Had two leftover ham hocks in the freezer and lots of pinto beans. I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman Cooks and boy, was it good. I used one ham hock with plenty of meat still attached. And I know how many of you like to tweak recipes and this one can be tweaked away and it won't hurt a thing. Mark Bittman supplied the sweet cornbread recipe, amen to that.
Also, I soaked the beans for 20 hours and changed the water several times. This made the beans well-mannered beans if you know what I mean.
Ingredients - Pioneer Woman Cooks
4 cupsDry Pinto Beans
1 wholeHam Hock
1 wholeOnion, Diced
2 wholeRed Bell Peppers, Diced
4 clovesGarlic, Minced
2 wholeJalapenos, Sliced
2 teaspoonsSalt, More To Taste
2 teaspoonsChili Powder (optional)
2 teaspoonsBlack Pepper, More To Taste
Rinse beans under cold water, sorting out any rocks/particles.
Place beans in a stock pot with the ham hock and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water level is fine. Add more water as needed.
Toss in diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and continue cooking for another hour or two, remembering to check the water level.
Add salt, chili powder (if desired) and pepper, then cover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until beans are lovely and tender. Serve with cornbread as a meal..
CORNBREAD - Mark Bittman
4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard or bacon drippings (I used butter)
1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups milk, more if needed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put fat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or in an 8-inch square baking pan. Place pan in oven.
2. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix eggs into milk, then stir this mixture into dry ingredients, combining with a few swift strokes. If mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
3. When fat and oven are hot, remove skillet or pan from oven, pour batter into it and smooth out top. Return pan to oven. Bake about 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned and sides have pulled away from pan; a toothpick inserted into center will come out clean. Serve hot or warm.