Maple Chipotle Pulled Pork and Beans. 2 comfort foods in 1! An ultimate comfort food meal combining two slow cooked favourites, pulled pork and baked beans.
On a cold, rainy Saturday a few weeks ago I decided a slow cooked day was in order. How better to ignore the torrent of rain outside than to sit back and watch old movies all afternoon while supper languidly bubbles away in the oven for several hours, needing very little attention.
On days like that, my son usually requests one of his two slow cooked favourites, either baked beans or pulled pork. Since pork and beans is a natural combination I decided to try combining the two. Needless to say, the boy was very pleased.
Before preparing the slow cooked meal for the oven, I took the time to make some bread dough, which would also take its time to rise for the better part of the afternoon before sharing some oven time with the pork and beans. This rainy day supper was a slice of comfort food heaven; a thoroughly satisfying meal.
This would make such an ideal pot-luck contribution but be sure to bring along some of that Homemade Bread too.
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- 1 pound dry white beans
- 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1/2 pound smoked bacon cut in small pieces
- 1 large white onion chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 cups water
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp chipotle powder more or less to taste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 4 cups pureed canned tomatoes
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 large bay leaves
You will need to pre-soak the beans in water at least overnight. The longer you soak the beans the less time it takes to cook them, although it will still be several hours. I have soaked beans for up to 48 hours in advance.
Cut the pork into about 1/2 to 2 inch cubes.
Mix together the ginger, pepper, cumin, chili powder and salt to form a rub for the pork. Rub it into the cubed pork.
Heat the canola oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven over medium to medium high heat. Add the seasoned pork cubes and brown them well. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the bacon to the pot and cook until almost crispy. Drain excess fat.
Add the onion and minced garlic and cook until softened.
Drain the beans from the water they were soaked in and add them to the pot.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. If your dutch oven is not large enough you can transfer everything to a large covered roaster.
Stir all together well, cover and place in a 325 degree F oven for 3 to 4 hours or longer stirring occasionally.
The beans should be fully cooked and tender and the sauce should thicken. I sometimes add a little extra boiling water during the cooking time if the sauce thickens too quickly before the beans are fully cooked. This is not a problem at all and can be done more than once if necessary.(see NOTE Regarding cooking time.)
I almost always add a little extra boiling water at a few points during the cooking time if the sauce thickens too quickly before the beans are fully cooked, usually about 1 to 1½ cups at a time. This is not a problem at all and is to be expected.
The cooking time seems to vary a great deal depending upon the type of white bean you are using. I have seen some that can take up to 8 hours to fully cook in a slow oven. The best approach is to consider this an all day recipe that you start in the morning for dinner. Baked beans are even better when cooked a day ahead, which is how I mostly cook them.
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