Braised Maple-Bourbon Pork with Beans

Braised Maple-Bourbon Pork with Beans

Prep Time


Cook Time



10 people

Combining pork shoulder, kielbasa sausage and cannellini beans, this warming stew braises to tender perfection in a slow cooker. Be sure to soak the beans overnight before adding them to the stew; this will help them to cook more evenly.

Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma


  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds kielbasa (2 large links), each cut into 3 pieces
  • 3 yellow onions, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 pound cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  • 1 Season the pork lightly with salt and pepper. In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Add the sausages and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  • 2 Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bourbon and cook for 1 minute.
  • 3 Stir in the tomatoes, cannellini beans, maple syrup and broth. Nestle the pork into the bean mixture and arrange the sausages around the pork. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • 4 Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base, cover and cook on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the pork and beans are tender, about 4 hours.
  • 5 Skim the fat off the sauce, and remove and discard the bay leaf. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
  • 6 Preheat a broiler.
  • 7 In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp and browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the pan. Add the bread crumbs and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and toasted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and bacon.
  • 8 Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the pork mixture. Broil until the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes.


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