Belly Pork and Cannellini Bean Stew

Pork is my favourite meat, it’s so versatile and I love it in all its forms; bacon, sausages, hams, chorizos, pâtes the list goes on … The belly pork  in particular is a cut that I never tire of eating, it’s the fat that does it for me as that’s where all the flavour is. I like to slow cook it in stews to the point where the fat just melts in your mouth. It gives a great flavour boost to the sauce too, making it even more delicious.

I made this when the weather was murky, wet and cold, and in need of some warming comforting stodge. The sun is busting-out-its-move as I type this now and who knows what it’s going to be doing by the time you read this, either way it’s a cracking dish and well worth a try whatever the weather.

Belly Pork and Cannellini Bean Stew

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 45 minutes
By author Natasha Miles

Ingredients

  • 4 belly pork slices
  • 200g dried cannellini beans (soak in water overnight before use)
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stalks roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 finely sliced onion
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml chicken stock (homemade if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • handful chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse and drain cannellini beans then set aside.
Rub pork belly with smoked paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper.
Heat the olive in a pan and fry the pork on a high heat until browned on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan otherwise it will stew instead and not brown, if necessary fry 1 or 2 pieces at a time. Once the belly pork has browned remove from heat and set aside.
Add more oil to the pan and sauté the onion, carrots and celery for 6 minutes until soft.
Return the pork to the pan then add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender. In the last few minutes of cooking add the chopped parsley. Check consistency, if too liquidy whack the heat up high and reduce. I served this with steamed kale.



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