Pork ´n´ Beans – Slow Cooked Pork Shank with Borlotti Beans

Just what you need when it´s 32 degrees hot outside!

Ok, so I know it´s summer here and hot, hot, hot…but I just fancied it!  Our local “Big” Supermarket (ie. a 50km drive away) has started selling pork shanks.  It´s a cheap cut of meat but oh so tasty.  I bought two to cook, but in the end we still have one portion of this dish in the freezer as there was so much meat on each shank.

It´s a slow cook dish, you can be a bit cavalier with the ingredients depending on how saucy you like your finished dish.  It was so tender by the time it was done, the meat fell off the bones as I served it.  This makes for a less artistic food photo, but two very happy pups!

To make the dish I used:

  • About a cup and a half of borlotti beans which I soaked overnight (but you could use tinned)
  • Two cups of tomato sauce (crushed tomatoes cooked slowly with garlic, red wine, seasoning and rosemary until thickened)
  • Two pork shanks
  • Two large sprigs of rosemary
  • A large dried chili
  • Approx two cups of water (enough to cover the pork and beans)
  • Four slices of smoked bacon, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Three large cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole

To finish the dish

  • Half a cup of finely chopped bobby beans
  • Four small potatoes, diced

Put all the first list of ingredients into a large pot with a lid and cook very slowly for about four hours (or longer) in a low oven.  If you have time, it´s best left overnight before eating to allow the flavours to really develop. When I was ready to serve I heated the dish up and simmered for about 20 minutes to allow it to thicken a little then I added the beans and potato and cooked them until tender.

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Definitely a dish to eat with a lovely glass of red wine, lots of crusty bread and a big spoon.  Have a sofa handy for reclining afterwards, a siesta is now in order!


31 thoughts on “Pork ´n´ Beans – Slow Cooked Pork Shank with Borlotti Beans

  1. They look and sound terrific! Sometimes no matter the weather something comes to mind you want to eat ~ you might as well go ahead and make ~ these look delicious, I just did a Chicken and Sausage Cassoulet with the bean, tomato, garlic mix last week. I had leftovers that went into the freezer, think I will when we are ready to have again put in some foil and heat it in the grill and have a few grill roasted veggies with….RaeDi

    1. I think we´ll do something similar – now I´ve fulfilled my craving, I can leave it tucked awy in the freezer for a little while though! Your cassoulet sounds delicious…

  2. That looks fantastic – you are as mad as me! It’s 30ºC today and higher indoors with the oven on, but I cooked chicken and rabbit chilli…

  3. I’ll take fall off the bone good over artistic any day. It sounds delicious and isn’t it nice to have seconds in the freezer. I say, when you have a craving do it and forget the weather.

    1. You´re right, not all dishes can be stars of the screen! And yes, it´s good to know I have a delicious meal tucked away for when the thermometer drops.

  4. I can certainly identify with giving in to a craving, regardless of the temperature outdoors. Besides, what’s a little discomfort when the result is a fantastic dinner like the one pictured? I have to try this one.

  5. It looks delicious and sounds like something you can just leave to cook and then eat in the cool of the evening – no standing over a hot cooker! It would be good in winter too, so I think I’ll stay with more summery food for the moment.

    1. I confess, I put the oven on then escaped to the patio while it was cooking! Friends are amazed when I tell them that, particularly during the day, it´s cooler to eat in the house (except when the oven is on of course). I think you mentioned something similar in one of your posts.

    1. In the UK I only ever came across lamb shanks (delicious!) but the pork shanks seem to be a Spanish thing. Not surprising I suppose, considering how much pork is consumed here! The pups were very, very happy 🙂

  6. Mmmmmmmm. I made something similar yesterday, called “Garrón Guisado”. (The butcher at Mercadona gave me the recipe for it). I switched the ingredients up a bit (smaller pork pieces, peas, green beans, garbanzos, artichoke halves, cayenne pepper, red wine, laurel, etc), and slow-cooked it in my “olla a presión”. It DID make my piso very hot, but the dish was delicious and well worth it. I don’t know what I’d do without my “olla a presión”!!!! 🙂

    1. Ooh – never heard of this, sounds fantastic. Will have to ask around. Don´t have an olla a presión but all my sisters in law swear by theirs for making their puchero! You´ll have to post the recipe (please?) 🙂

      1. Puchero? I just moved to Granada after living in a small town in Córdoba for three years, so I’m still getting used to some of the new vocabulary (and new provincial foods)! Is puchero a stew as well?

