Mrs Bailey’s Pork with Lima Beans
Mars is a melting-pot by any definition, and the developing Martian culture is as much mix-and-match as the population. Mrs Bailey never hesitates to take ingredients from different cuisines and use them together, in pursuit of a well-rounded dish.
This particular melange uses Indian spices, Chinese vinegar, Lima beans from, um, Lima, and good English pork, which is the meat most willing to take on flavours from all over and bring them all together into an unctuous whole.
250g dried lima beans
tablespoon cumin seeds
tablespoon coriander seeds
dried red chillies to taste
750g cubed pork (from the shoulder or the loin, depending on your preference fatty-wise)
one onion, sliced
tablespoon crushed garlic
tablespoon chopped/grated ginger
three tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (or use balsamic)
teaspoon muscovado sugar
400g tin of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, or nearest equivalent
Put the beans into a large pot, cover with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Boil hard for five minutes, then simmer until tender.
Meanwhile, put the cumin and coriander seeds into a spice grinder with the dried chillies and grind to a powder (Mrs B is all mortar-and-pestle, but then Mrs Bailey has kitchenmaids to use for things like this. Me, I use a Vitamix). Set aside.
When the beans are cooked, drain them (saving the bean liquor) and use the same pan to heat a glug of vegetable oil. Fry the sliced onion for a few minutes, then add the ginger and garlic. Cook that off for a minute, then add the spices you ground and the turmeric. Cook for a minute, then add the pork, the vinegar, the sugar and the tomatoes. Salt to taste.
Add as much of the bean liquor as you need to just cover the meat and simmer uncovered until tender, topping up the liquid if it starts to get dry; at the end the sauce should be thick and gravy-like, rather than thin and soupy.
Once the pork is done, add the cooked lima beans, simmer for a few minutes more and serve with rice, flatbreads or Indian-spiced fried potatoes, any relevant vegetable (Mrs Bailey’s cabbage chorchori is perfect) and pickles, chutneys, yoghurt etc.