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North African Pork and Beans with Candy Cap Mushrooms

Lactarius rubidus by Christian Schwarz - www.mushroomobserver.orgThis recipe, created by Ernie Hudson, graced the table at a Wine & Mushroom Fest. We most often think of the Candy Cap in a sweet context; this recipe provides a delectable savory alternative!


Serves: many




2 lbs lean pork roast, sliced in 3/8” slabs

High-heat oil for sautéeing

1 c chopped sweet onion


Harissa *

½ c dried apricots

½ c dried cherries

½ c dried candy caps

Cooked dried beans of your choice


Begin with a couple of pounds of lean pork roast sliced into 3/8” slabs. Sauté the meat in a large frying pan in oil at high heat. As the meat browns, add a cup of sweet onions and garlic to taste, which in my case is a lot. Sprinkle generously with harissa, a Tunisian spice mix of chile, coriander, and cumin.*


At the same time, begin the sauce by simmering a half cup of dried apricots, half cup of dried cherries, and half cup of candy caps in two cups of water until soft. Mix the ingredients in a blender.


Reduce the heat under the meat, introduce the sauce, and add a cup of marsala. Cover and simmer for at least an hour, until tender, adding marsala and/or water to provide enough liquid to keep the meat submerged.


Prepare a melange of pre-cooked, drained beans in a casserole dish. Place the pork slices over the beans, dump the remaining spicy liquid over the beans, then heat in the oven.

* Harissa can be found in the international section of many grocery stores