Family Recipe Friday - French-Canadian Baked Beans
The historical background for Quebec cuisine is generated from the fur trade, where many dishes contributed a high fat or lard content providing high energy in the middle of the cold winter. The strongest influence of traditional Quebec cuisine comes from France and Ireland, the two largest ethnic groups in the province. Many aspects of Canadian aboriginal cuisine also had considerable impact on Quebec cuisine.
Folklore suggests that sailors brought cassoulet from the south of France, once in Quebec they were adapted with available ingredients and emerged into the French-Canadian culinary tradition we are familiar with today.
Maple sugar season in Quebec is one of the oldest culinary traditions. In the spring, many sugar shacks offer traditional meals of eggs, baked beans and ham all drizzled in maple syrup. Boiled maple tree sap is poured over the snow, which then hardens and is eaten as a treat.
The following is my family's recipe for baked beans. It has been adapted over the years so I often will replace the lard and cook a roast of pork in the beans, or replace the brown sugar with maple syrup. Maple syrup is expensive so a combination of syrup and brown sugar is also a great combination.
French-Canadian Baked Beans
1 pound Navy Beans
1 medium onion
1-3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
½ cup of lard
1 cup of brown sugar
Rinse beans, then cover with water add onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Transfer to a large casserole pot; add the lard and brown sugar. Taste, adding salt, pepper and more sugar depending on how sweet your preference.
Baked covered for 1 ½ - 2 hours until desired thickness. Remove cover for the last ½ hour to thicken if desired.
Try them; you will never go back to canned beans.
Old-Fashioned Family Recipes by Family Historians
This weeks feature: Banana Pumpkin Spice Cake by Karen at AncesTree Sprite