18 Aug2011

Corned Beef and Pork & Beans were my two de-lata (canned) saviors as a kid. If there was no one home, or the spectre of wickedly unpalatable food like ampalaya, or a typhoon had brought the city to a standstill, I always knew I could rely on these “instant” foods straight out of the pantry; just take out a can opener and heat up the contents, serve with rice, and ketchup on the side, please. Mrs. MM thinks I am weird for eating the two together (they NEVER did that in her house), yet she happily eats both of them on their own. At hotel breakfast buffets, I still take occasional comfort by taking a large spoonful or two of baked beans to have with my ham, eggs and toast. So it isn’t such a surprise that I would take my lechon/pork experiments down this road, and I must say, to wonderful results. The photos could speak for themselves (or the new camera(s) that took them) but let me ramble on…

Soak a package of white beans in generous amounts of water, overnight. Drain and place in a pot, cover with water by say three inches or so and bring to a gentle boil for about 1 hour, turn off the heat, and let them soak in the hot water for another hour or two. They should be soft at that point. Not mushy, and not hardish, but soft. If they are firmer than that, cook them a little longer. Despite what cookbooks often say (cook 15 minutes and turn off to soak), I find that most beans turn out too hard… maybe it’s the beans that reach the Philippines, they are so old and dry that they need extra soaking and cooking… :) And be forewarned, once you add salt to the ingredients in the pot, the beans will not soften much after that…

Next, I took out a heavy, enameled pot, added some olive oil, a chopped onion and several cloves of garlic, finely minced, and sauteed that for a minute or so. I added half a kilo of lechon meat (previously frozen but defrosted), bones and all (note to self — don’t be lazy, remove bones next time) and browned just slightly in the pan. I then added two small cans of plum tomatoes, some worcestershire sauce, some ketchup, some sherry vinegar, some maple syrup, two tablespoons of brown sugar (light molasses would work too), salt, pepper and powdered mustard. Stir this all up and let it simmer on top of the stove for about 45 minutes or so. Transfer either to a clay pot or (I did both) an open earthenware or cazuela type vessel. Cook in a 325F oven until thick and rich looking, say another hour or so, depending on oven, temperature and vessel used. Don’t overcook as it will dry out, but you don’t want them watery either. You could also add some fresh herbs to this, even some chopped bell peppers if you like. Do it to suit your personal taste… Don’t ask me for exact measurements, I completely “winged” this recipe.

This version was delicious. SO MUCH better than tinned Hunt’s Pork & Beans, my childhood favorite, and no preservatives or other strange ingredients or coloring. All natural, slow-cooked, lots of heart, and delicious! There was a LOT of lechon that was soft and shredding, but still flavorful. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with just any lechon, particularly if it is heavily flavored with MSG or mixes, that will leach into the overall dish. I like my beans tomato-ey and this certainly was that. And it will be better in a day or so, re-heated. Served either on its own, or with thick slices of toasted country bread, or even with rice on the side. More comfort food in the MM household.



  1. giancarlo says:

    Looks yummy.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 5:57 pm


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  3. Sharmaine says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe MM. Pork and Beans is one of my favorite de-lata too. :) Your blog inspires me a lot to do better with my cooking. I’m really glad to have found this site, way before Zubuchon came to being. :D And oh btw, it was nice to see you @ Zubuchon Restaurant in OneMango. Your dishes are heaven sent! :)


    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:14 pm

  4. joey says:

    Corned beef and pork & beans! Definitely rings of my childhood too (and C’s — he still insists we keep a tin of each in the pantry). What my dad used to do to take out a bit of the “delata” taste from the pork & beans is to saute onions and garlic in olive oil, add bacon, add the P&B, then some mustard. Still works in a pinch :) This version with the lechon though sound phenomenal, and as you can imagine, music to my lechon-loving heart!

    I have a question, sis you do anything special with your cazuela before using it for the first time?

    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:16 pm

  5. Clarissa says:

    I like beans but have never liked pork and beans or baked beans, or any sweetish food (including tocino, sweet longganisa – but loooove sweet desserts :P) I can imagine this to be chili con carne though and that would be great. Chili con lechon carne next time? .

