Having ordered an organic meat box delivery from The Well Hung Meat Co whilst visiting the Real Food Festival last week, our box duly arrived today and I decided to cook the pork belly slices for tonight’s dinner. I had been a little worried that the stated 300 gram portion would make for somewhat small portions for 2 adults so was disappointed that a) the pack size was only 290 grams and b) one of the slices still had the bone attached, making the actual meat portion even lower.
I have a long list of recipes for pork belly bookmarked but none suitable for pork belly slices. The twitter food blogger community and the BBC Food Chat board rose to the occasion with several suggestions including marinated grilled or oven-roasted, Vietnamese caramel pork and Chinese red braised pork. But the suggestion that won the day) was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Boston Baked Beans recommended by St John Restaurant.
As I didn’t have time to soak dried haricot beans overnight, I opted for tinned and I substituted double the volume of milder French mustard in place of stronger English. HFW makes it clear that the recipe is very flexible suggesting that pork can be replaced with chorizo, white haricot beans with cannellini, kidney or borlotti and that the tomatoes can be left out completely! The ingredients below are what I used; you can follow the link above to HFW’s original recipe.
This recipe was absolutely delicious and I’ll definitely do it again!
Boston Baked Beans with Pork Belly
- 800 g tinned white haricot beans
- 220 g pork belly (I'd prefer 3-400g next time)
- 50 g soft brown sugar
- 3 tbsp black treacle
- 2 tbsp French mustard
- 200 g chopped tinned tomatoes
- 4 cloves
- 8-10 shallots peeled but left whole
- black pepper
Preheat the oven to 140C / 275F / Gas Mark 1.
Tip the contents of the tins of haricot beans, liquid and all, into a large casserole, on the stove, medium heat.
Cut the belly port into small pieces; mine were about 1cm x 1cm x 4cm. I removed the pork belly rind but you could leave it on.
Add the pork to the beans.
Stir in the sugar, treacle, mustard and tomatoes.
Press a clove into four of the shallots and add all the shallots to the casserole.
Season with black pepper.
Cover and pop into the oven for about 2.5 - 3 hours.
Check the seasoning before serving, perhaps with some fresh, home-made bread or over a jacket potato.