Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fèves au Lard/Baked Beans

Fèves au lard (baked beans), a traditional peasant food was a staple for pioneers and "coureurs des bois" (trappers and fur traders). Today it is still savoured as a breakfast side dish with bacon and eggs. It is also the quintessential part of any sugaring-off menu found in "cabanes à sucre", where many Quebecois families choose to celebrate not only the arrival of spring but also Easter. Packed with protein and fiber, I'm sure you will get hooked on this humble healthy dish with it's satiny sauce and hint of sweet maple syrup.  If not available, the maple syrup can be replaced by brown sugar. Here's my version of baked beans made with salted pork belly, molasses and our region's liquid gold.....maple syrup. 

1 pound dried navy beans soaked overnight
5 cups cold water
1/2 pound salted pork belly cut into 1" pieces
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoon cider vinegar 
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt 

Strain and rinse the beans. Add the beans to a pot with 5 cups of water. Boil for thirty minutes. Transfer the beans and water to an ovenproof casserole. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and bake in a 250ºF oven for 7-8 hours.


  1. These beans are baked for 7-8 hours! That's very long hours of cooking. The addition of salted pork belly into these beans sounds very delicious!

  2. These are true baked beans and the salt belly and molasses and maple syrup are remnants froom long-ago picnics. For the Midwesterners, they are a mainstay at barbecues. Noted this!

  3. 7-8 hrs of baking time? must be very smooth and good!

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  5. Zoe, I know it's hard to believe,but the beans really take 7-8 hours to bake. The long slow baking process allows all those delicious flavours to develop and permeate the beans. The longer it cooks,the richer the colour and creamier the sauce. Although I wouldn't advise others to do this for security reasons, I usually do cook the beans overnight..."two birds with one stone" get your beauty sleep(LOL)and have perfect baked beans in the morning. The pork belly is a real must for me....adds amazing flavour and makes the sauce so satiny.

    Hi Claudia, I've really become a big fan of baked beans, and they are no longer reserved just for big week-end breakfasts. I can just imagine having them on the side with some yummy BBQ ribs at one of your Midwestern picnics or barbecues.

    Angie, I know that the amount of baking time is long but well worth it.

  6. Mmmm, these are the real deal! I love navy beans, they're my absolute fave and I am fortunate to have a family of bean lovers, so healthy too. I've been looking for a recipe that's not overly sweet, and thanks to you my dear foodie friend, I think you've shown me the way. What a treat these would be with your Rustic Artisan No-Knead Bread for dunking. Oh I have plans now....Have a great weekend :)

  7. Ava, hope they don't disappoint. I suggest reducing the amount of molasses or syrup given you like them less sweet. Isn't that no-knead bread recipe amazing? It also makes great focaccia by simply adding some oil to the recipe.
    Let me know how the recipe goes over with your family. Hope the weather warms up for the week-end. Have a great one!

  8. Este es un plato muy exquisito muy completo y contundente,es mi plato preferido,se ve tentador y muy lindo,cariños y abrazos.

  9. they look fab! mmm

  10. Rosita, happy to hear that baked beans are one of your favourite dishes. I too love the pork belly added to the beans. It gives the beans a silky texture and adds so much flavour.

    atthrifyfoodie, thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed this inexpensive recipe.