    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:19 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    joey, there are all kinds of advice on cazuelas… I just put water in it and soaked it for several hours. Then stuck it in the oven and let it heat up gradually. After maybe 45 minutes to an hour, I turned off the oven and let it cool down a bit. Then threw the water out. You can use it like normal after that. But honestly, I am afraid to stick this pot directly on my stovetop burner. I feel safer when it is in an oven…

    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:20 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    Clarissa, do you mean chili with kidney beans and lechon? For some, chili is really only made with meat, no beans… :) Sharmaine, it was good to meet you as well, and thanks for being a sport about having to sit outside (that was you, right?)…

    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:22 pm

  8. millet says:

    MM, our party of 13 just had a most enjoyable Zubuchon lunch today, straight from the airport. We waddled our way back to the van after an hour. Now waiting for our connecting flight, all talk is on the fabulous chicharon & dinuguan. Apart from the lechon, the crispy pata drew raves as well. The doctor in our group made a pitstop at a drugstore to get some Lipitor!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 6:53 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    millet, are you kidding me, you flew to Cebu just for lunch?? That’s outrageous! I have been toying with the idea of offering Lipitor or Crestor like breath mints, except that the pills cost so much! :) I hope service was okay, I heard Mango had to turn away several parties and others insisted on waiting for a table. We ran out of lechons at both outlets this lunch time before 1:30pm or so… Thanks for giving the place a try!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 7:02 pm

  10. atbnorge says:

    I had not an inkling of your age, MM, but there were sprinklings of hints over some of your posts (that was before you revealed yourself in a picture)…Because you love James Bond so much, I thought you could be a bit younger than my father LOLZ because he loooooved Mr. Bond to bits…I do not know anyone in our generation who does not love pork and beans.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 7:20 pm

  11. Dinah says:

    Was finally able to go to Cebu last weekand just had to visit your Mango branch! Ordered the dinuguan and the monggo for take out and had to stop self from licking the containers! It was as good as everybody is saying. Love it!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 8:17 pm

  12. ConnieC says:

    For some of us, serve the beans with Beano on the side!

    In hubby’s cousin’s household, they have a little dish with 2 little pills beside the place setting whenever beans is on the menu.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 8:20 pm

  13. Chinky says:

    My husband’s family eats corned beef and p&b together. Our family eats it one at a time. Love p&b with a salted fish like danggit, scrambled eggs and rice!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 8:34 pm

  14. Trademarkthepig says:

    Same results in a dutch oven do you think? Must try this, thanks for sharing.
    Or you can always take Hannibal Lecter’s advice: “Fava beans and a nice chianti.”

    Aug 18, 2011 | 8:37 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Trademarkthepig, yes, this would definitely work in a dutch oven. ConnieC, you must be kidding, is Beano a gas suppresant? Dinah, so happy you enjoyed it… atbnorge, I am in my mid-forties… :)

    Aug 18, 2011 | 8:42 pm

  16. Footloose says:

    Aside from the obligatory Friday guinisang mungo, the seasonal KBL, the occasional kidney beans and chickpeas that find their way into our callos or pochero, the special dessert beans in syrup (either red or white kidney, garbanzos and adzuki)* and the adverse occasion pork and beans, Filipinos are not really a bean eating nation compared to Brazilians and other Latin Americans who regard life not worth living without their beans with every meal.

    *I get so much kick out of my non-Filipino friends reaction whenever I mention this. Tends to turn their heads and I imagine, their stomachs too, judging by the pained look on their faces.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 9:16 pm

  17. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Pork & Beans, Corned Beef, Fried Eggs, and Rice….aaaaaahhhhhhh. My growing up staple at our ranch in Mindanao.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  18. natie says:

    looks SO good!!!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:27 pm

  19. Footloose says:

    Not huevos rancheros, Artisan?

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:36 pm

  20. maddie says:

    MM, off topic. What camera did you use here if you don’t mind my asking?

    Pork & Beans and corned beef (delimondo – yum!) are still our “go to” de lata as well, though we tweak the pork & beans a little (sauteed in olive oil and garlic on very low fire, with vienna sausage slices and simmered for about 30 minutes).

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:37 pm

  21. ConnieC says:

    MM: As Footloose says the Filipinos are not normally a bean eating people, hence the natural lack of enzymes necessary to digest the complex carbs. Same holds true with milk with a lot of us Pinoys having lactose intolerance. For the elder of us, the digestive enzymes also decline with age. So we know why seniors like me are sometimes referred to as “old farts”….just physiologic.

    From the Beano website:

    Unlike other gas medicines, Beano contains a natural enzyme that can help prevent gas before it starts. Available in a convenient tablet or meltaway, Beano helps you digest the complex carbohydrates in many of your favorite healthy foods – not just beans. With Beano, you can comfortably enjoy nutritious foods that are an essential part of a healthy diet.”

    Happy eating with Beano!!!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:47 pm

  22. NYCMama says:

    Love pork and beans, and to this day on a lazy weekend, we’ll have a filipino breakfast with P&B, crispy fried spam, corned beef, eggs, fried rice. I remember a brand of P&B from childhoo, HUNTS. I still laugh remembering my dad say it was called HUNTS because you had to hunt for the pork!

    Aug 18, 2011 | 10:55 pm

  23. FestiveRebel says:

    Yes corned beef and P&B are essentials in our pantry as well. One savory dish using P&B I will never get tired of is “pata con beans”, bone with marrow, hocks with soft tendons, mounds of steamed rice and patis on the side, very gratifying.

