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Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans

This is a true storecupboard dish that's a real family favourite. It's effectively 'home-made' baked beans with deep flavours that knock the socks off any canned version. 

The key to the great flavours in this dish is a palette of different dried chillies. While some chillies are extremely hot, many are mild, sweet and fruity, the ones I use in this dish are mild and will not burn, they develop a delicious balanced flavour. I've used three different types - Guajillo, Pasilla and Ancho chillies - they all have slightly different characteristics but come together to give a complex, addictive taste. As I personally like a little extra heat, I added some of our Chipotle chilli paste to give a little extra kick.

The really surprising ingredient in this recipe is raisins, they add a little extra fruity sweetness to the dish.

Time required: 75 minutes
Prep Time: Light
Washing Up: 1 Pot, a food processor and pestle & mortar
Allergens: none 

Ingredients
Serves 4
2 x Red Onions, finely diced
5 x Cloves of Garlic, finely diced
1 x Guajillo Chilli
1 x Pasilla Chilli
1 x Ancho Chilli
1 x Can Chopped Tomato Polpa
750ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1tsp Black Peppercorns, crushed
1tsp Cumin Seeds, crushed
2 Whole Cloves, crushed
1tsp Ground Allspice
1 x Cinnamon Stick
1tsp Dried Oregano
1tbsp Honey
2tbsp Raisins
1tbsp Chipotle Chilli Paste (optional)
2 x Cans Cannellini Beans
2 x Cans Borlotti Beans
2tbsp Fussels Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
2tsp Dorset Sea Salt

1. Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chillies and rip them up into pieces. Heat a large casserole pot (the one you're going to cook everything in) and dry toast the dried chillies for about a minute. This wakes up the flavours. Remove from the pot, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for around 20-25 minutes. Do this job first before prepping any of the other ingredients, the chillies will need time to soak before using them.

2. On a gentle heat, add the oil to the pan and fry the onions for around 10-15 minutes. Stir them every so often - you want them to start developing a lovely golden colour without getting burnt.

3. After 10 minutes, add in the chopped garlic, crushed peppercorns, cumin seeds, the crushed cloves, the allspice and cinnamon stick and keep cooking for a further 5 minutes.

4. Remove the dried chillies from the soaking liquid and using a food processor or stick blender - along with a few tablespoons of the stock - blend the chillies into a paste.

5. Add the can of chopped tomatoes into the pan with the onions along with the blitzed chilli paste, dried oregano, the rest of the stock, the honey, the raisins, salt and the chipotle paste (if using).

6. Simmer this sauce gently for 15 minutes with the lid on, then add in the beans and cook for a further 30 minutes. Check it every so often and give it a stir, if there is too much liquid, remove the lid and let the liquid reduce to a thicker, sauce consistency.

If you want to add pork belly to this dish, cut the pork belly strips into bitesize chunks and brown them off in the pan first. Remove to one side, then continue with the recipe from step one above. Put the pork belly back into the pan at the end and simmer for an additional 20 minutes with the lid on the pan. 

Enjoy! Don't forget to tag us on social media if you make this at home, or leave a review here. Ben 



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