Baked bean gratin

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD -

This is a per­fect base dish for stu­dent life. You can pull it to­gether rel­a­tively quickly by us­ing tinned beans and skip bak­ing it in the oven. It’s ideal for tidy­ing up the fridge of sad veg­eta­bles, bits of cheese and cold meats. I of­ten make this with left­over salami, ham or roast lamb and a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent hard and soft cheeses to­gether to form an in­dul­gent top­ping. This recipe makes a lot but it will keep well in the fridge for four to five days, can be frozen in batches and is ideal for a party.

Heat a large saucepan and add a good splash of oil. Add the onions and cel­ery and sea­son well with salt and pep­per and cook on a low heat for about 10 min­utes, stir­ring of­ten.

Add in the beans, toma­toes, beer, chopped chilli, smoked pa­prika, bay leaves and mo­lasses. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to low and sim­mer for nearly an hour. Taste and add sea­son­ing if needed. Add in the vine­gar and mix well.

Heat the oven to 200 de­grees and in the mean­time mix the bread­crumbs with the chopped pars­ley and cheese if us­ing. Sprin­kle on top of the beans and bake in the oven for 30 min­utes or un­til the top is golden.

Serve with crusty bread.

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