Bean and pork stew

Serves: 4

Initially, I wasn’t sure if I’d type up this recipe.

But it seriously grows on you and the next day, Nat and I simultaneously messaged each other in disbelief at how good the stew was for lunch.

There is no question that as far as recipes I’d cook for a work lunch, this is one I would do again and again. And if you have followed this blog for a while, you’ll know that I try to put a bit of effort into workday lunches and often cook dishes especially for the weekday lunch run.

It is super healthy, it’s full of those beans we don’t get enough of and it would easily double and freeze.

It started life like a calf finding its feet for the first time, though once we had our head around this stew, it was all on!


2 tbsp olive oil
125gm mild salami, chopped
2 x 350gm pork fillets, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
1 carrot, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
2 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 ½ cups (375ml) chicken stock
250gm baby roma tomatoes, halved
2 x 400g cans butter beans
400g can red kidney beans
100g baby spinach leaves
Ciabatta to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole dish over a high heat. Cook salami, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes until crisp, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Do not drain oil from pan.
  2. Season pork. In two batches, cook, turning for 2 – 3 minutes until golden.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until softened. Add garlic, thyme and sage and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the stock, tomatoes and beans, bring to the simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until flavours have infused. Return the pork to the pan and cook for a few more minutes, until the pork is cooked and the stew thickened. Stir through the spinach and remove from the heat.
  4. Scatter with the crisp salami and serve with toasted ciabatta.

Lamb braised with Vinegar and Green Beans

Serves: 4 -6

A traditional recipe from Abruzzo – where you would refer to the dish as stufatino di agnello con l’aceto – you will love.

Served with mashed potatoes and a green salad, it is beautifully comfortable food. Dark and slightly rich, you could eat the flaking lamb all day.

If you need warmth one Saturday lunch, start the weekend well by serving this and a glass of red and in turn, setting a pretty awesome mood for the rest of the day.


½ cup olive oil
1.2kg diced lamb shoulder
½ onion, chopped
⅔ cup good quality red wine vinegar
450gm green beans, trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths
Mashed potatoes and a green salad to serve


  1. In a casserole dish or heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb in batches for 6 – 8 minutes until browned all over.
  2. Add the onion and stir for 4 minutes or until translucent. Return all the lamb to the pan, add the vinegar and season. Increase the heat to high and cooking, stirring, for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low. Add beans and further season. Cover and gently simmer for 1 ½ hoursor until the lamb is very tender.

Court’s Japanese Beans

Don’t be stuck with boring beans again.

Serves: 4 – 6

Court(ney) is Nat’s younger sister and by some strange twist, the girlfriend of our 5-year old, Tom(ney).

Court is pretty efficient in the kitchen with a sort of take no prisoners, get-in-and-out approach to cooking. Beans are one of her specialities which ordinarily would be a pretty niche subset of cooking to specialise in, though once you cook this particular dish, you’ll understand why.

It’s awesome.

Just make sure you have the right mayonnaise: Kewpie Mayonnaise, a Japanese sushi mayonnaise that you can find at Woolies and Coles.



Canola oil
Two or three good handfuls of beans
1 tsp freshly minced garlic
1 tsp Kewpie mayonnaise
Light soy sauce


  1. Heat the oil in the pan until hot.
  2. Add the beans and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 10 minutes ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and continue to cook for another 5 minutes; add a few splashes of soy sauce, turn up the heat and finish off.
  4. 幸せな食事*.

* Happy eating.