Mixed bean goulash, book preview!

This is my mixed bean goulash recipe adapted from the found-and-loved notebook I discovered in the bottom of my wardrobe earlier, and although I intended to cook it for tea tonight, I am still squirrelling away at my book draft, typing up the aforementioned notebook, and contemplating a peanut butter sandwich instead…

So, I promised I would blog the recipe this evening, so here it is, in “book draft” format, so a real sneak preview!

“I will never tire of this quick, simple meal. Originally adapted from a beef goulash recipe, and tweaked, and tampered with, in the way that all recipes are, it has become a sweet and spicy staple in my household, and never disappoints. Eat warm on toast, with rice, or stuffed in a pitta bread with lashings of cheese for lunch. Eat from a bowl, water it down and eat as a soup, or eat it straight from the pan in the name of ‘testing.’
I use cheap baked beans in place of haricot beans, as they are simply haricot or borlotti beans slathered in that bright orange tomato sauce – but usually for a third of the price of a tin of plain haricot or borlotti beans!

Ingredients (serves 4-6):
4 tbsp oil, vegetable or sunflower will do
1 onion
3 tsp paprika
2 x 400g cartons of chopped tomatoes
1 fat clove of garlic, or a generous shake of the dried stuff
400g can of red kidney beans
400g can of baked beans
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp honey
1 tsp marmite or vegemite paste

Firstly, drain and rinse the beans. Empty the kidney beans and the baked beans into a colaner, and blast under cold water to get rid of the tinned taste, and the cheap sauce from the baked beans. When well rinsed, set to one side.
Peel and chop the onion, and peel and finely slice the garlic. Place in a sauté or large non-stick frying pan with the oil and paprika, and fry on a low heat until the onion is softened.
Add the chopped tomatoes, the marmite, crumbled stock cube, sugar, and half a can of water, and stir well. Simmer gently until thickened and glossy.
Tip in the colander of beans, stir to mix well, and heat through for 10 minutes. Serve, devour, have seconds, and enjoy.

To make it cheaper, leave out the marmite and use a beef stock cube instead of the vegetable one.
Save leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, stuffed into pitta breads with grated cheese for something cold and portable.
Blitz half in a blender with a little extra water until smooth, and stir in the reserved half to make a chunky, spicy soup.
This also freezes beautifully, if allowed to cool and stored in an airtight container, or keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.”

Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe and find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack


Categories: Blog


  1. Hi Jack, love the blog and the recipes and will buy your book when it hits the shops. But, you don’t mean that this recipe “never fails to disappoint” – the opposite! Good luck, Pat

  2. Can’t wait to see the finished book. I have ancient copies of Delia Smith’s ‘Frugal Food’ and Jocasta Innes’ ‘Pauper’s Cookbook’ but I can’t say I ever felt particularly inspired by them and they are well and truly dated. I think your work is going to have a much wider appeal.

  3. I hate baked beans but I never thought of rinsing them off and using them in something else! Also, this doesn’t look too labour-intensive, which is brilliant when you have no energy.

  4. I cooked up this lovely delight last night, mmmm can’t wait. initial tastings are fab, I know I will go to this one again and again. Its today’s lunch, cold with cheese and a sub roll, and tonight with rice and more cheese. I love my cheese.
    Like so many of your recipes I really appreciate the protein content, being a workout fanatic, to keep the old muscles topped up and nicely non-sore for the next long run or kettlebell swingabout affair lol
    (salmon pasta is going to be my next make)

  5. Hi Jack. Couple of quick queries: 1) I assume honey = sugar for this; 2) Why do you add water and then boil to reduce? I’m assuming it’s to allow the flavours to mingle, but just wondered. Thanks!

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