We don’t just call a bean dish great without a good reason. Of course, we made delicious bean dishes, which were very tasty. But for this recipe, we used two ingredients that genuinely make this bean dish exceptional.
In authentic Mexican bean dishes, they add molasses. Molasses is a syrupy byproduct of sugar production from sugar beets. Molasses have different qualities, with some becoming progressively bitter. You can find it quite easily these days, often in speciality stores. The tastiest molasses is slightly more acidic than Dutch Stroop and has a distant maltiness, reminiscent of the Guinness factories in Dublin, which in turn reminds us of roasted coffee beans.
Instead of molasses, we made this recipe several times with varying amounts of Dutch Apple Stroop and coffee powder. Outside of The Netherlands, you can use apple syrup. After a few experiments, we believe this bean dish is unique enough to feature on our website.
We prepared a classic dry rub with dark brown sugar and salt for the pork belly that goes into the bean dish. What we’ll do is brine the meat overnight. The salt in the rub will penetrate the meat, seasoning it, while the sugar and the rest of the spices will stick to the surface, creating a lovely crust. You can make this crust as delightful as you wish.
When we smoke the pork belly, we place a whole garlic bulb next to the meat. We do this almost every time we smoke meat. Smoked garlic is genuinely delicious and has a less intense taste than fresh garlic. Half of the bulb will go into the bean dish, and you can store the other half in a bit of oil in a well-sealed bag or container.
You can enhance the flavour of any sauce or soup with smoked garlic. You can also spread it on a piece of bread. This stuff is fantastic.
After about three hours, the pork belly reaches an internal temperature of 70°C (158°F). The meat also has a beautiful smoky colour. In essence, you’ve now made bacon. This piece of pork belly weighed over 900 grams, far more than needed for this bean dish. So, we cut off half for later use.
In the meantime, we’ve placed a Dutch Oven on the grill. In it, we sauté the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, and garlic. Then, we stir-fry the tomato paste and apple syrup.
Finally, we squeeze half of the garlic cloves from the smoked bulb. You can easily flatten the cloves with a spoon and stir them in. Before it burns, add the broth and tomatoes and continue with the next step.
This is the ingredient that makes this bean dish exceptional. A few generous scoops of coffee powder give this bean dish a malt-like bitterness without making it taste like coffee. Combined with the sweetness of apple syrup and cumin, you get an authentically delicious bean dish.
We’ve sliced the smoked pork belly into roughly one-centimetre slices and grilled them on both sides until they developed a nice grill colour. Then, we diced them and let them simmer with the beans.
You can enjoy the bean dish immediately, but it gets even better if you reheat the beans. The flavour only improves, and the colour becomes darker. We served it with a generous dollop of crème fraîche and fresh coriander if you like.
If you decide to make this bean dish, let us know in the comments below. Even better, please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve created.
- 500 grams pork belly, skin removed
For the Dry Rub
- 1.5 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 2 tsp onion granules
For the Bean Dish
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic or 6 smoked garlic cloves
- A little olive oil
- 2 large white onions, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 150 grams carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 jalapeño peppers
- 70 grams of tomato paste
- 2 tbsp apple syrup
- 400 ml chicken broth
- 400 grams peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ground coffee
- 1 tbsp chipotle pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 500 grams of black or kidney beans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle it on all sides of the pork belly. Place the meat in a ziplock bag and let it sit in the refrigerator for one to two days.
- Slice the top of a garlic bulb and pour some olive oil over it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Prepare a barbecue for smoking at around 120°C (248°F). Place the garlic bulb and pork belly on the grate. Insert a thermometer into the meat and close the lid. Smoke the pork belly for about 3 hours at 120°C (248°F) until it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C (158°F).
- Place a Dutch Oven on the barbecue and add some oil to the pot. Add the chopped white onion and let it become soft and golden brown.
- Then, add the bell pepper, jalapeño peppers, carrots, and garlic. Afterwards, stir-fry the tomato paste and apple syrup without allowing it to burn.
- Pour in the broth, then add the peeled tomatoes and beans. Finally, add the coffee, chipotle pepper, and cumin powder. Let it simmer for about half an hour.
- Meanwhile, slice the pork belly into one-centimetre slices. Grill these slices on both sides and then cut them into cubes.
- Add the pork belly cubes to the beans and let them simmer for another half hour.