1 pound of dried navy beans
1 pound of bacon, diced large
2 cups carrots - peeled and diced small
1 medium red onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
⅓ cup Cinnamon Pear Balsamic Vinegar
1 pound of Italian sausage - casings removed
1 28 ounce can chopped San Marzano tomatoes
1 smoked ham hock
3-4 sprigs rosemary
2-3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 quart chicken broth
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup Rosemary Olive Oil
¼-½ cup finely-chopped parsley for garnish
Salt and pepper
Soak the beans in a large bowl or baking dish for a minimum of 12 hours with enough water to cover them by at least 2 inches.
Drain the beans and add them to a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a simmer. Turn to medium/low and simmer for 1 hour or until slightly tender. Remove from the heat and let cool in their cooking liquid. They will finish cooking in the pot with the rest of the dish.
Preheat the oven to 375℉ and set a rack to the middle position.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium/low to prevent any burning. Remove from the pot when bacon is just starting to crisp up and set aside.
You should have some bacon grease left in the pot. It shouldn’t be more than a few tablespoons, but if you have too much fat, remove some and save for later. Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the back of the pot with remaining bacon grease and cook for a few minutes, until slightly colored and softened. Remove from the pot and set aside with the bacon.
If you need more fat, add some in and add the sausage. Let the sausage brown and then break up into bite-size pieces. When sausage is cooked, add back in the carrots, onions, garlic and bacon.
Mix around and add the chicken stock, tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, ham hock, and Cinnamon Pear Balsamic. Stir to combine and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Drain the beans and add them to the pot. Stir to combine and bring back to a simmer. Transfer to the oven and cook uncovered for 1- 1 ½ hours or until the stew has thickened and beans are fully cooked. Make sure to stir every 30 minutes or so.
While pork and beans cook in the oven, mix together the breadcrumbs and Rosemary Olive Oil. Spread onto a baking sheet.
Pull the pork and beans out of the oven and let cool on the stovetop. Put the breadcrumbs in the oven and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through to ensure even browning/cooking.
Spoon the pork and beans into a bowl and top with the rosemary crumbs and parsley. Enjoy!