Alice is

cooking recovery beans

March 29, 2015

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As much as I love a chargrilled octopus - sometimes I just need beans. Usually it’s on a Sunday. When I haven’t slept. I think of them as recovery beans.

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Making your own beans is basic. You don’t get that gluey-type substance that comes with a certain well know bean manufacturer. Depending on whether you’re too blue to chew, you can make toast ‘crumbs’. All the texture and flavour of toast, only a little easier to swallow.

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Homemade Beans (serves 4)

1 tbsp fennel seeds (toasted in a dry pan for 30 secs and pestle and mortared)

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

100g streaky bacon, diced (you can leave this out easily)

1 red onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, grated

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

x2 400g tins of cannellini beans or haricot beans (I used one of each), drained and rinsed

a hefty few shakes of worcester sauce

butter to finish

Make ‘em:

Fry the chopped bacon in a casserole dish for 5 mins, then add the onion and fennel seeds and cook for a further 3

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Add the garlic, chilli flakes and black pepper and cook for a further 5

Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 2

Add the chopped tomatoes, and swirl out the tin with the same volume of water - add and simmer until reduce by 2/3rds

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Add the beans and slowly simmer for 20min

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Finish with a gigantic knob of butter and the worcester sauce (this is what makes it)

You can make the toast crumbs by ripping up some sourdough into chunks. Drizzle them with olive oil and salt and bake until really hard for about 20mins on 180C. Then blitz them.

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