For my October-November Cook the Books project, I cooked up some Vegetarian Baked Beans. And while I liked them, my 11-year-old declared, "These are not at good as Nonna's." Okay, challenge accepted. I called my mom to ask for her recipe; she started to laugh. The next time I picked up the boys from her house, she showed me a can. Nice, Mom.
I had gotten some dried, organic Blue Coco beans from Coke Farms, in San Juan Bautista. And with the sun-dried tomato ketchup I received from Traina Foods*, I decided to develop a pork and beans recipe to beat the socks off of Bush's!
The verdict, from said pork and beans snob: "These don't taste like Nonna's, still. But they are really, really tasty." I'll take that.
A few notes about the ketchup...
I am not a big ketchup fan. We rarely buy it. We make homemade ketchup, and even then, it lasts us a long, long time. But when Traina sent me two bottles of their ketchup to taste, test, and review, I was immediately intrigued. The flavor is incredibly concentrated and intense. We used small dollops on frittata and alongside roasted garlic-parmesan tater tots. This recipe, however, truly sang because of the addition of the sun-dried tomato ketchup. Unlike my previous iteration, these are simmered on the stove slowly for hours - not baked. They are worth the wait.
And - I think - Traina's sun-dried tomato ketchup just might have made a ketchup-convert out of me. Now I just need to figure out where I can find it locally.
Persimmon Pork and Beans
- 1 lb dried beans
- 2 Hachiya persimmons, peeled and mashed
- 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- splash of olive oil
- 1/2 lb applewood smoked bacon, diced
- 1 C sun-dried tomato ketchup
- 2 C organic chicken broth
- 4 T raw honey
- 1/2 C organic coconut sugar
- 1/3 C fig balsamic vinegar
- 2 C organic chicken broth
- dash of ground smoked paprika
- dash of ground paprika
- freshly ground sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
If you are using dried beans, start by soaking and cooking your beans. Click for a how-to: here. If you are using pre-cooked beans, I think I had about 4-5 cups.
In a large soup pot, sweat your onions and shallots in a splash of olive oil until they begin to turn translucent. Spoon in the diced bacon and cook until the fat is rendered. Stir in the persimmons and add the beans. Add all of the other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3 hours. Stir every 30 minutes, or so, so that the beans don't burn and stick to the bottom. By the end of 3 hours, the liquid will have reduced and thickened.
Serve with oven roasted ribs.
*Full disclosure: I received two complimentary bottles of Traina Foods' Sun-dried tomato ketchup after I participated in an online food chat. But the opinions expressed here are 100% my own and 100% accurate. I have received no compensation for this review.