Preparation time: 5 minutes
+ 12 hours soaking time
Cooking time: 3 hours (American version)
or 8 hours (Quebec version)
Pork and beans originated in Boston, introduced to Quebec by American woodsmen who came north to work in the 19th century. The Quebec version is generally sweeter, the American a bit spicier.
Pork and beans are traditionally served for breakfast or brunch alongside sausages, eggs, etc. They're excellent reheated and will keep for several days in the fridge, so you can make a big batch.
Our grandmothers usually used an earthenware bean pot: this is still the secret to good beans, cooked slowly and for a long time.
Discard the first cooking liquid and replace it with fresh water when you place the beans in the earthenware pot - this helps prevent the flatulent effect associated with beans.
- wash the beans in cold water and soak for 12 hours at room temperature, ensuring that the water covers them by at least 5 cm (2");
- drain; place in a heavy pot; cover completely with water; add the salt;
- bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes;
- drain; place the beans in an earthenware pot or other container;
- add the other ingredients, placing the bacon on top; add water right to the top;
- place in a preheated 160° F (325° F) oven for 3 hours (120° C / 250°F for 8 hour cooking) and simmer until the beans are cooked.
- important: check the beans from time to time, adding more water as necessary.
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