Monday, January 7, 2013

Crockpot Beans and Pork

One of my favorite comfort foods - I crave this dish at least once per week in the winter months

Crockpot Beans and Pork
1 lb dry Pinto beans
3 small boneless pork loin chops
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 chopped fire roasted green chilies (or 2 small cans chopped green chilies)
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped (you can use the leafy parts)
3 strips of uncooked bacon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp hot sauce (I use Louisiana brand hot sauce- add more if you like it spicy)
5 cups chicken broth (approximate)
Salt to taste

Rinse dried beans then put in bowl and cover with water 1 inch higher than beans.
Soak overnight. In the morning drain and rinse beans.
Salt and pepper the pork chops and place them into the crockpot first.
Add vegetables, oil, spices (except for salt), hot sauce and broth next. 
Add broth until it comes just to the top of the beans. About 5 cups. 
Add bacon strips, making sure that they are covered by broth. 
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I like my beans softer, so I like to cook them at least 10 hours on low. 

When cooking is done and beans are soft, the pork will shred easily with a fork.  Shred the pork chops and then mix the meat all together with the beans.  Serve in bowls with extra Louisiana Hot Sauce on the side or my favorite – serve over a long grain wild and brown rice mixture with some nice toasty French bread.

Comments: When beans are soft you should switch to low - so use low or autoswitch if cooking all day. After the beans are soft, add salt to taste.
You can adapt this recipe to any type of beans - the only trick is to not add anything with too much salt or acid until the beans are soft. So if you want to add tomatoes add them later.
You can make them spicier by using hot green chilies (fresh roasted ones chopped finely). The recipe tastes best when using fresh chilies but using canned green chilies will turn out yummy too.