Pork lends itself to sweet sauces with a touch of tartness which counteract the rich flavour of the meat. Pork and honey go particularly well together. Try to buy Somerset or other regional honey which has a strong flavour and scent which recalls the flowers on which the bees have feasted.
Serves 4 - 6
450 g (1 lb) lean belly pork, rinded, boned and cut into chunky cubes
225 g (8 oz) dried black-eye or haricot beans, soaked overnight in cold water
15 ml (1 tbsp) clear honey
568 ml (1 pint) chicken stock
300 ml (1/2 pint) apple juice
1 medium onion, skinned and stuck with a few whole cloves
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed
2 celery sticks, sliced
30 ml (2 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato puree
salt and pepper
1. Cook the pork in a flameproof casserole over a brisk heat until the fat runs.
2. Drain the beans and add to the pork with the honey, stock, apple juice, onion and bouquet garni. Slowly bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are just becoming tender.
3. Add the carrots, leeks and celery to the casserole with the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree, season to taste.
4. Continue simmering for a further 15 - 30 minutes or until the beans are really tender.
5. Discard the bouquet garni before serving. Accompany with crusty bread.