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Pork and Beans, sort of

Something from last weekend that came out well enough to record for some other time...

Pork and White Beans

3 lb. boneless pork butt (or similar)
1 lb. bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
12 oz. salt pork, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 to 6 cans (15 oz.?) white beans such as cannelini
1 lg. can (28 oz.?) stewed (or diced) tomatoes
1 Tablespoon sage
1 Tablespoon thyme
1 Tablespoon rosemary
6 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

Makes an enormous amount, but it's great winter fare and freezes well.

For the best flavor, roast the large piece of pork ahead of time as follows...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the pork roast with the herbs and put in a shallow pan. Roast for 2 to 3 hours till cooked through. (You can cut it into pieces to reduce cooking time, and you can do this step a day before making the rest of the dish.) Pour off the pan juices into a bowl and de-fat by putting in the refrigetor or freezer for long enough for the fat to separate and congeal. Cube the pork into 1" to 2" pieces.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, saute the onion in some olive oil till golden. Add the bacon and salt pork and cook till slightly browned, adding the garlic near the end (but be careful not to burn the garlic). Pour off excess fat. Drain the top liquid off the cans of beans and add the beans themselves. Add the tomatoes with their liquid. Add the cubed pork roast and the reserved pan juices. If needed, add no more than a cup of water, or chicken stock, or apple cider. Taste to adjust seasonings, if necessary adding more herbs and salt (shouldn't need much salt) and pepper. Bring to a low boil and then cover and reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 3 to 5 hours, stirring occasionally and checking heat. The longer you can let it cook, the better blended the flavors will be. Serve with a good bread, or even toasted garlic bread.

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