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Recipe: BBQ baked beans with bone marrow and smoked eel

31 August 2016
Recipe: BBQ baked beans with bone marrow and smoked eel

Baked beans are an essential side dish for any barbecue but this version is also great on its own in winter. I've replaced the standard bacon with a combination of bone marrow and, unusually, smoked eel, to keep the richness.

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 50g smoked bone marrow, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced, plus 25g white onion, finely diced, to garnish
  • 1 poblano chilli pepper, deseeded and cut into fine strips
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 115g dried cowpeas (or black-eyed peas), soaked in cold water overnight and then drained
  • 240ml chicken stock
  • 375ml water
  • 120ml BBQ glaze (see below)
  • 200g smoked eel, diced
  • 25g sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan

Render the bone marrow fat slowly in a casserole. Add the onion, poblano chilli pepper, garlic and bay leaves and sweat until fragrant. Stir in the drained cowpeas, plus the stock, water and glaze, and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in an oven heated to 160°C. Bake for two hours, or until the cowpeas are very tender. Remove from the oven and fold in the smoked eel. Garnish with the sesame seeds and finely diced white onion.

BBQ glaze

  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 200ml orange juice
  • 200ml cider vinegar
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard

To make the glaze, dissolve the sugar in the honey by bringing them to a light simmer. Carefully pour in the orange juice and cider vinegar, stirring until smooth. Raise the heat and simmer until reduced in volume by a third. Add the beef stock and let the mixture reduce again by a third to a half, until it has a thick, syrupy consistency. Be careful not to over-reduce or it could turn bitter. Remove from the heat and stir in the soy and mustard. Leave to cool.

Recipe taken from Deep South by Brad McDonald (reviewed here). Photography by Andy Sewell

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