Jesse Paul's Tepary Bean Rajma & Braised Pork Cheeks with Raita & Pickled Red Onions 

Jesse Paul serves this dish, which stars tepary beans from Rio Del Rey Farm, at The Wooden Spoon restaurant in Escondido.

Photography By Chris Rov Costa | March 08, 2018

Ingredients

Tepary Beans
  • for pan frying olive oil
  • 2 bulbs garlic, cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 6 Vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pounds dried tepary beans, soaked overnight
  • to taste salt
Braised Pork Cheeks
  • 2 pounds pork cheeks
  • to taste salt
  • for pan frying olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 curry leaf
  • 4 cups goat's milk
Raita
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • to taste salt
  • 4 cups plain yogurt
  • to taste (start with 1 tsp) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Pickled Red Onions
  • 3 red onions
  • 4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed
For Plating
  • to taste hot sauce
  • cilantro sprigs

Instructions

Make the Beans

In a thick-bottomed pot, add olive oil and slowly toast the garlic until golden brown. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add cumin seeds and garam masala and toast until very fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down and the juices have reduced. Add the soaked beans and stir to coat.

Cover with water and slowly simmer until the beans are tender, about 3 hours. Once beans are tender add salt to taste.

Make the Pork Cheeks 

Heat a large pot over high heat.

Season the pork cheeks with salt.

Add oil to the pot and sear the cheeks until golden brown on both sides. Remove pork cheeks and set aside; drain the oil from the pot and return to heat.

Add onions, garlic, and carrots to the pot and cook until fragrant. Add turmeric and curry leaves to the pot. Add the pork cheeks back to the pot in a single layer and cover with goat’s milk.

Bring to a simmer, then cover and braise in a 300° oven until cheeks are tender, about 2 to 3 hours.

Let the pork cheeks cool in the liquid and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cheeks from the pot. Remove and discard the curry leaf.

Heat the liquid to a simmer and strain the liquid out through a fine-mesh sieve, making sure to keep all the solids and curds.

In a blender, puree all the solids together; adjust seasoning with salt.

Make the Raita

Using a cheese grater, grate the cucumber, ginger, garlic, and onion into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Squeeze all the liquid from the mixture. Add yogurt, lemon juice, and chopped cilantro; stir to combine. (Refrigerate overnight for best results.)

Make the Pickled Onions

Cut the onions in very thin half-moon slices. Place into a nonreactive container (stainless steel, enamelware, or glass).

In a sauce pot, add vinegar, water, sugar, and the mustard, coriander, and cardamom seeds. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the liquid over the onions and make sure they are completely submerged. Let sit at room temperature until cool. (Refrigerate overnight for best results.)

Bring it all Together

Warm the pork cheeks in the braising liquid puree.

Warm up the beans in their liquid.

Place the beans in a warm bowl, top with pork cheeks, and glaze the top with hot sauce. Garnish with a dollop of the raita and a good pinch of pickled onions and cilantro sprigs.

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Ingredients

Tepary Beans
  • for pan frying olive oil
  • 2 bulbs garlic, cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 6 Vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 pounds dried tepary beans, soaked overnight
  • to taste salt
Braised Pork Cheeks
  • 2 pounds pork cheeks
  • to taste salt
  • for pan frying olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 curry leaf
  • 4 cups goat's milk
Raita
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1 4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow onion
  • to taste salt
  • 4 cups plain yogurt
  • to taste (start with 1 tsp) lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Pickled Red Onions
  • 3 red onions
  • 4 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed
For Plating
  • to taste hot sauce
  • cilantro sprigs
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