bacon ricebake (non-v) and bean ricebake (v)

Cooking instructions done on the basis that if you make 1 it’s easy to make both and then there’s an alternative for people that don’t eat bacon. The bacon one serves 20-25; the bean one 8-10. Apologies for the inexactitude of the stock instructions; I’ve varied it slightly since I made it as when I made it the rice didn’t cook properly and was very crunchy, BUT the meal tasted good. So I’ve changed the recipe up slightly and it’s a bit experimental.
You need a smallish (compared to normal utensils for cooking for crowds) high-sided oven tray for this as the key is layers. For the bean one I actually used an ovenproof sauce-pan.

for the bacon ricebake

4.5 tbsp oil
1 pepper, chopped
0.75kg onions
900g bacon
2.5kg rice
3x 400g canned tomatoes
3 tbsp dried mixed herbs
700g grated cheddar cheese
500g grated / shredded mozzarella
c. 1-2 litres weak vegetable stock

for the bean ricebake

1 tbsp oil
2 large onions plus good squirt garlic
2 peppers, chopped
1 400g can kidney beans (on basis that they’re the cheapest)
1 300g can beans
500g rice
1x400g canned tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
200g cheddar cheese, grated
200g mozzarella cheese, grated / shredded
c.500ml-1l vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Chop up / grate everything.
  2. Fry the bacon until cooked. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and cook onions and peppers gently until soft but not coloured.
  4. Mix rice, tomato & herbs in pot, and season generously with salt & pepper. Add half the smaller amount of stock – i.e. if making full recipe, add 500ml for bacon + 250ml for bean. Cook until fully absorbed. The rice will still not be cooked, but that’s ok. Remove from heat, add onions & stir well. Separate out at this stage and add bacon to one and beans to the other.
  5. Mix 2 cheeses together in another bowl.
  6. Grease dishes well & layer rice mixture alternately with cheese, starting with rice & ending with cheese – I usually put smaller amount of cheese on top than in the other layers.
  7. Pour over enough hot stock to reach just above the surface of mixture. Cook, at 180˚C/gas mark 4 (watch top doesn’t brown too much), for approx 45-60 mins. Cooked when rice al dente. Check regularly, may need to cover with foil &/or add more stock, at end should be juicy but not too wet, drain if it is.

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