Slow cooked pork and beans

January 14th, 2010
Slow cooked pork and beans

This recipe for slow cooked pork and beans is meltingly tender pork with beans and a rich and thick sauce.  Serious winter comfort food without being too unhealthy, or expensive as you bulk the stew out with beans and use a cheap as chips cut of pork. (If you can’t get ham hock, as we couldn’t, any other cut of pork suitable for slow cooking would be good. We used pork shoulder.)  It’s also perfect for Sunday cooking,  by which I mean you can leisurely put it together on a Sunday afternoon and leave it to putter away for a few hours while you read the paper.  You could eat it that night, or even better the next day when the flavours have really developed.

Don’t be put off by using dried beans either. The only difficult thing is remembering to soak them overnight. Otherwise, there’s nothing to do apart from leave them to gently simmer for a few hours. Don’t be tempted to undercook them either, give them enough time and they will eventually become soft, depending on how old the beans are, this can take hours, but the great thing is, it’s difficult to overcook them, especially more robust beans. Also feel free to substitute the beans of your choice here, I’d go for pinto beans.

This recipe came from the surprisingly useful Jamie’s America. I’m fast becoming a real Jamie devotee, not least because his recipes are usually fairly easy, yet still perfect for impressing when people come to dinner.

Slow cooked pork and beans

500g dried kidney beans, soaked overnight in water (or 2 tins canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
1 bulb garlic, cut in half lengthways
2kg smoked ham hock
4 stick celery chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 bay leaves
8 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp pepper
2 tins plum tomatoes
cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

  1. Drain the soaked kidney beans and pour into a large saucepan that also contains the ham hock. Add the garlic, celery, onions, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, spices and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, then simmer, with the lid on, for 2 hours. The beans should be completely cooked and the pork meltingly tender.
  2. Remove the ham hock, garlic annd sprigs off herbs. Take the skin off the ham hock and shred the pork. (If you’re using tinned kidney beans, add them to the pot now.)
  3. Ladle about a quarter of the beans and vegetables into a bowl. Slice the garlic bulb in half and squeeze the insides into the bowl too. Mash the mixture with a fork and stir in the remaining beans. Stir the shredded pork in too.
  4. Season, to taste and add a little splash of cider vinegar and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with a spoonful of rice.
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4 Responses to “Slow cooked pork and beans”

  1. Nora says:

    That looks delicious. I love that sort of leave it alone and it’ll only get better cooking. Interesting to hear that Jamie’s America is good. I’ve been tempted by it several times, but as I wasn’t that keen on the TV programme, I resisted. But this suggests it might be time to succumb!

  2. Rosanna says:

    Great picture!

  3. Kerri says:

    Oooh, this looks and sounds lovely. Your styling is beautiful. I really enjoyed Jamie’s last series but haven’t tried any of the recipes yet.

    We have a great Mexican cookery book by Rick Bayless, an American chef who specialises in Mexican cooking. He maintains (based on current American guidelines) that you don’t need to soak your beans overnight but just need to remember to cook them a little longer on the day of use. We’ve tried it that way several times recently and found no difference in either method, quite a useful tip if you’re prone to forgetting the soaking step, as I am!

  4. […] discovered ham hock, to state the obvious its so cheap and very delicious.  I decided to cook this slow cooked pork and bean recipe, which I later realised is pretty much the same as Laura’s […]

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