Wednesday 13 September 2006

how's about cooking somethin' up with me?

Alright. So I said that I wasn't going to, but I have.... after a lifetime of loyalty to probably the most famous of the 57 varieties*, I've only gone and tried Branston baked beans.

...and they were alright.

I like Heinz Baked Beans. BBOT is a much underrated classic. It's cheap, it's quick and easy to prepare, and it's about as wholesome a meal as you can get for less than a pound. Every time I have beans for my tea, I find myself wondering why I don't have it more often.

C. is away for the next couple of days, and as I left the office this evening in an attempt to get home before the football kicked off, I was thinking what I could get for my dinner. Speed was my main criteria: the game kicked off at 19:45, and I only had about 20 minutes to get something ready, open a beer and sit down in front of the telly. I considered a visit to the chippie or some other kind of takeaway, but I just couldn't face it. Then I thought about BBOT. Why not? I had a can of beans in the cupboard, and it would only take me a minute to prepare. Then Ben's whispering campaign in favour of Branston's kicked in: if I was going to have beans, why didn't I pop to the shop and try out the new ones? It would only take 5 minutes, and then I could see for myself if they were as delicious as my favourite Geordie Belle & Sebastian hater had been saying....

I opened the can and immediately saw that the beans looked a deeper, richer colour right out of the can. I find that the sauce in a tin of Heinz beans can sometimes go a bit grainy and glutinous if you leave it on the cooker for too long. This didn't seem to happen with the Branston beans, which is perhaps a little surprising considering I stopped to empty the washing machine and hang out all my shirts whilst the beans were boiling on the hob.

They tasted pretty good too.

But don't take my word for it. So that you can try this yourself in your own home, here's what I did:

1 tin Branston Baked Beans
4 cheese topped rolls

-> Open the tin and put the beans into a saucepan and simmer over a low heat.
-> Put two of the rolls into the toaster for a couple of minutes. Eat the other two whilst hanging out the washing.
-> smother the hot rolls with butter (or whatever that bloody stuff is, Olivio or something)
-> pour beans on top of the rolls
-> open a bottle of Leffe Brune
-> stick the telly on and watch Manchester Utd v Celtic
-> enjoy

If you don't have any fresh cheese-topped rolls, I'm sure you can make do with bread or something.

I'll spare you my thoughts on any side-effects I may experience.

* well, after Tomato Ketchup anyway.


  1. "C. is away for the next couple of days..."
    So, your French girlfriend leaves the house and you immediately turn to beans of toast? No wonder they take the piss out of us! ;-)

  2. I swear to God that my second choice meal (and probably tomorrow's tea) is an organic beef in black velvet porter stew with organic potatoes and organic brocolli.


    .....or chips.


  3. "I find myself wondering why I don't have it more often."

    The reason is that they give you wind!!

    I bet C is happy she's gone away.

  4. man, with the sheer volume of fruit and vegetables we eat in any given day, baked beans are the least of our worries, wind-wise.

    too much detail?

    bite me.


  5. Not after the dinner you've just had mate.

    I had to roll out of bed a 06:30 and watch it on fast fwd in order to be able to get into work today.....think I'll have a lie down now


  6. "bite me."
    Christ no! By the sound of it you might pop in an explosion of flatulence!

  7. In my position as chef extra-ordinaire and all round culinary genius, might I suggest grating some cheese over the beans and then grinding some black pepper on top?

    (Means it takes in more food groups, always a result.)


  8. ah cat - a girl after my own heart. I usually do that kind of thing, only this time I wanted to give the beans a fair crack of the whip and to give their own flavours a chance to wow me....


  9. What happens if you don't like beans?

    I don't like beans.

  10. Aha! The whispering campaign succeeds! You're right about the sauce - darker in colour and richer too. It makes Heinz sauce look a bit nuclear orange.

    Anyway, must dash, got to get in touch with Branston for that cheque they promised me...

  11. You were two days too late. I already did my baked bean grocery shopping!

  12. So much healthier than my standby of Macaroni & Cheese.

  13. My emergency meal is a small fillet steak quickly marinated and seared on a grill pan and served with some steamed green beans.

    Done start to finish in 5 minutes and yummy as hell.

    Costs a bit more than beans on toast though. Might explain why I'm perpetually so bloody poor!

  14. I had that beef in porter thing last night, by the way. It was bloody delicious too!


  15. They are also cheaper if you buy the four packs.

    Next give us your thoughts on Branston Rich and Fruity Sauce compared to HP.

    I love the Branston sauce but because I won't buy HP sauce on principle now I can't do a direct comparison.

    P.s. Don't forget jacket potato with cheese and beans. mmmmm.