The recipe I'm going to share with you today comes from my mother's kitchen from many years ago. It's not a fancy recipe, but the combination of spices makes this bean stew a real standout. I hope you give it a try!
Pork Chops and White Bean Casserole2 cups (1 lb.) white beans (I usually used Great Northerns or the smaller navy beans)
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 T. butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cans tomatoes (the size of soup cans), chopped, including liquid (Instead of store-bought cans of tomatoes, I use a quart jar of my home canned tomatoes including liquid.) or, use 5 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
6 thin pork chops
Early in the morning: Cover beans with cold water, cover, and refrigerate all day. (You could always let the beans set overnight instead if you want to cook them in the morning for a midday meal.) Drain. Put the beans in a large pot; add 5 cups water and the salt, pepper, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain again. Place beans in a large ovenproof casserole dish or dutch oven.
Meanwhile, saute in butter the onion, tomatoes, oregano, and thyme and cook the mixture for several minutes until heated through. Stir this mixture into the beans that are in the ovenproof container.
Next, brown pork chops in a skillet and then tuck them into the beans, covering them. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, then uncovered for 15 minutes.
This is how the recipe is written, but what I do in actual fact is, I brown my pork chops in the cast iron pot I plan on using to bake the beans. That way, I get all the tasty bits from browning the meat incorporated into the stew. I think it makes a difference.
These beans reheat well, and I always hope there's enough left over for lunch the next day. Comfort food at it's tastiest best!.