Food & Drink: Weekend Cook 21: Cowboy Beans Serves four. Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins

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The Independent Culture
225g/8oz haricot beans,

soaked overnight

1 x 400g tinned tomatoes

2 tbsp groundnut oil

1 onion, peeled and


2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 tsp treacle

1 tbsp tomato puree, mixed

with 3 tbsp water

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp dark muscovado


1 bay leaf

1/3 tsp cayenne pepper

Sea salt, black pepper

Preheat the oven to 160C fan oven or 170C/325F/Gas 3. Place the beans in a flameproof casserole and cover with water by 2.5cm/ 1 inch. Bring to the boil on top of the hob, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 1/4 hours until very tender. Run cold water into the beans, then drain and put aside. Pulse the tomatoes to a coarse puree in a food processor. Heat the oil in the casserole and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat until they are soft and starting to colour. Add all the remaining ingredients, including the tomatoes, and stir well, then return the beans to the pot, bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 35 minutes.

You can cook them in advance and reheat them either in the oven or on the stove, but you may need to add a little water as they will continue to absorb moisture as they cool.