10 Bean Pork Fillet

My better half ordered these from a reputable supermarket along with 450g of choice lean pork fillet and said “I fancy a bean casserole, can you make it for us?”Beans

The contents consisted of: A mix of black eyed beans, black turtle beans, butter beans, haricot beans, lima beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, rose cocoa beans, alubia beans and mung beans.

I guess you could use any dried bean/pulse combination or even a can of cannellini. Here is what else I included in the final recipe.

  • 450g pork fillet
  • 250g dried beans
  • 2 carrots
  • Mixed peppers
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 2/4 bay leaves, 3/4 sprigs of parsley, 5/6 garlic cloves, 4/8 sprigs thyme
  • Chilli flakes to taste,  2tsp paprika
  • 2 Chicken/pork stock, tblsp tomato puree, tsp cider vinegar

Dried beans need soaking overnight then boiled in fresh water with a couple of bay leaves, garlic and thyme (do not add salt yet as it toughens the beans). Follow the packet instructions for boiling as some beans can be toxic if not handled correctly. (40 mins approx)

Slice pork into medallions and season with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika – set to one side. Soften onion, celery, carrots and peppers in a large lidded pan with a couple of sprigs of thyme, a few bay leaves and some garlic. Season with salt, pepper and chilli and cover for 10-15 mins on low heat.

Add softened beans and liquid to sweated veg. Mix in tomato puree, vinegar and crumbled stock cubes allow to simmer for another 30 mins. Brown pork in separate pan for 2 minutes then add to bean mixture and deglaze pan with a splash of liquid (water, wine, cider…). Simmer for a further 20 – 30 minutes.


Serve with salad or rice or on its own. Bon apetit. Nom nom


Gilbert Grape Alive?

Having remodelled a corner of my garden last summer I was keen to see how my  various plants survived their move after quite a harsh winter. We had snow on the ground for so long that when it did eventually thaw the grass was yellowing due to a lack of sunlight. Below is a shot of my grape vine in its new position having previously been established for 10 years by the fence. Before then I had uprooted him (Gilbert) after two years in he ground at our old house.

Snow Jan 2013 - 01Spring finally arrived and I would inspect the rehoused plants to check for new growth. The roses were coming along nicely however the Bamboo looked like (and still does) it needed extra care and attention. The one plant that I cared about the most however was Gilbert. He was a gift from a good friend who had been on holiday in France and returned with him as a sapling for me. I started by scraping away the surface of the outer twigs looking for any sign of green life. No joy. I went down to the base of the plant, almost at soil level, and repeated the test. Again no joy; Gilbert had died. :0(

This is what greeted me on a daily basis.

Dead as a Dodo

Dead as a Dodo

Gilber Grape - 6Spring is now fully underway and my son and I decide that we would spruce up the flower pots, plant some strawberries and buy a new grape vine (I had mounted a wall trellis for Gilbert which would have been wasted). Having potted all the petunias, lobelias and dug over the beds, in which we planted strawberries, carrots, peas, courgettes and sweet peas, my son begged to plant the new vine.

I told him to get started by digging Gilbert out. He didn’t seem too sure how to approach the task so I went over and reached down to just yank him out. Well he was dead so pulling out cleanly would be easy. As I gripped the thick stem my brain registered a feeling that did not match with a dried up spent plant. In fact it was quite the opposite.

Imagine my delight at seeing the slightest glimpse of life grasping its way out of the gnarled and cracking bark.

He lives!

He lives!

I was ecstatic! If I could have done a back flip I would have. Instead my son and I settled for a high five chest bump kind of hurrah! Gilbert has astounded me with his will to survive and continues to grow more inches.

Gilber Grape - 9I shall now go and build a security fence around him to safeguard against the probable boisterous behaviour brewing between my boys. Who knows? Perhaps one day I will be blogging about some of my Gilbert wine. Salut!