We are bean people. I know that not everyone is, but as far as I’m concerned, they are cheap, healthy, environmentally-friendly, versatile, able to be stored for long periods of time, and delicious! American-style baked beans are typically very sweet and made with tomato sauce, molasses and sometimes bacon. While I do like these, I’m even more fond of bean recipes that aren’t quite as cloying, and these are hard to come by canned in US supermarkets. Pretty much the only one I have found that aren’t overly sweet to my taste are the Heinz British beans, which are also tomato-based but are flavored with Worcestershire sauce and vinegar with just a hint of sweetness. Since my son loves these as well, I set about trying to find a recipe that would recreate the British flavor of beans.
From what I understand, this kind of beans over toast is a pretty standard quick, comforting meal in Britain, and I for one am here for it.
So here is my take on British-style beans that come together very quickly if you have an instant pot. Again, no prizes for beauty but it’s delicious.
- 2 cups of dried white beans (or 2 cans of drained white beans)
- 1 small can of tomato sauce
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
- bay leaves, thyme or other dried herbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
- olive oil to drizzle
- toast for serving
Add all ingredients except for vinegar to the instant pot. (If you don’t have an instant pot, use a heavy bottomed pot, and if you are using canned beans, omit water and cook only until sauce is thickened.) Add 4 cups of water and pressure cook for about 30 minutes. If the beans still aren’t tender after that, cook an additional 15 minutes. Once the beans are tender, add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the beans on toast, drizzled with olive oil.