Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pork with White Beans and Cranberries

Clearly I could take some lessons on food styling and photography from my friend Lisa at The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.

I first found this recipe in a magazine several years ago. I had modified it somewhat since then. What drew me to it (besides the headlined pork) is the ample use of fresh sage. I love it's heady perfume and find it perfect for something bland like beans. The original recipe did not call for cinnamon, but I find it works nicely with the sage and shallots that are the stars here. Try it and see if you agree. The nice thing is that it takes about 30 minutes to do the prep work and 2.5 hours in the oven. It's the perfect "quilting day" dish since you don't have to do much once you get it started and it reheats like a dream. It feeds my family of three for several days, lunch and dinner. The left over pork makes lovely sandwiches, too.

Pork with White Beans and Cranberries

1 lb dried navy beans
1 5 lb pork shoulder roast
1 1/2 T. kosher salt
1 t. ground pepper
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. fresh sage chopped fine
1 T. canola oil
8 large shallots, sliced thin
5 c. low sodium chicken broth
3 sprigs of fresh sage
1/2 c. dried cranberries

The night before making this dish, place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water to 2" above beans. The beans must soak at least 8 hours.

In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 350 F

Dry the pork roast well with paper towels and then rub well with the cinnamon mixture. Pat on the chopped sage all over the roast. (I sometimes do this step the night before, when I'm preparing the beans and put the roast back in the fridge overnight but it's not necessary, you can do it right before you brown the roast and it's still going to be wonderful.) In a large dutch oven warm the oil over medium high heat and brown the roast on all sides. Depending on the size and temperature of the roast this should take about 5 minutes per side. Go for the brown, light golden isn't as flavorful, just don't burn it. Remove the roast. Add the shallots and saute them for a few minutes until they are translucent. Return the roast to the pot. Drain the beans and add them as well, on either side of the roast. If there is any left over rub you can add this to the pot as well (but only if you're using low-sodium chicken broth). Add the chicken broth and sage springs. Cover and bake for 2 hours, remove from oven, add cranberries and bake for another 30 minutes or until the pork is fork tender. Slice or shred the pork if you prefer.

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