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    Quebecois baked beans with pork

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    Quebecois baked beans with pork

    You’ll find this Canadian classic served in many ‘sugar shacks’ during the maple-tapping season. The syrup brings a hint of sweetness and a deeper, more complex flavour to the dish.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes + overnight soaking
    • Cooking time: 5 hours 15 minutes
    • Total time: 5 hours 25 minutes + overnight soaking

    Serves: 4-6 as a side

    Ingredients

    350g dried pinto beans
    2 tbsp olive oil
    200g smoked bacon lardons
    2 cloves garlic, fnely chopped
    2 onions, fnely chopped
    2 heaped tbsp tomato purée
    1 tbsp mustard powder
    5 tbsp maple syrup 
    20g dark brown soft sugar
    3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

    Method

    1 Put the beans in a large bowl; cover with cold water. Soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Drain, put in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 45 minutes, then take off the heat and drain. 

    2 Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat and fry the lardons until lightly browned. Add the garlic and onions, then turn the heat down a little and sauté for 20 minutes, until everything is softened. Stir in the tomato purée and mustard powder; cook for 1 minute. Add the maple syrup, brown sugar and 500ml water, then turn the heat up high and bring to the boil. Preheat the oven to 140ºC, gas mark 1.

    3 When the beans are ready, drain and add to the casserole. Stir everything together, adding more water if needed to just cover the beans. Season, cover and put the casserole dish in the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours, checking now and then, and topping up with more boiling water if it is drying out. When the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, take off the lid, stir in the vinegar and return to the oven, turning it up to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Bake for a further 20-30 minutes to cook away most of the liquid and colour the top. Season, if needed, before serving with jacket potatoes and soured cream or crusty bread, if liked, to mop up the delicious juices.

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