Monday, January 26, 2009

Recipe Review

I've been trying lots of new recipes lately. I guess I've grown tired of the usual and it's been a while since I've found something really great. I have a good lasagna (VERY basic), a great pot roast I might share here, chili that isn't as good as it used to be (can't figure out why) and the best meatloaf you'll ever eat. I need something new.
First I tried this chicken recipe. I love one-dish meals and thought this would be a slam dunk. Nope. The potatoes didn't cook all the way but the chicken was already overcooked. The green beans were really sour from the lemon and, worse still, bitter from the rind. So my first new recipe was a letdown.
After this I tried Swistle's muffin recipe. We made two varieties, one mostly banana with a little pumpkin and chocolate chips. The other were pumpkin spice. The kids liked the chocolate chip ones. I thought both varieties were a little too dense for my taste. I'll still make them again because they were easy and the kids loved them.
Then I tried Beer-Braised Pork and Black Bean Soup from the Real Simple website. I wouldn't call it soup but you could if you added some broth. If you don't read the recipe right and so omit the water it won't have any broth at all. I'll probably leave out the water next time as well. I'm eating it for the second day right now and it's really very good. I used a pork loin because it's the only cut I've ever purchased so I know what to expect and I know when I'm getting a good price. When you serve it you'll need sour cream at the very least. Cilantro and lime is optimal. You could also scoop this into corn tortillas (if you make it thick like I did).
Let me know what you think if you try this one!

This recipe was tested in a 6-quart slow cooker. Because different models cook at different rates, the cooking time below is presented as a range. Check for doneness at the low end of the range (but not before, as the escaped heat will significantly slow the cooking). If the food is not done, cover and cook to the end of the suggested time range. If using a slow-cooker smaller than 6 quarts, the cooking time may take an additional hour or more, and results may vary.

2 12-ounce bottles of beer (preferably lager)
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt (pork shoulder)
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup store-bought refrigerated fresh salsa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the beer, 3 cups water, the chilies, adobo sauce, cumin, onion, beans, pork, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set the slow cooker to high and cook, covered, until the beans are tender and the pork pulls apart easily, 4 to 5 1/2 hours. Using a fork, separate the pork into large pieces. Divide among individual bowls and top with the sour cream, salsa, and cilantro.

If You Don't Have a Slow Cooker: Heat oven to 300° F. Follow the recipe above using a Dutch oven or large casserole. Bake, covered, until the pork pulls apart easily, 4 hours.

Yield: Makes 6 servings


CALORIES 609(37% from fat); FAT 25g (sat 10g); CHOLESTEROL 94mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55g; SODIUM 599mg; PROTEIN 36g; FIBER 12g; SUGAR 5g


  1. 1. Would it be pointless to make this without the pork?

    If the answer to #1 is "yes"...

    2. My dad gave us boneless pork loin chops he got as a gift or something. Would those work?

    (Sorry -- I'm so clueless.)

  2. You could always try it meatless. The other flavors certainly carry it. If you want to use the chops though, this would be perfect. Instructions would be exactly the same.

  3. I LOVE I always read the reviews and check the ratings on the recipes, but there are always some quick, kid friendly meals on there and there is an entire section dedicated to healthly eating! ENJOY

  4. Me too, Bethan. I get their emails and the magazine. I also like because I can search absed on what I have around.