Smoky Baked Beans with Chorizo

Last year Slabs, Juniordwarf and I went out for breakfast after spending a night in Hobart, and I ordered a dish of baked beans with chorizo.

I loved it and wanted to find out how to make it myself, so I looked for something similar online. The recipe I found was this one from the website www.myrecipes.com

I meant to cook it last time we went camping, but my laziness got the better of me. Every so often, Slabs would remind me that I wanted to cook baked beans, and I’d think about it and put it off a bit longer.

This weekend we went camping with Lil Sis and Mr Tall and while we were making the list of meals we’d need to bring food for, I somehow committed to doing the baked beans for breakfast today. So I no longer had an excuse.

Because the recipe uses dried beans, I needed to soak the beans on Wednesday night then cook them on Thursday so they’d be ready to take with us on Friday. After having done this, I strongly dispute the recipe’s claim that you only need 20 minutes “hands on” to do it. But that might just be me – I normally need to take the time a recipe gives me, double it and add another half an hour to get an accurate time.

Anyway it was worth all the work. They were delicious!

Here is the recipe:

450 g dried Great Northern beans (I’m not sure what these are. I used haricot beans.)
1 cup diced dry-cured Spanish chorizo (The recipe says “be sure to use firm, dry-cured Spanish chorizo and not soft, raw Mexican chorizo”.)  
4 cups chopped onion (I’ve never measured onions in ‘cups’ before, but it was about 8 small-medium onions.)
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 cups water
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (smoked paprika is brilliant – it makes the dish. I don’t think there’s a substitute. You must use it!)
1/2 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp crushed chilli (Don’t be shy! Use more if you like chilli.)
2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp chilli powder (See comment about crushed chilli above.)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

What to do:

1. Sort and wash beans. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans. Cover; let stand 8 hours. Drain.

Beans pre-soaking

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chorizo; cook 4 min or until fat begins to render. Add onion & garlic; sauté 10 min or until tender.

Onions, garlic & chorizo ready to go

Add beans, water, & next 7 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 min or until beans are just tender.

Herbs & spices – look at the glorious colour of the smoked paprika!

3. Preheat oven to 180°C.

4. Stir brown sugar & the next 3 ingredients (through crushed chilli) into bean mixture. Bring to a simmer.

5. Transfer to oven dish; bake at 180° for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are very tender & sauce is thick. Remove from oven; stir in vinegar, black pepper, & chilli powder.

The final stages of cooking

Discard bay leaves; sprinkle with green onions & parsley.

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