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~Pork Chop & Baked Bean Casserole - Pork & Beans~

IMG_9993When my mom announced she was making pork and beans for dinner, she didn't mean she was opening a can of pork and beans -- in a way, kinda sorta she was, but, there was a bit more to it. It meant she had asked Vince, the butcher at The Valley Meat Market, to slice 8, 1/2"-3/4"-thick bone-in pork loin chops, plus a pound of bacon, so she could make her recipe for pork chop and homemade baked bean casserole.  She started by seasoning and browning the chops in a skillet -- that took about 15 minutes.  Next, she'd mix the ingredients for the beans together (all pantry staples) in a bowl -- that took about 15 minutes.  Last, she'd sandwich the chops between two layers of the bean mixture, cover the casserole with foil, then, she baked it for 1 1/2 hours.  

The house smelled wonderful & dinner was marvelous.

IMG_9912For the pork chops:

8  1/2"-3/4"-thick bone-in pork loin chops

garlic powder

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend or black pepper

IMG_9915~ Step 1. Place the pork chops on a flat surface and season their tops with a generous sprinkling of garlic powder, sea salt and peppercorn blend.

IMG_9920 IMG_9920 IMG_9920 IMG_9920 IMG_9920~Step 2.  In a large 12"-14" skillet heat 3-4 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil over medium- medium-high heat.  Working in two batches, place 4-5 pork chops, seasoned sides down, in the oil.  Season the unseasoned tops of the chops with garlic powder, sea salt and peppercorn blend.  Sauté/fry chops until light golden on both sides, turning only once, about 5-6 minutes per side.  Transfer to and stack chops on a large plate and set aside.  

IMG_9939For mom's bacon-lovers bacon-y baked beans:

1  40-ounce can butter beans (limas), well-drained

2  16-ounce cans pork & beans, your favorite brand, undrained

1  pound, thick-sliced bacon

1  cup diced yellow or sweet onion

1  cup ketchup

4  tablespoons pure maple syrup

6  tablespoons yellow mustard

3/4-1  teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper

IMG_9702 IMG_9702~ Step 1. Place bacon, slightly overlapping is fine, in an 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan (the kind with the corrugated bottom).  Roast on center rack of 375º oven, 20-25 minutes, or until bacon is golden, crispy and desired degree of doneness is reached, stopping to flip the slices over, with a long-handled bacon fork, half-way through process.  Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and cool, about 15 minutes.  When cool enough to handle with hands, chop into bite-sized pieces.

IMG_9944 IMG_9944 IMG_9944 IMG_9944~Step 2. In a large bowl, place the butter beans, baked beans, chopped bacon and diced onions. Using a large rubber spatula, toss ingredients together.  Add the ketchup, maple syrup, mustard and black pepper.  Using a large rubber spatula, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients.  

IMG_9958 IMG_9958 IMG_9958 IMG_9958 IMG_9970 IMG_9970~Step 3.  Transfer about 2/3 of the bean mixture to casserole, loosely spreading it evenly in the bottom -- precise measurements are important. Arrange pork chops atop the bean layer, overlapping them slightly.  Spoon remaining bean mixture on and around chops, allowing the "bone-in" parts of the chops to remain exposed. Cover with foil.  Bake on center rack of 325º oven, 1 hour.  Beans will be bubbling.  Uncover and continue to bake at 325º, 20-30 additional minutes, until golden and caramelized.  Remove from oven and allow to rest, about 10 minutes, prior to serving hot with sweet corn in some form.

Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall, mom always served this dish w/or atop some form of sweet corn:

IMG_9982Fork-tender pork chops sandwiched between two layers of tangy, saucy baked beans.  Eat & enjoy:

IMG_9996Pork Chops & Baked Bean Casserole -- Pork & Beans:  Recipe yields 8 hearty main-dish servings.

Special Equipment List: 12"-14" skillet; 14" x 9" x 2"/4.8-quart casserole; 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan w/corrugated bottom (or skillet) for preparing bacon; cutting board; chef's knife; very large mixing bowl; rubber spatula;

6a0120a8551282970b01a73e0c7a6f970dCook's Note: Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, in season, out of season, fresh, frozen, on the cob, off the cob, steamed, simmered, baked, roasted, grilled or microwaved, sweet corn in any form is the perfect side-dish to baked beans.  Like peanut butter and jelly, these two just go hand-in-hand together. My Midwestern-style ~ Rich & Creamy Baked Sweet Corn Casserole ~ is one of many recipes for sweet corn you'll find here on my Kitchen Encounters blog.  Give it a try!

"We are all in the food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020


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