This weekend, I was planning a menu since I was hosting guests. I initially thought my challenge was finding something I could make or reheat in a kitchen devoid of all my usual ingredients and utensils.
No, that was not my challenge.
“I don’t like vegan food,” said one guest.
Oh my gosh, what to do?!
I would obviously have to figure out a way to appeal to everyone’s palates with our limited kitchen possibilities.
If meat was somewhat prominent, perhaps a vegan dish could be stealthily incorporated into the menu.
In the end, we opted to use the barbecue for some quick meals with side dishes I made at home earlier. We served barbecued wild boar sausages with a side of (vegan) coleslaw. For dessert, we made mango shrikhand or simply unadorned Alphonso mangoes for those averse to yogurt. The following day we went entirely vegan with mango BBQ beans, leftover coleslaw, cucumber slices wrapped inside a tortilla, or with a side of multigrain bread.
I heard the sausages were nice, but there were resounding compliments for the mango BBQ beans. Red kidney beans are simmered in a tomato sauce spiced with coriander, allspice, liquid smoke and mango. Smoky, sweet, zippy and saucy. A perfect combination for barbecue flavours. Don’t be fooled by the mango, though. It adds sweetness as opposed to authentic mango flavour, although some of the frozen mango chunks were still present within the sauce. While the original recipe from Appetite for Reduction calls for red kidney beans, I think pinto beans would be better next time. This way, it would be more similar to baked beans. Or black beans since they pair so well with mango.
The great thing about these beans, though, is that they are easy to whip up in advance. After an overnight sit, they tasted even better. Just reheat prior to serving and you’ve got some smokin’ mango BBQ beans! :)
I bit my tongue as my guest said these were one of the best baked beans she’s eaten. They were vegan and she knew that, too. I just won’t label anything in advance to ward off any undue prejudice. ;)
Mango BBQ Beans
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.25 cups mango (I used frozen chunks)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 tsp ground allspice (4 berries)
1 tsp ground coriander (freshly ground)
2x 19 oz canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 4 cups cooked beans) – black-eyed peas are also nice, I think pinto or black beans would work well, too, instead of the kidney beans
1 tsp liquid smoke
1-2 tbsp agave syrup, or to taste (I used 1 tbsp)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until translucent.
2. Add the mango, tomato sauce, broth, red pepper flakes, allspice, coriander, salt and kidney beans. Turn up the heat to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving a little room for steam to escape, and let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken and the mangoes should cook down a great deal.
3. Turn off the heat, mix in the agave nectar and liquid smoke, and let the beans sit for about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and more agave if needed. Adjust the salt and seasonings, and serve. Tastes even better as leftovers.