Meatballs with Homemade Beans


Meatballs with Homemade Beans

  • 10 minutes
  • 145 minutes
  • 4 serves


250g (9oz) dried haricot beans (see cook’s tip)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
140g (5oz) rindless smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
395g pack Scan Swedish meatballs
small handful fresh chopped flatleaf parsley
25g (1oz) Cheddar Cheese, coarsely grated


Tip the haricot beans into a large bowl and pour over enough water to cover the beans by at least 1inch. Leave to soak overnight. Discard any discoloured beans and drain the water.

Add the drained beans into a large saucepan. Add enough fresh water to cover. Bring the water to the boil and cook for about 50 minutes until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain the beans into a colander.

Wipe out the saucepan with a piece of kitchen paper. Add the oil to the saucepan and fry the onions and bacon for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened.

Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, sugar and vinegar and 400ml (14fl oz) cold water. Add the beans, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened.

Stir in the meatballs and simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated cheese to serve.

Cook’s tip
For a speedier version to this recipe omit the water from the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Puree (the tomatoes break down in the long slow cooking of the traditional version) Replace the dried beans with 2 x 400g (14oz) cans haricot beans. Stir in the meatballs and drained beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

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