Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Pork and Beans

  Combine a pound of dried pinto or pink beans with a small pork loin roast for a delicious meal of pork and beans.

Slow Cooker Pork and Beans

One of the most favorite things that I really enjoy out of this blogging experience, is when I ask everybody "What's Cookin' Good Lookin'?'" over on the Facebook page. Readers share what's cooking in their kitchens, or what's planned, or sometimes just what they are craving, and very often, they share a recipe in those comments.

It was in one of those posts, that Natalie, one of our Facebook family members, mentioned making this bean dish, and I immediately put it on my list to try.
Just a quick reminder.... this is a blog, not just a "recipe site," and yes, there is a difference! I want to first thank all of you who have supported my work over the years, but if you aren't interested in the chit chat, info, photos, tips and such in a post, as always, you'll find the complete recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll down to the bottom of the post!
Natalie told us that this recipe came about during their evacuation from Hurricane Rita, and so I thought of a few clever names - Pork and Beans Rita, or Evacuation Beans and Pork, or even Hurricane Pork and Beans. In the end, I figured just good ole pork and beans would work the best.

With hurricane season right around the corner though, this would be a great meal to put on while you wait out a storm in some hotel room north of the coastline, so it's a good reminder to put your crockpot on your evacuation packing list. Of course, you don't really need a hurricane to give it a whirl either.

Natalie uses two packets of onion soup mix for her recipe, but feel free to substitute the homemade version included in the notes if you prefer.

Now that I've tasted this recipe, I also think it'd be fantastic with those homemade seasonings, but substituting freshly sauteed raw onion for the dried, and I can't say that a bit of bacon wouldn't hurt either, if you don't mind taking a few extra minutes to do that.

I'll definitely be making it again for sure and I'm likely to play around with some additional seasonings too, so I say, add in your favorite pinto bean seasonings when you make this. Gotta say though, it's pretty darned tasty written just as it is.

Oh yeah - I did get a little bit of a chuckle outta this too.

Remember that time that I wanted to cook up a nice pork roast, and I asked The Cajun to pick one up for me on his way home? And he showed up with this itty bitty, two-pounder piece of pork that I could literally hold in the palm of my hand?

Well... this recipe was perfect for that! So funny that the man who usually comes home with the industrial-sized everything, would bring me a 2-pound pork roast. Next time I want pulled pork or a nice dinner pork roast with intended leftovers, I guess I should be much more specific on that size thing.

Here's how to make this lovely recipe for slow cooker pork and beans, and thanks so much Natalie for sharing your recipe!

I had some pink beans in the pantry, so that's what I used this time, but this would be great with pintos too, since they are both similar in texture and flavor. The small red beans and even white beans would also be good choices for this dish.

Do the usual pick through, sort and rinse thing with the beans. Soak overnight according to the package directions. If you want to use red kidney beans, it is recommended that you preboil them, rather than soak them, before putting them in the crockpot. Put beans in a stockpot, bring to a rolling boil, boil for 10 minutes, drain, rinse and then transfer to the slow cooker.

When you are ready to cook, add some of the water to the two onion soup mix seasoning packets, chili powder and black pepper; whisk together. REMEMBER! If the sodium is too much for you, try the homemade substitutes and control the added salt on your own.

If using the packets, hold off on any salt though since we're using a packaged product for seasoning and there's plenty of salt already.

Add the beans to the slow cooker and pour the seasoned broth and the rest of the water over the beans. Stir in the jalapenos too if you're using them, and feel free to add in any of your own personal, favorite pinto bean seasonings here too. I'm thinking a packet of Sazon seasoning might be good next time I make this.

Place roast into the cooker, cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or 4 to 5 hours on high, turning roast over halfway through, if you happen to be home. No biggie if you're not.

When done, roast should be fall apart tender and between 145 and 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

Remove the roast to a platter and loosely tent it with some foil to keep it warm.

To thicken the beans, remove about 1/2 cup of them (without the liquid) and smash them thoroughly.

Then stir the smashed beans right back into the pot.

Look how nice the beans cooked up! Taste them and add salt, only if needed, and add some Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper, to taste, if desired. Go light though, add a little, taste and adjust.

To serve, spoon the beans over hot cooked rice and serve pieces of roast on the top or on the side. You can also shred the meat and stir it back into the beans, however, the meat will take up most all of the juice from the beans, so I like it better served separately over the top of the rice and beans.

Add a mixed garden salad or green vegetable, some rolls, cornbread or bread and iced tea to round it out. Yeah, yeah... I served a salad and peas, and peas aren't a "green veggie" and might constitute starch overload, but they were leftovers and I wanted to use them up!

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Posted by on March 21, 2012
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