28 September 2006

Pork: It's What's For Lunch During Ramadan: Ham Hocks with Navy Beans


Ham Hocks with Navy Beans

4 (1/2-pound) ham hocks, scored
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onions
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound navy beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup minced green onions
(I also mince up a Jalapeno pepper or two and put it in the pot as well)

In a large, heavy stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ham hocks, onions, celery, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme and bay leaves, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the navy beans and stir. Continue simmering over medium-low heat for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the beans are almost cooked and ham hocks are very tender. Season with salt and continue cooking 15 to 30 minutes, until beans are done and ham hocks are beginning to fall apart.

Remove from the heat. Serve the ham hocks with the beans at the table, sprinkled with parsley and green onions, or cut the meat from the bones in the kitchen before serving, return the meat to the pot and serve with the beans at the table.

(And remember a couple of shots of Tabasco Sauce on your beans if you wanna "Kick It Up A Notch!!")

For me, you just can't have ham and beans without making cornbread. Take your favorite mix or recipe and for an added kick, finely dice a Cayenne or Jalapeno pepper and add it to the batter. And don't forget the sliced onion on the side.

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