Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Garlicky Red Beans and Pork

I have never made a meal with dried beans before. When I read through this recipe, I thought it sounded good, so I figured I'd try something new.
I realized when I walked into the living room with the recipe that this didn't have a picture, and I am usually horrible at making things without a picture.  The picture provides an end result goal for me and it seems like without it, I don't know if I'm doing anything right or not.  I had doubts the entire time I was making this meal.  I kept saying 'I didn't know it was going to be so stew-like.'  My husband reminded me that it would turn out however it turned out, but for some reason, I didn't find solace in that.

Garlicky Red Beans and Pork adapted from SparkRecipes
Ingredients1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 lbs lean boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 red onion chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon cumin
3 green chiles, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup water

1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the pork and pepper; cook, stirring as needed, until the pork is cooked through and lightly browned, 8-10 mins. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring as needed, until the onions are tender about 8 mins.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, chiles, cumin and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are tender, 80-120 mins.

I realized that dried beans are another thing that take FOREVER at high altitude.  I tasted them at 50 minutes like the recipe said, and the beans were still rock hard.  I soaked them for 10 hours, so I know I did followed the process correctly, I guess the altitude just plays more of a part than I realized.  It ended up cooking for about 2 hours at our house before it was done.  Just taste everything along the way.

The good part of everything cooking for 2 hours is that the flavors melded so well.   It was warm and filling on a cold Wyoming autumn night.  The thing that I loved about it was that the pork tasted amazing.  It is probably the best pork that I have ever eaten.  It flaked really easy and was juicy and flavorful.  When I got full, I picked all the pieces of pork out like a kid does with a meal they don't like and just ate all the pork.

My husband says this meal would be great with some kind of bread.  Since it was chili-like he kept mentioning cornbread, but I didn't have the stuff for it.  I thought it was great, although I'll have to tackle the beans in a different fashion next time. 


  1. I strongly recommend using a pressure cooker for a short period or a slow cooker overnight for the beans. In fact, you could use the slow cooker for the pork as well and it'd probably shred quite easily for a pulled-pork-and-beans sandwichy thing.

    1. I didn't even think about using a pressure cooker! Thanks for the advice.