Chef's Recipes

Baked beans

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for baked beans by Bradley Main from Riverstone Cafe in Bellingen.

  • 15 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Baked beans
“The gorgeous Riverstone Café in Bellingen makes a point of using local and organic produce, and the homemade baked beans are a real highlight. Please persuade chef Bradley Main to part with the recipe.”
Ann Bartlett, via email
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.
Riverstone Café chef Bradley Main serves his baked beans with poached eggs and sourdough toast. You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 330 gm dried haricot beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 3 red capsicum, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 170 gm speck, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 400 gm canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
  • To serve: poached eggs and toasted sourdough


  • 1
    Drain and rinse beans in cold running water. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover by 2cm. Bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until just tender (30-40 minutes). Drain and transfer to 3-litre capacity ovenproof dish.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, process capsicum, carrot and onion separately in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, speck, garlic and herbs and cook until soft (7-10 minutes). Season to taste. Add capsicum and stir until soft (3-5 minutes). Add tomato, bring to a simmer and add to beans. Add 500ml water, cover with foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender, adding more water if beans become a little dry (2 hours). Add paprika and cook until beans are soft yet still retain their shape (25-30 minutes). Stir through maple syrup, season to taste and serve with poached eggs and sourdough toast.