Monday, January 28, 2013

Fèves au Lard- The Tradition Continues... with Pulled Pork!

Fèves au lard- Baked Beans with pulled pork.
These are baked beans to you... Where there is winter, there will be baked beans! Everyone has a favourite recipe.  Are yours made with molasses, brown sugar or maple syrup?  Do you use salt pork or bacon? So many options...

In my French Canadian family, fèves au lard were served at Christmas parties (with the tourtières), skating parties, after snow rides or skiing, anytime a crowd needed good food.  During my week as a scout camp cook, beans were a favourite with the boys.  However, the ingredients were a major subject of discussion among us volunteer parent cooks.  I won over the crew with my "recipe" which included a pork roast in the beans.  Ahem, who would turn down beans and pulled pork, all in one pot?

The measurements in this recipe are approximate.  Keep tasting and adjusting your ingredients.  I've made these without the pork for a great vegetarian dish.

This recipe will serve four to six generously.
The only ingredient missing: the beans!
2     lbs white navy beans, soaked overnight
1     large onion, peeled and diced small
1     cup ketchup, divided
1     cup brown sugar, divided
1/2  cup maple syrup
1     tbsp dry mustard
2     tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
3     lbs pork butt or pork shoulder

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beans on the stovetop- balancing the flavours!
Place the soaked beans in a heavy, ovenproof casserole.  Place on the stove top, over medium heat.  Add enough water to cover the beans, then add the onions, 3/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, dry mustard, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  As the water heats up, taste and adjust the seasonings.  How sweet do you like your beans?  Do they need more ketchup for more tomato taste?  How about maple syrup?

When you are satisfied with the taste, add the pork roast to the pot, nestled in the beans.  Cover the pot tightly and place in the oven.  Cook for 90 minutes.  Remove from the oven and taste again.  Make seasoning adjustments if necessary.  Check the beans- are they softening?  Replace in the oven for another hour, or until the beans are soft and the pork is fork tender.  Remove the roast from the pot and "pull" with a fork.  Serve the beans, accompanied by the pork.

You could replace the pork with 1/2 pound of bacon.  For vegetarian beans, omit the pork altogether.

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