This reminds me of growing up in Chicago. My mom would make a pot of ham n beans in the cold snowy winters or on a day when we were stuck inside because it rained. This is a comfort food for me, it brings back all those memories of my childhood like an old song! I make a box of Jiffy brand corn muffins to serve with it as a main dish and my soul is singing away! I hope you enjoy!
great northern beans (frijoles nortenos) or favorite bean
smoked ham hock (optional)
yellow onions, coarsely chopped
carrots, peeled & cut chunky
celery, cut chunky, celery leafs cut up fine
garlic, finely chopped
red pepper flakes
crystal hot sauce
water/stock/broth/boullion cubes in water
tomatoes, diced with juice
1After breakfast, I rinse beans well,discard any bad ones, and put in a medium size bowl and cover with water to soak. Soak as long as you can, the minimum 1 hour.
2Use at least a 5 qt+ pot for this dish. Add oil, garlic, onion, hot sauce, red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute to flavor oil. Add rest of vegetables and salt and pepper them. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add your tomatoes, beans, water or stock and ham hock. Add the seasonings and mix well.
3Cook for 2-3 hours on medium heat, slightly covered, stirring and checking it, adjust seasoning,add more water/stock for soupier texture,or a little, for creamier consistancy. Do not let too much liquid evaporate or beans will not fully cook and mixture can burn.
4When beans are done, prepare 1 Bx of Jiffy brand corn muffin mix and bake. While baking muffins, remove ham hock and trim meat,add back to mixture. Discard fat/ham bone.