(British Style) Beans in Tomato Sauce Recipe – Make Your Own, Just Like Heinz

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This is a knock-off recipe for Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce – British Style.  I have come to learn that the Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe is different in the UK than it is in the US and Canada.  So if you are British, you’ll love this.  If you’re North American, give it a go anyway to taste the difference.  I’m still hunting for a North American copycat Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce recipe, and will update this post when I find one, but in the meantime, I intend to use this one (I’ll just pretend I’m a Brit) :)

The British serve baked beans on toast. I’m Canadian, and had never before heard of eating baked beans that way, but it sounds interesting to try some time.
Around here, we serve baked beans in sauce as a side dish with roast chicken, mashed potatoes and corn bread (like they do in the south) — or we eat them just as is in a bowl (my mom loved them that way).
We also use them as a component of other recipes, like my mother in law’s yummy beat salad recipe for instance.
Because I am into Clean Eating, I try to avoid using canned, packaged, or  premade convenience foods as much as possible, so to the unnecessary salt, high levels of sugar, not to mention all the additives, preservatives and artificial colors and flavors found in such foods. So I make my own home made versions, fresh, from scratch as much as possible.  I was really please to find this copycat recipe for Heinz Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce, which I tweaked slightly to make it more authentic.

Important Note:  When mixing the beans with the sauce, you have to make sure that the beans are just covered with the sauce, as there may be a bit too much sauce for the beans. You don’t want them too saucy. Any left overs freeze very well, just take out, defrost and reheat to serve again.

Copy Cat Recipe for Heinz Beans in Sauce (Baked Beans in Sauce)

Ingredients:

750g white beans (haricot or navy, small white beans)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb of soda)
2 tablespoons unscented oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped thyme or sage (or both)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5 cups crushed tomatoes
2 cloves
4 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
Salt to taste

Method: Soak the beans in cold water overnight. The next day wash and drain them, then cover with cold water, add the baking soda, and cook them for about 1 hour on a medium heat till they are tender, and just beginning to split. Drain and keep aside.

Note (1): Here’s an alternate method, if you aren’t organized enough to soak overnight – Pick over and wash the beans, cover with cold water. Then bring to the boil over high heat, let boil for 4 minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover and soak for 1 hour, then cook as normal.

 Note (2):  When mixing the beans with the sauce, you have to make sure that the beans are just covered with the sauce, as there may be a bit too much sauce for the beans. You don’t want them too saucy.

In a big, heavy pot heat the oil and toss the onion in it. Sauté for about 5 – 10 minutes on a medium heat and then add the chopped herbs and the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up a bit.

Add the Worcester and Tabasco sauces, mustard, cloves, sugar and salt. Stir and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

When cool, puree well in a blender till it turns to a smooth sauce. Return to the pan, taste and readjust seasoning.

Add the beans to the sauce mixture and cook on a low heat for at least 30 – 45 minutes, or more, until the beans are very soft. The beans taste better the next day when they have had a chance to absorb the flavours better, but they’re not bad on the day either.

Alternatively, mix the sauce and beans in a heavy pan, cover tightly with a lid or foil and bake in a low oven (around 125 degrees C) for about 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are soft. If making the oven, keep checking to see that the beans haven’t dried out. It may be a good idea to reserve some sauce to add to them if they are drying out.

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