• Magdalena Westman

Art of cooking (Pork Rinds & Beans)

Got here after a number of failed attempts to make Pork Crackling with the rinds from regular purchases of slab bacon (Selsky Bok). Throwing away good food (the rinds) never existed in my world & as I had no intention of giving up bacon while wanting to keep my teeth intact I decided there had to be a better way, better recipe incorporating those rinds. Turned out to be Italian Pork Rinds & Beans (Fagioli con le cotiche). Similar to the Mexican Charro Beans. In the process I learned that crispy deep fried pork rinds are widely available in the States as snack food, but using the rinds to make a rich tomatoey sauce had much more appeal for me.

750ml cooked dried large white kidney beans (2 cans butter beans)

350g pork rinds

2 onions med large

1 garlic clove large

1 carrot med large

1 (equivalent carrot amount) celeriac

2x400g tinned chopped tomatoes

The ratio of beans to rinds can vary from 2:1 to 1:1 depending on taste. This should be determined by your taste preferences rather than wanting to reduce the bean content.

1C (250ml) dried beans yields 3x after cooking (750ml)

1 x 400g tin beans = 1,6 or bit more than 1 1/2 C . So 2 cans beans yields equivalent 3C cooked beans.

Soak beans overnight. Drain & boil in fresh water 1 hour till tender. This is the traditional advice & soaking does shorten the cooking time but beans can be slow cooked without overnight soaking. I use intermittent slow cooking / latent cooking of 500g dried beans while busy with another kitchen activity, & then freeze the beans which transforms the dried beans into the same convenience as canned beans.

Fine dice the pork rinds & boil in water 3/4 to 1 hour. Reserve a small quantity of water.

Slice onions, fine dice garlic, grate carrot & fine dice celeriac. Make tomato sauce by sauteing sliced onions till soft. Add garlic, carrot & celeriac & fry 5 mins more.

Add tomato & simmer to thicken sauce. Stir in rinds & beans & adjust sauce consistency by adding water from pork boiling. Alternatively use bean water.

Simmer 10 mins stirring & let rest at least 30 mins before serving. Better to rest overnight & reheat.

Serve with short pasta of choice cooked as per packet directions.

Bon appetit


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