Beans Cooked with Ham Hock


Hello all!  I grew up in the Midwest eating a lot of soul food, which is the foundation of cooking, but I'm also a culinary school graduate who loves to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. I love to share recipes that are easy to prepare and full of flavor, and this recipe for Pinto Beans with Smoked Pork Shank definitely fits the bill.

The thing that baffles me every time I think about it is that this isn't a recipe I've made into my regular stock of dishes - although it certainly deserves a spot. Yes, of course, I eat beans as a regular part of my diet, but for the vast majority of my adult life, they've come out of a can because I often forget to plan ahead for cooking dry beans. I  like canned beans and utilize them a lot, but there's just something about a tall bowl of pinto beans that warms my soul.

* Ingredients

° 1 package (11 ounces) pinto beans, plucked and soaked in plenty of water overnight
° 1 liter chicken broth
° 1 liter water
° 1 onion, halved or coarsely chopped
° smoked ham halves (about a pound total)
° 2 bay leaves optional
° 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
° 1 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste
° salt to taste

* Instructions :

Add the soaked beans, chicken broth, water, onions, pork veins, and bay leaves (if using) to a large saucepan.

Briing to a boil, minimize to a simmer, covering with a lid, and cooking , stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Season with black pepper, garlic powder and salt. serves.

++Notes :
This recipe used the whole package of beans I bought and it yields a large amount, but can be scaled for smaller quantities.
You can also substitute the pork in this recipe for smoked turkey instead.

Enjoy !