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Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock


Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock
Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock

There's a certain magic in the marriage of humble ingredients and time honoured cooking methods. It's a reminder that some of life's greatest pleasures are found in the simplest of dishes. Today, we embark on a journey to explore the world of Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock, a dish that sings with nostalgia and the comforting aroma of slow-cooked love.


This dish starts with dried navy beans, soaked to plump perfection. They're then simmered with a meaty, smoky ham hock, infusing the beans with a depth of flavour that only time can provide. The result? Tender beans bathed in a rich, smoky sauce that clings to slices of warm, crusty sourdough bread.


But this isn't just a meal; it's a narrative of tradition and sustenance. It's a testament to the culinary legacy of comfort food—a reminder that the simplest ingredients, when cared for and respected, can yield the most extraordinary results.


As I savour this dish, I'm reminded that food is a storyteller, a bridge between generations and cultures. It's an invitation to slow down, to savour each bite, and to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into crafting a dish as simple and soulful as Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock.


So, let's raise our spoons and embark on a culinary journey that pays homage to the time honoured tradition of comfort food.


Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock Recipe for 4 People


Ingredients:

- 1 pound (450g) dried navy beans

- 1 smoked ham hock

- 1 onion, finely chopped

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 1/2 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes

- 1/4 cup molasses

- 1/4 cup brown sugar

- 1 teaspoon dry mustard

- Salt and black pepper to taste

- Sourdough bread, sliced and toasted, for serving


Preparation Time:

- Approximately 30 minutes (plus soaking time)

- Cooking time: 2 to 3 hours


Instructions:

1. Rinse the dried navy beans and place them in a large bowl. Cover them with cold water and let them soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse.


2. In a large pot, combine the soaked beans, smoked ham hock, chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato sauce, molasses, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt, and black pepper.


3. Add enough water to cover the beans and ham hock by about an inch.


4. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the beans are tender and the ham hock is falling off the bone.


5. Occasionally, check the water level and add more if necessary to ensure the beans are submerged.


6. Once the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened, remove the ham hock from the pot. Shred the meat from the hock and return it to the pot, discarding the bone and excess fat.


7. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.


8. Serve the Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock over slices of toasted sourdough bread.


Suggested Side Dishes:

- Coleslaw with a tangy vinaigrette

- Pickles or pickled onions for a touch of acidity and crunch

- A simple green salad with a lemony dressing


Equipment Needed:

- Large pot for simmering beans and ham hock

- Large bowl for soaking beans

- Knife and cutting board for chopping onion and garlic


Commonly Made Mistakes and Points of Care:

1. Soaking Time: Ensure you soak the dried beans for an adequate amount of time to rehydrate them fully. This allows for even cooking.


2. Ham Hock Selection: Choose a smoked ham hock for the best flavor. It should be meaty and well-smoked.


3. Water Level: Keep an eye on the water level while simmering to prevent the beans from drying out. Add more water as needed.


4. Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning toward the end of cooking, as ham hocks can vary in saltiness.


5. Serving: Serve the beans over toasted sourdough bread to soak up the delicious sauce.


Homemade Baked Beans and Ham Hock is a culinary journey through tradition and comfort. Savour the tender beans, the smoky ham hock, and the hearty sauce as you celebrate the art of slow-cooked comfort food. It's a meal that nourishes both body and soul. Enjoy!

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