Donna Hay’s Smoky Beans

Hi there.

I’m actually shit at this food/cookery blogging thingy, I have to admit it. It’s Christmas and have I posted a single Christmas-themed thing, like every other food blogger in the world has?  NO I HAVE NOT.  I last posted some twist on what is basically a ready meal, and today am posting beans.  Donna Hay’s Smoky Beans sounds like some kind of euphemism.  I can’t work out whether I would like it to be or not, but having seen Donna Hay I think probably not. She’s kind of scary in a go-mental-if-it’s-not-utterly-perfect kind of way.

Things are calming down in Average Baker land, with the never-finished kitchen now experiencing heavy use.  I love that we congratulated ourselves, when moving NewHuman’s high chair from its place in front of the tv (we were living pretty much in our lounge room, remember, during the building works) to kitchen table.  I spouted homilies about ‘oh it’s good for him to learn to eat at a table, it’s great to move him from the tv’.  Two days later the iPad has taken up residence on the kitchen table and Cbeebies is on speed dial.  Whilst I’m admitting shit parenting, I might as well say that NewHuman eats Laughing Cow cheese a minimum of 3 times weekly and refuses vegetables of any kind, so we don’t bother offering him any.  Go me!  I figure that as he is happy to eat a shit-ton of fruit that it will all balance out in the end, and I’m just totally NOT up for giant mealtime arguments with him about what he must eat.  I also figure that the freaking expensive organic buffalo mozzarella he chows down on most weeks balances out the evil that is Laughing Cow.  I can generally figure a lot of things, as long as it’s to my own advantage.

Right.  Smoky Beans.  As promised in my last post I have been mining Donna Hay’s ‘Dinner’ app on my phone for mealtime inspiration.  They are usually tasty and really fast to make.  These beans took under 30 mins from go to whoa and were heaps tasty.  It makes exactly enough for two people to eat, piled on 1.5 slices of toast each.  Result!  Might make a nice lunchtime meal for that dead time between Christmas and New Year.  Go forth and smoke your beans!

This is a one-pot meal, bliss.  No great pile of pans to leave the boyfriend to wash up.


1 good sized white onion, chopped

Cooking chorizo, sliced or chop as per your preference – number will depend on the size of the ones you get.  In Australia Donna recommends 2.  I used 6-7 of the little numbers seen below.

400g can of butter beans, drained and rinsed.  Lima beans would also work.

400ml passata

125ml (1/2 cup) beef stock

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (Donna says to use sweet but I am not convinced that really matters)

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves

Cracked black pepper

Toast. Or torst as I like to say, pretending I’m from the North of England.  Try it.  Very satisfying.  TORST.


Right.  I’ve somehow deleted the first few photos. Unhelpful but not so unhelpful that I’m minded to go back and redo everything.  You’ll be fine.  Just be warned that this sort of crap happens when making smoky beans:




Heat a medium frying pan over high heat, and add the onion and chorizo, cooking for 5 mins or so till the chorizo oils have escaped like Conservative politicians from a moral debate.  You’d like a nice little bit of browning going on, ideally.

Add your beans, passata, stock and paprika and give it a nice simmer for 7-8 minutes.


Add your parsley and pepper and stir through.

Let NewHuman know what’s on the menu for supper and sit back to enjoy his calm and measured response.


Whilst the stuff is simmering you’d probably be wise to chuck some toast on.  Use lots of butter when it comes out.


Serve.  We enjoyed a squeeze of lemon juice on ours, as it’s quite a full-on little mouthful.

Dog says Merry Christmas, but doesn’t mean it.

I say Merry Christmas and may 2015 be light on cooking disasters for us all!

See you next year.



5 thoughts on “Donna Hay’s Smoky Beans

  1. narf77 says:

    Donna Hay is the closest thing that we have in the Australian food world to Maggie Thatcher. She isn’t our most terrifying foodie though, Stephanie Alexander leaves her for dead and makes Attila the Hun look tame. We breed tough cooking biotches down here. The product of shearers cooks crossed with long suffering women who will NOT be crossed. Beans eh? Now that it is Boxing Day I am willing to concede that beans hold a certain allure. Love that splash back. Are you going for the full Jackson Pollock or just a smattering? A friend of mine calls herself “Happy Jan”. Glad to see she has a balancing doppelganger out there on the interweb.

    It really is your own fault for deciding to breed with a man of Italian heritage ma’am! Obv. New Human is going to have a predilection for cheese, pasta and not much else. The vegetable thing comes later as does the bean appreciation but for now, content yourself with the fact that a child that is wasting away of starvation (and rickets) is unable to wake the neighbours with his lusty calls of disgust.

    The dog certainly looks to be in the Christmas spirit. Earl chewed on Steve’s Christmas gift and managed to rip his way through an entire bag of toys yesterday and Bezial sulked because he got 3 walks, was given roast chook and pork for dinner and 2 bowls of cooked pork sausages and that is NOT how a regular day goes! They both trotted off to bed early with sideways looks at us both. I am sure we are going to suffer for it today…

  2. Lisa says:

    Torst, LOL! It is satisfying. I have to try this too; your recent recipes are things even I am capable of, and I am crazy for smoked paprika.

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