Chef John's Pork and Beans and Greens


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast, cut into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 (14 ounce) jar cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1large bunch of fully grown arugula leaves
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).


  • Step 2

    Grind salt, black pepper, cumin, rosemary, fennel, red pepper flakes, and oregano to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Add 2 cloves garlic and mash to a paste. Mix in brown sugar, wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon olive oil; stir until paste is thoroughly combined.

  • Step 3

    Place pork chunks into a large roasting pan and spoon paste over meat; toss until meat coated.

  • Step 4

    Bake pork in the preheated oven for 1 hour; flip pork chunks and continue cooking until outside of meat has a browned crust, about 30 more minutes. Set aside and keep warm.

  • Step 5

    Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a skillet, place over medium heat, and add 2 sliced cloves of garlic; cook until garlic begins to sizzle, 1 minute. Stir beans into skillet and season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste; cook and stir until beans are heated through and coated with oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in lemon juice and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Mix arugula leaves into bean mixture and cook just until leaves are bright green, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and let mixture stand to allow arugula to wilt, about 1 more minute.

  • Step 6

    Place wilted arugula into the bottom of a serving bowl and top with beans and a chunk of caramelized pork; drizzle juices over meat to serve.

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