This healthy dish appeals to kids, especially if described as homemade baked beans or, better still, cowboy beans. The sauce is full of pureed vegetables and the dried apricots and apple juice add depth and sweetness.
We serve these beans with a baked potato and a little grated cheese or on toast with a poached egg on the top. To turn this into a more adult affair we add herbs at the end, some extra butter and perhaps a splash of chilli sauce or some anchovies.
1 x400g tin butter beans
1 x400g tin lentils
1 x 400g tin black-eyed beans
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, peeled & finely sliced
3 sticks celery, washed, trimmed & finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
Heaped tbsp dried apricots, soaked in boiling water
200ml apple juice
600g peeled chopped tinned tomatoes
Salt and pepper
- Open all the tins of beans and drain them together in a colander and run under the tap to rinse.
- Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat.
- Cook the onions until soft then add the celery and carrots and cook for five minutes.
- Add the garlic and soften for another 5 minutes.
- Drain the apricots, add to the pan and mix together well.
- Turn the heat up and add the apple juice and let it sizzle away for a few minutes then add the tomatoes.
- Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for 15/20 minutes until the liquid has reduced significantly.
- Taste and season and then put in a blender and liquidize to a smooth shiny sauce.
- Now add all the beans and cook them in the sauce for a good 20 minutes.
- Season again and serve on toast with a poached egg or inside a baked potato with some cheese.