Sunday, January 31, 2010

Black Beans and Pork with Oranges

Well, we've had the come-to-mama sugar fix with those waffles. Now the weather seems right to try the delicious recipe that San Francisco Anne brought to the Boxing Day Party. Don't you just love to get a recipe that you know will be great because you've already tasted it? She is a fantastic cook, so I made sure to have some of what she brought and insisted on having the was that good!

Not only did she lend me the recipe, but she lent me the book it came from. The book, Paula Peck's Art of Good Cooking has gorgeous hand done illustrations by Mel Klapholz, is a mid-'60 cookbook with wonderful recipes, including one for homemade sour cream that sounds a lot like what is now called creme fraiche. She even gives instructions for rendering chicken fat.

Recipes for mayonnaise, tapenade, and pesto sound very modern, using basic fresh ingredients.

In fact the use of fresh ingredients and the lack of canned soup sets it apart from many cookbooks of the era. There is a recipe for Chicken and Garlic Stew which uses 40 - 60 plump cloves of garlic and it sounds wonderful. I'll try it sometime, leaving out the monosodium glutamate that she seems to add to most things. It has white wine, fresh herbs, unexpected spices like allspice and cinnamon and sounds very light with only a little olive oil used and no butter, eggs, or heavy cream.

The pork recipe is also fairly healthy, depending of the kind of sausage you use. Beans are heart healthy and also delicious prepared this way! Onion, peppers and garlic add flavor, the black beans add substance and a great contrast to the pork. Orange juice and red wine help make a tasty sauce and the thing that is surprising, but ties it all together is the zing of the fresh orange segments.

If you are going vegetarian, I suspect that it would be delicious without any of the pork...just the black beans, onions, peppers, garlic, orange juice, red wine and oranges, plus salt an pepper to taste. A little hot sauce might be needed if the pork is omitted, too.

As with many dishes containing cooked onions, this dish is delightful made ahead, refrigerated for a day or two, and reheated to serve. That's what I did. I served it over saffron rice (white rice cooked the way we like it, but with some real saffron thread added). You get a nice flavor and color that way.

Since the success of this dish depends on fresh oranges and, in the Northern Hemisphere, it is citrus season, do give this hearty meal a try! Thanks again to Anne for sharing this great recipe!

Pork and Black Beans over Rice
From Paula Peck's Art of Good Cooking
Serves 6

2 cups dried black beans (about 1 pound)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, minced
1 large bell pepper (green, red, yellow or orange), seeded and diced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 1 /2 pounds unsmoked pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
¾ pound Mexican sausage (if available), or fresh pork sausage
(Note: I used Southern style bulk pork sausage and it worked well, but use the kind of sausage you enjoy)
2/3 cup orange juice
½ cup dry red wine
2 -3 fresh oranges

Wash, pick over beans. Either soak overnight in water to cover or do quick cook by covering with water in a saucepan, bringing to a boil, turning down heat and simmering for 2 minutes, turning off heat, covering and letting sit for at least two hours. With either method pour off the soaking water and rinse the beans. It helps remove the enzyme that leads to exess bean gas :)

Heat olive oil in a deep pot. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and sauté’ until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beans and enough water to cover them. Cover the pot, and simmer about 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender, adding more water if necessary.

Drain liquid from pot and reserve. Return the drained beans to the pot. Remove 2 cups of cooked beans from the pot. Cover remaining beans and keep them warm. Puree’ the 2 cups of cooked beans with as much bean liquid as necessary in a blender. Stir bean puree’ into cooked beans and keep warm.

Brown pork cubes and sausage in their own fat in a skillet. If very lean, use a little olive oil. Pour off fat when meats are golden all over, and, if in casing, cut sausage into 1 inch pieces. If not in casing, break up sausage into chunks. Add both meats to beans; season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Pour orange juice and wine into the skillet that the meats were browned in, and cook over high heat until liquid is reduced to less than half, scraping any brown bits in the pan into the sauce. Pour into the bean mixture and stir to combine all flavors. Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

While pork and beans are cooking, peel the oranges, slice an inch thick and separate into segments…you’ll have about 1 ½ cups of triangles of orange.

Serve over saffron or steamed rice. Garnish with orange segments.


  1. sounds good love to try it

  2. Now that is my kind of dish! Tasty and wholesome!

  3. MAN, that looks good. Fruit in unique places is one of my favorite things; we had a Persian dish with apricots, raisins and pine nuts in rice with (faux) chicken.

  4. The dish looks good and I like the combination. It sounds so new to me.

  5. Bookmarked! :)
    I had to google black beans, didn't know there was such a thing.