Monday, January 27, 2014

BBQ Baked Beans with Smashed Sweet Potatoes

BBQ beans

I've been watching a lot of Jamie Oliver these days. Besides doing social media really well, Jamie's new book Save With Jamie is my new favorite. In fact, this week I'm bringing you a few of his recipes that I'm trying out. Honestly, it's really hard not to just cook the entire book, which by the end of 2014 I just might. There's so much good stuff in there!

I love baked beans, but my other recipes involve the slow cooker, and one needed maple syrup (which I'm out of), so I thought I'd try this one. I wasn't sure about the sweet potatoes in it. Would that work? Would they taste weird? The answers are yes, they work-and they are delicious. Are they weird? Not at all. In fact the slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes against the sort of spicy beans is a really wonderful combination. We had it with some Buckeye Beans Cornbread from The Missing Ingredient, and it was perfect for soaking up any extra sauce. If you can find this cornbread, it's really tasty!

cornbread 2

Serves: 6

Time to prepare: 15 minutes

Time to cook: 1 hour 15 minutes


2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chile ( I used a birds eye chile without the seeds)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 level tsp cumin seeds
4 small sweet potatoes
3 1/4 cups of passata or one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
two 14 oz cans beans (I used kidney and black beans)
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
crusty bread or cornbread
sour cream or plain yogurt


In a large, deep frypan, saute the onions, garlic, chile, and carrots with the paprika and cumin seeds in a bit of olive oil until softened and they get a bit of color, about 10-15 minutes or so. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 F.

Pour in the passata, BBQ sauce and beans. Some passata will stay in the jar so add a little water, give it a swish and add to the pan.  Give it all a good stir. Transfer the lot to a 9x13 baking dish.

Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprigs, toss them with a little oil, and sprinkle on top. Put the entire thing in the oven. It is going to look soupy, but I promise you that the extra liquid will evaporate and it will be nice and thick. You may even want to add a little more water if if looks a bit dry.

Prick the sweet potatoes, rub them with olive oil, and set them on a small pan to roast beside the beans in the oven. Let it all cook for an hour, stirring the beans occasionally.

When it's finished, sprinkle the cheese over top, slice down the middle of the sweet potatoes and give them a squish, then set them right in the beans. Pop the whole thing back in the oven for the cheese to melt. Serve with crusty bread or corn bread, and even a bit of sour cream for people to dollop on their portion if they wish.

Adapted from Save with Jamie
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