Beef & Boston baked beans

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only

Enjoy these Boston baked beans with a jacket potato or crusty bread. Time works its magic on this dish, but there’s very little hands-on work to do

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:4 hrs 30 mins
    plus overnight soaking
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 400
  • fat 12g
  • saturates 3g
  • carbs 36g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 11g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 0.7g


  • 300g dried cannellini beans
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g beef shin, cut into 4cm chunks
  • 120g smoked lardons
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 100g treacle
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • jacket potatoes or bread and coleslaw, to serve


Leave the beans to cool completely, then spoon into freezerproof containers, seal and label before freezing for up to three months.
Defrost in the fridge overnight and take out of the fridge 2 hrs before cooking. Or, leave at room temperature for 6 hrs.
Once defrosted, tip the beans into a saucepan, cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 20-25 mins until piping hot, stirring often.
Add 600g cannellini beans in step 1 and omit the beef and lardons in step 2. These are still just as tasty with jackets, potato wedges, or roast vegetables..


  1. Tip the beans into a large pan, then pour in enough water to cover the beans by 5cm. Add the bay and leave to soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans, return to the pan and pour in enough fresh water to cover the beans by 3cm. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 mins until the beans are tender (you may need to top up the water slightly as they cook).

  2. Heat the oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 2. Heat the oil in a large casserole or ovenproof saucepan, and fry the beef for 5 mins over a high heat until evenly browned (you’ll need to do this in batches). Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the lardons and onion to the pan, and cook over a medium- high heat for 5-7 mins until the onions are turning golden and the lardons are starting to crisp.

  3. Stir the beef back into the pan. Add the beans along with the cooking liquid, and stir in the garlic, treacle, tomato purée, mustard powder and cloves. Season, then top up with some water so the beans are covered by 2-3cm. Cover and bring to a simmer, then transfer to the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins. Remove the lid, stir and return to the oven for 1 hr 30 mins until the meat is tender and the sauce rich. Once cooled, the beans can be frozen for up to three months (see below). Serve with jacket potatoes or bread and coleslaw.

Suggested recipes from this collection...