British Baked Beans v’s American Baked Beans
Baked bean originated in the U.S. American-style baked beans are cooked with pork (bacon) molasses and brown sugar and the sauce is much sweeter and thick. These British-style beans are without meat, with a thinner tomato sauce along with carrots, celery and Worcestershire sauce.
Baked beans are probably one of the most common (if not the) canned items to buy in England. They are an easy, saucy side for any dish from fish and chips, sausage rolls, beans on toast (the perfect budget meal) and even breakfast.
Yes, Brits eat beans for breakfast because the country is known for its Full English Breakfast consisting of sunny-side up eggs, bacon, cooked tomato slices, black pudding and fried bread.
Beans: Everyone loves good baked beans, they really go with just about anything and good homemade baked beans start with dried beans, not canned. Dried beans just have better texture. If you used canned for this recipe they would be mush by the end of the recipe. It takes longer using dried beans but no extra work because they are soaked overnight so they cook faster. Once they are soaked, they are then simmered in boiling water for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender.
While they cook, onions, celery, carrot and garlic are sautéed, then crushed tomatoes, ketchup and seasonings are added and the sauce is simmered to develop the flavors. To get a nice smooth sauce blended and the beans added and the entire dish is baked in the oven for 20 minutes. That’s all there is to easy, tasty homemade baked beans, British style.
How long will these beans keep?
These beans will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days or frozen for 1-2 months.
This recipe yields 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups).
British Baked Beans
Navy beans are cooked with vegetables and flavorings in tomato sauce for a taste of a British classic.
- 2 cups Dried navy beans rinsed
- 2 tablespoons salt plus 1/2 teaspoon divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 small carrot peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and finely grated
- 1 -14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
To a large bowl add 4 cups of cool water to a bowl and add beans, soak for 8 hours.
After 8 hours drain and rinse the beans.
To a large saucepan, add 4 cups water and bring to a simmer.
Add beans and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often so they don't stick to the bottom.
Add salt and continue to cook until tender, about another 15 minutes.
While the beans cook, add the oil to a large, oven-proof skillet and heat over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrot and celery, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, salt, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add as much or as little of the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt as you like.
Preheat oven to 320°F.
Add 1/4 cup water and stir.
Using an immersion blender blend the sauce in the pan until smooth, or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Add the cooked beans and stir well. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes uncovered.
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