Editor’s note: Hand still really hurts, doing this post in batches. TCB baby!
Who here likes a good pot of beans? Excellent, me too. Who here has screwed up a pot of beans badly enough to just toss the batch? Hmm, yeah. Me too. Beans are an odd lot, even with a recipe it can head south at any given moment. Just because they’re dried, doesn’t mean you can get an old, nasty bag full. If one little ingredient is added and found to be too much, or not enough? You’re a goner. Please click through to read about my little bean adventure, you’ll be glad you did.
I had a bag of great northerns in the cabinet, they’re creamy, white and don’t take too terribly long to simmer. I decided since my last batch didn’t turn out so well, I’d keep this one simple. You know, onion, 8 cloves of garlic, green bell pepper, ham shank and enough chicken broth to make it good. Simple, but oh so delicious to finish in maybe a few days.
Biggles found himself at the store, picking up the few ingredients needed. “Oh, let’s just get ourselves that shank, no that one. Excellent! ” As we all know, you can’t leave the building without doing a drive-by of the meat distribution area. It was at that point we found our plucky hero gazing dreamily at the pork loin ribs, the baby backs. Thinking to himself, “Huh. Huh? Hmmm, why the hell not?” He grabbed the slab and headed quickly out, bypassing all the baked goodies with ease. You read correctly, Simple Pot of Beans with Pork Ribs Simmered.
Wash and pat dry the ribs, remove silvery skin on back. Kosher salt and let the meat rest for about an hour. Quick-soak method on the beans, over night is sooo 1973. The garlic I’ve been peeling, then smashing with a good whack of a large blade. Subtle and allows the garlic to dissolve slowly and gently.
Preheat oven to 350, rack on bottom. Gather your heavy cast iron, enameled or not. Get it hot with some heavy oil or fat.
It was about here where I sat down and thought things out. Surely I wouldn’t be able to add the entire rack at once, stirring the beans wouldn’t be possible. And considering the white beans don’t take very long to cook, the ribs should be cut up a bit to lessen the cooking time. I chose to cut it 3 ribs to a piece.
Brown the ribs, pull and let rest. Make the veggies all glistenny and hot. Add everything, pour in chicken broth.
Considering I rarely use a recipe and like adding more broth than is probably necessary, no lid on the pot until needed. Stir and make nice, install to oven for at least 2 hours. If you’re going to drink, set a loud timer in a conspicuous spot. Stir every hour or so.
The liquid was down a bit, but the beans and meat weren’t quite ready. Put a lid on it and back in to the oven until done. Check in another hour and gauge time left from there.
Holy fnorking moley Mermaid Man! I Nailed it. The beans were rich, creamy and tender. The broth rendered from the ham shank was just as it should be, smoky, salty and again, rich. The garlic did its job bringing up the rear. The pork rib meat was tender, fally aparty and subtle. The best part though, other than being able to eat it? Was to line the bowl with rice cooked in butter and chicken broth, portion of beans with 2 or 3 pork ribs sitting on top! It was like going to Disneyland in every way. I should have adorned my mouse ears, it was that good. I’m doing this again, you can count on it brother, or sister. I win!