Boston bake beans

Boston bake beans

I grew up eating bake beans, made into a curry, served with chips and even sometimes eating it straight out of the can.

I can still remember trying to eat one bean at a time, before losing patience and just eating it by the spoonful.

Bake beans and chips used to represent the last day of fasting. Whenever my mother was going to serve that as a meal, everyone knew in a couple of hours times there would be chicken and meat instead of beans and potatoes and vegetables.

Of course with the cooking blog, bake beans has taken a back seat, seeing as my father does tend to complain that all he ever sees in front of him is beans beans and more beans.

I came across this recipe in Mary Berry’s cookbook and I was really eager to try it out. The original recipe asked for bacon, but I just left it out. My mother doesn’t eat bacon and if she had to see me making bake beans for me and my dad she would want a spoonful herself. She LOVES bake beans.

Before I give you the verdict of how this dish went down at dinner, let me just say this. My original bake beans curry recipe was passed down from my mother to me and I make it almost like hers, mine differs because I leave out the chillies that she puts in hers, yet when they eat mine, mine is always too strong… strange but from what they tell me the following morning, was that it burnt going in and it burnt 10 times more coming out. Well that is what I have been told.

My parents verdict on the Boston version: My dad was like beans again, didn’t we just eat beans yesterday, but he ate a plate full. My mother, my main critic, loved it at first, she told me that to her it tasted just like the normal bake beans it even tastes a bit stronger.

Then I dropped the bomb shell and told her, there was zero masala or curry powder in there. There was actually sugar, corn syrup and molasses and when the realisation hit in, she was complaining it was just too sweet for her liking. Talk about being dramatic. My own opinion was it was a bit on the sweet side, but I am not a huge over the top sweet tooth kind of person. On the whole the dish was refreshing something different to try, at least now I can say I have tried the meat free version of Mary Berry’s recipe.

PS: The recipe also asked for black navy beans, never heard of it, so I just substituted it with Koo Bake beans seeing as the recipe said and I quote  “ Boston Bake Beans.”


  • 1 x 410g tin Koo bake beans in tomatoe sauce.
  • ¼ x cup dark brown sugar.
  • 2 x tsp corn syrup.
  • 2 x tsp mustard powder.
  • 2 x tbsp. tomatoe paste.
  • 2 x tsp salt.
  • Pinch of black pepper.
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 x tbsp. oil.


  • Heat the oil in a pot.
  • Add the onion and saute till transparent.
  • Add the mustard powder, tomato paste, salt and pepper and mix everything well.
  • Add the brown sugar and corn sugar and mix till the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the beans, cover and cook till the gravy has thickened.

One thought on “Boston bake beans

  1. Mac says:

    Hi, I think you will find it too sweet as you don’t have the bacon! Mary Berry’s recipe also calls for dried haricot beans ( soaked overnight), dark muscovado sugar, golden syrup, black treacle, x 3 onions plus 600ml water (1 pint). I make her version all the time and it is delicious!

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