Puerto Rican Pork and Beans

Episode 114: Family Favorites
Recipe: Puerto Rican Pork and Beans

My wife, Gloria, often prepares this dinner when we have guests. A satisfying one-dish meal, it can be cooked ahead and refrigerated or frozen, and it is even better reheated.

Buy the meatiest, leanest country-style spareribs you can find. The cilantro stems are cooked with the beans to give them an unusual and definitive flavor, and then the leaves are added at the end. If you don’t like the taste of cilantro, you can omit it.

Puerto Rican Pork and Beans

Serves 4

Serve with boiled rice and Tabasco.

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 country-style pork loin spareribs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups cold water
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium onions (about 10 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (about 1 tablespoons)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped (about 2 teaspoons), or more if you like
2 teaspoons salt
I pound dried red kidney beans, picked over and washed
1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves chopped separately (1/3 cup chopped stems, 3 tablespoons chopped leaves)
Tabasco sauce

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan. When it is hot, add the pork in one layer and brown over high heat for about 15 minutes, turning it occasionally, until it is brown on all sides.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro leaves and Tabasco. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender and the beans soft.

Divide among four individual plates, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, and serve with Tabasco.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


  • Carol Haroldson

    I am now an official huge fan of Pepin. I cannot wait to try the PR pork & beans
    and the pork loin recipe. Yum.

  • http://none richard

    The first time i prepared this, I used to much cilantro and it was awful. But the second time I eliminated the cilantro…..WHAT A GREAT DISH It is now going to be a family favorite.(Cilantro kinda of acts like celery, it takes over all flavors)

  • oldannthway

    I think the cilantro is essential to this dish, made it several times, just sayin’.

    • Ericn1300

      some of us can’t eat cilantro

  • sharon

    Great dish I’ve made it many times now. I add more vegetables in the form of green and red peppers and fresh oregano from the garden. I serve it with rice or and Nann for the starch. It is a delicious dish and I would give it 5 stars if I knew how to work the star thing

  • Peter Van Lone

    what a fantastic show – I completely love his interaction with his daughter – they are both so lucky, Completely fun to see! (oh, and yep I gotta try this dish!) :-)

  • Tyson

    Im making it tomorrow… Im so excited, but I did see him add the cilantro stems early in the process? Any feedback? I understand the fInal cilantro touch but confused about the stems…

    • Marilyn Hayward

      the stems add a ton of flavor and they cook down so you don’t even notice them.

  • khazmir

    The dish looks delicious. Sounds more red beans and rice than pork and beans to me though. Either way, I am excited about giving it a try.

  • http://flyingdingo.com/ Rick Roberts

    This one is a keeper. I have a big pot cooking right now. Drink red wine and munch on olives as you cook this meal. And put on some Latin music.