Frijoles con Chicharron o Garra (Bean Stew with Pork Belly)

by Erica Dinho on March 24, 2010

I’ve been meaning to tell you about my love for anything involving beans. Actually maybe I have told you that before ;-) Anyway, growing up, my mother prepared Frijoles con Chicharron (Bean Stew with Pork Belly) once a week, which made my siblings and I very happy. Happy because it was food that involved beans and happy because it was deliciously rich and comforting and always cooked to perfection. She served them with white rice and avocado on the side. Simple and wonderful in every way. This dish is also popular in the Andean zone of Colombia.

Sometimes I like to serve this stew as a casual weekday meal, just as we used to eat it at home when I was a girl. And at other times, I prefer to serve it as part of the Bandeja Paisa.

Buen Provecho!

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Ingredients

(6-8 servings)

  • 1 pound dried roman or pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 13 cups water, plus more as desired
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green plantain, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon color, achiote or sazon goya with azafran

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, garlic, scallions and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add the pork belly, stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, carrots, cumin, color and water. Bring to a boil. Then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium- low and cook for about 1 hour.

Add the plantains and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the beans are cooked. (Add additional water, as necessary.)Add salt and pepper, stir and serve.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anncoo March 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM

A delicious meal and looks like a Chinese dish.

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2 ruth March 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM

They make something very similar in Portugal and yours sounds just as delicious. Do you think if I omit the plantain it would still turn out just as good? Its a hard vegetable to come by in Italy you see.

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3 Erica March 24, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Ruth- You can use potatoes.

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4 Sarah Naveen March 24, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Beautiful picture..looks so yummy!!

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5 Sandra G March 24, 2010 at 4:13 PM

This looks so delicious, love white rice and avocado with beans, so this is a perfect recipe for me, can’t wait to make this!

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6 grace March 24, 2010 at 6:15 PM

i share your love for beans, erica. i try to find some way to consume them at every meal. this is an awesome stew–easy on the eyes and tastebuds, no doubt!

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7 Anonymous March 24, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Que plato de cuchara más rico!
Esta diciendo “Cómeme”
Un beso

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8 Joan Nova March 24, 2010 at 7:00 PM

Lots of good things going into that pot.

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9 MaryMoh March 24, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Such a fabulous stew. I love all those big bean. Would be awesome with rice. I like it.

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10 Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes March 24, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I’ve been enjoying beans lately! This is a great recipe for me! So healthy and flavorful!

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11 Kim March 24, 2010 at 11:06 PM

I love beans and crave them on a regular basis:D

This stew looks like it would definitely satisfy my bean cravings.

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12 Erica March 24, 2010 at 11:16 PM

Thank you all!

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13 Sophie March 25, 2010 at 3:17 AM

Hello, Erica!!

What a tasty & fab bean dish! I love beans! And with pork belly! Yummm,…
MMMMM,..

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14 Joanne March 25, 2010 at 7:35 AM

I absolutely adore beans as well..and when you pair them with pork belly…you’ve got two of my favorite protein sources out there in one dish! This definitely looks like comfort food to me!

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15 norma March 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM

It is a great dish. Love beans and pork.

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16 Cynthia March 25, 2010 at 2:05 PM

Your food always brings me such comfort. I love everything you make!

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17 Erica March 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Thank you guys!

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18 Faith March 25, 2010 at 7:21 PM

What a healthy, delicioius stew! I love the plantian and carrots in it for a little sweetness!

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19 tasteofbeirut March 25, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Erica
This is a lovely and comforting meal! It is the first time I see plantains not fried, just added to a stew; good to know.

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20 Chef E March 26, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Nice to see someone out there likes pinto beans (as I grew up on them, so my favs)!

I just ate something like this last night, but with potatoes and pintos, and a Mexican brisket I make! I make mine soupy too, love it! Yours makes me wish I had another serving, so I will have to try a pork version!

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21 MARIA March 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

WHAT’S PORK BELLY? WHAT OTHER NAME THIS MEAT HAS IN THE SUPERMARKET? IN MEXICO WE USE BACON OR REAL CHICARRONES, PORK SKIN.

THAT LOOKS YUMMY!!!

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22 Erica March 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Maria- Pork belly is pork skin with meat( Non smoke bacon “Tocino”). I hope this helps.

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23 OysterCulture March 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Bean stew with pork belly sounds like pure comfort food if you ask me. Another recipe that is adding to my ever growing list from you

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24 Anonymous April 4, 2010 at 8:42 AM

This dish was fantastic. I made it on friday for my family and we loved it.

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25 Jorge April 10, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Erica, i am from Colombia live in Alaska i try the chicharron c=with beans last monday and was juist out of this world, thanks for your recipies, living so far from home your recipies help me feel like i am there.
Thanks again, keep the good work
Jorge

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26 Johanna February 22, 2011 at 5:15 PM

My fiancee just had this at a restaurant in Queens, NY and it reminded him of his Colombia…Thanks for the recipe I will try to recreate it.

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27 Sonia February 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I am so excited to try this!

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