Sunday, 6 November 2011

Mean as Beans

A week of catching up last week and more of the same this week as business gets busy, but first some very helpful comments to address... thanks to all who contributed, some great idea's and also some suggestions which we'd considered already but helps validate our vision of the project.

Someone asked about what we cooked at home - so far most of what we've shown here in the blog has been Grant's highly refined gastronomy; I, on the other hand lean towards something a lot more rustic and hearty.

Rustic and hearty I say? Nothing could be more so than baked beans - I owe much of this recipe to a chef buddy Matty. He'd use cheffy ingredients like pancetta and not use the canned goods I have below, But my version is simpler, faster and a third of the price to make, fulfilling one of the requirements of my food stylings - thrifty.

Scotty's Mean-as Beans

a glug of Olive oil
tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of fennel seeds (optional)

- get these started in a large frying pan on a medium-low heat, just sizzling and toasting

While that's doing it's thing dice up the following ingredients - not too finely, nice chunks.
150g of smokey bacon (I use Pestals, if you go to their butchery in Stoke you can buy bacon ends which are cheap-as, a little too smoky for some dishes -but perfect here and also a less fatty cut)
1 red onion
2-4 garlic cloves
1 green capsican

- raise the heat of the pan to medium-hot and add the bacon first to get some colour on it, shortly followed by everything else. Toss contents of pan around keeping what you can off the floor, bench and cooktop.

While that does it's thing get out
a 440g can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato paste
a good sprinkle of dried oregano

- add to the pan, stir through and turn down to a simmer. I will often dice up some fresh tomato and add this as well, don't worry about skin and seeds - rustic styles here. The three types of tomato bring different elements to the pallet, richness, sweetness, acidity and freshness.

Drain and wash
a 440g can of cannellini beans

- add to the pan and heat through

At this point I add some roughly chopped herbs. Usually basil or flat leaved parsley, but sometimes a shred some fresh spinach from the garden. You could add chilli earlier in the process but I just throw a dollop of Kaitaia Fire in it and a good amount of salt and pepper - stir through and serve up.


  1. Perfect, I will have a large serving please.....

  2. Loving the photos guys. Scotty you have some good composition going on!