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  • Writer's pictureAnnemarie Bolduc

Maple & Bacon Baked Beans

Updated: Apr 4

A sweet and savoury Québec-style baked beans recipe, re-adapted in Australia.

Maple & bacon baked beans dish • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2022

We all know this iconic, convenient dish, but in Québec, you’ll find old-fashioned maple baked beans served in restaurants with a classic lumberjack-style breakfast or at all Sugar Shack venues. The Québec-style baked beans dish is called “fèves au lard” (lard beans), but as our French slang deforms some English words, we commonly say “bines” (sounding more like “bin”). This classic slow-cooked stew is made with lard salé (fatty salted pork), white (navy) beans and maple syrup. The ancestral dish originates from the Native Americans, who used native ingredients like beans, maple syrup and wild meat fat. The recipe was introduced to the first colonists, who adapted it in many variations around the New World, substituting maple syrup with molasses or brown sugar, changing the meat cut, and sometimes adding tomato sauce. In the early 20th century, the famous dish was commercially canned for worldwide large-scale production without maple syrup and pork.


Baked beans homemade in Australia • Photos © Bottle and Brush Studio 2020-22


In Australia, I’ve replaced a few ingredients in this slow cooker adaptation, combining simple products that are easy to find here. As white navy beans are not in all grocery shops around us, I used the Borlotti many times, and they are delicious, even if they are larger beans. After discovering that Vegemite is not too bad after all (but to me only if used in very small quantities), I find it marries beautifully with the sweetness of maple syrup, adding a malty, bitter flavour in contrast. So, forget about canned baked beans; there is enough for a little army in this recipe. Leftovers can be saved in the fridge or freezer for later and enjoyed with toast and eggs any time of the year!


RECIPE


INGREDIENTS:

375g dried Borlotti beans* soaked overnight in cold water

125g of bacon, cut into pieces (to substitute the fatty salty pork)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp dried mustard

1 tbsp Vegemite (Australian spread made from yeast extract, optional)

Salt and pepper

Water


PREPARATION: Rinse the soaked beans and simmer in 6 cups water for about 30 minutes.

Drain the water, transfer the softened beans to a slow cooker and add the rest of the ingredients.

Mix well and cover with water (about 5 cups).

Simmer for 8 to 10 hours (depending on slow cooker and mode).

Have a look occasionally and ensure the beans don’t stick in the bottom; add water if needed.

Serve with toast and eggs or a sugar shack-style brunch.


A new version is currently being developed for my cookbook! Keep following @bottleandbrushstudio for new recipe releases and updates.

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