Soaked Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans (gluten-free, refined sugar-free)
These Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans hearken back to the canned version, but this Pork ‘n Beans recipe is SO much healthier! Not only are the beans first soaked to reduce phytic acid, but this recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. This all-weather recipe is perfect for chilly nights with some cornbread, potlucks, BBQs, and meal prep!
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If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, then you must remember canned pork ‘n beans!
I’m pretty sure our pantry always had at least 1 can of pork ‘n beans.
They were a staple side dish when we had grilled hot dogs or burgers or ribs.
When my mom made baked beans, she always used pork ‘n beans from the can and dressed them up with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and even more sugar. (I copy-catted my childhood baked beans in the Instant Pot right here.)
The Downfalls of Canned Beans
Alas, I haven’t bought a can of beans of any kind in over a decade.
When I learned about the phytic acid content of improperly prepared beans, I decided our digestion was worth a little extra time spent soaking and cooking beans from scratch.
Phytic acid binds to minerals, like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, and prevents our bodies from absorbing them.
It’s why I don’t buy canned beans or bean-based, gluten-free pastas.
Furthermore, have you glanced at the ingredient list of a can of pork ‘n beans recently? It ain’t pretty…
Here you go:
Ingredients: Prepared White Beans (Water, White Beans), Water, Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Sugar, Less than 2% of: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Pork*, Baking Soda, Onion Powder, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Spice, Calcium Chloride (A Firming Agent).
Told ya. Not pretty.
The longer I live this Real Food lifestyle, the more I understand the old adage: If you want something done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself!
We can copy the flavors of canned pork ‘n beans without all that sh*t, y’all. It can be done!
We’re using the same type of beans as the canned kind (navy beans), except we’re giving our beans a good, long soak overnight to reduce phytic acid and make them super nourishing.
We’re also using tomato paste, some garlic and onion powder, and plenty of salt.
Oh, and in place of the high fructose corn syrup? A delicious combination of real maple syrup and blackstrap molasses!
By pressure cooking a pork hock — which is mostly bone but also has a fair amount of meat on it — the bean liquid is enriched with healing minerals and amino acids from the bone.
Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans is a nourishing and frugal side dish or main dish!
How To Find Pork Hocks
We buy 1/2 a pig from a local farmer every Fall. Our local pig is raised on pasture, and is antibiotic- and hormone-free. It’s the best tasting pork ever!
Because our farmer understands the importance of both sustainability and honoring the animal through nose-to-tail eating, we get the ENTIRE half pig. This includes pork fat (for rendering lard), pork chops and steaks, pork roasts, bacon, pork bones (for bone broth), and a pork (or ham) hock.
The hock can come from either the front or back legs. It is the joint in the pig’s leg that is between the tibia (lower leg) and foot of the pig. Pork hocks have a lot of bone, connective tissue, and gristle.
In order for the meat to separate easily from the bone and become tender enough to eat, the pork hock must be either slowly cooked for many hours or pressure cooked.
Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans starts by pressure cooking the hock first, infusing the cooking liquid with minerals, collagen, and amino acids.
Then, the beans and seasonings are added, further pressure cooked, and finished off in the Instant Pot.
What to Eat With Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans
My kids absolutely love beans and cornbread as a meal. Often, I make my Instant Pot Ranchero Beans to go with my Southern Blender Cornbread. However, Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans is also a yummy and nourishing choice. In this case, it’s the main dish, not a side.
As a side dish, these soaked Instant Pot Pork ‘n Beans go so well with:
- Instant Pot Rack of Ribs
- any type of grilled meat, like chicken, pork chops, or steaks
- burgers and brats
- hot dogs
- chicken tenders
- Instant Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken
- Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Instant Pot Pork 'n Beans (soaked, gluten-free, refined sugar-free)
These Instant Pot Pork 'n Beans hearken back to the canned version, but this Pork 'n Beans recipe is SO much healthier! Not only are the beans first soaked to reduce phytic acid, but this recipe is refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. This all-weather recipe is perfect for chilly nights with some cornbread, potlucks, BBQs, and meal prep!
24 to 36 hours before you want to make Instant Pot Pork 'n Beans, place dried navy beans in a glass bowl and add water to cover. Cover the bowl and set aside for 24 to 36 hours.
When ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans and set aside.
Add the pork hock and 8 cups of water to the stainless steel insert of your Instant Pot. Press the "Manual" button, close the vent, and adjust the time to 70 minutes on high pressure.
When it beeps, manually release pressure. Leave the pork hock in the Instant Pot.
Next, add the soaked and rinsed beans to the Instant Pot along with the tomato paste, maple syrup, molasses, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
Place the lid back on the Instant Pot, seal the vent, and adjust the time to 20 minutes on high pressure.
When it beeps, manually release the pressure.
Using tongs, remove the pork hock from the beans. Use a fork to separate the meat from the bone and connective tissue, adding the bits of pork meat back into the beans.
Stir in the apple cider vinegar, taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
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Did you grow up eating canned pork ‘n beans? What do you think of this Real Food version?
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