A wonderful baked bean dish. The simple action of assembling the dish and then baking the beans in the oven seems to dramatically alter their taste and texture. This dish cannot be successfully done on top of the cooker.
Cover the soaked beans with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Skim, and add the garlic, chilli and bay leaves and simmer for about 1 hour or until nearly tender. Preheat the
Check if the beans are nearly tender, then transfer them to the casserole with a slotted spoon or spider. (Do not throw away their liquor.) Pick out the chilli and garlic, chop them (after discarding the garlic skins), then add to the casserole. Stir all this together then add enough of the bean cooking liquor to just cover everything. Stir again. Cover the casserole and bake for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the casserole to reduce to sub-volcanic temperatures. Remove the lid at the table. The beans should not need seasoning, the pancetta and chilli will have seen to that.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.