Thursday, February 3, 2011

Country-Style Pork and White Beans (Slow Cooker)

This isn't something I thought I would like based on the ingredients (I'm not usually a bean person), but the picture looked so good and I had most of the ingredients, so I thought I'd give it a shot. In my opinion, it was delicious (and it made a TON, so I froze half of it and we just ate it the second time around, which is why I am finally remembering to post this)! Brian just thought it was so-so, but James DEVOURED it! He even started licking his plate and tried to bend down to lick the rice off his tray. I even told him he was being super dramatic, because it was tasty but it wasn't "lick your tray" tasty. But if you want something healthy and comfort foodish, it's worth it to try something a little different. Don't be afraid to try the turkey kelbasa. I had no idea what that was but it was surprisingly easy to find (I think I used Hillshire Farms brand) and it ended up being my favorite part of this dish. This recipe requires some planning ahead since you have to soak the beans the night before, but it's worth it!
1 pound dried great northern beans (I used Navy beans)
3 pounds country style pork ribs (I used half of this), trimmed of excess fat
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 pound chicken or turkey kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks (I used turkey and loved it!)
2 (14.5 ounce each) cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Eight to 24 hours before assembling in the slow cooker, rinse the white beans and place them in a large bowl with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Let the beans soak anywhere from 8 to 24 hours.

Eight to 9 hours before eating, drain the beans and transfer them to the slow cooker. Dry the pork ribs thoroughly with paper towels, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add half of the ribs and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes. Transfer them to the slow cooker. Return the skillet to medium heat and heat 2 more teaspoons oil until hot and rippling. Brown the remaining ribs and transfer them to the slow cooker.

Return the skillet to medium heat and heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth, tomato paste, celery seed, thyme and bay leaf, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Transfer the onion mixture to slow cooker.

Add the kielbasa, tomatoes and chicken broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on either low or high, until the meat is tender, 7 to 8 hours on low or 5 to 6 on high. Before serving, discard the bay leaf, stir in the parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot, steamed rice, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. This definitely turned out tastier than I thought it would. I as skeptical, but John and I bot loved it!