Pork Neck and Bean Stew

Hearty winter soup

Pork neck bones are meaty, and when braised, the meat is moist, tender, and tasty. This is a dish to eat with good friends and family, as you have to use your fingers and nibble on the bones to really enjoy them. This inexpensive stew gets even better when reheated. It also freezes well. --Jacques Pépin
12 ounces (about 2 cups) dried Great Northern beans
3 pounds pork neck bones
4 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock, or 1 chicken bouillon cube plus 4.5 cups cold water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 fresh thyme sprigs
2 cups 1-inch sliced cleaned leek, both green and white parts
2 cups 1-inch diced onions
2 cups 1-inch diced tomatoes
1 cup 1-inch diced carrots
1/2 cup 1-inch diced celery
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and optional thyme sprig
Tabasco sauce, for serving +
1 Sort through the beans and discard any damaged beans or pebbles. Rinse the beans under cold running water and put them in a large pot.

2 Add the neck bones, stock or bouillon cube and water, salt, and thyme and bring to a boil, which will take 12 to 15 minutes. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 1 hour. (Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.)

3 When the neck bones and beans have cooked for an hour, add the remaining ingredients except the parsley and Tabasco sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and boil very gently for 1 hour longer. If the liquid reduces too much and the beans begin to look dry, add 1/2 cup water or so. The beans should be tender and moist, with some liquid remaining.

4 Serve in bowls, sprinkled with the parsley and thyme. Pass Tabasco sauce for adding.

servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 6 Servings

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