    Aug 18, 2011 | 11:08 pm

  24. betty q. says:

    Ms. Connie C…Maraming Salmat for the info…that explains it then why FIL farts a lot! But then again, in their younger days, they eat a LOOOOOT of tofu…soybean? …does that count? Therefore, their digestive enzymes should be up and running and he should fart less!…Boy, am I in BIG< BIG TROUBLE if hubby reads this!!!!!!!

    Aug 19, 2011 | 12:23 am

  25. marilen says:

    Happy always to identify with your tastebuds, MM!! Always yummy and resourceful!!

    Aug 19, 2011 | 1:17 am

  26. natie says:

    ConnieC:Beano should pay you for the promo :-)…but seriously, I do keep a bottle of Dairy-Ease or something similar ( for me) for ice cream binges and bean casseroles..

    Aug 19, 2011 | 1:26 am

  27. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    @Footloose. In a way, that was our take on huevos rancheros. Rice replace the corn tortilla.

    Aug 19, 2011 | 8:14 am

  28. ihid says:

    Wow, Zubuchon will be offering canned products, para sa mga taga layo!

    Aug 19, 2011 | 12:44 pm

  29. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Pork and beans and more pork is good.

    Aug 19, 2011 | 1:23 pm

  30. Starshadow Rivaulx says:

    Oh, I do so love a good recipe for home-cooked pork and beans! Thank you so much for sharing this; my main disappointment with tinned pork and beans is that I so rarely find the pork that’s supposed to be in there!

    Am seriously considering giving some of your lechon-based recipes a try. Regrettably will have to substitute for the Zubuchon lechon (which is, no lie, on my bucket list/list of good reasons to visit Cebu) so will not brag overmuch about the results. But until you mentioned it, it never really occurred to me what other delicious things could be done with lechon!

    Aug 19, 2011 | 2:25 pm

  31. kurzhaar says:

    Leach, not leech. :)

    As for the home-cooked version being better than tinned…that can’t be a surprise, can it? Although some canned beans are pretty good in lieu of cooking up dried beans. And yes, the length of time it takes to cook beans increases as the beans get old.

    Personally I can’t abide canned corned beef–we don’t eat much beef in our household but do occasionally make our own corned beef, which is so easy and so much better that there is no excuse to buy the commercial stuff (much less the preservative-stuffed food-like substance that comes in tin cans). The marinated beef can be frozen (uncooked), so you can make up a batch and freeze what you don’t cook immediately.

    Aug 20, 2011 | 12:09 am

  32. wil-b says:

    Homemade pork and beans\ baked beans is superb! I usually use diff kinds of sausages and leftover salami and some pork. . . but for sure lechon would do veryyy well. . . :) by the way Marketman, I just had Zubuchon a few days ago, a friend brought it from Cebu, and I asked him to get no other lechon but Zubuchon. . . apparantly the people around the city know Zubuchon quite well. . .FAMOUS huh :D and ofcourse even if i got a day old lechon i would say it’s REALLY REALLY GOOOD. . . I can’t wait to have Zubuchon again!!!!! :D

    Aug 20, 2011 | 12:30 am

  33. jack says:

    looks delicious! i like pork and beans too :)

    Aug 20, 2011 | 3:24 pm

  34. Marketman says:

    kurzhaar, yes, leach, thanks for catching that. As for canned corned beef, its a cultural thing that goes back to times when we often had blackouts from storms and what not, and the go-to food was canned. I love real corned beef too, but have a soft spot for the highly processed, shredded canned stuff… :)

    Aug 20, 2011 | 4:30 pm

  35. Footloose says:

    Tinned corned beef started out like chunks of real corned beef that you could actually make a dry crisp corned beef hash out of. Then it entered a transitional mode where you could separate the sinews and gristle from the chunks of beef. It stayed that way for quite sometime until it finally shifted to the texture that we now get, uniform, homogenized puréed beef. A product that has only a nominal resemblance to real corned beef and only slightly firmer than potted beef spread.

    I recently picked up three Hereford tins from the local Loblaws because I noticed they were produced in Brazil (the Libby’s corned beef of old sometimes came from Uruguay). I sautéed it with onions and flavored it with tarragon. Really great for spreading on crisp flat bread.

    Aug 21, 2011 | 3:10 am

  36. satomi says:

    I love my spam/corned beef with pork & beans on the side and poached eggs. yumm! MM I use canned Cannellini beans (creamy & nutty) in my homemade pork & beans. Mas madali hehe

    Aug 24, 2011 | 12:24 am

  37. Gab says:

    This post reminded me of my dad’s homemade version of pork and beans. He uses ham hock in his recipe.

    Aug 26, 2011 | 6:37 pm


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