oven to bake for about three hours. Then remove the lid and drag some of the pork chunks to the top. Return, uncovered, to the oven, for a further hour. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Serve on it's own, with crusty bread (or on toast), as a snack or light meal.

The Bread - Spelt Sourdough from Adriano Zumbo

The Serving

Remember to have plenty of bread available to soak up the sauce. Unexpectedly, I really liked the pickling onions. Having absorbed all the flavours, the onions were the concentrated version of the dish, incredibly moreish, and I had to stop myself from monopolising them.


No comments: