My Mother’s Pork and Beans


Only one word is needed for this recipe, and that is ‘Wow!’

This Saturday my mother’s cooking the dinner, for a chang, she’s cooking a recent addition to her repertoire, Pork and Beans. This one-pot recipe is actually based on one that she saw being made on an episode of Lorraine, or it might have been This Morning, I can’t really remember. The first time my mother cooked this, we used the original recipe and, excuse my language, it was shit, too much juice, not too much meat and it was served with mashed potato which I felt ruined it. Don’t get me wrong, I like mashed potato, but with things like that great nursery classic, Toad in the Hole and a lovely proper onion gravy. 

Nowadays when we have this I have steamed green veg like black cabbage and broccoli; sometimes I include cauliflower as well. What can I say? I like my greens.

Now, after much experiementation over six weeks, Mum has come up with this version. This version is much thicker, meatier and much more of a flavour party in your mouth; great for when you’ve had one drink too many, or you’ve got guests coming in out of the rain. And it’s also great with a mound of rice.

Whilst experiementing with this recipe, my mother read many cookbooks for inspiration, and one day, when reading Rose Prince’s Kitchenella, she came across a recipe for a roasted tomato sauce which is quite similar to the Roasted Tomato Soup I’ve posted before, and thought ‘What if I used that in the recipe?’, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My Mother’s Pork and Beans – serves 4-6

A great recipe for a wintry day. You’re coming back from a walk in the country, or from watching a Rugby or football match, the smell of this hits you, and WHAM!!!

The ingredients list is more or less how Mum has written it  for her notes.

Sunflower oil
1 packet Sainsbury’s Basics diced pork shoulder, as lean as possible
1/2 a large chorizo sausage, cut into 1 centimetre slices
1 packet Waitrose sofrito (which is a mixture of chopped carrot, onion and celery)
2 good quality chicken stock cubes
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1 tomato tinful of water
1/3 x quantity of Sophie Dahl’s Roasted Tomato Soup
soy sauce, about 1 tablespoon (this is optional)
sweet chilli sauce, about 1 tablespoon (this is optional)
1 x 400g tin butter beans, or bean salad (NEVER use baked beans, I’ve added this bit)

Preheat the oven to 170c, 150c fan, gas 5.

In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the pork and chorizo, and brown them in the hot oil. Add the sofrito and allow to soften.

Add all the other ingredients, stir, and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes, and transfer the whole lot to a large ovenproof casserole dish, cover with a lid, or foil. Place in the oven and leave for 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Serve with either rice, steamed green veg or, if you absolutely must, creamy mashed potato.


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