Last year I posted a recipe for a similar dish, this is a variation. Two pork shanks here serve four people in a very warming winter casserole.
- 500g of large white beans (large cannellini or butter beans would be good) soaked overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
- Two large tomatoes, quartered
- 1 large leek, roughly chopped
- 4 sticks of celery and some of the celery leaves if you have them
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large onion peeled and quartered
- 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
- A dried chili (optional)
- Approx two cups of water (enough to cover the pork and beans)
- Four slices of smoked bacon, diced
- Salt and pepper (don´t season until the beans are cooked)
- 4 whole cloves or a ½ a level teaspoon of ground cloves
Put all the ingredients into a large pot with a lid and cook very slowly for about 2 or 3 hours (or longer) in a low oven or on top of the stove. If you have time, it´s best left overnight before eating to allow the flavours to really develop.
When the beans are soft, strain the liquid off (reserving it) and take as many of the vegetables out from the meat and beans as you can and put into a blender jug. Blend the vegetables with a little of the cooking liquid then stir into the remaining liquid. Add the beans and meat (which will have fallen off the bones) into the thick soup, check for seasoning, reheat and serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.