We had a considerable amount of snow over the course of the past two weeks, probably the most that the Eastern Shore has seen in quite a few years. Both little ones were home with me, cooped up in the house, for a majority of those days. Needless to say, comfort food was in order.
I’d had this recipe bookmarked to try since I bought my copy of Slow Cooker Revolution, and would add it to our weekly menu – but it just kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. I finally decided that it would make a great snow day meal, so it finally came together in my crockpot last week – and I’m kicking myself for not getting around to it sooner. I assumed that I wouldn’t really like it…I’m not the biggest kielbasa fan, and it seemed really meaty. Not that I dislike meat, quite the contrary. But, on initial inspection it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. But, I knew all the little carnivores in this house would adore it. I was right on that count at least, but was wrong in assuming that I wouldn’t love it too!
The flavors were out of this world. Everything blended together perfectly when cooked, creating a symphony of meaty goodness in one pot. The pork and kielbasa were tender, but still retained their shape and texture. And the beans – oh my word, those beans! Absolutely perfectly cooked – nice and creamy, just the way I like them. I served over a bed of cilantro-lime rice, and topped with some sliced avocado and the Brazilian hot sauce they suggest in the book. It kind of reminded me of pico de gallo…but with the addition of green bell pepper, white wine vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil – it definitely added more layers of complexity.
It made a large batch, so we enjoyed it for dinner one night – and I stuck the other half in the freezer for a quick meal one night when I’m not feeling like cooking. Which, I must admit – is getting more and more often as the due date for baby boy #3 approaches. It’s good to know that such a hearty and comforting meal is just a thaw out and re-heat away!
Brazilian Black Bean & Pork Stew
6 oz bacon (6 slices), chopped
3 onions, minced
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup water
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 pound kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 bay leaves
1 (3 pound) boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
fresh ground black pepper
For Brazilian Hot Sauce:
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
2 onions, minced
1 green pepper, minced
2 jalapenos, minced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp cilantro, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
Toss pork chunks with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper in large bowl. Set aside.
Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Place pork chunks into skillet with rendered bacon fat, cook for about 4 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
Add onions to the pan with the drippings and cook for 4 minutes, until starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and coriander and cook until tomato paste is starting to brown – about 5 more minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
Stir broth, beans, kielbasa, pork, bacon, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until pork is tender – 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
To make the hot sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Let sauce stand and room temperature until flavors melt, about 30 minuntes. Hot sauce can be refrigerated in air-tight container for up to 3 days. Makes about 3 cups.
Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with Brazilian Hot Sauce.
Source: adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution