Pork and Cannellini Beans

Ingredients

75ml good olive oil
2 brown onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, sliced into circles
1 stalk celery, with leaves, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
2 star anise
1 bouquet garni
30ml tomato paste
30ml demerara sugar
375ml red wine
350g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight*
1 pig’s trotter
1kg pork belly (preferably acorn fed), sliced into 3cm pieces
500ml chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh sage for garnishing
A true winter dish to be served with a heap of steaming buttery mashed potatoes … and a glass of solid red.

Instructions

1.In a deep casserole, heat the olive oil and add the onions, carrot, celery and chilli. Sauté the aromatics together and add the star anise and bouquet garni with the tomato paste and sugar. Add the wine, beans and trotter.
2.Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Carefully insert the pork belly into the casserole. Pour the chicken stock over the meat, cover and simmer for at least 2 hours until the beans, trotter and pork belly are succulently tender.
3.Remove the trotter from the pan and debone. Return the meat to the now well-reduced sauce. Taste and season.
4.Garnish with a little chopped sage before serving.
5.* If you are short of time, use cooked, canned organic cannellini beans. You can add them to the casserole 1 hour and 40 minutes into the final cooking process.

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