This is a Palate Pleaser on a cold Winter's Day or Night. The Smoked Ham Hocks make this dish, and I don't make Ham and Beans without them. Served with sliced Corn Bread it is Heaven in a Bowl.
A Crowd Pleaser at our Place. I trim the rind and fat from the Ham Hock in large 2" hunks so that that those don't like it don't get it served to them. And, that is alright by me. It's the best part in my opinion.
I don't pre-soak my beans. You could. Place dried beans and 2 Smoked Ham Hocks in large soup pan and add water 2" to 4" above beans. You'll be adding more water as the beans absorb it. The beans will expand. Salt at end of process, Ham and Ham Hocks are naturally salty. I start in soup pot to speed cooking then transfer to crock pot. You could sub dry beans with canned beans, quicker yet.
Cook at high simmer or low boil until beans are cooked and tender, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally. When beans are cooked remove Ham Hocks and trim off lean meat and chop medium fine. There won't be much lean meat. I trim the rind and fat in large 2" pieces so that those that don't like it don't get served it in their bowl.
Add the shredded Carrots (Optional), and the chopped Onion. Add the 2 or 3 cups of Ham chopped to size of beans. Add additional water as required.
Simmer for 2 to 3 additional hours. Taste and adjust salt and pepper at end. Serve with Corn Bread (My Choice) or bread of choice. Call some friends in and enjoy.
This could be done in crock pot, reserving all but the Beans and Ham Hocks until after the beans have become tender. You may have to reduce quantity slightly, or remove and reserve some of the beans after they are cooked, and re-add later. Removal and trimming of the Ham hocks should provide room for the cubed Ham. Crock Pot 4 to 5 hours.
Note: This is a wholesome soup and will stand up to additional added water when re-heating. You will want to thin it out.