Greek Pork and Beans

We had quite the cold spell a while back, so I during it I felt the need to make a one-pot, stick-to-your-ribs kind of stew. And what better cuisine from which to choose than Greek. It’s often the direction I take for satisfying and comforting dishes, like pastitsio and moussaka.

For these times, I refer to an old cookbook, called Flavors of Greece, published in 1991, and authored by Rosemary Barron. And in it I found exactly what I was looking for – a Greek version of pork and beans.

The beans in this dish are giant white Lima beans, and the meat includes pork shoulder, bacon, and sausage.

The bean and pork components are layered, then topped with a thick bread crumb and Parmesan crust. Oddly enough, it reminds me of a giant cassoulet!

Traditional Pork and Bean Casserole
Khirino´ Khoria´tiko

1 1/2 pounds dried butter beans, soaked overnight
3 pounds boneless lean pork shoulder
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced pastourma´s ham or bacon
3 cups chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup red wine
2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, diced, juices reserved
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup dried oregano
2 tablespoons ground coriander
5 whole cloves
4 juniper berries, lightly crushed
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 – 1 1/2 cups meat stock
1/2 country sausages
1 cup fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup kasse´ri cheese or Parmesan

Cook and drain the soaked beans. I cooked mine in chicken stock. Set aside.

Cut the pork into 1” cubes. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet and lightly brown half the meat over medium heat. Repeat with the remaining meat.

Add the bacon and sauté 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the garlic, cook 1 minute longer, and add the red wine. Bring to a boil and boil a minute or two, then stir in the tomatoes with their juices, honey, oregano, coriander, cloves, juniper berries, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer 5 minutes longer.

Add the meat, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer 30 minutes longer; add stock if there appears to be less than 2 cups of sauce. Season to taste. The sauce should be highly flavored.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the sausages into 1/2” thick slices and combine with the beans.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the bottom of a heavy casserole and cover with one third of the sausages and beans. Cover with a layer of half the meat mixture, then half the remaining beans, then the remaining meat. Top with a layer of the remaining beans.

With the back of a wooden spoon, gently press down on the beans so some of the sauce rises to the surface.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs and cheese on top.

Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil, cover, and bake 45 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake 1 1/2 hours longer, until a golden crust has formed.

Remove the casserole lid and bake 10 minutes, or until the crust is deep golden brown.

I let the casserole sit for at least 45 minutes, without the lid, before serving.

Even though I used a large/wide Le Creuset for this casserole, it was so thick I wasn’t sure how to serve it up!

For the sake of this post, I cut out a square so the layers would show.

The casserole is quite stunning. And the flavors are just what you’d expect. Tomatoes, herbs, meat – a lovely, rustic meal.

And the meat is extremely tender.

Note: The recipe also included dried marjoram and winter savory — neither of which I had.

By Published On: February 20th, 201847 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

47 Comments

  1. Jodi February 20, 2018 at 7:53 AM - Reply

    Beautiful! My hubby is a pork lover – he would adore this!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 8:27 AM - Reply

      Oh, he would! It’s delightful!

  2. canelakitchen February 20, 2018 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    This looks soo good!!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 8:48 AM - Reply

      Thanks – it was very yummy and satisfying!

  3. anotherfoodieblogger February 20, 2018 at 9:23 AM - Reply

    Wow, it’s like a super deep-dish meat-lover’s dream! I love butter beans too. Great recipe, Mimi!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 3:48 PM - Reply

      Thanks! Yeah, definitely meaty! Not my typical meal, but it was delicious!

  4. Travel Gourmet February 20, 2018 at 9:24 AM - Reply

    This looks and sounds wonderful. I love Greek food.

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 3:47 PM - Reply

      It is wonderful isn’t it. Can be quite heavy, though.

  5. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso February 20, 2018 at 9:34 AM - Reply

    What a great find! This looks delicious. Perfect for a cold day. :)

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 3:47 PM - Reply

      Definitely. Very heavy, though, but mostly my husband ate it!

  6. Mary February 20, 2018 at 2:59 PM - Reply

    First of all I would love your book, then I would like a slice of casserole. It looks so luscious and it would probably feed this couple for a week!! By the end of the week it would have turned into a couple of other dishes as well, who knows. I will wait for Winter to try this – too hot at present. I’m glad this lovely book caught your eye on a cold day!!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 3:46 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much. Definitely too much for a summer’s eve!

  7. David February 20, 2018 at 3:44 PM - Reply

    I have never heard of this – how cool! Funny thing is that I’ve been looking for a different recipe to use a 2.75 pound pork shoulder I have in the freezer!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 3:45 PM - Reply

      Huh! That’ll do it!

  8. Kelly, RD February 20, 2018 at 3:53 PM - Reply

    I’ve never seen a dish like this before, so it’s right up my alley! Looks incredible and the presentation is perfect!

    • chef mimi February 20, 2018 at 4:15 PM - Reply

      Thank you! It’s quite hearty, but very good.

