Yesterday, I made Italian bean casserole from a Delicious magazine recipe. Always goes down well, this, a proper winter warmer, and also gives me the chance to tell my son, who asks what’s for dinner: “Bean stew.” “I don’t care what it’s been – what is it now?” he replies and we high five.
Now, the recipe demands 410g tins of cannellini beans and borlotti beans. Seriously, this is easier said than done. Supermarkets now appear to have gone down to 400g for some tins (I daresay priced the same as their 410g predecessors) or 300g. So I ended up with 400g of cannellini, 300g of borlotti and, just for variety a 300g tin of haricot beans. Because I had a plan.
And this morning, I have been eating the result of that plan. Home-made beans on toast. Half an onion chopped small, clove of garlic ditto, in a little olive oil on a medium heat. Three medium sized, ripe tomatoes, chopped and popped them in. When I see a bit of bubbling start, it’s in with my 200g or so of haricot beans, stirred well, and then a tablespoon of ketchup and a quick shake of Worcester sauce. Five minutes in, the heat goes down to a gentle bubble for ten minutes.
Then serve. On toast. Obviously not blackened toast, for fear we should all be wiped out.
For 15 minutes’ work, this is enormously satisfying. And at a price which I reckon is comparable with those quality beans in the blue tin. Sweetness from the onions, nice garlic edge, a bit of zing from the ketchup and Worcester, and the beans nice and soft yet holding their shape. Yes, I did make too much for one (easily serves two). Yes, I did eat it all myself.
• Yes, you’re right. There’s no mention of beer in this post, and as I had the beans for breakfast, why would there be. Too early, even for me. If I was doing it as a lunchtime meal, though, I think I’d be tempted to reach for something golden, 4.5% ABV-ish, and not super-hoppy. Perhaps, from my part of the world, a Tintagel Castle Gold, or a Tavy Ales Golden Ale.