Unicorn's Baked Bean Challenge to find the tastiest, wholesome recipe to put in a can. If you think you can help read on.
This recipe came from Optimum Nutrition for Babies and Small Children by Lucy Burney, the book was my bible for a couple of years. Don't let that put you off, this isn't a kids only recipe. In our search for the best Baked Bean recipe this has, so far, been the winner. If we perfect it maybe one day we will have our own Unicorn Baked Beans - you never know!
If you want a little more sweetness a couple of tablespoons of apple juice can be added. If you like it more salty add some tamari or salt and if you think you have come up with the perfect Baked Bean recipe tell us, maybe we can put it in a can.
1 x 450g (1lb) packet dried haricot beans (soaked overnight) or 4 x 425g (15 oz) tins haricot beans (no sugar, no salt)
3 medium onions, peeled & finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 level teaspoons ground paprika
600ml (1 pint) water
2 tablespoons molasses
2 heaped tablespoons organic, sugar-free tomato ketchup (i have often left this out and it didn't seem to make much difference)
3 table spoons tomato puree
If using dried, pre-soaked beans, drain & rinse them, put them in a pan, cover with water and simmer for an hour until cooked. Drain and leave on one side until required. On top of the stove, fry the onions and garlic in the oil in a large, heavy casserole dish until lightly browned. Add the paprika and a little filtered water to make a rich sauce. Add the molasses, tomato ketchup and tomato puree and add water, little by little, to make a thickish sauce.
Add the beans and the rest of the water and bake in the oven at 150 C/300 F/Gas mark 2 for 2 hours until cooked. You may have to add a little more water after an hours cooking.