OK, so I've posted this recipe before, but I'm always up for an opportunity to convert more people to it, and I noticed that Randi over at I Have to Say (she also runs online fabric store Freshly Squeezed Fabrics) is having a recipe box swap of stew and soup recipes.
This one is seriously simple and absolutely delicious - we normally make the most enormous batch of it, freeze part and live off it for what feels like weeks.
Boston Baked Beans
1lb dried haricot beans
1lb pork belly
1tbsp black treacle
1/4tsp black pepper
1 1/2 pts boiling water
3 large onions
2tsp cumin powder/ground cumin seeds
1 tin tomatoes (approx 1/2lb)
- Soak dried beans overnight in cold water
- Drain beans and boil in plenty of fresh water until beginning to soften. This can take anything from 30 minutes to two hours depending on how old and dry they are
- Roughly chop onions and fry in a little oil on a low heat in a big pan
- Meanwhile, chop the pork into bitesize chunks and toss into the pan after a few minutes
- Mix sugar, treacle, salt, pepper and cumin with boiling water and pour on top, toss in the tomatoes here too (you can omit the tomatoes, according to my mother, but I think they're a nice addition). Oh, and the beans
- Cook for 3-5 hours on a low heat. I stir it when I happen to walk past, but really it can pretty much be left to its own devices. it forms a bit of a skin, but this stirs in and dissolves very easily. You want it to be thick and stew-like, rather than soup-like. Add more water if it seems to be getting scarily thick and the spoon won't move.
- Serve with just about anything - fresh bread and greens always makes for a nice farmhouse meal.
I normally make double this simply because the man at the farmer's market cuts his pork belly into roughly 2lb pieces. I also sometimes add a few more beans to bulk it out even more and make it even more of a budget dinner if we're feeling poor.