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Creamy Ham and Beans

Creamy Ham and Beans

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Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Soul Food, Southern

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound great northern beans
  • water to cover
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion (coarsely chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch asafoetida (optional)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 carrot (finely diced)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds smoked ham chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 large ham bone

Instructions
 

  • Sort through beans and cover with about 2 inches of water and soak overnight. Alternatively instead of the overnight soaking, you might bring them to a boil, boil three minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit undisturbed for about an hour.
  • Either way, drain the soak or precook water away.
  • Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the ham chunks (they don't need to cook very long) and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes or until the beans are tender and creamy.  Please don't add any salt/sodium besides the baking soda at this point.
  • If they are not yet creamy, leave the lid off and continue to simmer them for a bit, as eventually all beans and legumes have a point at which they start to burst, leaving a thick creamy mixture. If you have too much trouble, mash a few with a potato masher or puree a few in the food processor.
  • Once the beans are creamy, add the ham chunks and continue cooking just long enough to heat them through.
  • Now is a good time to test for salt- sometimes I add a little and sometimes I won't, depending on how much salt was in the meat or the broth, etc. There is going to be some amount in there anyway so let it cook until you can accurately tell if it needs any additional.

Notes

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
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