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My Specials > Posh Edinburgh Baked Beans 15 September 2006

Posted by cath in comfort food, Recipes, specials.

I’ve been checking out some recipes for Boston Baked Beans, and they always look very tempting but so far I’ve never been organised enough to get some haricot beans on to soak the night before…so here’s a recipe I’ve made up with canned haricot beans and a few alterations which hopefully later on will make a special sausage and beans for Colin who is getting married tomorrow…


Baked Beans in the Pot


  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Onion – finely chopped
  • 1 stick Celery – finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot – finely chopped
  • Pancetta or Unsmoked Streaky Bacon – thinly sliced
  • 7-8 tomatoes – roughly chopped
  • twist of pepper
  • 2 bay leaves – stalk removed
  • 3-6 small onions – peeled but left whole
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 ice-cubes homemade vegetable stock (I’m using pea and bean made with peapods…)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 cans haricot beans – drained


  1. Fry the onions, carrot and celery in the butter and olive oil in a casserole dish over a low heat until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and pancetta and fry until the pancetta is browned.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stir and add the pepper and bay leaves and stir well.
  4. Place one clove into three of the whole small onions and add them all to the dish with the vegetable stock.
  5. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours on very low heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Gently stir in the beans, be careful not to crush them. Adjust the amount of sauce by adding a bit of cold water if necessary.
  7. The immediately switch off the heat. Leave everything to mingle for as long as you can (ideally, a couple of hours as the dish cools will allow the canned beans to soak up some of the sauce and flavours – but if you’re pushed for time you can just skip this bit).
  8. Heat through for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serving suggestion: Serve my posh baked beans with Piperfield Pork sausages and crusty bread.


Close up of the finished Baked Beans


Enjoy my Edinburgh baked beans! They should last a week or two if sealed and placed in the fridge – but I expect we’ll be eating them all tonight! (Update: Yes, sadly not a drop left – it was a resounding success!)

I’m going to try Boston Baked Beans from scratch with dried Haricot beans one of these days…but my cheating version worked better than I could have hoped. The sauce was tasty and the canned beans worked well, the short cooking time suiting them as they didn’t disintegrate – be careful how vigorously you stir them though!

Cooks Notes:

Using lots of veg as a base to this is more like a bean stew than traditional baked beans, and all those extra vegetables are good for you!

But, if you’re not keen on the idea, leave out the carrot, or cut it up much finer than I have done here so that it disappears more into the sauce. The onion and celery make a great base for the sauce so I wouldn’t leave them out.

I had reasonably sized onions for the ‘small onions’ so only used three, but I think smaller ones (and more of them) would have been good too.

My Peapod stock: I just put the pods from a bag of shelled peas, some bean and carrot trimmings in a big pan of water and simmered it for 1 hour. Then I strained the stock and reduced it down, putting the final stock reduction into an ice-cube tray in the freezer. You can use it 1-2 cubes at a time to add some flavour to all kinds of dishes.

Final note – this recipe is an example of how you can adapt other recipes to suit your time and ingredients. I was inspired to try this by checking out a couple of different Boston baked bean recipes, and some Italian bean stews…a bit of juggling and careful consideration of cooking times and voila, a new recipe is born!