Pork and beans are about as classic, down-home and family-friendly bean recipe as they come. A Southwest staple of cowboys in the old west, this no-frills dish was the perfect hearty recipe for staying full during long rides. Few dishes have as rich of history in our culture like pork and beans.

Unfortunately, many people only know pork and beans out of a can. Um, no thanks! We’re all about freshness, so why not try making classic pork and beans for yourself?

Usually, pork and beans from the can include pork with a higher fat content. Canned pork and beans also typically contain a neon red, high-sugar tomato sauce and other additional sweeteners to make the mixture more viscous and flavorful. But, that’s not what you really want with pork and beans;  what you want is a sweet and savory balance.  After all, it’s about the pork and beans and not the high fructose corn syrup.

For this recipe, we kick all of those unhealthy additives to the curb! Only fresh ingredients here. This healthier version stays true to all the delicious pork and bean flavors you know and love.

All the ingredients in this recipe can be found in your local grocery store or market, making this a very affordable, very easy to make and sure to be fresh and full of flavor.

Randall Beans Great Northern Beans hold all the other ingredients together since the beans serve as a filling base and take on much of the red sauce flavors (using fresh plum tomatoes, of course) when cooked.

This recipe also shows you how to make a very basic battuto, an Italian-based flavor base of finely chopped or beaten raw ingredients, using pork, garlic, onion and parsley. The battuto adds extra savory elements to the overall dish.

Pork and beans aren’t just a great barbeque dish (although it’s one of the best!) it’s a perfect for any occasion any time of year!

Cowboy Pork and Beans

Cowboy Pork and Beans

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. pork (or ham) rind
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 48-oz. jar Randall Beans Great Northern Beans
  • Battuto:
  • 2 slices lean salt pork
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork (or ham) rind into 1? x 2? pieces. Put them in a pot with at least 2 quarts of water, and boil, covered, for at least 1 hour, or until tender.
  2. Make a battuto by putting the slices of salt pork on a chopping board. Top them with the onion, garlic, and celery, and chop, then mince until the pile has turned to a paste. Sauté in olive oil in a large stewpot until golden. Add the plum tomatoes, the liquid in the beans, salt and pepper to taste, and the tender pork (or ham) rind. Cook for 30 minutes, to reduce the sauce and blend its flavor.
  3. Add the great northern beans, heat through, taste for salt, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  4. Serve hot.
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Love baked beans? Who are we kidding, of course you do! Make sure you grab a copy of our free baked bean cookbook, filled with amazing baked bean recipes that are equally delicious served at home or sitting around a warm campfire!

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