I was raised in an Italian neighborhood in Montreal – tomatoes growing in small backyard gardens, Sunday lunches lasting an entire afternoon; those sorts of things were commonplace. But growing up in Montreal also meant that I had the privilege of being exposed to so many wonderful French Canadian food traditions, such as this recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans. Today’s Sunday Supper theme was regional specialties, and I just had to sing the praises of these baked beans!
Any Quebecker will tell you that baked beans, also known as fèves au lard, are an integral part of any sugar shacking experience in the spring. But these baked beans can easily be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch or supper and throughout the year. This recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans is so versatile that it can be easily adapted for your meatless Monday lineup. I have also provided you with cooking guidelines so that it can easily be made in your slow-cooker or oven.
When preparing any recipe for baked beans, you will immediately notice that the prep time is minimal when compared to the idle time, and that it all starts with a good soak.
Rinsing and Soaking the beans: Before you soak your beans, it is important to rinse and sort them out. Remove any shriveled or discolored beans. Also, be sure to remove any small rocks or debris. With regards to the issue of soaking your dry beans, there have been different opinions as to the necessity of this activity. In my humble opinion, providing your dry navy beans with an overnight soak will allow you to reduce the total cooking time. Furthermore, it literally takes a couple of minutes to fill up a bowl of beans with water and leave it for an overnight soak on the counter. The overnight room temperature soak can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours. Make sure you submerge your beans by at least two inches of water as they will absorb a lot of water.
Precooking the beans: Here’s another step which is highly debatable. Some will argue that since the beans will cook for a long period of time, this step is unnecessary. Once again, I will share the method that works for me. With that being said, I rinse and drain (again) the soaked beans. I will then place them in a pot of water where they will simmer for about 45 minutes. After which they get another rinse and are ready for the final step.
Slow cooker method: Transfer the rinsed precooked beans in your slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and place a whole onion in the center. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until the beans are tender. If the mixture appears dry, you can add some water. These Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans can be served immediately or refrigerated and served reheated the next day. These beans actually get better the longer they stay in the fridge.
Dutch oven method: Preheat oven to 225 F. Once again, transfer the precooked beans in your dutch oven or a large oven proof pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook for approximately 6 hours. You can remove the lid the last 30 minutes or so in order to obtain a nice golden color. As with the slow cooker method, if the beans appear dry, make sure to add a little water.
Non-vegetarian version: I prefer to make a vegetarian version of this recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans, however, I have been known to throw in some Italian pancetta or even some Canadian smoked bacon. The final product is creamy and smokey… just perfect as a main, as a side or even to top off those potatoes!
Nutrition Note: There is nothing healthier than eating a bowl of baked beans. This low calorie food is high in fiber, which keeps your intestines working properly; it’s also a great source of protein, which promotes healthy muscle tissue. As an added bonus, it even has a low glycemic index. There are just a few of the benefits of baked beans. Follow this link to find out more!
Origin of the recipe for Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans:
As I have preciously mentioned, I have a very large collection of newspaper clippings from the Food section of the Montreal Gazette. I’ve adapted this recipe from one such clipping. If you recall, this is not the first time I have sung the praises of the great white navy bean. Last fall, I shared a recipe for an Easy White Bean Soup.
Healthy Homemade Quebec Maple Baked Beans for your Sunday Supper… why not?
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- 1 pound (2-1/3 cups) dry beans (navy, great Northern...)
- water for soaking and precooking
- 1 medium onion
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (in a pinch I have substituted with ketchup)
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 3 cups hot water (for cooking)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- Rinse and sort the beans; remove any pebbles or debris.
- Place the beans in a large bowl.
- Fill with water in order to submerge the beans by at least two inches of water.
- Soak overnight (8-12 hours).
- The next day, transfer the drained and rinsed again beans to a large pot.
- Re-fill with water and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and rinse again.
- Transfer the rinsed precooked beans in your slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and place the whole onion in the center.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until the beans are tender. If the mixture appears dry, you can add some water.
- Preheat oven to 225 F.
- Once again, transfer the precooked beans in your dutch oven or a large oven proof pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook for approximately 6 hours.
- Remove the lid the last 30 minutes or so in order to obtain a nice golden color. As with the slow cooker method, if the beans appear dry, make sure to add a little water.
For a non-vegetarian version you can add about ½ cup of uncooked Italian pancetta or about 6 cut up slices of Canadian bacon to obtain smokey flavored baked beans.
Thanks for dropping by.
Ciao for now!
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ONE FINAL THOUGHT ABOUT #SUNDAYSUPPER…
Every Sunday, there is a wonderful group of bloggers called the #SundaySupper tastemakers that collaborate together on a theme. As was mentionned, today’s theme was Regional Specialties and I think you’ll agree the line-up of recipes is totally amazing!
I would like to thank the event host for this event: Sue Lau from A Palatable Pastime Thanks Sue!
If you have a chance you should really check out these great regional specialties contributed by these wonderful food bloggers.
Buona Domenica e Buon Appetito!
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement
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Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement