Colorful & comforting seasonal recipes for savory dishes, sweets and cocktails. 

Stewed Green Beans with Crispy Pork Belly and Caramelized Shallots

Stewed Green Beans with Crispy Pork Belly and Caramelized Shallots

Before we get to far into this, the truth is there's only half of the recipe pictured because, well, I was starving and ate the other half before these shots were taken.

I really enjoy stewed green beans, but growing up I was always taken aback by the soggy bacon pieces floating in the juices. This recipe gets around that by crisping up sliced pork belly (or bacon), slowly caramelizing shallots, then setting those aside until serving time. The green beans still benefit from the cooking fat and caramelized bits left in the saucepan and the pork belly is perfectly crisp. I like to add a piece of lemon peel to the stewing liquid and finish the dish with fresh basil or parsley and lemon wedges. 

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Stewed Green Beans with Crispy Pork Belly and Caramelized Shallots 
Serves 4-6
1/2 pound sliced pork belly (or bacon)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot or small sweet onion, thinly sliced, about a quarter cup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 thumb sized piece of lemon peel
1 pound fresh green beans, ends removed
1/4 cup basil or parsley, chopped
lemon wedges, for serving

Dice up the sliced pork belly into half inch pieces. Drizzle the olive oil into medium-sized saucepan and set the heat to medium. Add the pork and cook until the fat renders and the edges start to crisp up, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to the lowest setting, add in sliced shallots, and slowly caramelize, about 20 minutes. Remove the pork belly and shallots from the saucepan, but leave the cooking fat. In a small bowl toss together the crispy pork belly and caramelized shallots with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, cover and set aside.

Return to the saucepan and add green beans, 4 cups of water, whole black peppercorns, a large piece of lemon peel, and a generous dash of salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook until tender, about an hour. Add water as needed to ensure the green beans lightly simmer fully in the liquid throughout the cooking time. Strain out the liquid and plate the green beans. Top them with crispy pork bely and caramelized shallots and chopped fresh basil or parsley. Serve with a lemon wedge. 

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