Thursday, April 6, 2017

Frijol con Puerco/Pork and Black Bean Dinner - Caity

I am always in search of a good slow-cooker recipe. Sometimes, I'm in the mood for the "dump it in and walk away" recipes which always seem to include cream of mushroom soup (it is magical, I agree) because you can literally dump everything in a pot and walk away for hours and come home to a comforting bowl of creamy, fatty love. But sadly once the actual eating is over and the digesting begins, I feel........ less than super.  So I try to keep an eye (or ear) out for recipes that are generally easy, not quite "dump it" status, but considerably more healthy.

I first heard about this recipe for "Pork and Black Bean Dinner" on an interview between Chef Rick Bayless and Christopher Kimball. I was listening to a podcast while walking Nigel and I was salivating as Rick Bayless was describing a simple throw together slow-cooker dinner of browned pork and black beans topped with a homemade salsa and avocado. It sounded so comforting  (without the fat content of the beloved cream soup) and flavorful that I cut Nigel's walk short so I could run to the store and get dinner going! 

Serves 4 to 6

what you'll need

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1-1/2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb dry black beans, picked over to remove any stones or debris
2 medium white onions, diced and divided
1 big sprig of epazote (or a few sprigs of cilantro)
1-28 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 fresh hot green chiles (serrano or jalapeno), minced
1 large ripe avocado
sliced radishes, to serve
cilantro, to serve

In a very large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pork shoulder cubes in a single, uncrowded layer. Sprinkle it generously with a tsp of salt. Leave untouched for several minutes until the cubes begin to brown. Turn them once they release easily from the bottom of the pan and brown on all sides - about 10 minutes. Then scrape the meat into a slow-cooker and add the dried black beans, 6 cups of water, 1 of the diced onions, 1 tsp salt and the epazote (or cilantro). Deglaze the pan used to brown the pork with water, chicken broth, beer - whatever is handy. 

Place the lid on the slow cooker and turn it to low. The meat and beans will be ready in about 6 hours, although will not be ruined if they cook longer. 

While the meat and beans are cooking, make the tomato-chile salsa. In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the remaining diced onion and chile and saute until the onion begins to brown. While the onion is cooking, pour the canned tomato into a blender and pulse a few times until coarsely pureed (or use an immersion blender inside the can). Pour the tomatoes into the pan with the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt (about 1/2 tsp). Set aside in the refrigerator until the meat and beans are ready. 

When you are about 30 minutes from dinner time, stir half of the tomato-chile salsa into the pork and beans and season with another 1/2 tsp of salt. Once everything has warmed through, serve by ladling into bowls with a spoonful of tomato-chile salsa, sliced avocado, radishes, and sprigs of cilantro. 

Leftovers are great over rice or in tortillas as tacos or burritos! 

One year ago: Almost Instant Chicken & Lemon Rice Soup
Two years ago: Butternut CapreseTwo Minute Pomegranate Margaritas
Three years ago: Spring Greens with Warm Goat CheeseLemony Brussels Sprouts Chips
Four years ago: White Pizzas with ArugulaThai Grilled Chicken
Five years ago: Wild Rice and Broccoli Casserole
Six years ago: Green Posole with ChickenTexas Sheet CakePB&Strawberry Sandwiches

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