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V&H Café’s, “The Origin of Beans”…

Since we opened all that time ago in February, we have been asked relentlessly, “what do you put in home-made baked beans”, “how do you cook them?”…. We were even once asked “What’s wrong with Heinz?” to which i replied, “Nothing, I LOVE Heinz Baked Beans”… (especially on a rainy evening as a guilty, lazy pleasure with a fried egg and lots of Worcestershire sauce). However, the caveman did not become Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Einstein, Delia and Angelina Jolie  by saying “What’s wrong with this cave?”… The answer? Nothing… but why not try and better it?

Its also worth saying this recipe was not perfected in forty days and forty nights… its an evolution and until very recently we haven’t made them the same way twice. And you shouldn’t either but here’s a good start for you!

Ingredients _DSC0403 (680x1024)

  •  This recipe will make enough for 4-5 people effortlessly, is gluten free and vegan.

Butter Beans 400g tin
Borlotti Beans 400g tin
Canellini beans 400g tin
Large onion, Diced
Large carrot, Diced
Celery stick, Diced
Tomato Puree 200g
Cup of water
Paprika x1 tbsp
Dark soft brown sugar 100g +/- on preference
Bay leaves x5/6
Cloves x10/15
Seasoning to taste
50ml Olive oil
Vinegar x2 tbsp


Pre-heat oven to 180’C.

  1. In a heavy pan, sweat off the diced onion, carrot and celery until soft.
  2. Then add the tomato puree, followed by the paprika and stir rapidly as it will start to catch on the pan a little. (No bad thing)
  3. This is swiftly followed by the butter beans ONLY with a cup of the brine they came in and the water. The other beans go in later as they aren’t so robust.
  4. Give it a stir and add the sugar, cloves, vinegar and bay leaves.
  5. Lastly in with the remaining beans, a final gentle turn with a WOODEN spoon. Now simply leave it to come to a simmer then wack it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. When time is up, let the beans rest with the lid on. If they need some more liquid you can add some more hot water mixed with some puree, they should be a little more viscus than Heinz. Remove they bay leaves and serve with your favourite baked beans accompaniments!