Country Style Pork & Barley Stew

Recipe by Diana 2
READY IN: 7hrs 20mins
SERVES: 10-12
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • The previous night, soak the black beans in a bowl of water. This will allow them to expand in preparation for cooking. In the morning, drain and rinse. Set aside.
  • Place bacon in a frying pan on Medium/High heat. Cook until crispy. (You might want to cook more than the specified amount because you know you're going to be nibbling.) Remove to paper towels to drain.
  • Cut pork into 1-1/2" chunks. Place them in a bag with the flour, and shake to coat. Place them in the frying pan with the hot bacon drippings, and brown. Remove to the paper towels to drain.
  • Cut each onion into 8 chunks. Add to the hot drippings and flour residue and stir for about a minute. (You should still be on the Medium/High setting) Add the balsamic vinegar and stir. This will deglaze the pan while you are softening the onions. It should be smelling pretty good in your kitchen right about now!
  • Pour this into the crockpot (brown bits and all) and add the pork and the bacon, which you have broken up into several pieces.
  • Add in the beans, barley, celery, carrots, broccoli, garlic, broth concentrate and water. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 7 - 8 hours.
  • After 6 or 7 hours, check the beans. They should be firm but not hard. If they are still hard, replace the lid and check again in another hour. When they are cooked -- add in the salt, pepper and pasta. Give it a good stir, then replace the lid, cooking for another hour or until the pasta is done to your likeness.
  • Enjoy!
  • IMPORTANT: Salt prohibits the beans from cooking properly. Do Not add the salt before the beans are done. Although there is salt in the broth concentrate, it isn't enough to affect the cooking process.
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