I’m a big fan of being good to yourself, especially when it comes to food. I try not to put things in my body that are bad. That doesn’t mean I’m part of the anti-sugar anti-fat anti-carb anti-fun brigade. It just means I want good food, all the time, even when I’m being unhealthy. I’ve nothing against a pizza, but I want it on a thin and crispy base with basil and mozzarella rather than for £1 from Iceland. I’ve nothing against burgers, but I want good quality beef and strong cheddar with homemade mayo rather than a Big Mac. I’ve nothing against ice-cream but I want Cornish vanilla ice-cream with 70% dark chocolate curls and a homemade salted caramel sauce on top rather than a tub of ASDA’s own brand.
Basically, I want a better quality of junk food.
This is why I am being totally, 100% honest when I say that this is good for you. Yes it’s full of fat and carbohydrates and sugar, but it’s also comforting and satisfying and makes you feel good about yourself afterwards. It makes you feel like you’ve taken care of yourself. It’s a better quality of crap.
This is comfort food, hangover food, I’ve-got-the-house-to-myself-and-want-to-do-something-special food. It’s indulgent and delicious, something you feed yourself because dammit you are worth the extra effort. It’s something you can cook when you’re feeling fragile on a weekend morning, something to make for someone you love when they’re feeling blue, something to make you smile on an awful day at work. It’s also easily multiplied for friends.
I recommend getting good ingredients for this — good farmhouse bread, thick sliced and grilled, Branston beans, a lovely mature cheddar. You’re showing yourself love with this recipe, and that starts in your shopping basket. You can make this in anything really (I’ve made it in a milk pan, a frying pan, a sauté pan and a saucepan) but it works best in a milk pan.
To serve two:
- four slices of bread, the thicker the better, and butter to smear on it
- a 400g can of baked beans
- 150-200g of chorizo cooking sausage (NOT the salami)
- At least 200g of strong cheese, but preferably more
- Toast the bread and slather it with salted butter
- Whilst the bread is toasting, dice the cooking sausage and fry over a high heat for around five minutes until all the oil seeps out. Tip in the baked beans
- Lower the heat to medium. Crumble the cheese in and stir slowly, letting the cheese melt and mix with the bean juice. A splash of Lea and Perrins goes down well here, too
- When the cheese has fully melted and the beans are piping hot, top the toast with the beans. Serve with yet more cheese crumbled on top