Pork and Beans..Modified

Lucky you…I have a whole meal for you today!

Jason and I were trying to figure out what to do with the pork we bought on sale this week (we usually always buy whatever meat is on sale and then base our meals off of it) and we were inspired by a meal his parents made for us when we came home a few weekends ago; they grilled pork chops with a honey glaze and had an apple and raisin chutney. Something about apples, maple syrup, and pork just always works.

This dish has a variety of nutrients. Jason’s only critique is that it could use a little more diversity in the color, which I agree with. This dish has tons of protein, fiber, iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, be sure to start the barley right away, since it takes about 45 minutes total.

Pork

We bought fresh pork ribs from the store and grilled them on a charcoal grill. Prior to grilling, we glazed them with a maple honey mustard glaze (see recipe below). Jason also basted them with this while they were grilling. Be careful; the glaze can cause the outside to burn, to limit the number of times you have to flip the pork if you are going to baste them each time you flip them. We used a meat thermometer to make sure the pork didn’t dry out (make sure to cook it to 160F).

Maple Honey Mustard Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP mayo (I like to use to the real stuff, because it has less additives and a little can go a long way)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup (again, I like to use the real, pure maple syrup; it is a little more expensive, but we use maple syrup so rarely that the cost difference is not a big deal for how much better the flavor is)
  • 2 TBSP honey Dijon mustard

Directions:

  • Whisk mayo and mustard together until well blended. Whisk in the maple syrup until a uniform sauce is created. Add more or less of any ingredient, as needed.

Fruited Sweet Potato Topping

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 small Fuji apples
  • 1/8 cup pecans, broken
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  • Wash the sweet potatoes and apples, but leave the skins on.
  • Slice sweet potatoes into circles, starting at the small end and working towards the middle. I also like to turn it around about 1/3 of the way and start at the other end, working towards the middle. This seems to help with cutting when it gets lopsided.
  • Heat the oil on medium heat in a large skillet; then add the sweet potatoes and cover. By covering the pan, the steam can help cook the sweet potatoes.
  • Stir and flip frequently to prevent the sweet potatoes from burning.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, slice and core the apples. I cut the apple in to 4, take out the core and then cut each fourth into 3 more slices. I then cut each slice (you can do more than one at a time) into 3 chunks.
  • Once the sweet potatoes have browned slightly and are getting soft, add the apples. Continue to stir periodically.
  • Once the apples are golden and soft, all the cranberries, pecans, and spices. Cover the pan. Turn down the heat to simmer or off completely.

Eat as a side or as a topping for the pork or barley.

Barley
I used pearl barley, which takes 35 – 45 minutes to cook. Add 1 part barley to 3 parts water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cover to cook for 35-45 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and the barley is tender. If the water is not absorbed but the barley is tender, you can empty into a strainer.

Eat plain or top with the sweet potato mixture, maple honey mustard sauce, or plain old butter, salt, and pepper.

Sweet and Spicy Bean Salad (aka Cal’s Bean Salad)
This is my grandpa’s (Cal Bellmore) bean recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of red beans
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 1 can of great pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (you can cook before adding to make milder)
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Stir beans, cranberries and onion together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the remaining ingredients together. Pour over the bean blend and mix well.
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