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24 May 2012

Frankenbeans!

Which is what hubby dubbed this dish, the minute he saw its given name - that of "Franks & Beans & Bacon".

He found it, first, on Pinterest where it shone out from amongst the crowd as being something that he thought we'd all like.  The original recipe is on www.heythattastesgood.com.  It got so close to being something that we'd all like, too.

We used great ingredients for it - including our butcher's bacon, Levi Roots Reggae Reggae Sauce, Maile Cider Vinegar and our favourite Bockwurst instead of hot dogs.  Maybe we overdid the quality?

The thing was, that the flavour was great.  Really, really great.  For the first three mouthfuls.  Then, and thereafter, it got increasingly intense until - by the end of the plate - you were begging for mercy, or a bowl of custard - or something to relieve the intense tomato-bacon-mustard-sugar effect.

We came to the conclusion that we were wrong in serving potato wedges with it (which have a mildly spicy flavour) - and it would have been much better to have been served with plain white rice or a jacket potato & some sweetcorn.  Although for the rice to have worked, would have required the sauce to have been wetter than it turned out.  So there were some tweaks required - which I have taken account of in the recipe below, if you should decided to give it a go.
Prior to baking

I would like to give it another go and serve it with a jacket potato and some corn on the cob.  I think the two would give your tongue time to calm down in between each mouthful.

One thing that you definitely need to take into account, is the saltiness of your bacon.  As such it's worth having a little taste before you include it in the dish - and if it is really salty, you might want to not put quite so much in.

I have slightly reduced the amount of brown sugar involved, too.  I think this will give much more of a savoury sense to the dish, whilst still retaining its sweet and sourness.  I often find that recipes from America (which I believe this is) will use way more sugar than I would.  Of course, having a diabetic in the family helps to encourage you to reduce the amount of sugar in foods, too!

After baking and just waiting to attack your tastebuds!
The other thing to remember where the sweetness is concerned, is the chilli sauce that you are using.  So very often, these pre-prepared chilli sauces can be devilishly sweet - which is okay if you're using it on its own or as a marinade - but needs to be taken into account when used as an ingredient.

Son & heir thought the recipe was great just as it was and happily polished off the remains of his Dad's dinner.  Hubby had to stop when he was beginning to feel over-sugared, which was a shame - especially considering he'd spent all the time and effort cooking it!

It would make a great Bonfire Night dish - with potatoes cooked in the embers of a bonfire and anticipation of fireworks going off all around!  Trust us to decide to cook it in May!

FRANKENBEANS    (serves 3)

Ingredients :

8 slices back bacon
1 onion, diced finely
1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or grated)
three-quarters of a cup of Barbecue Sauce - hot, spicy ones are great
1 tbsp brown sugar
a quarter of a cup of cider vinegar
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cans baked beans
a jar of bockwurst or frankfurters, sliced.

Method :

1.  Fry the bacon on low until most of the fat has rendered.  Set the bacon aside and keep just enough fat in the pan to cook the onion, pepper and garlic, which should be added next.

2.  Cook until they are softened.

3.  Add the Barbecue sauce, brown sugar, cider vinegar and mustard and stir into the onion mixture.

4.  Add the beans, stir in the bockwurst pieces and decant to a casserole dish.

5.  Lay the bacon on top and bake at 180degF/350degC/Gas4 for around an hour and a half.


6.  Serve with rice (in which case you may wish to let the sauce down a little with a touch of boiling water), or with a jacket potato and corn on the cob.


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