Slow-Cooked Pork with White Beans and Rosemary


I hauled my Crock-Pot out of the basement the other day. It’s been so cold outside the skin on my fingers has cracked open and now my thumbs have raw, gaping fissures just like you’d see if you were a crazed person hiking in the Mojave desert, only mine are painful and bloody.

The little pot of fancy skin butter I bought – which for some reason I hoped could transform even leathery old crocodile hide into something supple and glistening  – wasn’t getting the job done.

I figured I must need a little more pork fat in my diet.

As luck would have it, I saw a recipe for Slow-Cooker Cassoulet on the Williams-Sonoma website contributed by chef Thomas Keller. It made me and my dry skin salivate for some tender, braised pork.

I dusted off the old cooker and got to work adapting the recipe, going for a kind of Tuscan-style pork and beans with the addition of fresh rosemary and pancetta.

This recipe makes enough pork and beans for even-more-delicious-next-day leftovers.

Slow-Cooked Pork with White Beans and Rosemary

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks , white and light greens parts washed and chopped
1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
4 14-ounce cans Great Northern or cannellini beans, drained
2 ounces chorizo or other spicy sausage, sliced in half
1 garlic head, trimmed of excess papery skin and halved crosswise
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Cut the pork into 4-inch chunks and season all over with the salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan and brown the pork in batches. Remove the pork and place in a 6-quart slow-cooker insert.
Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Reserve the fat in the pan.
Add the onion and leek to the pan along with a ½ teaspoon salt and cook until softened. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Scrape the onion mixture into the insert.
Add all remaining ingredients to the cooker insert, stirring gently. Cook on medium for 6 hours, or until pork is very tender and easily shreds with a fork; stir in the reserved pancetta.

Serves 6 generously.

Inspired by Thomas Keller


  1. this looks SO good– it was worth reading past the rather gruesome opening paragraph!


  2. I may have to buy a crockpot so I can make this recipe!
    Sounds delicious for a cold day like today!
    Stacey Snacks

  3. yum

  4. WOW this looks incredible! Great job

  5. Wow, this sounds delicious. I’m printing it out and will make it in the next week. I love beans in the slow cooker – they don’t get all mushy- just yummy!
    Great photo too!

  6. you know what you should try for your hands? vapor rub. it smells weird and feels weird to do, but if you slather it on and put on some cotton gloves, it heals cracked skin like nobody’s business.

  7. silly question, perhaps. you say remove the excess papery skin and halve the garlic head, but you don’t actually peel the cloves? you put them in the crockpot with the “skins” still on?

    • Hi Lee – Yes, you can just put the cloves in skin and all. The garlic will soften and scent the pork. When the pork is finished cooking, you can pull out the garlic. Or, if you love garlic, squeeze it out on some toasted bread for an extra yum factor.

  8. This is a delicious and filling looking meal, I like that it practically makes itself and has a ton of hearty ingredients :).

  9. Hi Karen,

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  10. This sounds fabulous! it’s on my must make list..uphere in U.S. i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients…one of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought i can pass great along as well.

  11. As I am writing this we are expecting 10 inches of snow tonight…ugh! This slow cooked pork looks like the perfect comfort food to stave off the snowy weather.

    • A big bowl of pork and beans is perfect for a snowy night. Gotta love spring snowstorms! I like that last hit of winter, knowing that summer is just around the corner.

  12. Beautiful blog and wonderful recipe–I will pass this on to my mom–she would love it!

  13. Mary Lay says:

    My wife and I really liked this article. I have used it a few times. I think a lot of people would benefit from it. You should post it on Wacanai. They get a lot of traffic on the website and you can link it to your page so it will get more people going to your website. You can search for similar articles and when you post your article it will show you other articles that you may like. It’s worth checking out.

  14. Thanks for this tasty recipe and gorgeous photo. And I just posted Friday’s Feasts over at Momtrends. I hope you’ll stop by and link up! Here’s the link:

  15. Now this sounds great!!! Im saving this recipe to try soon.

  16. Yum, yum; tagging this right away, thanks.

    Love the new (to me) look! Wow!

  17. I was just wondering if you know how to make a chai spice blend for a pork shoulder slow cooker recipe

  18. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a
    comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Thank you!

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