99. Belly of pork and beans


450g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
1 large onion
6-8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 celery heart, chopped
900g pork belly
2 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes
200ml passata
3 fresh bay leaves
bouquet garni
salt and fresh ground black pepper


1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse. Transfer them to a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil and boil furiously for 10 minutes.

2. Reduce the heat and cook for 50 minutes. Strain, reserving the water. The beans should be slightly undercooked.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and celery, until softened and translucent.

4. Cut the pork into 2.5cm pieces and add them to the pan, skin side down. Cook until browned. Turn and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

5. Stir in the tomatoes and passata.

6. Add the bouquet garni and all but around 50g of the beans.

7. Place the remaining beans in a food processor and blitz to a puree. Stir the puree into the sauce to thicken it. Add a little of the liquor in which the beans cooked to ensure the beans are covered. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer, cover tightly with a lid and cook for 1 ½-2 hours, until the meat is tender and the beans are cooked.

8. Sprinkle with flat-leaf parsley and serve with lashings of mashed potato to soak up the juices.