The classic confort food: baked beans and toast
There is nothing more comforting and warming on a chilly Saturday afternoon or late in the evening after work than fixing up a plate of baked beans and toast. Possibly the most simply dinner to prepare, this is a classic British food for any meal of the day – especially for those on a budget and in need of some great comfort food.
The origins of the classic baked beans and toast meal are a little unclear but we can safely assume that they were a massive part of World War II when rationing was taking place. Baked beans from Heinz in the USA didn’t make it into Britain until the early 1900s and as they were affordable, the beans on toast tradition came about and it has stuck around ever since!
This dish has caught on quite a bit over the past few decades, but it is still mostly popular in the UK. The idea of the dish is ‘simplicity’ and ease, which is why buying a can of baked beans and sticking a couple of slices of bread in the toaster is generally the easiest thing to do.
However, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you might want to make your baked beans from scratch – and even choose a different variety of toast so that this dish tastes different each time.
How to make baked beans and toast
You will need:
- 400g dried haricot or cannellini beans
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 red onions – finely chopped
- 150g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
- 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain them, place in a pan, cover with fresh water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Cook for about 45 minutes-1 hour until tender, then remove from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain well.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onions and pancetta and cook for 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and 400ml water, then tip in the beans. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick sauce and tender beans. Serve the beans on toasted bread with grated cheese, if you like.
If you’re not sure what type of bread best complements your baked beans, then experiment! Toast a bagel, try a variety of white, brown or wholegrain bread to see which you like best. There is no right or wrong way of making baked beans and toast – it’s all about personal preference.
I like to top my beans on toast with grated cheddar cheese and sprinkle with a little ground black pepper. For a bit of a different taste to your baked beans and toast why not add a bit of Worcestershire sauce too? Enjoy!
Find more recipes for baked beans and toast on Recipebridge.Back to all blogs