Smoky baked pork and beans

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Adding big chunks of pork belly to this classic US side dish upgrades it to a meal-in-a-bowl. Simply serve with a spoon and crusty bread, it screams comfort food.



  • dried pinto beans 375g
  • olive oil
  • boneless rindless pork belly slices 500g, cut into chunks
  • onion 1 large, sliced
  • garlic 3 cloves, crushed
  • English mustard powder 1 tbsp
  • light brown soft sugar 1 tbsp
  • black treacle or molasses 1 tbsp
  • hot smoked paprika 1 tsp
  • ground cumin 2 tsp
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • tamarind paste 2 tbsp
  • chopped tomatoes 400g tin
  • bay leaves 2
  • thyme 2 sprigs
  • crusty bread or butter to serve


  • Step 1

    Put the dried beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and leave to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  • Step 2

    The next day, drain and rinse the beans. Put in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about 45 minutes. Drain, keeping the cooking liquid. 

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large solid casserole. Add the pork and cook until crisp and golden. Add the onions and cook until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the mustard, sugar, treacle, smoked paprika, cumin, tomato purée, tamarind paste and chopped tomatoes to the pan, stir well and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beans and 600ml of the cooking liquid, the bay leaves and thyme. Mix well, bring to the boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook in the oven for 3 hours until the beans are tender and the sauce thickened. Serve in bowls with a spoon and crusty bread.

Nutritional Information

  • Carbs 48.9g
  • Protein 29.1g
  • Fat 17g
  • Salt 0.3g
  • Saturates 4.6g
  • Fibre 1.7g