Friday, 31 July 2009

Mock Jamaican Corned beef and Beans Rice or What To Cook When You've Emptied Your Fridge Out

Ok, bags are packed, fridge has been emptied and I'm ready to get away from it all.

Yes my foodie friends, I'm going to hide in some corner of this world and recuperate nice and slowly!

I wont desert you though. I'll keep in touch whenever possible and I have two amazing surprise foodies guest-posting for me.

So, as I was saying, bags are packed, fridge has been emptied...hang on, no food in the fridge???

Damn! I refuse to spend my holiday money on a takeaway! There must be something in the cupboard.

Let's see...A tin of baked beans, some pancetta I haven't thrown out yet... I still have onions and garlic, and, and, A TIN OF CORNED BEEF!

Inspiration hits me like a crowded airport during the high Summer season (yep, that's soon to come). I will make a Mock-emphasis on the MOCK-Jamaican Rice and Beans dish.

A little cultural note for foodies out there first.

Corned Beef as it's known in the UK and Jamaica, is not the same corned beef you get in the States. It is in fact, Corned beef that has been brined, cooked, shredded and packed in tins. It became popular during the II World War and it was brought over by American soldiers, probably because they missed the real thing but couldn't preserve it.

Moving on...It is fairly cheap to buy in the UK and very popular in the North East of England. Unlike our American friends, Brits from the North East choose to eliminate the cabbage and instead mix the corned beef with onion, potatoes and bake it in pastry! It is heavenly, but that's a recipe that will have to wait.

So here I am, facing my ingredients and my new LeCreuset Skillet or frying pan. Oh and a hungry cry from the 6 year old in the living room: 'When's dinner ready, mummy?'

Now, onto work.
We have the sweetness of the baked beans and onions, the saltiness of the Corned beef and pancetta and the rice to balance it all out. Add some fresh basil and voila!


100 grams of pancetta or smoked bacon
1 tin of Vegetarian Baked beans
1 chopped large onion
2 crushed cloves of garlic
100 grams of tinned corned beef
2 generous cups of cooked rice
1 teaspoon of herbs of your choice
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh basil


1-Enlist the help of a hungry 6 year old with the pancetta-to keep him quiet for a while!

2-Place frying pan on a low heat with some olive oil and gently fry the pancetta.

3-Get 6 year old to stir the pancetta-making sure you keep him well away from any spitting fat

4-When 6 year old gets bored with stirring and retreats back into the living room to watch his favourite channel, turn the heat up high and finish cooking the pancetta.
5- Remove and fry the onion and garlic in the pancetta flavoured oil.
6- Get your tin of corned beef. It should look something like this:7- And place it in the frying pan.
The heat will make it softer and you should be able to crush it into the onion and garlic mix, like this:9-Add herbs, Pancetta and beans and stir. Leave it to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.10-Add rice and fresh basil. Stir and serve to starving 6 year old!Pinto Beans and Rice Salad on Foodista


  1. Ah yes, that can of corned beef looks very familiar. My parents would buy that often. You made great use of it in this recipe. Have a wonderful holiday!

  2. My hubby loves corned beef and this recipes looks fantastic.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip. I am leaving my husband behind and going to Outerbanks, NC on the 14th. I cannot wait. I have not seen my family (Mom,sisters,dad and so on) forever.
    I am a lil nervous. I am driving 11 hrs. with two lil ones by myself. YIKES

  3. Sounds like the perfect kids meal, I'll have to pass it along to my SIL - thanks for sharing

  4. Have a great trip Ruth! Your son is ADORABLE!!

  5. have fun nice to see your lil guy LOL

  6. I love corned beef..Mind you I love the Iloveflavourme chef too? Two magical ingredients can make the perfect dish? "CHOCOLATE"..

  7. I think the best comfort food comes from fridge cleaning. CHeers!

  8. Enjoy your recuperation. This looks great especially with corned beef.

  9. This looks and sounds great!

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