The recipe I have chosen to share with you today is for a delicious store-cupboard casserole that is not only hearty and delicious, but quick and easy to make as well.
You can have it ready and on the table in not much more than half an hour. It bakes in the oven leaving your hands free to throw together a few simple sides to serve along with it when it is done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy as they say!
I always have the ingredients for this fabulously tasty casserole in my store cupboard. When have we needed recipes like this more than at this time, when many of us are confined to our homes and unable to get out to go shopping at will? Recipes such as this simple Spam & Bean Bake are perfect for the situation many of us find ourselves at the moment.
To be honest however, this fabulously simple casserole is welcome any time! Plain and simple, it is delicious. There is no other word to describe this tasty bake. It is something I have made it a habit to make several times a year for my family throughout the years and has always gone down a real treat. This is what you might call a “Family Favourite”!
WHAT YOU NEED TO COOK SPAM & BEAN BAKE
One thing which makes it a real favourite for me is the fact that this delicious casserole doesn’t take extraordinary ingredients to create it. Simple ingredients well put together. That is the hallmark of a great casserole! This ingredient list is short, but don’t let the simplicity of this casserole put you off. This is a real family pleasing winner of a dinner!
|12 ounces of canned luncheon me|
|¼ cup of pure maple syrup|
|1 28-oz tin of baked beans, undrained|
|1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped|
|1 TBS all-purpose flour|
|1 tsp prepared mustard (I like Dijon)|
|¼ cup of grated strong cheddar cheese|
HINTS & TIPS FOR PREPARING SPAM & BEAN BAKE
- If you want to make this casserole a bit lower in fat you can use “Light” luncheon meat rather than the full fat. You can also use the luncheon meat which is a mix of ham and bacon for another delicious version.
- The hardest part of this recipe is getting the luncheon meat out of the can. I find this is a lot easier if I run a sharp knife around the inside edge of the tin, wiggling it a bit to loosen the luncheon meat first. This helps to create an air pocket. You can also remove the bottom of the tin with a can opener and carefully push it out.
- If you are a smaller family, this recipe can very easily be cut in half by using one (6-oz) tin of luncheon meat, 1 (14-oz) tin of beans, cutting the onion in half and then using ½ TBS of flour and ½ tsp mustard. When I do this, I leave the amounts of maple syrup and cheese the same.
- You can heat and thicken the beans in the microwave very simply. Put everything into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on high, stirring it every 45 to 50 seconds until it bubbles and thickens.
- When I make a half recipe I find it easier to cut the meat in half crosswise and then cut each half into 4 slices. I use a 6 inch diameter glass casserole for half a recipe.
- Always grate your own cheese. Pre-grated cheese has things added to it to make it flow easier that might affect the finish of your bake.
- Always use pure Maple Syrup if you can, however if you don’t have it, you can also use a good Maple flavoured breakfast syrup without it affecting the flavour too much.
- You can use a regular ball-park mustard, but I like to use Dijon mustard because it packs a tiny bit of heat that goes very well with the other flavours in this casserole.
- Place the casserole or pie dish on a baking dish for ease of popping it into the oven and easier removal when done.
HOW TO MAKE SPAM & BEAN BAKE
The first thing you will need to do is to prepare your casserole dish. I halved the recipe today for us as there are only two of us. Whether you are cooking a full recipe or half a recipe you will need to butter the casserole dish well with softened butter. If you are using a large tin of luncheon meat remove it from the tin and cut it into 8 slices cross wise.
If you are using a smaller or smaller tins, cut them in half cross wise and then cut each half into four slices. Brush the slices of luncheon meat on both sides with the maple syrup and place around the edges of your casserole dish/pie plate. Reserve the remaining maple syrup to use in the beans.
Open your tin(s) of beans and pop them, undrained into a bowl or a saucepan. Peel and chop your onion up finely. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half lengthwise, and then make narrow lengthwise cuts in the onion towards the stem end. Holding the onion together, I then cut it crosswise into smaller pieces. Stir the chopped onion, mustard, flour and remaining maple syrup into the beans in the saucepan or a microwave-safe bowl.
If you are using a saucepan, cook and stir the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. If you are using a bowl, heat the mixture in a microwave oven on high, stirring it every 40 seconds or so, until the mixture thickens and bubbles.
Pour the thickened bean mixture into the centre of the casserole/pie dish and then sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over top.
Place the casserole dish/pie tin onto a baking sheet and then bake it in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until bubbling. The cheese should have melted, and the luncheon meat should be toasty and golden brown.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SPAM & BEAN BAKE
This is really a simple dish and simple dishes call for simple side dishes. I like to serve this tasty bake with some scalloped/au gratin potatoes on the side which go very well with this. You can find some very good packaged mixes these days. I usually have several of those in my cupboard. You can also buy frozen boxes of potato gratin/scalloped potatoes that heat up really well in the microwave.
A simple coleslaw also goes very well with this. To make an easy coleslaw, you can hand shred half a small head of white cabbage and grate one peeled carrot. Add 1 TBS of chopped onion. Toss all of the vegetables together in a bowl. Whisk together ½ cup of mayonnaise, 1 TBS cream or milk, 1TBS oil, 1 TBS apple cider vinegar, ½ TBS of sugar and some seasoning. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Pour this over the prepared vegetables and toss everything together to coat. We also like some raisins stirred in and toasted pecans are also nice as is chopped apple.
Corn muffins or corn bread also go very well on the side.
I just love simple store-cupboard dishes like this, and I guarantee your family will also. This fabulous bake is the type of thing our grandmothers would have happily served their families. Simple ingredients put together in a delicious way. You simply can’t go wrong!
- 2 (14oz) tins of baked beans
- 2 (6oz) tins of luncheon meat
- ¼ cup of maple syrup
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 1 TBS all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp prepared mustard
- ¼ cup of grated strong cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350*F. Have ready a 9 inch pie plate. Butter it well with softened butter.
- Cut the luncheon meat into 8 thick slices.
- Brush each with some maple syrup, reserving the rest of the maple syrup.
- Arrange the slices of meat around the edges of the pie plate.
- Combine the remaining syrup with the beans, onion, flour and mustard in a saucepan.
- Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly. Pour into the centre of the pie plate.
- Sprinkle with the cheese. Place onto a baking sheet.
- Slice the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve hot.
Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.