Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pork and White Bean Ragout

I seem to have a knack for unintentionally keeping recipes to myself for entirely too long. I've made many a delicious meal, documented them with honest intentions of blogging them ASAP, and then promptly let my culinary ADD take over and completely forgot about it until months later when I found the photos lurking in my archives. Such was the case today when I was cleaning up my photo folders and came across pictures of these gorgeous blood oranges I enjoyed a few months ago (you know, the ones I didn't tell you about). In case you were wondering, they were as delicious as they were beautiful.

Of course, in my usual fashion, I bought a few more oranges than I could eat and had to find other uses for them, which brought me to this recipe. The blood orange juice and red wine (sangria, anyone?) give this dish a wonderfully bold, fruity element, but the paprika, cloves, and chili flakes lend enough spice and heat to remind you that this is a dish for cold winter nights, not for muggy summer picnics. My only complaint was that the rosemary almost overwhelmed the dish in a not-so-pleasant, piny sort of way. For a less woodsy experience, I'd suggest using less than the requested 3 branches.

Pork and White Bean Ragout
(adapted, with small changes, from here)

1 cup dried white beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Grated zest and juice of 1 blood orange
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3 branches fresh rosemary (I would use a bit less next time)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small pinch red chili flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Place beans in a saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes, cover and set aside to soak 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-quart casserole and brown pork without crowding over medium-high heat. Remove. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté over low heat until soft. Stir in paprika, cloves and zest. Stir in orange juice and wine, scraping bottom of pan. Return pork to pan. Set aside until beans have finished soaking, then drain beans and add. Add rosemary, black pepper and chili. Bring to a simmer.

3. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 hours, until beans are tender. Add water occasionally, if needed. Season with salt. Leave in casserole for serving or transfer to a serving dish. Scatter parsley on top before serving.


  1. Looks great! So warm and homey for the cold winter weather. Yum!

  2. YUM!! If anything, those pictures alone make me want to eat this!!

    I'm not big on tomato-based, stewy, meat-and-root-veggie kinds of dishes. I mean, I like them well enough but I don't go gaga for them. (Okay, now I can't even say that perfectly normal phrase w/o fighting an urge for a really bad joke!!!) Anyway. The idea of that orange seems like it would give it just enough brightness to really catch my attention.

  3. That look gorgeous, and tasty! Such a great mix of spices.