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Author Notes: The slow cooker is a wonderful cooking tool. Use it over a weekend to make this dish, cooking the pork first, then using the last liquid to cook the beans, so they soak up all the porky goodness. Add heat and acidity at the end, and this is a dish you're sure to enjoy. —jheald1
- 1 pound dried white beans
- 1/2 bone-in pork shoulder
- 1 bundle thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 cups water or chicken stock
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 4-6 piquin chilies
- Soak 1 lb dried white beans over night in 6-8 cups water, with a few large pinches of salt.
- Put a 1/2 bone-in pork shoulder, bundle of thyme, 4-5 cloves garlic, and 1-2 cups water or chicken stock (enough to half-cover the pork) in the slow cooker, and cook 4-6 hours. Let the pork cool, then break the pork into small pieces by hand, about 1 square inch, and save for dinner.
- Discard the bean soaking water and rinse the beans. Toss them into the slow cooker along with the pork braising liquid. Add enough water to ensure the beans are covered by 1/2 inch (which might be unnecessary). Cook the beans for 2-3 hours, until they are tender.
- When the beans are done, drain them, reserving the cooking liquid. When you are ready to serve, heat the pork and beans in separate sauce pans, with a little bit of the cooking liquid, to ensure they are nice and moist.
- Add the beans, pork, pickled onion, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and 4-6 piquin chilies, ground (or 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes), along with a big pinch of salt (this is the first time you are seasoning, so this is very important!) to a bowl, and very gently mix everything together. Serve in a large bowl, with a drizzle of olive oil, and maybe a slice of crusty bread.
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