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Baked beans
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Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 12:52 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

If you like 'em sweet, a spoonful of black treacle works a treat. Ideally you should have some pork in there (the very first canned beans did have pork in them) - belly strips work well to give a nice richness, and you can always fish the bits out before serving.

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ok they are baking away and have been in the oven for ages but the beans are not getting soft. Is there something I have done wrong? I have followed the recipes to the letter.

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 18996
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

[quote="Gervase"]If you like 'em sweet, a spoonful of black treacle works a treat. Ideally you should have some pork in there (the very first canned beans did have pork in them) - belly strips work well to give a nice richness, and you can always fish the bits out before serving.[/quote

Baked beans in the USA are not like ours as they don't load them with sugar so the sauce is more runny. Also you can buy "beans with pork" and when you open the can there's a big lump of pork fat on top of the beans. I didn't like them which has put me off doing baked beans but I'm tmpted by the recipe above. Keep us updated.

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 5:10 pm    Post subject: final result. Reply with quote    

final result.

Not that nice really. The beans just did not want to soften and stayed pretty hard, whilst all the other ingredients were starting to singe a bit. Will perhaps try and soak them for longer than 12 hours next time or boil them a bit before hand.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43965
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Did you cook them with salt? They'll never go soft if you cook them with salt, the skins harden, soak and boil first.

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26565
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: final result. Reply with quote    

selfsufficientish wrote:
final result.

Not that nice really. The beans just did not want to soften and stayed pretty hard, whilst all the other ingredients were starting to singe a bit. Will perhaps try and soak them for longer than 12 hours next time or boil them a bit before hand.


My attempts seem to get the consistancy right, but still totally fail to impress me

jema

selfsufficientish



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 364
Location: Bristol
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Did you cook them with salt? They'll never go soft if you cook them with salt, the skins harden, soak and boil first.


Cheers wil try again boiling them first I think that was the problem. The rest of it tasted fine so I think this is a good recipe. Although nothing like shop bought baked beans is this what you mean by the consistancy Jema?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26565
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

selfsufficientish wrote:
tahir wrote:
Did you cook them with salt? They'll never go soft if you cook them with salt, the skins harden, soak and boil first.


Cheers wil try again boiling them first I think that was the problem. The rest of it tasted fine so I think this is a good recipe. Although nothing like shop bought baked beans is this what you mean by the consistancy Jema?


Consistancy as in not hard, buyt not totally mushy.

jema

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 05 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Well thank you everybody!

I havn't tried the recipe yet but as we are in very rural France and cannot get baked beans here readily I am sure that however they turn out they will be most appreciated. Apart from all that the recipe sounds good indeed and I can't wait to try it.

Thanks again to all in this topic.

SJC

Gervase



Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 8655

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If you want the beans to soften, I find the best way is to soak for eight hours, chuck that water away and then simmer them for a good 40 minutes in fresh water with a bay leaf, a few pepper corns and a lump of onion but no salt. Once drained they'll be al dente, and the final cook with the rest of the ingedients will soften them nicely.

Blue Sky



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 7618
Location: France
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Soaking me beans now!

Will try the "simmer" method too. Don't like hard baked beans.

I am sure this recipe will turn out splendid and will post the outcome.

Thanks to all concerned

S

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43965
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Better let us know how they turned out, piccies too (if possible)

Marigold123



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Beans sometimes won't soften up if they are too old. You can cook them for hours and they still won't play ball. If you think this is the problem, the only thing to do is throw them out and start a new packet.

Problems with long cooking time and super home methane production can both be solved by sprouting the beans first. Obviously this takes a bit more planning ahead, but it's very simple to do.

You don't need any special equipment, - a large jar (pickled onion, mayonaise, etc), a bit of net curtain to put over the top and a rubber band to fasten it are all you need, as well as somewhere to drain them. You don't need a special stand, the washing up drainer will do, you just prop them up at a 45 degree angle for 5 mins and then turn them back the right way again.

Basically, you soak your seeds/grains/pulses etc for a certain length of time, depending on the size and type being sprouted, give them a thorough rinse to wash out any moulds etc that have washed off the beans during soaking, drain for 5 minutes, then leave the jar to stand for a few days, rinsing 2 or 3 times a day, depending on how warm the weather is.

Pulses, seeds, etc, contain protein, fat and starch, plus some fibre, but in the normal unsprouted state they are actually rather indigestible, even when soaked and boiled for a long time, which is apparently why we produce so much gas when we eat them.

When the seed germinates, enzymes convert the less digestible substances into those which are much more easily assimilated.

There is a nice little book called the Sprouter's Handbook by Edward Cairney, which gives details of the various soaking and sprouting times required by the different pulses, seeds, nuts and grains. I got mine from the Organic Gardening Catalogue for about 4, but if anyone wants me to check specific soaking/sprouting times, feel free to PM me. It also extolls the virtues of wheatgrass juice, which I must say, I am tempted by.

The book is really about the importance of including raw foods in our diet, and particularly sprouted seeds of all kinds. They are delicious raw, but they can also be cooked, and in a fraction of the time with no prior soaking, and though the valuable plant enzymes will have been destroyed, they are still a lot more use nutritionally than the unsprouted kind, and they don't make you toot!

I sprout seeds quite often, usually for salads and snacking, and I find that when we include these in our daily diet the whole family's energy levels are much improved, and I cope with everything (children, housework, stress, etc) much better. Since my eldest has become a veggie, though, I have cooked with them more as well, and produced a wicked sprouted butterbean and chick pea curry the other day. I had never sprouted butterbeans before, and had no idea that they could be so delicious. It was so good that my teenager came down and stole some of the leftovers I was going to have for lunch, and ate it for breakfast!

Marigold123



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

selfsufficientish wrote:
tahir wrote:
Did you cook them with salt? They'll never go soft if you cook them with salt, the skins harden, soak and boil first.


Cheers wil try again boiling them first I think that was the problem. The rest of it tasted fine so I think this is a good recipe. Although nothing like shop bought baked beans is this what you mean by the consistancy Jema?
You are supposed to boil all unsprouted beans, (all pulses ?), especially kidney beans, hard for 10 minutes before simmering, to make sure you destroy certain enzymes naturally present in the dried beans. You don't have to pre-soak peas or lentils, but it speeds up the cooking time for the larger kinds if you do.

There was a big thing when I was in my late teens where people were 'poisoned' by improperly cooked kidney beans after cooking their own chilli con carne when it first became popular here. Since then, packet labels always warn about soaking and boiling for 10 mins first. It's less of a problem now that canned beans are available, but when I was little I once ate a dried butterbean that I had stolen from school and had terrible, painful indigestion for hours afterwards, so I know it can happen.

I'd like to try this recipe, probably with haricot beans, as it sounds good. My daughter is a great baked beans fan, so it would be lovely to be able to do a home-made version. It might persuade the six year-old to eat them too. I like also like haricots cooked with sausage and a bit of fatty bacon, like a cassoulet, but I haven't done it for ages.

Marigold123



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 05 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Behemoth wrote:
Baked beans in the USA are not like ours as they don't load them with sugar so the sauce is more runny.
When I visited friends in Florida some years ago we had traditional southern food, like cornbread, fried chicken gizzards and beans. The ones I had there weren't at all tomatoey, but in thicker light coloured sauce and flavoured with lemon. I have to say it was all delicious. I now make cornbread from time to time and the family love it.

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