What Type Of Bean Is Used In Pork And Beans? The Key Facts

Pork and beans is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. But have you ever wondered what type of bean is used in this beloved recipe?

From navy beans to pinto beans, there are many variations out there. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of beans used in pork and beans, as well as some tips for making your own homemade version.

So grab a cup of coffee and get ready to learn all about this delicious and comforting dish.

What Type Of Bean Is Used In Pork And Beans?

The most commonly used bean in pork and beans is the navy bean, also known as the white pea bean. These small, oval-shaped beans have a mild flavor and a creamy texture that pairs well with the smoky and savory flavors of the dish.

However, other types of beans can also be used in pork and beans, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, and cannellini beans. Each type of bean has its own unique flavor and texture, so feel free to experiment and find your favorite.

When using canned beans for your pork and beans recipe, be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the dish. This will help remove any excess salt or preservatives that may be present in the can.

The History Of Pork And Beans

The history of pork and beans is a bit murky, with conflicting stories about its origins. One story suggests that commercially canned pork and beans were first sold in the 1880s, but did not become popular until the H.J. Heinz Company started mass production of tinned baked beans in 1895. Another story claims that Indianapolis grocer Gilbert Van Camp discovered his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce, which led him to open up a canning company and create Van Camp’s Pork and Beans.

Yet another source contradicts these stories, stating that in 1894 an Indianapolis jobber brought a load of canned baked beans to the Van Camp plant to have them reprocessed. At lunchtime, Frank Van Camp, the founder’s son, opened a can from the jobbing house to eat with his lunch. The flavor of the beans was flat, so to make them more palatable he added some Van Camps’ ketchup, originating “Van Camp’s Pork and Beans with Tomato Sauce.”

Regardless of its origins, pork and beans has become an American classic and a staple in many households. While the exact recipe may vary, the dish typically includes navy beans or other types of beans cooked with pork and a variety of seasonings. Today, commercial canned pork and beans remain popular, with companies such as Campbell Soup Company selling over 100 million cans per year. However, there has been controversy over the use of pork fat instead of lean pork in these products, with some pork producers lobbying for a change. Despite this, manufacturers state that consumers prefer the current recipe and have no intention of changing it.

Navy Beans: The Classic Choice

Navy beans have been a classic choice for pork and beans recipes for over a century. These small, white beans are a staple in the United States Navy and are known for their dense, creamy texture. They are also rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and iron, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.

Aside from being a great source of nutrients, navy beans are also easy to work with in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to salads and dips. Their mild flavor makes them a versatile ingredient that can be paired with a range of different spices and flavors.

When using navy beans in your pork and beans recipe, it’s important to note that they typically come canned with added salt, calcium chloride, and disodium EDTA to preserve their color. To reduce the sodium content of your dish, be sure to drain and rinse the canned beans thoroughly before adding them to your recipe.

Pinto Beans: A Southwestern Twist

If you’re looking to add a Southwestern twist to your pork and beans recipe, consider using pinto beans instead of navy beans. Pinto beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are commonly used in dishes like refried beans and chili.

These versatile beans have a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with the smoky and spicy flavors of Southwestern cuisine. To prepare pinto beans for your pork and beans recipe, start by soaking them overnight to help reduce cooking time and improve their texture.

Once soaked, drain the beans and add them to a pot with enough water to cover them by about an inch. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the beans for about 1-2 hours, or until they are tender.

To add even more flavor to your pinto beans, consider adding ingredients like bacon, chorizo sausage, onions, garlic, and jalapeños. These ingredients will infuse the beans with bold, robust flavors that are sure to impress.

Whether you choose navy beans or pinto beans for your pork and beans recipe, be sure to experiment with different ingredients and seasonings to find your perfect combination of flavors. With a little creativity and imagination, you can turn this classic dish into a culinary masterpiece!

Black Beans: A Modern Update

Black beans are another great option to consider when making pork and beans. Not only are they a good source of protein and fiber, but they also contain other nutrients that make them a healthy choice. Black beans are loaded with phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants and can help decrease the risk of cancer.

To give your pork and beans a modern twist, try using canned black beans instead of navy beans. You can flavor them with cumin, onion, chipotle peppers, lime juice, and tomatoes with green chilies for a delicious Mexican-style dish. Alternatively, you can also grow black beans at home for a fresh and organic option.

Whether you choose navy beans or black beans for your pork and beans recipe, remember to always rinse and drain them before using them. This will ensure that your dish is not too salty and that the flavors of the beans shine through.

Tips For Making Homemade Pork And Beans

Making homemade pork and beans is a delicious and satisfying experience that will leave you wondering why you ever bought the canned version. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect batch of homemade pork and beans:

1. Use high-quality ingredients: The key to making delicious pork and beans is using high-quality ingredients. Use fresh onions, garlic, and bacon, and choose the best quality beans you can find.

2. Render the bacon: When cooking the diced bacon, make sure to render the fat out of it before adding the onions. This will help infuse the dish with smoky bacon flavor.

3. Simmer the sauce: Once you’ve added all the ingredients to the pot, let the sauce simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. This will allow the flavors to meld together and thicken up the sauce.

4. Don’t overcook the beans: Be careful not to overcook the beans, or they will turn mushy. Cook them until they are just tender but still hold their shape.

5. Experiment with flavors: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and seasonings to give your pork and beans a unique flavor profile. Try adding chili powder or cumin for a spicy kick or using maple syrup instead of brown sugar for a sweeter taste.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious batch of homemade pork and beans that will have your friends and family begging for seconds.

Health Benefits Of Eating Beans

Beans are a nutritious addition to any diet, providing a wide range of health benefits. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber, iron, and antioxidants, all of which can help improve overall health and wellbeing.

One of the key health benefits of eating beans is their ability to help regulate blood sugar levels. Research has shown that consuming beans can help control high blood sugar levels, which is both a cause and symptom of diabetes. Additionally, beans are a low glycemic index food, meaning they are digested slowly and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Beans are also a heart-healthy food, as they can help reduce cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. They are rich in soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and helps remove it from the body. Additionally, beans contain antioxidants that can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are linked to heart disease.

Incorporating beans into your diet can also improve gut health by increasing the number of healthy gut bacteria. This is because beans contain prebiotic fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, helping to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms.

Finally, beans are an excellent source of vegetarian protein, making them an ideal food for those following a plant-based diet. They provide an average of 15 grams of protein per cup and can be easily incorporated into a variety of dishes.