NEVER BEFORE TRIED IN FRANCE, Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce from Scratch!
- 2 x 850 canned white beans
- 1 500g can pureed tomatoes
- mixed dried herbs – 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, rosemary, & sage
- Tabasco Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic powder 1 tablespoon
- Dried onions 1 tablespoon
- Sugar to taste -4 tablespoons – 1/2 cup
It has been attempted before on the Internet, but most people get stumped at the sauce consistency. When you make this dish from scratch using fresh ingredients for your tomato sauce, and use dried beans that you soak over night; the bean dish ends up lumpy, and the most desirable part of beans in a can is the light tomato sauce engulfing the beans that is packed with so much potent artificial flavours. You can taste garlic, salt, sugar, herbs and spices but not one is visible.
The sauce seems to stick, is slightly viscous, but not heavy. Perhaps we don’t want to know why the sauce has this plasticy thick oil consistency… just saying.
This is just my own personal opinion, as I am not a food scientist per say (although a foodie is pretty close) but when giant industry makes our food, they probably don’t use fresh ingredients, and maybe they only use dried herbs and spices that are finely powdered . When we try to recreate these dishes at home using fresh ingredient, it may taste better, or even the same but it is not the comfort processed food texture we crave. Industry calls this snack-ability, when something is so good we get addicted to the texture, or the flavour. Heinz has got this concept down. How many of you have children that won’t eat any other brand of ketchup but Heinz – There are no other kinds!
When factory places the beans in the can, I wonder if part of the process is in the can itself. Do they place the bean semi-dried and then let them absorb the water in the can. My hunch stems from the fact, that when buying a variety of canned beans often you can barely get them out, they are jam packed so tight, they seem to expand. In the process of dry to softened beans, the surrounding or remaining water usually gelatinizes (Is that a word?)
Usually when making chili or when you throw a can of beans in a soup; we rinse the beans. In this recipe it is crucial to leave it in. It is the gelatin mixing with your pureed tomatoes that give it a similar slippery texture to what we are looking for. When you mix them your beans and tomatoes together, make sure the ingredients are cold. And by using dried herbs, and nothing fresh you keep the consistency rather smooth.
SIDE NOTE; The juices your vegetables are soaking in for who the hell knows how long, are loaded with vitamins. We were taught to drain them out, but you are throwing away the good stuff. I use this veg water for gravies, soups and roux.
Most recipes use Worcestershire Sauce but I live in France and of course don’t have any on hand. So I added a pinch of some of the different ingredients that make up the sauce that were in my cupboard.
- a splash of soy sauce
- a dash or two of pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder
These items changed the colour of the sauce, but impact the flavour of the sauce to an almost artificially flavoured taste but far more healthy.
Most recipes add 1/2 cup sugar and three tablespoons of salt. With my dedication to a healthy lifestyle for my family, I cannot do it. There is so much salt in the sauce, the can of beans to preserve it, and the soy sauce; so I say sugar to taste.
Also I didn’t have dried rosemary and used fresh. I can see them floating around my beans, but C’est pas grave! Once the beans are cooked for an hour or so, I’ll fish them out.
1 hour on low… and Voila
It tastes delicious, but next time I will skip the rosemary. The kids said it tasted a wee bit like toothpaste with it floating around. But the taste was good, and very similar to the can.
As for consistency, in the end it thickened. It looked exactly right before I cooked it.
C’est la vie! Maybe I should bite the bullet and pay 2€ for a Heinz beans.