Fèves Au Lard (Traditional Quebec Navy Beans)

READY IN: 19hrs
YIELD: 3 pounds




  • Put the beans and water into a jar with a lid for 18 hours (counting the cooking time, that's 5 hours later than you want to be eating them the next day, so if you want your beans at 5 pm on Tuesday, soak them at 10 pm on Monday. It's ok to give or take a couple hours, but I'd rather give than take.).
  • When the 18 hours are almost up, finely dice the fatback, discarding the skin, and dice the onion.
  • Put the diced fatback in the pressure cooker, lid off, and cook it on medium heat until it starts to sizzle.
  • While you're waiting for it to sizzle, drain the beans, reserving the water.
  • Also, mix together the molasses, ketchup, mustard and savory in a small bowl, adding a little bean water so it can pour easily.
  • When the fatback sizzles, stir it a little and add the beans.
  • Then, add the onion, about half of the water and the condiments and stir well.
  • Add more bean water just until it covers the beans, using it to rinse the remaining condiments from the small bowl if necessary.
  • Put the lid on (with the high pressure valve, not the one for vegetables), put on high heat until steam comes out and reduce the heat to the lowest you can without stopping the whistling sound (for me it's a little lower than medium).
  • Cook that way for 40 minutes, take the cooker off the heat and wait at least 20 minutes before opening it.
  • Troubleshooting and tips : if there's a significant amount of liquid left on the bottom of the cooker, stir the beans, screw the lid back, put on high heat, let the pressure build and take off the stove as soon as it whistles. Then, wait 10 minutes before opening.
  • Also, beans are at their best when reheated. Once refrigerated, always stir them well before serving the first leftover portion, so as to distribute the sauce that will have settled to the bottom and hardened.