Saturday, February 14, 2009

Baked Bean Chili and Roasted Potatoes

I am aware how difficult it is to make beans look appetizing in a picture, so I made sure you could get a good glimpse of those deliciously crisp potatoes.
We're going away to England next week, so this was a meal of "use up all the stuff in the fridge so nothing will go off" necessity.

I made roasted potatoes and a beefed up version of American-style baked beans, and it was gorgeous. I got a thumps up from Cormac, my measure of delicious, so I thought I'd share it here-- in spite of the fact that the photo doesn't do the taste justice.

Baked Bean Chili

2 cans of beans (I used pinto and kidney, you can use anything you've got in the cupboard)
1/2 cup BEER (I used Guinness left over from my chocolate cakes!)
1/2 cup bbq sauce OR ketchup (I had bbq sauce so it was a bit zippy)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Worchester sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red pepper
3-4 tomatoes (I had vine tomatoes, medium sized)
2 strips of bacon
3 slices of ham (can you tell I was using up the contents of the fridge? Obviously, adjust this to suit yourself. I'd say a 1/2 lbs of bacon would be awesome, or a chuck of ham chopped up)

1. Cook up your ham/bacon in a large pot. Add garlic.
2. Remove from and lower heat, add your beer, molasses, ketchup/bbq, dijon, brown sugar, worchester sauce and stir well.
3. Return to heat, add chopped tomatoes and chopped red pepper. Add rinsed beans.
4. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The longer, the better-- but keep stirring so nothing sticks to your pot (or maybe you have such a nice non-stick pot that its none of your concern, but I don't, so be forewarned).

Roasted Potatoes in Bacon Fat
That left over bacon I used in the beans was left over from our Valentine's Day breakfast-- from which I saved the bacon grease. It was very little, and I'm sure if you replace that little bit with more olive oil these will turn out just fine.
4 potatoes
3 pinches of sea salt
several large glugs of olive oil
optional: approx 2 tbsp animal fat
polenta/corn meal

toss it all together on a pan, sprinkle potatoes with a tiny bit of polenta, cook 30-45 minutes at 180C (350F). Stir them around occasionally to keep them from sticking. If they are sticking too much, you need more oil.


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