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Hoirino me Fassolia: Pork and Beans

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Greek Pork and Beans - Greek food photos

Greek Pork & Beans, made with Great Northern beans

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

In Greek: χοιρινό με φασσόλια, pronounced hee-ree-NO meh fahs-SOL-yah

This Greek recipe for Pork and Beans is one that reflects a traditional method of cooking: meat and vegetables are prepared separately on the stovetop, then combined and cooked in the oven until the tastes meld.

Any type of dried bean works well but, as the beans get bigger, use large pieces of meat.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of pork, cut in small or medium chunks
  • 1 pound of Great Northern beans or yigandes or giant lima beans
  • 3/4 pound of fresh carrots, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, pureed (or 2 1/2 cups of stewed tomatoes, pureed)
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of dry red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Preparation:

    Note: If using Great Northern beans, cut the pork in small chunks. If using yigandes (or giant lima beans), cut pork in larger pieces.

Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain well and bring to a full boil in plenty of water over high heat. Drain and rinse, add enough fresh water to cover plus 3 inches, cover, and boil over medium heat for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the beans are soft but not mushy. (If using canned pre-cooked beans, omit these steps.)

Drain beans, rinse under cold water, and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup of olive oil, carrots, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When it reaches a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 45 minutes, until the carrots are soft. Add 3/4 cup of boiling water after 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 390F (200C).

Season the pork with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and transfer to a large saucepan along with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Brown the meat, stirring frequently, over low heat. When meat is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, douse (deglaze) with the wine and continue to cook over low heat until tender. Time will depend on the size of the pieces of meat, but it doesn't take long.

In an oven-proof baking dish or roasting pan, combine beans, vegetables with their liquid, and pork. Stir to mix well. Add 1/2 cup of water and bake at 390F (200C). After the liquid in the pan comes to boil, bake for 30 minutes.

    Note: This dish should not be soupy but if it starts to get too dry while cooking, add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of boiling water.

Yield: serves 6

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