Not Your Typical Pork and Beans: Black Bean Stew With Southern Cornbread

I have been in a food rut until this week! I took a few hours yesterday to plan and coordinate our menu for the week and am really excited to share with you my latest creation. With spring being warm one day and cold the next, I needed a menu that matches my mood and the weather. I choose to eat meat but this could easily be a vegetarian dish. You can adjust the ingredients for any size crowd and any flavor profile that you prefer. Don’t forget to email me or FB message me with how it turned out- I am dying to know what you think!

Pork and Black Bean Stew with Homemade Southern Cornbread (8 servings)

2/3 lb. Cubed pork loin roast. (I chose one with a pretty good amount of marbling and asked the butcher to cube it for me)
8 C. vegetable broth (Click here for recipe)
2 cans of black beans drained and rinsed
2 pieces of corn on the cob
1 cup of small heirloom tomatoes diced ( I chose a package with color-yellow, green, purple and red)
3 pieces Ham bits diced
1 slice of applewood bacon
1 small yellow onion diced
1 jalapeno diced
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 c. red wine**
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Pork Seasoning Mix
kosher salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 t. cumin
1t. paprika
1T. chili powder
1T. red pepper flakes

**CHEF TIP: choose a wine that you would drink. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it. 

Use a Dutch oven or large deep dish cast iron pan. Mix the dry seasonings together and toss cubed pork and let rest. Meanwhile, saute the ham bits and bacon together on medium low until brown. Remove from pan and set aside preserving the flavor and oil in the pan. Add the onions, jalapeno and garlic and saute on medium to medium high heat constantly stirring to keep the garlic from burning. Burnt garlic = bitter dish. Let that cook for about 7-8 minutes to infuse all of the flavors. Add the pork and saute for 10 minutes. Then add the red wine and stir scraping the little gibs at the bottom of the pan. Next, add the black beans, corn, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for an hour or two. The longer it cooks on low heat, the more tender your pork will become. Plate in a white bowl to accent the colors. Top with a dollup of sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, diced ripe avocado and homemade fresh salsa (diced tomatoes, yellow onion, cilantro, tiny bit of jalapeno and sprinkle of kosher salt). Serve with warm cornbread. Recipe below.

Homemade Southern Cornbread

2 C. stoneground corn meal
2 T. sugar
3/4 C. all purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 C. buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly begin to add the wet ingredients. Mix just until mixture is moist. Do not over mix.

Bake in a greased cast iron skillet or a buttered pan for 15-20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, cut and serve.  Enjoy!!

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