This recipe is a bit of an experiment for me – I fancied doing some weekday comfort food, but with a twist, so the bean casserole I had planned sort of mutated a bit, and this is the result. It’s a combination of a Cajun bean gumbo and a traditional British suet pie. Even though I say so myself, this certainly hit the spot after a cold school-run!
4 tbs olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 chipotle chilli, pierced (chopped if you want more heat!)
2 courgettes, diced
1 large aubergine, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can each of kidney beans, pinto beans and borlotti beans
1 tbs Cajun spice
200ml vegetable stock from good quality bouillon
1 tbs sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp Demerara sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
50g grated cheddar cheese to top
To make the suet topping;
100g vegetable suet
200g Self Raising flour
Pinch of salt
50g grated cheddar cheese
1. Add the oil to a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion and garlic for 10 minutes then add the chilli, vegetables, stock, spices and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C.
3. Add the beans and sugar, mix well and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, mix all of the pastry ingredients together, with 10 tbs cold water, knead and roll out to approx 30cm x 15cm.
5. Put the bean mixture in a large casserole dish, top with the pastry and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Serve immediately with potatoes or steamed spinach.