Let’s Cook! Pork Chops and White Beans

October 28, 2014

Pork Chops and White Beans

Pork Chops and White Beans

With the chill of fall around much of the country, I thought it was the perfect time to share a warming, homey bowl of beany goodness!

Late last year I attended a cooking demo given by my buddy Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ, to give an early introduction to his new Pork Chop cookbook.

Pork Chop Cookbook

Pork Chop Cookbook

As I flipped through the book before the demo began there were several recipes that looked good right off, but one really stood out to me as the one I wanted to make first: Pork Chops and White Beans.

I’d actually been craving a big mess of creamy white beans for quite a while – it’s one of those things that really takes me back to my youth in Alabama. Now I am of a Certain Age (read that: I’m an old fart), and when I was in grade school the lunch cooks actually cooked the food, and actually a lot of it was really good! By far my favorite lunch at Gilbert School was the white beans and ham hocks, a real Southern staple.

So not long after getting Ray’s book, Bonnie and I made the recipe with white beans, and it turned out even better than expected! Bonnie about swooned over the finished product, and I think if given the chance she might just leave me for that other guy with a goatee…

Let’s not wait any longer – Let’s Cook!

 

Pork Chops and White Beans

Ingredients

1 Lb  Dry White (Great Northern) Beans

1/2 Cup  Vegetable Oil, plus more as needed (Peanut, Canola, Olive all will work…)

6 Bone-In Pork Chops, about 3/4″ thick (most any cut should work, we used Sirloin… they were on sale…)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 Cup  All-Purpose Flour

1  Red Onion, finely diced

3  Celery Stalk, finely diced

1  Green Bell Pepper, also (you guessed it) finely diced

1 Lb  Andouille Sausage, diced (we had smoked sausage on hand and used that – I’m thinking any good cooked, smoked, cured sausage should work – kielbasa, chorizo, etc.)

Well dice my sausage!

Well dice my sausage!

1 Tbl  Tomato Paste

2 Tsp  Dried Thyme

1 Quart  Vegetable Broth (I’m sure it wouldn’t suck if you had to use chicken broth, or a combo…)

Procedure

The dried beans need to be soaked overnite: sort through he beans to check for any small stones or other alien objects (and yes, discard same if you find…), put into a large bowl and add cold/room temp water to cover by at least a couple of inches.

Beans under water...

Beans under water…

Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature overnite. When getting ready to cook drain the beans.

Awaiting the knife...

Awaiting the knife…

Prep your veggies (dice the onion, celery and bell pepper; smash away at the garlic) and set aside.

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Salt and pepper your meat on both sides.

Yeah, we coulda used a bigger plate...

Yeah, we coulda used a bigger plate…

Put the flour on a plate and coat the chops well all over – shake off the excess and set aside for now.

Nice piece of meat ready to go...

Nice piece of meat ready to go…

You’re going to need a big-ol’ Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed large cooking vessel (we originally started cooking in a cast-iron Dutch oven, and then realized the whole thing just wasn’t gonna fit, so we then switched to a stockpot to finish off the dish, as the visually astute of you may notice from the accompanying pics) – add about 1/4 cup of the oil to your cooking vessel of choice and heat over medium-high.

Fry, fry, baby...

Fry, fry, baby…

When ready to go, add as many of the pork chops as will fit comfortably and fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes a side). Drain the browned chops on paper towels and let sit aside as you move on… the rest if the dish is going to cook a bit before they go back in, so if you want cover and throw into the ‘fridge…

DSCF5500

Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the pot and throw in the chopped veggies. Cook a few (3 to 4) minutes until the onion is opaque then add the sausage du jour… continue cooking about 5 minutes or so until the veggies have softened.

DSCF5505

Stir in the tomato paste, the thyme, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the quart of broth, plus a quart of water and bring up to a simmer.

DSCF5507

Add the drained beans and stir well. Cover and simmer for an hour, stirring now & then.

DSCF5511

Add the chops, mix well and return to the simmer. Cover and cook for another hour, again stirring when you think about it…

DSCF5513

Uncover and cook about another 45 minutes until the beans are tender and the gravy is as thick as you like (“the consistency of a bowl of chili” according to Dr. BBQ). Stir on occasion, trying not to break up the pork chops (at this point at least…).

IMG_3672

Remove the chops to a serving plate and the beans to a bowl… this is really good with a side of greens and some cornbread (maybe try Grandma Hayes’s Corn Bread?)!

IMG_3674

Or if you prefer, you can just break up the pork and toss on top of a bowl of beans…

So... darn... good...

So… darn… good…

and still dunk in some cornbread…

And here’s one more picture of the book in case you forgot what it looked like since the start of the post…

Pork Chop Cookbook

Pork Chop Cookbook

I’ve made several recipes from the book, and liked them all! If you like a bit of piggy on your plate, this book is worth picking up! I put up a post a while back of a chicken recipe that was inspired by one of the chop recipes from the book, you can see it here.

As always, I hope you give this one a try, and please post your thoughts in the comments!

Back to the kitchen – see you soon!

 

If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to “like” and “share”!

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