I should start by saying that I am not a cowboy, nor have I ever met a cowboy or been to cowboy country. When I first made this dish I was looking for something that was a variation of 'bangers and beans', with the deep flavours I imagined that were of the midwest plains, sweet smoky BBQ type flavours.
The recipe is a favourite not just for the taste but because its a one pot dish, its tastes equally as nice the next day (great if you cook it on Sunday as you have Monday's evening meal sorted too).
- 1 Red bell pepper, diced
- 1 Green bell pepper diced
- 1 Large onion finely chopped
- 3 Sticks of celery finely chopped
- 1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tins of your favourite white beans, I've used butter beans, cannolini and harricote
- 2 Cloves of garlic
Herbs and Spices
- 2 Teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons of ground cumin seeds
- 1 Teaspoon of mild chilli powder
- 1 Teaspoon of mustard powder
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne
- A generous bunch of coriander finely chopped
- 2 desert spoons of liquid molasses
- 200 grams of smoky bacon bits (unsmoked is fine if you don't have smoked)
- 2 kilogram shoulder of pork (I have made this with a pile of sausages or pork chops)
Put a good glug of olive oil in the pan heat it up and brown your bacon, once it has started to catch remove, add a bit more olive oil and flash the shoulder of pork. If you are using sausages, I usually cook them through before throwing them in at the end. When done remove.
Throw in your veggies and let them wilt down, you don't want them too soft though. Add the tomatoes and some water to enable you to throw in the herbs, spices and molasses, about half a pint or 300ml, you just need enough to enable everything to swirl around and mix together. Add the beans.
Add the meat back to the pot and pour in more water, and heat until it starts to bubble.
Take it off the heat and cover with the lid and pop it in a pre heated oven to 150ºC. Cook for 3 hours, or until the meat just falls apart. Remove the meat and thicken the stew......and serve!