  9. Ron February 21, 2018 at 7:23 AM - Reply

    Oh my, this one will be very popular here! Pork, bacon, juniper berries and sausage, all mainstay foods in Sweden. This look fantastic and I can’t wait until we next have friends over so I can spring this one on them. Great post.

    • chef mimi February 21, 2018 at 7:37 AM - Reply

      Interesting! I didn’t know that. It’s a very hearty dish, for sure, but very flavorful.

  10. David @ Spiced February 21, 2018 at 7:34 AM - Reply

    This sounds incredible, Mimi! I love a good cassoulet, and this just sounds like a Greek twist…and I’m all about it. This is the kind of food that’s perfect for a chilly winter weekend!

    • chef mimi February 21, 2018 at 7:36 AM - Reply

      It’s very hearty. Mostly my husband ate it, and I had to freeze some! Fabulous flavors, though!

  11. kitchenriffs February 21, 2018 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    What an interesting dish! I’ve never had anything quite like it. Looks incredibly flavorful. Fun stuff — thanks.

    • chef mimi February 21, 2018 at 10:22 AM - Reply

      It’s serious comfort food, especially if you love meat! Very tasty, also.

  12. Michelle February 21, 2018 at 8:25 PM - Reply

    Impressive!

    • chef mimi February 23, 2018 at 7:47 PM - Reply

      Definitely.

  13. Jeff the Chef February 21, 2018 at 10:21 PM - Reply

    What an amazing looking dish! What’s NOT in there? It looks so amazing. Man, I could go for a bowl right now. I agree with you in that this looks like the perfect dish for a cold winter’s night.

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 10:41 AM - Reply

      I know. Hearty, heavy, and really tasty. I don’t think I’ve ever used that much dried oregano in anything!

  14. StefanGourmet February 22, 2018 at 12:59 AM - Reply

    Great with three types of pork. I think you handled the presentation very well.
    Did you take the pork shoulder out after browning? It is not clear but seems to make since given the long time in the oven.

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 10:41 AM - Reply

      Yes, browned the pork and that’s it. I hadn’t noticed that the recipe included browning the sausage as well, which I didn’t do. Maybe that step would have rendered some fat, but there was nothing greasy about the casserole.

  15. Josette@thebrookcook February 22, 2018 at 7:58 AM - Reply

    Now that is a casserole! I love those beans too. Perfect cold weather comfort food. :)

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 10:39 AM - Reply

      It certainly is. On the heavy side for me (I still eat salads throughout the winter months) but it was really good.

      • Josette@thebrookcook February 22, 2018 at 10:40 AM

        We eat salad every night with our comfort food! :)

  16. Susan (@savoringtime) February 22, 2018 at 9:00 AM - Reply

    Not your father’s pork and beans! Unique and delicious!

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 10:38 AM - Reply

      Definitely not!

  17. Our Growing Paynes February 22, 2018 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    Well now, this is definitely stick to your ribs food. Perfect for winter!

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 7:40 PM - Reply

      Definitely!

  18. Greg Henry February 22, 2018 at 5:22 PM - Reply

    I’ve been traveling. So I came here to catch up on your last three posts. Which make me feel as if my journey continues. First a romantic dinner in your own home, then a trip to Chinatown, and now Greece. Thanks for all the stamps to my passport! GREG

    • chef mimi February 22, 2018 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      aw, thanks Greg!

  19. Gerlinde February 22, 2018 at 7:23 PM - Reply

    Very interesting, it almost looks like a pâté. It’s a meat eaters paradise!

    • chef mimi February 23, 2018 at 7:46 PM - Reply

      Or a really coarse terrine! It’s really good.

  20. Bill February 23, 2018 at 11:35 AM - Reply

    How have I not heard of this before? I agree with the others, reminds me of a cassoulet somewhat. In fact, now I’m wondering what other accessory meats or sausages might make it in there as the need arises. I’m guessing it’s the crust that really makes it too. Thanks for sharing this, Mimi. I’m looking forward to it.

    • chef mimi February 23, 2018 at 4:23 PM - Reply

      Great! And you’re welcome! It’s definitely meaty, but I think it’s perfect for pork. Certainly chicken, or duck confit, or a mixture of not-too-greasy sausages would work, too. The tomato-based sauce is excellent and flavorful.

  21. Greedyeats -Neha February 23, 2018 at 12:28 PM - Reply

    This sounds like a super delicious casserole. So creative and much needed in this cold weather.

    • chef mimi February 23, 2018 at 4:24 PM - Reply

      Definitely!

  22. Tandy | Lavender and Lime February 26, 2018 at 2:28 AM - Reply

    That certainly does look hearty!

    • chef mimi February 26, 2018 at 7:27 AM - Reply

      Almost too hearty for me, but really flavorful!

  23. Marisa's Italian Kitchen March 7, 2018 at 10:18 PM - Reply

    So many wonderful flavours here and a very impressive dish….perfect for special occasions Mimi!

    • chef mimi March 8, 2018 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Marisa!

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