Homemade Baked Beans UK style

by Barry Lewis


500g dried haricot beans (other white beans, like cannellini are ok)

500ml chicken stock

225ml tap water

1tsp Worcestershire sauce

6tbsp ketchup (ideally Heinz)

1.5tbsp dark brown sugar

2tbsp tomato puree

1tbsp apple cider vinegar

1tsp garlic powder (or more onion powder)

1tsp onion powder (or more garlic powder)

2tsp salt

Pinch pepper

12tsp cornflour mixed with 100ml water

An adventure in beans and tomato sauce brings me to this project. Attempting to make homemade Heinz style baked beans. UK style beans are different to others in some Countries, perhaps a little less sweet / smokey in some ways – stored in a tomato sauce with a mild sweet kick they are the ultimate comfort food! This was a recipe to make UK style ones from home and I picked up some cool tips along the way, i’m not sure if i’d do it again but it was really fun to make my own, they were fresher and tasted identical! Check out the recipe if you fancy giving it a try for yourself!

Just to say you can use tinned beans like in the video and skip the soak, boiling step, but they were much more mushy in texture when cooking. It will take around 25 mins to make the whole thing if you do try it that way though!

How to make homemade UK (Heinz particularly!) style Baked Beans

The instructions on the beans will tell you this, but just in case. Empty the dried beans into a mixing bowl and rinse under a tap a couple of times with water. Then top with water so fully covered and leave for approx. 6 hours to soften, the package will tell you longer than that, you can do it for that time too, but six hours will be enough if you want to do it in a day rather than leaving overnight.

Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan and add fresh water, bring this to a simmer, as you do this you will get some skins of beans or foam coming to the top, using a ladle you can scoop these out and keep simmering for a good 70-90 minutes. Check the texture by taking one out of the pan and taking a bite, remembering you don’t want them fully mushy or they’ll break as they’ll cool a bit more in the sauce. Get them soft but not mushy, topping up the water as it simmers as needed.

Meanwhile add all the other ingredients (except the cornflour and water) to a saucepan, stir well and bring to a low simmer, let it roll for a few minutes on a low heat, then add the beans, simmering for a further 15-20 minutes to soften the beans further.

The sauce will be thin, so add the cornflour and water together in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve and pour a third of it into the pan of simmering sauce and beans, stir and let it bubble for a few minutes, if it’s too thin add another third, stir again and then add the final third if you feel it needs it.

It will thicken slightly as it cools, serve warmed with buttered toast!