Beer-Braised Pork With Tropical Fruit Salsa and Black Beans & Rice

braised porkWe tend to think of spicy, Southwestern-inspired cuisine as a perfect match for summery, warm weather, but it can be just as amazing in the fall -- or any other time of the year! I don't know about you, but fresh fruits and veggies, protein-rich beans, and kicked-up spicy meats never fail to make my mouth water! Plus, so many dishes are fast and easy to make and can be super-healthy to boot!

On this week's episode of CafeMom Studios' Dinner Boot Camp, Chef Rene Marquis shows us how to pull together a protein-rich, Southwestern meal that sounds so flavorful, everyone at the table will be more than satisfied! Check it out ...


Here are tips on how to seed and dice a tomato:

How to peel a pineapple:

Beer-braised pork with tropical fruit salsa and black beans and rice

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 to 8 hours

Beer-braised pork

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) bone-in pork butt
  • 1/2 cup seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 (12-ounce) bottles of beer (preferably lager)
  • 1 onion, peeled and julienned


  • Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place pork in pan and sear all sides until brown, about 2 minutes each side.
  • Remove pan from heat; transfer pork to cutting board.
  • Rub pork with seasoned salt and garlic.
  • Place pork in slow cooker. Add beer and onion. Cook 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • Transfer pork, onion and accumulated juices to a bowl or platter and serve with tropical fruit salsa and black beans and rice.


Tropical fruit salsa

  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh mango
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (concasse)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a large bowl mix together pineapple, mango, tomato, onion, bell peppers, oil, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.


Black beans and rice

  • 1 cup white rice, rinsed
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 baby green bell pepper, sliced thin (or 1/4 cup regular green bell pepper, sliced thin)
  • 1 baby red bell pepper, sliced thin (or 1/4 cup regular red bell pepper, sliced thin)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges


  1. Add rinsed rice to rice cooker, cover with 1 inch of the water, about 3 cups. Close lid and turn rice cooker on; cooker will shut off when rice is ready. Gently fluff rice with a spoon or spatula. Set aside, keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet heat butter and oil over medium heat until butter has melted.
  3. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
  4. Stir in bell peppers and garlic.
  5. Add beans, vinegar, and hot sauce; simmer 2 minutes or until beans are warmed through.
  6. Stir in oregano; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7.  In a large bowl toss together beans and rice, garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges. Set aside; keep warm.


Serve family style.


Recipe variations:

  • Use chicken or vegetable stock in place of beer.
  • Use a chuck roast instead of pork butt.


Tools that make dinner fast and easy:

  • Slow cooker
  • Rice cooker


Cooking terms to brag about:

  • Tomato concasse: tomatoes that have been blanched, shocked, and then peeled, seeded, and diced.
  • Braising: a combination cooking method using both moist and dry heat. Food is first seared at a high temperature, and then finished in a covered pot or Dutch oven with aromatics and variable amounts of liquid.


Episode tips:

  • How to braise any meat for bold, robust flavor.
  • How to get the best flavors out of your slow cooker.
  • How to concasse a tomato like a professional chef.
  • How to mix sweet and savory ingredients for sensational salads and salsas.


To see more great cooking lessons with Sgt. Marquis, subscribe to CafeMom Studios.

Image via Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr

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