Saturday, January 24, 2015

Winter Lager, Chili Spiced Pork Loin, Beans and Kale

All I can say is, this was a very satisfying, chili and winter lager inspired meal. Even though there are three different components to this meal, the ingredients and prep done for completing one dish aids in the others.

The combination of winter lager, chili peppers, and maple syrup make a great base for the beans. I suppose you can also add tomatoes and mustard, but I left these out. I used the lager and peppers as poaching liquid for both the pork and kale which added both flavor and kick.

This is one recipe where you'll have to make best judgment on quantities of ingredients and cooking times. Key to the beans are their texture and thickness of the sauce, so I suggest checking it every five minutes once you are thirty minutes into the simmer. As for the pork, let a good thermometer do the work.


  • 3-4 lb pork loin
  • Mix of dried chili peppers, chili pepper powder, cumin seeds, coriander, garlic powder, salt.
  • Bunch of kale
  • Half a pound of dry pinto beans
  • Onion and garlic chopped
  • 3-4 bottles of Winter Lager (for cooking - more to drink!)
  • Ketchup
  • Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of butter and flour for gravy

Prep Work

First, start by getting the chili peppers ready by toasting and then soaking them for thirty minutes in hot water. Reserve the liquid which will be used later.

Second, create a spice rub of ground cumin, coriander, several ground chili peppers, garlic powder and salt, save a couple of tablespoons, and rub the rest on the meat. Allow this to sit wrapped in the fridge for at least six hours.

Finally, boil the beans for three minutes and then let them sit covered in the hot water for an hour. Drain the beans and let them sit at room temperature.

I did all of this in the morning and finished the meal in the afternoon.


Start with the beans. In a sauce pan, toast some cumin and then fry with onion and lots of garlic. Add in any remaining spice mixture from the pork and toss with the onions. Add beer, ketchup, maple syrup, and chili water to the pot until the beans are covered. Bring to a light boil and simmer for an hour. Beans should still have a bite and sauce should be thick.

To make the kale, toast more cumin seeds in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and bring to temperature, then add chopped kale. Toss until leaves begin to welt, then add a mix of chili water and winter lager until the bottom of the pan has liquid. Cover and steam at low heat for ten minutes. Plate the kale in a bowl and cover.

Preheat the oven onto 375. Heat the frying pan again with oil. Sear the pork on all sides 2-3 minutes. Add a mixture of beer and wine to the pan to fill the bottom and move the pan into the oven. Cook for about 30-40 minutes adding more liquid as needed. Cook until the pork's center reads 145F.

Remove the pork from the pan and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. If you have leftover juice in the pan, make a gravy by heating it and stirring in butter and flour.

For Technologists

This recipe requires balancing flavor and some planning so that you can complete them with minimal effort and mess. For those in IT, you know that "alignment" and balance between IT and Business responsibilities is difficult to achieve. In data science, there are additional challenges. My recent post on Balancing an Agile Data Organization speaks to efforts to align business and IT responsibilities to establish an agile data driven organization.


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