Another Crockpot Recipe: Trashy Smoky Pork and Beans
I flatter myself that if you have ever read this blog before, you would note that I do not use much in the way of pre-prepared convenience foods (think, flavour packets, condensed soups, and the like). Once exception was earlier this month, when I used some taco seasoning and taco sauce leftover from a packet of ‘stand n’ stuff‘ burrito bowls to make a crockpot Taco Filling (you can find that post and recipe here). I occasionally buy these burrito bowls as a treat because although they aren’t strictly necessary (I mostly make burrito bowls in a…wait for it…bowl), my kids get a kick out of these little funky bowls made out of tortillas. They aren’t unhealthy, deep fried, or covered in junkola. They are just nifty little bowls made out of plain tortillas.
Anyways, disturbingly, sometimes it is cheaper to buy them as a meal kit, with added ‘flavour sachets’ and other stuff, than it is to just buy the burrito bowls themselves. This leaves me with stuff I don’t usually use but don’t want to just throw out (because although I wouldn’t normally cook with this stuff, I also hate food waste). Enter this recipe: Trashy Smoky Pork and Beans, made with leftover frozen roast pork from a family dinner a few weeks ago, frozen pre-cooked black-eyed beans (my second-favourite bean), a sachet of Old El Paso Smoky Taco Seasoning (don’t know what makes it ‘smoky’, don’t want to know), chipotle-style hot sauce, and the not so secret ingredient that brings it all together and gives this recipe its ‘trashy’ moniker: coke.
I had some leftover coke zero from the weekend, and decided to use it in this dish. Coke has excellent tenderising properties and goes really well with pork. I have used coke to cook with before: I have even cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot with a can of coke poured over it and it turned out really well. It does not have to be the sugary kind; I usually buy diet coke or coke zero, as I prefer the taste (what?? yep – true).* The real addition that coke makes when cooking a dish like this is the acid (what that does to meat is what it does to yer teef – eep!) and the flavour, not the sugar.
This is super easy and quite tasty. If I were to make it again, I would replace the Taco Seasoning Mix with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, combined with some garlic and salt, and a little cornflour. To get the smokiness I would add some extra chipotle hot sauce, but to be honest I would survive if it did not have the same ‘Smoke’ flavour that was offered by the Taco Seasoning I used and is I am sure created by Flavour Technicians in lab coats.
However as this blog is a faithful representation of our 365 days of cheap eats, I have to tell the truth: this is the dish I made, in all its trashy glory.
1.5 cups roast pork, chopped*** (free)
1.5 cups cooked black-eyed beans – $1
1 sachet Old El Paso Smokey Taco Seasoning – free
1.5 cups flat Coke Zero (about 1 375 ml can) – 50 cents
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle-style Tabasco sauce – 5 cents
1 packet Old El Paso Burrito Bowls – $2.54
In your crockpot, combine all ingredients and mix well.
Turn crockpot on low and cook for about five hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve in tacos or burrito bowls.
Top the burrito bowls with salad, cheese, salsa and sour cream.
Total cost: $4.09
Per person (serves 4): $1.02
*We only drink soft drinks occasionally, so I am sticking by this decision**
**The research on artificial sweeteners and weight gain is for people that drink more than two artificially sweetened soft drinks per day. I’d be lucky to drink that many per month.
***See my earlier explanations about leveraging. As I had already cooked a pork roast in week 30, this was already paid for in that week, making all leftovers from this dish ‘free’ for budgeting purposes.