Braised Green Beans With Pork and Soffrito

A perfect Latin American inspired side dish.

Serves six

Pork and Tomato Soffrito

  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
  • 8 ounces boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and ground in a meat grinder or finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 cup water

Green Beans

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil


To make the soffrito, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes, or until tender. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about two minutes longer, or until the tomato paste changes from bright red to brick red.

Add the pork, adjust the heat to low, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, or until the pork has rendered most of its fat and is cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Stir in the water and continue to simmer for about five minutes more, or until the mixture is nearly dry. You should have about 1 1⁄2 cups soffrito.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the green beans and blanch for about five minutes, or until nearly tender. Drain well and lay out the beans on a towel-lined baking sheet. Taste a bean. If it’s underseasoned, add more salt to the beans.

Give the pot you used for cooking the beans a quick rinse and return it to the stove. Add the olive oil and warm over medium heat. Stir in the soffrito and cook for about three minutes, or until it’s sizzling. Stir in the beans, add a splash of water, adjust the heat to medium-low, and simmer the beans for about six minutes, or until they are soft and have absorbed the flavor of the soffrito. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

Transfer the beans to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Recipe excerpted from A16: Food + Wine by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren (Ten Speed Press, 2008).

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