Bring on the beans
Let me start by saying: Holler if you love baked beans. Like, really love baked beans. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one. Sure, most will take a modest scoopful from the BBQ buffet line, but few make a plate in which their hot dogs/chicken/ribs/etc. are swimming in a sea of ‘em, like I do. In my quest to convert the non-believers, I served up a crock-pot-size vat of these beauties, studded with an entire pound of pork belly:
|Pork belly baked beans||
- 1 lb pork belly, cut into 3 or 4-inch pieces, skin removed and scored
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 1/2 cups pinto beans
- 2 cups kidney beans
- 1 cup cannelli beans
- 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
Marinade for pork belly:
- 1 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place pork belly in a baking dish, fat side up.
- Mix the marinade and pour over pork belly.
- Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 2 1/2 hours or until pork is tender and falls apart easily.
- Allow pork to cool, discard all the liquid from the dish and remove excess fat from the pork belly (I left a little of the more tender fat on for flavor, and removed the thicker, tougher pieces).
- Shred pork belly with a fork.
- Combine ingredients for baked beans with the pork belly in a crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours or on medium for 5 or 6.
- I finished my beans of in a cast iron skillet on the stove top to let some of the excess moisture cook off. The result is a thicker consistency and a more concentrated flavor.
Bring this to your next summertime gathering, say the words “pork belly” and watch the madness ensue.