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Store Cupboard Quick Fixes – Baked Beans!

Excellent with herbs and spices, with chilli or in a soup, humble backed beans shouldn’t be just the preserve of a student’s kitchen cupboard, says Lorna Wing

KNOCK UP a tasty soup by softening a chopped onion in butter, add baked beans, chicken stock, enough Worcestershire sauce to pep it up, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with crumbled crispy bacon or a bacon sandwich. 

COOK a chopped onion and a generous amount of crushed garlic in olive oil until translucent, add baked beans, a splash of red wine, a little water or chicken stock and chopped rosemary. Simmer for 15 minutes until the juices have thickened slightly. Season and serve with grilled lamb or veal chops.

FRY some soft tortillas in a little vegetable oil and top with hot baked beans to which you’ve added a few shakes of Tabasco. Scatter with grated cheddar, a fried egg and a few coriander leaves and you’ve got an easy supper or brunch dish. 

PUT olive oil in a saute pan and place over a moderate heat, stir in pancetta pieces and cook for a couple of minutes. Add a chopped onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Mix in crushed garlic, thyme and a little paprika, cook briefly, then add tinned chopped tomatoes, baked beans, thick slices of cooked chorizo, a little water and seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve this Spanish-style stew with crusty bread. 

MAKE a chilli con carne in your usual way, then add baked beans and cubes of aubergine that have been fried in olive oil. Heat until piping hot.

TIP baked beans into a sieve and rinse off the sauce under cold water. Dry well on some kitchen paper then toss the beans in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Add lots of coarsely chopped parsley, finely sliced spring onions and season well. Optional extras you can add to this salad could be a tin of tuna, hard boiled eggs, black olives or some chopped tomatoes.

BLITZ baked beans in a processor to make a thickish paste, add to some cooked onions along with a little finely chopped chilli to taste. Cook very slowly over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the paste is hot and thick. Season and add just a little lemon juice to sharpen. Spoon the mix into tostada shells, then top with a spoonful of guacamole, sour cream and grated cheddar to serve.

SAUTE chopped garlic and sage briefly in a little olive oil, add baked beans, a little tomato puree and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened. Season, then puree in a processor until smooth, enrich with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve hot with ham, poultry or lamb, as a delicious dip with warm pitta bread or raw potatoes. 

HEAT some double cream, crushed garlic, rosemary, grated nutmeg and a knob of butter in a pan. Add baked beans and simmer gently until the beans have absorbed most of the creamy mixture. Serve with a roasted leg of lamb or pork chops.

ADD some barbecue or HP sauce, tomato ketchup, a little ground cumin and some chunky pieces of cooked sausage to a pan of beans, heat, then pour onto a toasted and buttered muffin.


  • Olive oil and butter
  • Sage, rosemary, coriander, thyme and parsley
  • Cumin, paprika and nutmeg
  • Tomatoes, ketchup and tomato puree
  • Bacon, ham and pancetta
  • Lamb, chicken, pork and veal
  • Quail, goose and duck
  • Sausages and chorizo
  • Onions, spring onions and garlic
  • Chillies
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Red peppers, courgettes and aubergines
  • Tabasco, HP barbecue and Worcestershire sauces
  • Bruschetta, tostados, pitta, muffins, tortillas and toast
  • Cheddar and parmesan
  • Cream and sour cream

Food expert Lorna Wing teaches cookery online via WhatsApp to tech-savvy teens doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, plus others wanting an essential life skill and kitchen confidence. Prue Leith, Rick Stein and Delia Smith all think what she’s doing is brilliant.www.lornawingcookery.co.uk  020 8871 2507

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