The novel of Dr No (1958) shows that James Bond can rough it when he needs to, especially when Quarrel’s on the case. Tired and hungry after traipsing through the undergrowth of Crab Key, trying to avoid Dr No’s guards, James Bond, Quarrel and Honeychile Rider come across a smashed-up hut belonging to visitors who weren’t so lucky. Quarrel forages through the debris and finds a couple of tins of Heinz pork and beans, which, along with some bread, make for a welcome evening meal.
Pork and beans may seem far removed from the epicurean luxuries we associate with James Bond, but they would have gained the approval of one former James Bond – the late great Sir Roger Moore – who, according to his PA Gareth Owen was very fond of Heinz baked beans and pork pies and always kept a cupboard full of tins at his Swiss chalet (see Raising an Eyebrow).
I don’t know about you, but I can’t find tins of beans and pork in my local supermarket. Beans and pork sausages, certainly, but not beans and pork as such. If you want to get a taste of James Bond’s survival food, then you may have to make the dish yourself. To recreate something of the flavour of Heinz pork and beans, my recipe below uses tinned beans and ham.
- 400g tin cooked haricot beans (c 235g drained)
- 130g tinned ham, cubed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ tbsp tomato purée
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp mustard
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp finely chopped herbs (eg marjoram, thyme and oregano)
- Few dashes Worcester sauce
- Pinch black pepper
- c 200ml freshly boiled water
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted; 350F). Meanwhile, over a medium flame, heat the oil in an oven dish or casserole. Add the tomatoes and gently cook them for a few minutes until they have softened. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water, and stir well. Pour enough water in the dish to cover the ingredients. Place a lid over the dish and put the dish in the oven. Cook for about an 1-1½ hours, when the beans should be coated in a thick sauce.