While I wish it were true that we warm ourselves daily with a bowl of steaming baked butter beans topped with a sunny fried egg, as above, it only seems to happen on weekends and generally when friends are visiting. Nevertheless, when we do share this for breakfast, it’s always a hit. I love homemade baked beans and loathe the tinned variety while my husband Tim and kids are happy with either. Hopefully more so with the former.
And so, having found it a hit at home, I tried out my favourite baked beans recipe on the gang at our most recent food photography and styling workshop. We made the beans the night before and we re-heated them in a frozen paddock (lots of fractals here too), over a roaring fire. We drank cardamom coffee and it was magic. Breakfast picnics should totally become more of a thing.
BAKED BUTTER BEANS WITH FRIED EGGS AND PARSLEY
You could use any dried legume you fancy here, I just like the size and general ‘go’ of butter beans. This is also great served with oven-baked croutons or lots of warm crusty bread. And of course, it’s also excellent for lunch and dinner.
200g bacon, cut into lardons
380g (2 cups) butter/lima beans
1 brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground mixed spice
1 x 800g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
Fried eggs for all
Freshly chopped parsley
Soak the butter beans overnight (or for at least six hours) in a large pot of water. Drain then return to the pot, fill with water and place on medium heat. Cook until beans are completely tender (about 45 minutes). Meanwhile, start making the base of your baked beans.
Preheat oven to 160C and pour a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy-based Dutch oven or oven-proof casserole dish. Add the bacon and cook until nice and crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside for a bit. Now, reduce heat to medium low, add a little more olive oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, spices and a good seasoning of sea salt and black pepper and cook for a few minutes more. Then tip in the tinned tomatoes, cooked bacon, half a cup of water (or more if you think it’s looking at all dry), the Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup and bring mixture to the boil. Add the cooked butter beans and stir to combine. Cover with a lid or tight-ftting layer of foil and place in the oven for 45mins-1 hour.
Serve with a fried egg on top, a drizzle of extra olive oil, lots of freshly chopped parsley and a few chilli flakes.
And also, my apologies that the images here aren’t all as sharp as they might be. This was the first outing for my new camera; I was a bit cold and rushed and didn’t quite nail the settings!
If you would like to learn more about the Local is Lovely food photography and styling pracshops, please jump over here or send me an email; sophie_hansen (at) me.com
Sophie Hansen lives on a farm west of Sydney with her farmer husband and 2 young children. She and her husband grow deer and sell venison at farmers markets across the state of NSW as well as in commercial specialty butchers/deli's. Sophie is an acclaimed food writer; her blog ‘Local is Lovely’ features a collection of beautifully illustrated recipes and resources for people who love farmers and local dining experiences. She has also created Local is Lovely the book which she describes as being 'a seasonal collection of recipes and stories celebrating fresh local produce'. Of course Sophie will be touching base with The Beetle Shack every month to share mouth watering recipes from snacks to three course meals.