Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recipe for Beans

Somebody asked me how I cooked the beans on my previous post, and although I don't follow a recipe, here's the general idea. It's very simple.

Rinse the beans. (One typical bag is the amount I use.) Pretty much any bean mix or even single kind of bean will do. Frankly, they all taste about the same, don't you think?

Ignore the instructions to soak them all night...I never think this far in advance.

Put them in a crock pot with chopped onion and ham hocks or leftover ham on the bone (usually when I bake a ham, we eat half of it, and this is what I do to use up the other half...lots of meat is good since I'm feeding growing boys.)

Cover with water or 1/2 chicken broth and water. Make sure that there's a good 3/4 inch of liquid covering the beans because they soak up that water as they cook.

Add maybe a teaspoon of salt and some cracked black pepper...depends on how much salty ham you have in there or whether you use broth or water. You can always add more later...

Cook them in the crockpot on high for at least 5 hours until they are soft and the ham has cooked off the bone. They can keep cooking on low all day if need be, but don't let them cook dry! Add more water if want some liquid there even at the end.

Take out the bone and any fat pieces, leaving just the chunks of meat.

Mix maybe 1/4 cup of flour with water to make a slurry and stir it little by little into the beans and ham until the liquid is thickened to desired consistency. Let it return to a boil and cook a few minutes to remove any raw flour taste.

Add more salt and pepper if desired.

*At this point you can stir in ketchup if you like for a more tomato based approach, but we just put the bottle on the table and let each person do their own.

Serve in bowls with corn bread on the side or crumbled over! You can't find a heartier or cheaper meal!

1 comment:

Mike and Amanda said...

WOW, friend, you sure know how to make a woman HUNGRY!! I love the recipe, and since random beans are plentiful in China, I think I might try this one soon! Think it will work just as well in a pot on low as in a crock pot?
MUCH love to you and Tim, A, Z, K, T, and L. Tell 'em we love them and miss them so much!