        Here’s the recipe… (though I pretty much use whichever veggies and meat I have on hand)

        GARRÓN GUISADO (4 personas)

        – 2 garrones de cerdo
        – 4 alcachofas (artichokes)
        – 1/4 guisantes
        – 1/4 patatas
        – 1 cebollas y 2 zanahorias
        – 1/2 agua (I substituted the water with red wine, buahahaha)
        – aceite y sal
        – (And I added three little cayenne peppers to give it the slightest bit of spice! Make sure to take them out before serving though. Unless you’re feeling vengeful the day you cook it, heheheh).

        And Mercadona man said this:

        1. En la olla a presión se pone aceite y freimos los garrones hasta dorarlos.
        2. Añadir cebolla picada, sofreir, y añadir alcachofas cortadas por la mitad, los guisantes y las zanahorias.
        3. Poner sal y echar agua (in my case, yummy wine!), se tapa la olla, dejando cocer 15 minutos.
        4. Despues de los 15 minutos, se abre la olla y se echan las patatas cortadas.
        5. Se deja terminar la cocción hasta que las patatas estén hechas.

        I would definitely recommend you invest in an olla a presión! I started learning how to cook last Fall, and it has truly been a lifesaver! My mother-in-law gave me her mother’s olla, so it’s over 60 years old, but sturdy and good-as-new. It could be that the newer ones they sell now might be made from a less sturdy material (like the aluminum “cafeteras” – yuck!), but if you ask around your pueblo, I’m sure someone will know of someone or somewhere that continues to make them in their original fashion.

      2. Wow – thank you SO much! Will definitely give this a go as we both love platos de cuchara. Puchero, or olla is similar – chick peas stewed with chicken joints, the salted pork bones (huesos añejos), tocino (fresco or salado), pork if you want it heavier (!) and then some people add carrots, potato in winter. It´s very filling and you get a lovely stock and creamy chick peas. You also put in a few of the little guindillas, bay leaves and a few cloves…soak the chick peas overnight, then put everything into the pot, bring to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes, skim then simmer very slowly for 2-3 hours (I do it in my oven very low but you could use your olla!). I usually only put chicken in and make sure I put lots of water so I have plenty of stock for another day! Aren´t we lucky to be learning from “proper” Spaniards – most of the recipes I have been taught don´t bear that much resemblance to those in cookery books, they´re usualy much simpler but oh so tasty! PS. My Big Man is a Granadino – provincia rather than ciudad.

  7. Yumm… I also heated up the kitchen the other day making a slow cook pork rib sauce. It hardly compares to this though, love the addition of beans and smoked bacon. Feels like great comfort food and regardless of the weather, sometimes that just feels so right.

  8. I love pork shanks and borlotti beans! It is a very hearty dish!! I would say that this is soooo comfort food!! And who cares it it’s 32°C outside if it is delicious!

  9. Reply: And mine is a Cordobés – provinicia rather than ciudad as well! 🙂 But my, how some of the words (even just for food) change! Ask your Big Man what “picadillo” is. D-Man made it the other day (it is basically just finely chopped onion, green bell pepper, and tomato with a dash of salt and vinegar – a salad) and later I found out through a student that “picadillo” in Granada is something completely different! (But can’t remember what).

    Yes, I’m so grateful that I’ve been learning how to cook here. I LOVE that the dishes are simple, rich in veggies, and that they really just seem to hit the spot. I don’t think I’ve ever loved food so much.

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