So I Googled for “Pork and Bean” and came across this Corsican Bean Soup with Greens and Pork recipe on Food & Wine which sounded very interesting. Unfortunately I couldn’t source all the ingredients and had to make do with what I had. I also decided not to use the word Corsican in the title as I was not too sure how strict you have to follow this recipe to call it anything from Corsica.

Ingredients

  • 500g dried black-eyed beans soaked for a least 8 hours (see Note 1)
  • 1 medium red cabbage, roughly chopped (see Note 2)
  • 6 Apache potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each (see Note 3)
  • +/- 4 cups of stemmed, chopped Swiss chard
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1.5cm rings
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bouquet garni (see Note 4)
  • 3.5 liters of water
  • 2 x 410g canned tomatoes
  • +/- 1.5kg leg of pork (see Note 5)
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper corns
Nice fresh ingredients

The meat

One of the biggest reasons I didn’t want to call this a Corsican dish, is that I could not source pork cheeks. So, I had to improvise.

I bought a pork leg and de-boned it. I also trimmed the skin with the fatty layer off, and tied that around the bone with kitchen twine. The pork meat I cut into 2cm x 2cm cubes.

Leg of pork
De-boned and skin tied around the bone

Method

Add some oil in a pot and add the cabbage, potatoes, chard, leeks, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper over medium heat. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring often.

Veggies frying away

Add the 3.5 liters of water and turn the heat to low and allow to simmer.

Drain the beans and transfer to a large pot. Add water until it is about 4cm covered. Add the bouquet garni, bring to boil over high and then turn the heat to medium. Let the beans cook for about 15 minutes, then drain.

Add the beans to the vegetable mixture with the bouquet garni. Add the tomatoes, meat and bone and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring often. The beans and vegetables should be very tender. Remove the bouquet garni and tied shank with the pork skin. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if necessary.

Cooking with the tied pork bone on top

We served the soup with sourdough bread and a Piekenierskloof Heirloom Red.

Notes

  1. The original recipe calls for dried cannellini beans, the closest I could get was black-eyed kidney beans. I could have opted for tinned cannellini beans, but the original recipes urges your to use dried beans, so I did.
  2. I used a red cabbage instead of a green cabbage to get some color into the soup, but it did not help much.
  3. The original recipe uses Russet potatoes, the closest I could find was Apache potatoes.
  4. I bought a bouquet garni, but you can make it from 1 bay leave, 2 thyme sprigs and 3 flat leaf parsley sprigs tied together with kitchen twine.
  5. The original recipe uses a ham bone and pork cheeks. I replaced it with a leg of pork and de-boned it as explained above.

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