SNAKE - Whiskey Baked Beans and Smoked Pork Ration
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Snake is a soldier, often left to his own devices out in the wild. When he's not eating wild animals such as snakes, parrots, and tree frogs, Snake will eat whatever pre-prepared foods he's lucky enough to get a hold of. Eating beans straight from the can is the type of meal a resourceful soldier might eat while camping in the rainforest.
Pork and beans is also a common military ration due to how easy it is to can - and rations are common in Metal Gear, a series which frequently draws inspiration from real-life military history. Beans and meat are common ingredients not only in the United States' MCIs and MREs, but also in the combat rations of the Metal Gear universe's fictional "Zanzibar Land" military.
(A canned Zanzibar Land military ration from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake)
For my spin on pork and beans, I combined two delicious dishes: slow-baked beans, and smoky pulled pork. The smoky flavor is a nod to Snake's cigarette-smoking habits - and a splash of whiskey references another vice he's been depicted with in some games. Thankfully, this dish tastes a lot better than the rations Snake usually finds himself eating!
3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes (trim excess fat)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp neutral oil
1 lb dry beans, soaked overnight (navy, pinto, kidney, or a mixture of multiple varieties works nicely!)
½ lb smoky bacon, chopped
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp smoked chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup yellow mustard
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ oz whiskey
1 28 oz can of pureed tomatoes
3 cups water
A dash of hot sauce, or a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you want it extra spicy)
2 tsp liquid smoke (optional, if you don’t have a smoker)
Preheat oven to 325°, or prepare smoker if using.
Mix salt, pepper, chili powder, and paprika in a small bowl. Rub over the cubed pork shoulder.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the pork, turning occasionally, for a few minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Cook the bacon in the Dutch oven until browned and slightly crispy. Set aside with the pork.
In the residual bacon fat, cook the onion and red bell pepper until softened. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, chipotle powder, chili powder, paprika, thyme, ginger, allspice, and cumin. Stir and cook until fragrant.
Add tomato paste and cook until just slightly browned. Add mustard, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, whiskey, tomatoes, water, and hot sauce and liquid smoke if using. Mix well.
Add drained rinsed beans into the liquid. Add pork and bacon back into the Dutch oven. Stir until pork, bacon, and beans are well distributed in the mixture.
Bake, covered in a smoker (if you have one) or in the preheated oven for at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the beans are fully cooked through and the sauce has thickened, shred the pork with two carving forks and mix throughout the sauce. Serve nice and hot, with a starchy side such as cornbread or biscuits!
Elements of this recipe were created with the help of my generous patrons! If you'd like to help me create future recipes, consider supporting me on Patreon!