The Summer holidays are here....let the onslaught of brownie eating children in!!!! Its time for some fun in the Sun!!

It turns out that I haven't put the Smokey black bean recipe on here after all. Sorry to those who have asked for it and would've come on here not to find the recipe! Never fear is the day for sharing!

Its a 3 stage process to get the end result, but its worth it as you can always make a double batch and freeze them.

Rattle Gill Smokey Black beans:

Soak 750g of dried black beans overnight.

Drain and rinse the beans with plenty of cold water, then put into a pan and cover with water by 2inch. 

Add to the pan:

  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • half tbsp cumin seeds
  • half tbsp dried oregano
  • quater tsp cayenne.

Bring the mixture to the boil and then boil for 10-15 minutes. check the beans at this point. they should have a slight bite to them, if they are still too hard, boil for 5 more minutes and check again. Turn off when Beans still have a slight bite to them.

Add to the pan and stir well:

  • 1tsp salt and pepper.
  • Half cup of brown sugar,
  • quater cup white wine vinegar,
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes (400g cans),
  • half tbsp smoked paprika.

Heat oven to 200. Then use a few roasting pans or a deep oven tray to put the bean mixture in. I generally use a deep pyrex dish and the heaviest cast iron pan in the world! The beans go in the oven for 40 minutes. You'll know they are done when most of the liquid has disappeared and it now looks like a thick sauce.

We serve these in a few ways now....on toast, on a jacket spud and the classic way, with wraps, creme fraiche and salsa. Sometimes we even make quesadillas for our tea with them. They are pretty versatile little beans!

Have a go and let me know how it goes!


Enjoy getting out and about, my advice is to get on yer bike or walk as the traffic in Ambleside will get crazy from now on!!


See you soon.


Love from Claire and Alec x