You don't have to presoak the beans for this hearty dinner--they go straight into the cooker and end up perfectly tender 8 hours later. Since you blend up a whole orange, peel and all, you should look for Florida oranges, which have thinner skins than the thick-peeled fruits from California.
2 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 4 oranges)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 medium orange, quartered
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
1 (2 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder, trimmed
1 pound dried black beans
2 1/4 cups chopped onion, divided
10 garlic cloves, crushed and divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, divided
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 2/3 cups hot cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Place bacon in a large skillet over medium heat; cook 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Place bacon in a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add pork to drippings in skillet; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add pork shoulder to slow cooker. Pour uncooked beans around pork.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 2 cups onion and 6 garlic cloves; sauté 3 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons oregano, paprika, cumin, and crushed red pepper to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add orange mixture and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Pour onion mixture over pork. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until pork is very tender and beans are done. Shred pork; discard bones. Discard bay leaf. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, remaining 1/4 cup onion, tomato, and jalapeño pepper in a bowl. Chop remaining 4 garlic cloves; stir into tomato mixture. Spoon 1/3 cup rice onto each of 8 plates; top each serving with 1/2 cup bean mixture, about 3 ounces pork, and 3 1/2 tablespoons salsa. Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon oregano and 1/4 cup cilantro.
First I should say that I am an excellent home chef. I like fresh ingredients, I like things from scratch and nothing processed. I have never met a slow cooker recipe that didn't turn out bland. I can make Cuban pork shoulder in the oven, roasted slow, with black beans and have a much better result. The prep work on this had me hopeful because everything was tasting so good I thought for sure the end result was going to be better, but alas, another less than satisfactory result. It was just "okay". I wish I knew what it was with slow cookers that turn out such bland results. I guess I am going to keep my slow-cooker for keeping freshly baked cookies warm and for queso.
The flavors of this dish were fantastic! I presoaked then drained the beans to reduce the gas factor. It does take a while to prep this dish so I put it all together and refrigerated the browned meat and beans in the crock pot liner overnight. The next morning I started the slow cooker on high for an hour then cooked it on low for about 10 hours. As a result the beans were probably mushier than optimal but it was still great. I froze some of the leftovers as it makes huge servings. We made it into burritos by wrapping in tortillas and adding sliced avocados. We'll definitely make this again.
This requires quite a bit of prep work but, boy, is it worth it! I think using cheesecloth to strain the liquid from the blended mixture is a great idea. The beans absolutely were properly cooked without presoaking. Thank you Cooking Light for another innovative and delicious recipe.
Made this on a snowy day and it is fabulous. I agree with the earlier review on the amount of early morning prep required in order to be ready for dinner time, but if you do some parts the night before, you should be in good shape. Everything came out very tender and had great flavor. Highly recommend.
This was amazing. It makes a lot, so I was able to freeze quite a bit for future meals which made the prep work totally worth it. The flavors were so great. I didn't make the rice because I was short on time, but instead I served it with half an avocado and a warm tortilla. SO YUM. Can't wait to have it again.
BIG YUMMMMMMMMmmmmmz! Husband lost his mind over this. I thought it was very good, too, but didn't like the bitter taste from the pureed whole orange. I added a little brown sugar to cut that taste. Next time, I will simply use the orange zest and orange sections to eliminate that problem. Meat was very tender and Husband kept saying how different and good the sauce was. Made a simple pico de gallo for the topping. It was a lot of work to put together, but the result was worth it. Will make again over the colder months of the year.
Just made this yesterday, excellent! It does have more ahead prep than the average crock pot recipe, but well worth the depth of flavor. I did not make the fresh salsa for the end, ran out of time, but it was still great without it. If you are trying to put this together in the morning, I would definitely make the broth part (first 4 ingredients), chop the onions/garlic and have the spices measured out into one bowl the night before. Then the morning prep of bacon, pork, sauteeing the onions/garlic will go fairly quick. It says you don't have to precook the black beans, but I did bowl them for about 5 minutes after rinsing. My experience is that without doing that, they don't get done in a slow cooker.
The flavors in this were great - especially the beans. I had a one pound piece of frozen pork shoulder, so I used that and then halved the other ingredients. I used smoked paprika vs sweet and I believe that added a very subtle smoky flavor. I really like the Cooking Light Brazilian Fejoda recipe - but I believe this is better.
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