Tuesday, January 5, 2016


During the past holidays we served up a couple of glazed and smoked hams. After carving the ham, I wrap up the ham hocks and put them in the freezer. When I have saved four hocks, it’s time to make a favorite mid-western dish, Ham Hocks and Beans. This hearty meal, served with honey corn bread, it just the thing on a cold winter’s day. A little labor intensive, but well worth the effort.

4 ham hocks
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small minced sweet onion
¼ cup chopped bell pepper
¼ cup chopped celery
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dried thyme
3 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 pound Great Northern beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped green onions

In a large cast iron stockpot, bring olive oil up to a medium-high heat. Score the ham hocks and sauté them along with onion, celery, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and bay leaves for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute more. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours stirring every 20 minutes. Carefully stir in the pre-soaked beans so as to not break the skin and simmer for another hour, until the ham hocks are tender and beans are cooked. Add salt and simmer another 30 minutes or until the meat on the ham hocks falls apart. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and green onion and corn bread. Enjoy, JW

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