In my opinion, there is no greater party food than Mexican.  It is a sure way to please a crowd (and the cook) as it is packed full of flavour, is easy to cook and friendly on the wallet.  I cooked this meal for my sons 16th Birthday family dinner.  The best part for me was that I got to spend loads of time with him as all the prep was done and all I had to do was serve!

It will look like there are loads of elements to this dish but rest assured, it is super easy.  You could do the pork and beans in the slow cooker if you prefer, using the usual methods i.e brown meat first, throw everything else in the slow cooker minus the beans.  I would put the beans in for the last couple of hours as you don’t want them turning to mush and stir through the coriander right before serving.  You could even adapt this to a vegetarian option by leaving the pork out and doubling the amount of beans…….the options are endless!!


Prep time:  45  Minutes                      Cooking time:  3  Hours                           $  Low Budget


Serves 8 Big people


Olive oil for frying

1.2kg of pork scotch fillet, cut into chunks

1  dried Ancho chilli, soaked in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes*

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large brown onion, diced

1 tbs of ground cumin

1 tbs of paprika

1 tsp of smoked paprika

1 tsp of ground chilli powder

1 tsp of chilli flakes

1 tsp of dried oregano

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

A pinch of ground cloves

Juice of 1/2 a lime

2 x 400gm tins of diced tomatoes

2 x 400gm tins of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 tbs of tomato paste

Sea salt and pepper

1 tsp of sugar

1 cup of chopped coriander leaves

8 medium potatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Sour cream and Coriander sprigs to serve


For the Corn:


8 fresh corn cobs, peeled

100gm butter melted

Zest of 1 lime

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tsp of smoked paprika

2 tbs of chopped coriander


Once you have soaked your ancho chilli, place it and the liquid in a blender and blitz until you have a fine paste.  Set aside.


Heat a large casserole dish and add a little olive oil.  Brown the pork in batches and set aside.  In the same pot, add a little more oil if needed and lightly fry the onion until translucent before adding the garlic.  Fry for a further minute and then add the paprika, cumin, smoked paprika, chilli powder, chilli flakes, cinnamon and cloves, stir to combine until aromatic and then pour in the ancho chilli paste.  Stir to prevent sticking and then pop the pork, juices and all back to the pan.  Stir to coat the pork before adding the tomatoes, lime juice, tomato paste, sugar and beans, season well with salt and pepper and mix to combine.  Bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and cover with a piece of baking paper, tucking it in nice and snug.  Place a tight fitting lid on and cook slowly on the stove top for 21/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid and baking paper for the last 15 minutes to reduce the sauce a little and stir through the coriander leaves just before serving.


Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Place the potatoes in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes or until just tender.  Drain the potatoes and place them on a lined baking tray.  Drizzle over extra virgin olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crispy on the outside.


In a small bowl combine the melted butter, chopped coriander, smoked paprika, lime zest and juice and season with salt and pepper.   Preheat a BBQ grill or griddle pan and cook the corn on all sides until lightly charred, basting each side with the paprika butter as it cooks.


To serve, make an incision like a cross in the top of each potato and using a tea towel (so you don’t burn your fingers) squeeze the potato between your thumbs and index fingers so they open up.  Place each potato on a plate and ladle over the pork and beans.  Place a nice dollop of sour cream on top with a couple of sprigs of coriander and serve the corn on the side.


I find it easier with large numbers to serve buffet style and everyone can help themselves.  Less work for you…, win!!


*  Dried Ancho chillies can be found in gourmet food shops and online.  There really is no substitute for their smokey charred flavour.  If you are in a rural area or can’t find them then Herbies is the way to go.  Just follow this link and make sure you stock up!