Let’s make that pork and beans with Applewood smoked bacon!
You might wonder why anyone would be cooking pork and beans in August when the temperature’s rising and a summer storm front is brewing.
It is late afternoon, and I am becoming rather hungry. I have no clue how to prepare the two boneless pork chops I purchased for less than $3.00.
I begin by preparing the fresh string beans thinking that the chops might taste great prepared “Chinese style” with a side of rice.
Suddenly, the mind wanders off to those days when the menu consisted of two choices, day in and day out – frozen chicken breasts or frozen pork chops. More often than not they were freezer burned or worse yet, reeked of freon.
Do you know how many ways you can prepare chicken and pork chops? There are more than 101 ways Until you throw all caution to the wind and “eat local”. You don’t even bother to inquire as to what the meat is. One thing is certain…it is not pork! Ah…those were the days.
Then comes a culinary epiphany. After a complete check of the pantry and fridge I realize I have all the right ingredients for pork and beans. I can always have the green beans tomorrow in a salad.
These are the ingredients I gathered:
- Two thick boneless pork chops
- Leftover bacon
- A medium onion
- Two cans of organic pinto beans
- Organic ketchup (by the way if you have not tried the Heinz® organic ketchup, it is perfect in recipes)
- Thyme and sage
- Apple cider vinegar
Does that not scream baked beans to you? Baked beans made even tastier with the addition of two thick juicy chops.
Making The Pork and Beans
Picture this…Thick pork chops in a tangy sauce. Pinto beans seasoned with smoked bacon and onions.
- Two thick boneless pork chops, dried on paper towels.
- 4 slices of thick cut Applewood smoked bacon, cut into strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
- Two 14 oz.cans of organic Pinto beans, drained
- 3/4 cup Heinz® organic tomato ketchup
- 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden® garlic paste
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoons chicken base
- 1/2 cup of water
- salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- At a medium setting, pre-heat a cast iron dutch oven.
- Add the sliced bacon. Fry until some of the fat is rendered.
- Add the onions, season with cracked pepper and some salt. Fry onions and bacon until crisp and brown but not burned.
- Remove most of fat.
- Push then onions and bacon to the edges of the pan making room in the middle to add the pork chops.
- Brown the pork chops. Turn and brown the other side.
- While the chops are browning, prepare the sauce. In a bowl, add the mustard, the garlic paste, tomato ketchup, chicken base, molasses, water and herbs. Mix well.
- Once the pork chops are browned on both sides, add the beans to the pan. Mix together with the onions and bacon to distribute evenly.
- Pour the sauce over the beans and mix well.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Simmer over low heat for a little more than 1 hour. The sauce will thicken.
- I avoid cooking with ketchup. But Heinz® organic may change that. Keep a bottle of the organic ketchup handy for cooking purposes. It is not nearly as sweet as the regular ketchup and works wonders in recipes for barbecue sauces, meatloaf or meatballs.
It is rather scary to think that ketchup producers are now making reduced sugar, sugar free and low carb ketchup.
The nutritional information for this condiment is worthy of study. There are 4 grams of sugar in the organic variety and only 1 gram in the reduced sugar ketchup.
Oddly enough, the sodium level is higher (at 190 mg) than in regular ketchup (160 mg).
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