USA style slow cooked BBQ Pork & beans.
My first trip to America gave me a bad impression of the food over there. I was on Archaeology field-school and spent the month I was in the country eating crappy motel food at the Ramada Inn, Mitchell, SD. A place where fruit does not exist, everything is deep fried (even the burger buns) and the only available vegetables are processed, pickled or incredibly thinly sliced in incredibly small portions. I had stomach pains nearly the entire trip. A constant diet of overcooked sliced beef in deep-fried processed buns or over cooked bison burgers in even more deep-fried processed buns is not good for the soul. However, upon having a meal cooked for us by some locals I was introduced to BBQ beans, and upon meeting the head of the local collage (Agustana) I was introduced to the wonder that is the Pulled Pork Sandwich, a truly amazing food.
On my second trip to America, also for a dig, myself and a Romanian friend did most of the cooking, so although I realized that Americans do in fact have a great variety of vegetables and food types at their disposal, very little of the food I ate could really be considered ‘American’. The American food I did have was almost all great and almost all BBQ’ed. Pulled Pork in Memphis Airport, Pulled Pork some where in Austin, Mexican in the little town of Florence, and then occasional little Peach Puddings and snacks from the Lindsey family.
What I am getting at is that I left with a serious appreciation for American BBQ, however, I don’t own a BBQ pit, I don’t own a smoker and most BBQ sauce available in the UK is pretty tepid stuff, so real American BBQ is pretty much off limits while I’m at home. I have made Pulled Pork a few times, but it is very time consuming and a little costly (I make the BBQ sauce from scratch to get it good enough), so thats really a meal for special occasions and parties.
This recipe is easier then Pulled Pork, takes very little preparation, tastes great and can just be left by itself to cook till whenever you fancy it in the day. It’s made with some “Big John’s Ol’ West” BBQ sauce a friend mailed me for Christmas and tastes especially good with crusty bread, rice, roast potatoes or homemade Corn Bread (surprisingly simple, and quick to make!) and maybe some sweetcorn on the side.
Ingredients: Feeds 5 – 6
- About 1 kg Smoked Gammon (Or other cuts of Pork, Burnt ends, Smoked Beef, any meat as long as its smoky and salty)
- 2 Tins Beans (I used Pinto and Kidney beans) drained
- 2 Tins Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 Medium onions
- 1 Stick Celery
- 1 Bell Pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce
- A tablespoon or two of mustard
- roughly the same amount of Brown Sugar as mustard
- A few glugs of Malt Vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Henderson’s Relish (Worcester sauce)
- Deeply score the meat all over and rub with pepper, then cook on a medium heat till done through and going crispy on the outside (We are basically going for a Burnt ends BBQ’ed effect), leave to cool, but DO NOT throw away any of the cooking juices, unless you are a fool.
- Slice the Garlic and Celery very finely, chop the Onion and Bell Pepper roughly.
- Mix the BBQ sauce with the Mustard, Brown Sugar, Malt Vinegar, Worcester Sauce and Meat Juices.
- Chop the meat into good sized chunks, then throw everything into a slow cooker (or the oven on its lowest setting) and stir.
- Cook for 2 – 8 hours, the longer the better!