Take a simple can of baked beans and add in some bacon to come up with a simple yet tasty sauce for dinner. Tomato and paprika add to the flavour too. Just add some veggies and dinner is tasting good. Potatoes are an obvious choice, cooked with some mint in this case. Steamed carrot and broccoli add both taste and colour.
For the sake of the US, I would add here that these are UK baked beans that I am talking about. Unsurprising really as I live in the UK! A US version could leave out the bacon as that is frequently already present in the can of baked beans.
Cook the sauce
This recipe was something I came up with when I had a few things around and wanted a quickish dinner. It was really easy to fry up some bacon, mushroom, onions, garlic and paprika. Add in baked beans, passata and a little water then cook until ready. The veggies actually took longer to do. Still easy though because I just put them in the steamer.
I like to make sauces that involve tomato in advance of serving so that the flavour develops as it stands. It means a quick re-heat but I do think that it is worth doing to improve the taste.
Cook the veggies
Time to get the vegetables on to cook while the flavour of the sauce develops. This was a pretty easy one because the sauce just called out for root vegetables. Start with some sliced potato in the first tray of the steamer with some mint added for flavour if desired.
Second level has carrot coins with broccoli added about half way through cooking. Two great vegetables for adding colour to the plate. I put a little salt on this layer too.
Plus the third level can get used too! I add a few eggs in there to hardboil for another time.
Set that going for 30-40 minutes while the sauce cooks.
Get out the slow cooker.
The slow cooker came in to play because I had passata left from doing the beans and bacon. Going for a vegetarian approach on this one though and aiming at lunch for the next day. Doing food in the slow cooker is really easy. I just poured in the remaining passata then rinsed out the carton with water and added that in too. A couple of handfuls of split red lentils and a chopped onion. Stick the slow cooker on high for an hour then down to low for 2-3 more. Turn the heat off and leave overnight for the flavour to develop. Re-heat the following day by turning the slow cooker on to high and soup is ready. Serve with crusty bread or crackers for a tasty and filling lunch.
Serve the Beans and Bacon
A cooled sauce will need re-heating just before the vegetables finish cooking in the steamer. Either turn the hob on to re-heat there or put into a microwaveable bowl then heat for a couple of minutes.
Divide the vegetables between plates then add the Beans and Bacon so that dinner is ready to serve. Salt and Pepper to finish things off perhaps.