The first time I made Boston baked beans (based approximately on a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe with a few tweaks), I used slices of pork belly, but Pete’s not a huge pork belly fan, so I wanted to make a version that he’d enjoy as much as me. As is so often the case in life, sausages (and bacon) were the answer!
I’ve adjusted the recipe a few times now, and it’s now just right for our tastes. I add bacon in at the beginning, so it can release its porky goodness into the beans. I brown the sausages in a frying pan and added them for the last hour of cooking time.
On the day I took these photos, we had lots of soft white bread on hand to mop up the sauce, so I deliberately didn’t reduce the liquid down as much as usual. Usually I let it simmer a little longer without a lid, to make the sauce much thicker.
Kavey’s Boston Baked Beans & British Bangers
400 grams good quality pork sausages
2 x 400 gram tins of white haricot beans in water
200 grams smoked bacon, cubed
2 heaped tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons black treacle
2 tablespoons French mustard
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
350 grams shallots, peeled but left whole
Salt and pepper
Note: I had a tin of butter beans in the larder, so substituted those for one of the tins of white haricot beans.
Tip the contents of the tins of haricot beans, liquid and all, into a large casserole. Add the sugar, black treacle, mustard, tomatoes and bacon. Add freshly ground black pepper at this stage, but adjust for salt later, as the bacon will add some during cooking.
Stick the four cloves into one of the shallots, then add all the shallots to the pot.
Cover and cook on the stove (medium heat) or in the oven (140 C) for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Shortly before the two hours are up, fry the sausages in a hot pan for a few minutes. They do not need to be cooked through, just browned all over.
Add the sausages to the pot and cook for a further one hour, with the lid removed to allow the liquid to reduce, stirring occasionally.
Check and adjust seasoning before serving.
I served this with some fresh soft white bread. A green side salad would also be a nice addition.
I was really happy with my culinary handshake between Britain and Across The Pond; the porky bangers worked a treat with the smoky BBQ flavours of the Boston beans.
Do let me know what you think, and how you get on if you have a go at making this yourself.