Ham and beans with cornbread are one of those recipes that are truly southern but the sweet part is a nod to my northern roots. No self-respecting southerner would ever make cornbread sweet but I grew up in the North and that is the way I prefer it. The two things you can count on in the south are beans with cornbread and humidity. There are a lot of inexpensive comfort foods here but nothing will sustain you like beans with pieces of leftover ham or pork and really yummy potlikker. The beans get creamy and the flavor is indescribable. It is also one of those meals that gets better the next day. Back in the depression, every farm grew beans and ever farmer raised a hog or two to butcher during the first cool days of fall. In the South that can be as late as December.
Make sure to serve it with Sweet Cornbread:
Comfort Becomes TraditionThis is the dish I make for New Year’s Eve. Kind of a tradition. This is a great way to start off the New Year with a dish that is very budget-friendly. It is a great way to use up ham ends or pork pieces from a shoulder roast. You can also use leftover smoked turkey or combine them. The recipes I tend to make most are easy, very forgiving and really tasty. You can add or subtract ingredients for what you have on hand or what your family likes. You can also use any type of beans you have or get adventurous and try some heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo. I have used navy, cannellini, cranberry, Great northern, and myacoba beans with good results. I have never served this without someone feeling warmed and comforted. You can feel good serving ham and beans with cornbread to your family knowing they are well nourished and that you stayed within your budget. Enjoy!
- 1/2 pound of Cooked ham or Ham Hocks or Leftover Pork Shoulder
- 6 cups Organic chicken stock or broth
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves ground
- Rinse beans in a large pot; discard shriveled beans and any small stones.
- Cover beans with cold water. Let stand overnight.
- In the morning, drain and rinse beans in cold water. Add all the rest of the ingredients and the beans to your slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-9 hours or until liquid is absorbed and beans are tender.
For thicker beans: Remove 1/2 cup of beans part way through cooking and mash beans with a potato masher and add back to the slow cooker.
Non-Crockpot: Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Add more water during cooking if necessary.
- 1 cup flour Organic, Unbleached
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal Organic, Stone Ground
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp safflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla Pure, Organic
- In a small bowl, soak cornmeal in milk for 15 minutes without stirring.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Oil a 10-12 inch round pan (I use a cast iron frying pan for even heating).
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder with whisk. Stir in eggs, cornmeal and milk mixture, and vanilla. Stir only until mixed, batter will be lumpy.
- Pour into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
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