I’m going to keep this one a little short today as I’m writing this on Sunday and we’re about to head out the door and stuff our faces with Thanksgiving goodness. My friend T has a big gathering at her house every year with lots of vegan fixins’ and I’m attempting to make a “meat” pie and butter tarts…I guess you’ll all find out whether they were successful or not if they make it on the blog! But until then, lets talk about beans. Baked beans to be exact. Maple baked beans to be super duper exact.
When I first started thinking of ideas for Canadian dishes, my first instinct was “I’ll just put maple syrup in everything!”. I’m happy to say that I got a tad more creative then that but that’s not to say that our lovely maple syrup doesn’t make an appearance in any dishes. Head on over to Quebec and you’ll find something called Feves au Lard, which translated, simple means Beans with Bacon. Upon more searching I found that most recipes used maple syrup as a sweetener, score! Maple syrup FTW! Well, minus the bacon of course.
This was the first time I’m ever made baked beans from scratch. Yeah I know there’s nothing to soaking and cooking beans but call me lazy, there’s not much more simple then opening a can. Due to my lack of bean cooking knowledge, as it turns out, when you’ve had a bag of dried beans in your pantry for a like, oh I don’t know, 2 years? You should probable chuck them and buy a new bag. Being totally ignorant to this, I cooked the beans….and cooked the beans….and cooked the beans a little longer…and cooked the beans some more, and after having those damn things simmering for like a day and a half, they finally softened enough to be edible. Yeah, so lesson learned, old beans cause you nothing but angst. Besides for the mess up with the dried beans, these beans kick some serious ass, smoky, mapley and packed full of flavor, totally worth all that waiting you gotta do. So just keep in mind that your patience will be rewarded
Feves au Lard or Maple Baked Beans
- 2 cups dried white beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 2 cups water (approximately)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Place the beans in large bowl. Cover with water and soak overnight at room temperature. Add water, as needed, so that the beans are always covered. Rinse and drain. In a dutch oven or other ovenproof pan, over medium high heat, add the oil . Add onions and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes or until they have softened. Add maple syrup, molasses, tomato paste, liquid smoke, pepper, salt and mustard and mix. Add the beans and cover with water.
Cover and bake in preheated oven at 350 º F for at least 5-7 hours (add water as necessary). When beans have softened and most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in apple cider vinegar.
Adapted from Coup de Pouce
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