PORK AND BEANS
2 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight or 4 cans (15 ounces each) white beans
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 thick pork loin chops on the bone
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (1 pound) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
1 1/2 quarts water
1. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.
2. Drain and rinse the beans.
3. In a large flameproof casserole, cook the bacon, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until it is golden. With a slotted spoon, remove it from the pan. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat (save the remaining fat for the cabbage).
4. Sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Reheat the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add 3 chops to the pan. Cook without moving for 4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and brown the remaining 3 chops in the same way. Remove them from the pan. Transfer the chops to the baking sheet; set aside.
5. Add the onion to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Return the bacon to the pan with the beans and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the dried beans for 1 1/2 hours or until tender; simmer canned beans for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 Savoy cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat until hot. Add half the cabbage, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until the cabbage is tender and brown in spots. Remove from the pan (reserve this cabbage for the stew). Cook the remaining cabbage in the remaining 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the same way.
2. Set the oven at 400 degrees.
3. Transfer the pork chops on the baking sheet to the oven and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chops registers 145 degrees. Spoon some of the beans on 4 shallow plates (reserve 3 cups beans and liquid for the stew). Add a pork chop to each one (reserve 2 chops for the stew), and spoon cabbage beside it. Sprinkle with parsley.