Monday night cookup part 1

I don’t feel I did much cooking over the weekend, and certainly no blogged cooking, so I’m going twice as hard tonight. With the assortment of food lying in the fridge/veg hamper, and what I fancied in the butchers at lunchtime, I’m thinking porky bean stew for dinner(s) and colcannon-esque soup for some work lunches. When the sunshine returns, I’ll be back on summery foods, but it’s been blooming cold in my kitchen today (it doubles as work space on Mondays), and I feel in need of some central heating courtesy of dinner.

Pork and bean stew

1kg pork ribs
2 onions
about 1.5 tsp chopped garlic
2 courgettes
1 tsp bittersweet paprika
the last inch of a bottle of red wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cartons tomatoes
11 or so cherry tomatoes
fistful of thyme, finely chopped
about 200g dried cannellini beans
salt and pepper
bunch of parsley

The pork ribs came in a rack, so I hacked them apart with my trusty boning knife (no need to be elegant with a slow cook – I plan for the meat to be falling off the bones in the end). The ribs were browned in my deep cast iron casserole in took two batches.

I drained off most of the pork fat and added a splash of sunflower oil to the casserole and briefly fried the onions, and after a few minutes threw in the garlic, closely followed by the courgettes. A minute or two of chasing this mix round the pan to catch the brownings and in went the paprika, stir again, then red wine, red wine vinegar, and tomatoes.

Oh, somewhere along the line I also threw in the last few cherry toms that were hanging around in the fridge. The super-eagle-eyed will see there’s a bag of diced pork lurking at the back of the first photo. I underestimated how much space a kilo of ribs woudl take up in the pan, so that diced leg of pork is waiting for another outing.

Then the beans. I had quick-soaked these earlier by covering with cold water, bringing the pan to the boil and boiling them hard for 10 minutes. Then, pan-lid on, I left them to soak in their water for a few hours (they need at least 2) and when I was ready to use them, drained them and added them to the stew. They still need their recommended cooking time of 1.5 hours, which they’ll get in the oven with the pork.

Last in was the thyme, plus salt and pepper, and the whole lot is now in the oven, where it’ll cook away for about 1.5-2 hours. I want the beans to be cooked through and the pork falling off the bone. I’ll finish it off with parsley and any more seasoning it needs.

Postscript…the finished dish:

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