Tuscany Style Pork with Pinto Beans
Here's a recipe that almost only requires waiting! Sounds good, no? And it also tastes very nice.
Again, I have to stress that the secret lies in high quality ingredients, in this case especially the quality of the salt and the pepper. You don't want to use any pre-ground powdery pepper from a plastic container with little holes on top.
What you want to use are whole pepper corns (black or a combination of black, red and green corns), then coarsely ground with a mortar.
I prefer that way even over using a good pepper mill because the mill will still grind the corns pretty fine and i like them to stay more coarse.
for 2 people (with leftovers for cold-cuts the next day):
Pork center-cut in one piece (about 4 ribs)
handful of fresh rosemary, finely cut
handful of fresh sage leaves, finely cut
freshly ground salt and pepper (see comments above)
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and cut
1 cup dried pinto beans, washed and rinsed
10 whole sage leaves
a total of about 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the filling of the pork, place finely cut sage, rosemary, garlic cloves, salt and pepper into a bowl and put aside.
Also turn on your oven and pre-heat it to 475 F.
Using a wooden spoon, dig a hole through the center of the whole piece of pork. Twist and turn the spoon, dig again, making a bigger hole. Really make that hole big enough so you can generously stuff the filling inside.
Starting with small amounts, using your fingers, stuff the filling inside the pork. Begin from one side, add more from the other side. Go back and forth. Make sure you press the filling all way into the center of the pork as well. Really stuff it! It's fun!
Rub some olive oil all around the pork and season it well on the outside with freshly ground salt and pepper. Be generous with your seasoning! It will create a nicely browned, somewhat salty and peppery crust in the oven.
Put the pork bone-side down into the pre-heated oven. Set your alarm clock to 30 minutes. If you don't have a kitchen timer, i'm sure you have a cell phone ;-) After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 F. and give it another hour in the oven. If you have a food thermometer to measure the temperature of the meat, stick it in there and it should read about 160 F. (This should really be the case after that one hour at 350 F.)
In the meantime, put the washed pinto beans into a medium size pot, cover with water and add about 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Also add the sage leaves. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce the temperature to simmer. Keep the beans simmering at low temperature.
The overall simmering time depends a bit on how you like your beans. I like them to be still somewhat crispy (not like at your average school cafeteria where they're being boiled over night it seems!). I simmered them for about 30 minutes. Just keep on trying them until you like the texture, i guess all way up to one hour.
Most likely, your beans will be done before the pork. Just turn off the heat if that's the case and heat them up again 5 minutes before your pork is ready. Drain the beans, put them back into the pan and add the rest of the olive oil (about 1/4 cup), seasing with salt and pepper to taste, mix well and serve together with a pork rib.