I recently developed a few recipes for the Canadian Maple Syrup Producers, and this was one of my favorites.
The sugaring season is currently underway back in the Northern Hemisphere, a time when Canadians commonly enjoy this traditional dish. While I am not Canadian, I am from Detroit, which is essentially a stone's throw from the border, and consider that reason enough to partake in the delicious custom.
The only pure (real) maple syrup you can find in Australia is Canadian. To honor those in the process of tapping and bottling this liquid gold, I picked some up and made a big batch of the comforting beans with tonight's dinner. Now that autumn is underway in Melbourne (which, today, has presented itself in buckets of rain), the warming pot of salty, sweet, fatty legumes seemed doubly appropriate.
Maple Baked Beans
1 16-ounce bag dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 cups water
1 cup cubed salt pork or thick cut bacon
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a large, ovenproof pot, add beans and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add pork, onion, maple syrup, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove lid. Cook another 45 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.