Slow Cooked Pork & White Beans with Kale Chimichurri
I find the month of March to be one of the most challenging times of the year to cook and eat. The late winter season is hard because by March 1st, all the food magazine covers are flashing bright photographs of spring meals. Asparagus, strawberries and peas teasing our tastebuds and yet, as I look around our region and our farm I know better than to let those magazine covers get the best of me. We are still months away from enjoying our first spear of asparagus and even longer before that big ripe and juicy strawberry of the season. I sort of want to give a giant middle finger to those magazine covers because they’re so unrealistic for the majority of the country. But the thing I love most about local and seasonal eating is this- it’s fleeting and it makes you appreciate what you’ve got while you’ve got access to it. I know we’ve still got a few more pot roast and borsch nights ahead of us, but I also know that when I bite into my first radish of the season or make myself a giant fresh salad, that I might just shed a tear out of pure happiness and pleasure.
This meal right here is what I like to call a “transitional” meal. It’s a hearty winter meal but it has bright notes freshness thanks to a zesty kale chimichurri. The kale at the farm has overwintered beautifully and though I did make and freeze a TON of traditional parsley chimichurri (which would also be lovely here) I wanted to play around with the fresh kale and hold onto my freezer stash for a while longer.
This meal is pretty hands off once you have your chimichurri made and pork prepped. Once that’s taken care of it’s a walk away for hours kind of meal. However, the smells from your kitchen will keep you coming inside often just to inhale the pure deliciousness.
I hope this meal will help you transition slowly to the lighter, brighter and tasty season ahead. The leftovers are great served on top of sourdough toast and if you want to get fancy you can shred some mozzarella cheese on top and broil your toast for a few minutes. Then top with more chimichurri. That’s what we did for lunch and it was divine.
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm.
Pork & White Beans with Kale Chimichurri
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 8 hours Serves: 6-8Kale Chimichurri
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 cup firmly packed kale leaves, tough stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder
- 1 pound dry Great Northern or Navy beans, rinsed and picked over (no need to soak)
- 4 cups unsalted chicken or pork stock
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole
- 2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
- Prepare the chimichurri by combining all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve (I like leaving this at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving).
- In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and pepper flakes. Rub the mixture all over the pork (it's optional to brown the pork before placing in the slow cooker for a more in-depth flavor but that step is completely optional).
- Place the pork in the slow cooker and arrange the beans around the pork. Add the stock, garlic, onion, oregano and bay leaves. Sprinkle everything with a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Cook on low until the beans and pork are completely tender, 7-8 hours.
- Remove the pork and when cool enough to hand shred with two forks. Return the pork to the pot and give it a good stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Serve with the chimichurri and a slice of sourdough bread for dunking.
Notes*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. Cooking times will very from kitchen to kitchen.