Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Butter Bean & Belly Bacon Casserole

Given enough time, nothing can beat the tastes and textures of home stewed beans – even when cheating and taking them straight from the tin. Slow cooked with smoky meat and aromatically flavoured tomato sauce…this is a dish great served with a crusty roll and butter alone. Adding sausages, or tender shredded pork or chicken, can make this casserole a more substantial meal - so add to your heart’s desire. 


What went in mine…? (Serves 4-6 as a main meal, half quantities to use as a side dish)

500g Pork Belly Slices (about 5 slices)
12 x Rashers of Smoky Streaky Bacon
1 x Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
1 x Red Onion (finely chopped)
1 x Knorr Chicken Stock Pot (most are now gluten free)
2 x Tins Chopped Tomatoes
3 x Tbsps. Tomato Purée
2 x Tins Butter Beans
4 x Bay Leaves
1 x Tsp. Smoked Paprika
1 x Tbsp. Brown Sugar (more or less to taste, regular sugar is fine too)
Knob of butter for each serving (optional)
A little olive oil
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

How to do it…?

1. Cut the pork belly and smoked streaky bacon into chunks (something like as pictured).

2. Heat a little olive oil in a casserole pan and add the meat, frying until it begins to brown. Turn the heat down and add the onions and Herbes de Provence, cooking until they become soft.


3. Add the smoked paprika, tinned tomatoes and stock cube, mix well and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, add the bay leaves and cook for 1 hour (covered).


4. After 1hr add the tomato purée and sugar, mix well and season to taste with the salt a pepper. When you've got the flavour you want, add the butter beans, stirring well and then leave to simmer (covered) for a further hour.


5. Once the hour is up, check the taste. If it’s too sharp – add some more sugar, if it’s too runny – add some more tomato purée, if it’s too sweet – add a little extra paprika or some chilli powder.

6. This bit is totally optional, but highly recommended - when ready to dish-up stir in a knob of butter into each serving (or about 50g in total for the above quantities if serving it all). This gives it a rich, creamy texture and taste.


Eat is an additional side to meat and veg, or serve with creamy, chive mashed potato, or even hot crusty bread and butter.

Happy cooking,

The CC :) xx 

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