Homemade baked beans // Bubble & squeak

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Today is my mumma’s birthday!
She’s been pretty spoilt, in fact her birthday breakfast was so delicious that I think I’m going to have to write two posts on it.
My sister and I wanted to make her birthday special right from the beginning so we got up super early to make sure it was. We made fresh soda bread, homemade baked beans, bubble and squeak and egg and bacon baskets. It was ruddy delicious, I have to say.
So today, I’m going to share the baked beans and bubble and squeak recipes. As soon as we decided to make breakfast for mum we knew we had to include bubble and squeak – as she’s a secret cockney, it is her absolute favourite, but something we don’t have very often these days. We used to eat it lots when we were little though – especially at my nan and grandad’s. One day, my bubble and squeak will be as good as Grandad John’s, although it is pretty unbeatable! I like to make this in one large cake and cut it into slices but you can make smaller individual patties too-  and there’s less risk of breaking with those. Left overs work best for this, although you can use readymade mash if you need to: cook it according to the packet instructions first and then follow this recipe. Equal amounts of cabbage and potato work best. You can also swap the potato for sweet potato mash or carrot and swede mash if you like – or add some grated cheddar cheese.
I’m using Tom Kerridge’s recipe for the beans, from the Proper Pub Food cookbook. I loved them, although I’m halving the recipe for you guys, as it made loads, and we struggled to get through it all. I’m also going to cut down on the amount of sugar, as they were quite sweet. These would be great for a summer BBQ, with lots of chicken and coleslaw, and you can pretend you’re a cowboy then too.
You could make the sauce and just add in the ready cooked beans from a can, but I love the process of cooking like this – and when it’s such a special occasion it really does make a difference.

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For the beans, you will need:

200g dried white beans, such as haricot
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
100g smoked streaky bacon in one piece, diced
100g chopped onions
1 garlic cloves, grated
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
50g soft dark brown sugar
100ml red wine vinegar
250ml water
Salt and pepper to taste

For the bubble and squeak, you’ll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
400g cooked mashed potato
400g cooked savoy cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

For the beans, soak the beans in cold water overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, drain the beans, place in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Drain, then cover with fresh cold water again and bring back to the boil (you will see that a starchy form forms with the first boil). Simmer uncovered for about an hour, until the beans are just soft. Make sure the beans stay covered throughout this time. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a saucepan  over a medium heat and fry the bacon until it’s nice and crispy. Add the garlic and onion and fry for about 3 minutes, until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, puree, red wine vinegar and water, and season. Add the beans and reduce to a low simmer, uncovered, leaving the sauce to reduce for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until you have a thick sauce and soft beans. Season and transfer to your serving dish – you can leave these in a warm oven until you’re ready to serve if needs be.

To make the bubble and squeak, combine the mash and cabbage in a large bowl until the cabbage is evenly dispersed. Stir through salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan and pile the mash in, smooshing down so that it covers the pan evenly. Leave for about 4-5 minutes. You want it to brown nicely. To flip over, place a chopping board or plate over the frying pan and quickly turn over, then slide the cake back into the pan to cook the other side, for about another 4 minutes. Serve straight away.

Egg and bacon baskets and traditional soda bread coming tomorrow!

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