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Name:Ham Hock and Black Beans Contributor:Aaron Burt
Description:Ham Hock and Black Beans Posted:2005-11-16
Key words:chili Category:Soups
ID:676 Updated:2006-04-02 08:19:32
Ingredients:ham hocks
2 lb black beans
3 small yellow onions
1 really big red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic.
1 big dried Ancho chili
few Tbsp coarse pepper
couple Tbsp of Italian Herbs (oregano, basil, thyme etc.)
1 Tbsp Pasta Seasoning Blend (includes lemon peel, fennel, paprika)
around 2 tsp Five-Spice for sweetness
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
Preparation:[Left as is, rather than dissecting.]

Started the beans soaking Sunday night, didn't get to cook 'til tonight (Tuesday.) They didn't seem to be worse for the wear so I drained and rinsed 'em and set 'em aside.

Diced 3 small yellow onions, 1 really big red bell pepper from the farmer's market. Crunched and chopped 4 cloves garlic.

Seeded a big dried Ancho chili, stuck it in a glass of warm water and nuked it for 2 minutes. Saved the water, chopped the chili fine.

In a stockpot, sauteed onions on medium 'til translucent and starting to brown, then added pepper, garlic, Ancho chili.

I'm ham-fisted and imprecise with spices. Threw in a few Tbsp of coarse pepper, a couple Tbsp of Italian Herbs (oregano, basil, thyme etc.), 1 Tbsp Pasta Seasoning Blend (includes lemon peel, fennel, paprika) and around 2 tsp Five-Spice for sweetness.

Sauteed that mess for a few minutes. Yummy smells ensued.

Poured in the Ancho chili water, a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes, the drained beans, the ham hock and enough water to just cover it all.

Covered and simmered stirring whever the smell drew me away from my studies. (Mmm... Linear Quadratic Regulators...)

After 2-3 hours of this, removed the ham hock, let it cool and separated the meat from the bone, gristle and copious fat. Returned meat to the pot, simmered a few minutes and served up a bowl.

Way mucho tasty! The Ancho chili added a detectable heat and the ham hock a luxurious richness.

Many recipes recommend whirling a portion of the beans in a blender at this stage to thicken the soup, but I found the body just right, even if the beans were prit near al dente.
Notes:Yes, it is indeed soup season.

I'd been eyeing the ham hocks at the meat counter of Sheridan Market
(good gourmet market in PDX's Produce Row, great stuffed pork chops)
and finally decided to take the plunge. Butcher recommended 2 lb of black beans to go with it, so I got 'em in the bulk section.


Now to cool it safely and find a way to store it,

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