Quebec style baked BEANS feves au lard

Like Spring, these white beans came alive along with much flavour in tow.
Pork belly ham, and a pouring of Spring time sweetness made beans popular again.

Every year we are on the hunt for the best and most authentic sugar shack.
So far, no one had everything going for them to meet our exigent palates.
However, every shack did at least have one memorable plate that made the trip special.

In always trying to replicate or make a sugar shack dish better...
I'd get into my laboratory...and into my bubble...and off I went.
Which brings me to research...procedure...and practice until I get it just right.

Finally, these beans have been made two years in a row and they are ready to share.
Mom complimented me by saying "no sugar shack can hold a bean to my dish".

Here, the creamy beans were served with crispy French toast and luscious, Quebec Maple syrup...Mummm.

From my 'cucina' to your tummy...
here is my version of Quebec style baked beans ;o) 

Quebec style
baked BEAN casserole
' Fèves au lard '
...start preparing a day ahead
serves 8-10 people

(American / Metric measures)

. 2 lbs. (907g) dried White beans (Navy/ Northern type) 
. 2 tsps. (10ml) baking soda
. 1/2 lb. (250g) cured, skin on, Pork belly ham *
. 1 medium, sweet onion, whole
Sweet syrup mix:
. 1/4 cup (50ml) Maple syrup
. 1/4 cup (50ml) fancy Molasses
. 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
. 1 tsp. (5ml) sea salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) ground Mustard

* Tip:
It's best to partially freeze the ham piece for about 2-3 hours before slicing.  It will now be much easier to slice.

...Day ahead:
1. In a very large bowl, rinse beans properly.  Sprinkle the beans with the baking soda and then cover the beans with cold water up to the rim of the bowl.  Soak them overnight for 12 hours.
...Next day:
. Pre-heat the oven to 300F/150C/Gas2.  Position the rack at the 2nd level from the bottom.  Have a  very large corning ware or Dutch oven as well as a baking sheet on hand.  Set aside.
Sweet Syrup mix:
2. In a small volume measuring cup, pour ALL the syrup mix ingredients.  Give it a good stir and set aside.
3. Peel the onion and keep it whole.  Set aside.
4. Slice the (partially frozen) Pork belly ham into about 8 slices. Set aside.

5. Drain the beans.  Then, in a very large corning ware (Dutch-oven) proceed with the following layers:
     1 - place half the slices of ham/lard at the bottom
     2 - spread half the quantity of the beans
     3 - place the remaining ham/lard slices
     4 - center the whole onion
     5 - spread the remaining beans
     6 - pour the stirred sweet syrup mix all over
    7 - pour the (~ 5 cups / 1.25L) reserved water or until it just reaches to cover the beans.  Place the lid over top.

6. Open the oven and pull the rack out just a little in order to manoeuvre placing the baking sheet and then adding the oven-proof dish.
7. BAKE at 300F/150C/Gas2  for a complete 4 hours or a very slow 8 hours at 250F/120C/Gas1.
. Serve warm or at room temperature.  This also freezes and re-warms very well.

Although by the countryside, snow is still around, Spring is finally here in the city.

What a sense of relief after this incredibly long winter.
Honour finally saying goodbye to winter with this very comforting dish ;o)

Cook in harmony and enjoy happy baking moments.
Many flavourful wishes in all your kitchen adventures.


Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later.