As American as a pork, bean and apple pie

Friday, March 5, 2010

Recipe combining pork, beans and apples takes top honors in Nebraska Dry Bean Commission and Nebraska Pork Producers Association recipe contest.

Pork loin. Four types of dry beans. A couple of apples. Toss in a few other ingredients and bake in a pie. Yes -- a pie!

No, this isn't the latest food craze circulating through the culinary elite. It is the basis for the grand prize winning recipe in the New Pork & Beans Recipe Challenge sponsored by the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission. "The winning recipe -- Pork, Bean and Apple Pie -- was the judges' favorite," said Todd Stuthman, chair of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association's domestic marketing committee. "The creative mix of pork, beans, apples, onions, cinnamon and cayenne pepper combined and baked in a pie crust offers a great mix of flavors served in an interesting way."

Pam Lam of Seward created this grand prize winning recipe and received the $1,000 top award.

Staff from the Dry Bean Commission and Nebraska Pork Producers Association narrowed the dozens of entrants to the top 10 recipes that created flavors and dishes beyond traditional pork and beans fare. Staff from the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, Chef Judy Gilliard with KFOR Radio and the Food Service Hospitality Program at Southeast Community College prepared and helped judge the top 10 before settling on the top five winning recipes.

"Pork, Bean and Apple Pie is incredibly creative and tasty, but the other winning recipes, including a sweet wild rice and pork salad and tango lime pork wraps, are excellent. Simply delicious," said Lynn Reuter of the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission. "There were so many good recipes it was difficult to choose the top five."

The second place recipe and $500 went to Carol Hassebrook of Bellwood and her Sweet Wild Rice and Pork Salad recipe.

Third place and $250 went to Jane Galley of Columbus for her Pork Enchilada Casserole creation. Fourth place honors and $150 went to Dana Ball of Valparaiso and her Tango Lime Pork Wraps recipe, while fifth place and $75 went to Bri Buser of Lincoln and her Grilled Pork Tenderloin and a Spanish-Style Cassoulet dish.

All five recipes are available in a special brochure at the Nebraska Pork Producers website,, under the "Consumers" tab.

"We want to thank everyone who got creative and submitted a recipe that combines the flavors of today's lean pork and dry beans, which are a great source of low-fat fiber and protein," Reuter said. "Nebraska is the country's top producer of dry beans and a leading producer of pork. We had a lot of fun tasting so many creations that combined these Nebraska products in different ways."

Stuthman, a pork producer from Columbus, said the recipe challenge is a great avenue to spread the word about Nebraska pork and beans. "We're always looking for new ways to use Nebraska agriculture products," he said. "The recipe challenge helps bring to light some of these flavors hidden away in kitchens across the state."

This was the second year for the New Pork and Bean Recipe Challenge. Last year's winner was Cowboy Pizza, which was created by Jerlyn Hohnholt of North Platte.

For more information, contact:

Jane Reeson, Nebraska Pork Producers: 402.849.2532 or

Lynn Reuter, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission: 308.632.1258 or

Winning recipe:

Pork, Bean and Apple Pie

By Pam Lam of Seward, Neb.

7 oz Black Beans (canned)

7 oz Great Northern Beans (canned)

7 oz Red Beans (canned)

7 oz Pinto Beans (canned)

2 lb Boneless Pork Loin (cooked and pulled)

4 oz Red Onions course chopped

4 oz Green Onions course chopped

2 Granny Smith Apples (thin sliced with peel)

2 cubs Brown Sugar

12 oz Melted Butter

1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper

1 Double Crust Pie Shells (purchased or scratch)

Carmel Sauce for garnish as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pork loin to 185 degrees, it should pull apart with a fork. Coarse chop red and green onions. Drain and rinse beans. Spray 10" deep-dish pie pan with pan spray. Place one of the pie shells in the bottom of the 10" deep-dish pie pan. Combine all beans, onions, pork loin into a bowl, add granny smith apples and toss to mix well.

Melt butter, add brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper together, mix well and pour over pork-bean and apple mixture. Pour pork-bean and apple mixture into the pie shell, top with remaining pie shell. Bake for one hour or until crust is golden brown to 165 degrees.