Soft eggs with smokey baked beans

Soft eggs with smokey baked beans

Cut the Carbs!

Proper, satisfying baked beans cry out for the aroma of a fire. They should be crafted in battered metal pots over coals, combining pork, pulses and a vista that can make you swoon a little. If you can’t make it to the great outdoors (or have an innate aversion to the possibility of having ants crawl up your legs while you cook), you can always ape the mystical aroma of fire with a few drops of liquid smoke (available from many gourmet food stores). Shhh, I won’t tell if you don’t.

For a life-affirming feast all you need are a few soft eggs, a cairn of beans and a strong cup of coffee to the side. The yolks will bleed like a sunrise and the caffeine will give you a proper kick along for whatever you’ve got planned – even if it’s just an afternoon on the couch watching Brokeback Mountain one more time.

(If you are planning on making these while out on an intrepid adventure, you can always mix all of the spices, dry ingredients and sauces together into a slurry at home and tote it along in a glass jar.)


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
125g bacon, finely diced
2 pork or beef sausages, skin removed and contents rumpled
1 red onion, peeled and cut into slim half-moons
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or grated
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dark brown muscovado sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 x 400g tin of borlotti beans, rinsed
1 x 400g tin of butter or cannellini beans, rinsed
100g cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, (optional)
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Put the olive oil, bacon and sausagemeat in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish over medium heat. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the bacon has started to gain some colour.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5–7 minutes until they have begun to soften. Add the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar and mustard and bring to a simmer, uncovered.
  3. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, is thick and is clinging to the beans. Taste and season with the salt to bring the flavours together, and the liquid smoke if you fancy a faux outdoorsy twist.
  4. To cook the eggs, bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda and eggs to the boiling water. Boil the eggs for 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan and run them briefly under cold water. Gently tap the shells against a hard surface and peel them, being careful not to puncture the yolk. Place the peeled eggs in a bowl of warm water until ready to serve.
  5. Serve the beans in bowls with the eggs nestled on top and sprinkled with the parsley. Allow the yolk to seep into the beans while eating.


  • When boiling the eggs, adding the bicarbonate of soda to the water helps encourage the shells to shirk away from the whites, making them exponentially easier to peel.
low carb
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