What makes these beans British?
Baked bean originated in the U.S. American-style baked beans are cooked with pork (bacon) molasses and brown sugar and the sauce is sweet and thick. These British-style beans are without meat, with a thinner tomato sauce along with a few flavor enhancers.
They 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) to 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.
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.
Yields 1 1/2 quarts. These beans will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days or frozen for 1-2 months.