AT A GLANCE
This version of comforting homemade baked beans is topped with smoky bacon breadcrumbs for added flavour and texture. A poached egg or two would complete things nicely. You can bake this in one big dish or in individual ovenproof bowls. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the beans.
|01||Combine beans, stock, bay leaf and 750ml cold water in a saucepan, bring to the simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid (discard bay leaf).|
|02||Meanwhile, preheat oven to 140C. Heat oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add bacon, sauté until fat begins to render (2-3 minutes) then add paprikas, stir until fragrant (1 minute), then add tomatoes, maple syrup, sugar and mustard. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, then add beans and enough reserved cooking liquid to just cover (about 375ml). Cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake, stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender (1-1¼ hours).|
|03||Meanwhile, for bacon crumbs, stir bacon in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fat begins to render (2-3 minutes), add oil and garlic and stir until fragrant (30 seconds). Add breadcrumbs, stir occasionally until lightly toasted (4-5 minutes), remove from heat then add herbs, season to taste and set aside.|
|04||Remove lid from beans, add vinegar, stir to combine and bake until beans are very tender (30-40 minutes), season to taste. Increase oven to 220C. Divide smoky baked beans among individual ovenproof ramekins or bowls, scatter bacon crumbs over, then bake until crisp and golden (15-20 minutes). Serve hot.|