jjdbike

Ham and bean: techniques, idetails, suggestions

35 posts in this topic

Hey folks. 

 

I have one small bone from an easter ham. I also have a little bag of trimmings and fat.

I also bought four small smoked ham hocks (small joints).

I got the below recipe below from Jace on this site.

 

Meats cooked with bones in them will have more flavor due to the collagen that seeps out (the stuff that people want when they make a bone broth or stock).   I always save my ham bones for a pot of pinto bone soup.     If you have not tried brining your dried beans, well, you pretty much have to.  It's a huge game changer.

 

Once you are done with eating the ham, toss it in a stock pot along with a quartered yellow onion or two (not peeled), couple of stalks of celery and carrots, thyme and parsley, about 10 whole black peppercorns and a bay leaf.  Cover and simmer for 4-8 hours.  Strain and cool overnight.   Meanwhile, mix 4 quarts water with 3 T of kosher salt and mix well to dissolve.  you can add onion or garlic powder if you want, but not necessary.  Cover and let this sit about 8 hours overnight. 

 

The next morning drain and rinse the beans, chop up a couple of onions and sauté in a little oil, any ham bits or trim you might have.  Add the beans and the ham stock, bay leaf, ground pepper and cook, adjusting seasoning until the beans are firm but tender.  Depending on how salty the ham is, you may not have to add any or a lot.   You can feed your family for 2 days on what was scraps and about $3 worth of ingredients.

 

So I want to make hearty flavorful and nutritious ham & beans. At least a double recipe because I’d like to freeze several containers. I have a BIG stock pot.

Can you guys add any input, additions or detials? I’ve never made the ham bone stock. Do you think the four hocks & the ham bone would be too much? Any other veggies I can add for additional nutrition? How about beans, what kind? I’m thinking a combo for deeper more complex flavor and more interesting look.

Anything else I’m missing?

Thanks!

JD

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Only thing I can add in this case is that there can never be too much bone in a stock.

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2 hours ago, Steve in Mass said:

Only thing I can add in this case is that there can never be too much bone in a stock.

Thanks Steve,

I needed to hear that. Gonna add mirpox, aromatics to the stock. Like I said I have two large stock pots, 12 & 16 qts.

do I fill it w/ water at start? Should I top it off as it evaporates off?

1 hour ago, Dave588 said:

How about split pea or lima?

So my wife asked for navy beans, all the recipes list great northern beans. Can I mix it up w/ kinds of beans?

My wife loves limas. I saw a Goya soup bean mix that had more kinds of beans than I could recognize.

I’m thinking three kinds beans, northern, limas, black eyed peas?

 

After beans are cooked in bone stock (w/ mirpox/ aromatics), I’d like to add in some cubbed ham & some veggies. All I can think of is celery, onion, and carrots. What about chopped kale?

 

Like I said, any input or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I’ve never done a ham and beans.

Thanks!!!

JD

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The other differance I’m seeing as a pour through ham & bean recipes on line is that people just soak their beans in water overnight without adding salt and seasonings. They add the salt and seaonings to the stock & or while cooking the whole recipe.

 

Is there a real differance or advantage to adding salt (i.e. brineing), garlic & or onion powder & bay leaf to beans soaking overnight, before final rinse in cold fresh water and before cooking?

JD

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Okay, after poking around the interwebs and pouring over ham and bean recipes, here’s what I came up with.

If I had a food processor I’d puree some of the beans to thicken and add body, but I don't have one.

I’d really appreciate any suggestions, additions or warnings. I don't want to screw this up.

Thanks in advance!

JD

 

Ham and Bean Recipe

 

·     Dry Beans:

o  A combination of mostly pinto, (or great northern), some black -eyed peas, a few lima beans 

o  Sort and rinse dry beans 

o  Fill large stock pot with water

o  To the water, add in 3 table spoons of salt, two bay leaves, garlic & onion powder & let soak overnight

o  Drain off water and rinse again

 

·     Ham Bone Stock:

o  Place ham bones & a few smoked ham hocks in large stock pot along with any ham fat and scraps

o  Add two or three quartered unpeeled medium yellow onions, a head of garlic broken into cloves, a head of celery, a pound of carrots to water (no need to chop veggies)

o  Cover with water, bring to boil, lower to a simmer and simmer for 4-8 hours

o  Cool and strain stock, discard solids and retain stock

 

·     In a Large Skillet:

o  render some bacon, remove and discard bacon and retain the fat

o  chop two or three onions, two cloves of garlic, several stalks of celery, a small bunch of carrots

o  Cube as much ham as you want to add to the recipe

o  Lightly brown the chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots & cubed ham.

 

·     In Stock Pot:

o  Add soaked, rinsed and sorted beans to stock

o  Add white pepper, two tea spoons freeze dried parsley, bay leaf, dash of brown sugar, one or two shakes of tobacco sauce

o  Bring to boils then reduce to simmer for one and a half hours

o  Add in browned veggies and cubed ham and simmer for another 1 ½ hours or until beans are tender and flavors are well married.

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I have heard somewhere that if you add salt to the bean soaking and/or cooking water, it toughens the skin and makes them more likely to be "gassy." Not sure if that is true or just a old cooking myth.

 

As to the stock, roast the bones a bit first. then add just them to a pot of water. Bring to a simmer for a bit and then skim off the scum. Only then add the vegetables. If you add them before you skim, it makes skimming more diufficult, as some of the vegetable matter will be floating.

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59 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

 

As to the stock, roast the bones a bit first. then add just them to a pot of water. Bring to a simmer for a bit and then skim off the scum. Only then add the vegetables. If you add them before you skim, it makes skimming more diufficult, as some of the vegetable matter will be floating.

Thanks Steve,

I would have never know that!

JD

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I think salt in the soak water helps to prevent beans from bursting.   Serious Eats again, but I forget if changes the skins or keeps insides from exploding especially if cooked gently.  Rinse and cook in fresh water lightly salted if you want.  They taste better.  You can use what you need and store excess beans in cooking liquid or freeze if you don’t want a huge pot of leftovers.  

Dont rely on recipe times, they’re cooked when they’re done. 

Mash some with a fork if you want some thickening.   Not as smooth as a processor but so what. 

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Jim, that is likely correct as to the bursting, cause if what I passed along is correct, the bursting thing would follow....the skins are tougher from the slat, so they don't split as easily.

 

JJD - Learned that the hard way when making chicken stock. And I am still in search of the perfect tool for skimming that scum.Slotted spoons do okay, but it is still a pain as the slots are usually not fine enough.

 

Got pretty close, it needs to be like this:

 

skimmer.jpg.ca0d8c3531f9924ed8609253d51fb2a1.jpg

 

Only the lip needs to be thinner, more of a steel rod, and the shape should not be round but rectangular. For some reason a lot of the scum you want to skim will migrate to the perimeter of the pot, and with the circular sieve, there is a small tangent point to the pot, making it tedious. A straight edge would be much more efficient.

 

 

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Found the article.  SE refers to a CI article but gist was sodium ions in salt replace some calcium and magnesium ions in the skins.  This kind of regulates the expansion in the skins and the interior as they cook and absorb water to about the same rate.  No salt, the skins don’t grow as quickly as the beans expand.   

 

 

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49 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

Jim, that is likely correct as to the bursting, cause if what I passed along is correct, the bursting thing would follow....the skins are tougher from the slat, so they don't split as easily.

 

JJD - Learned that the hard way when making chicken stock. And I am still in search of the perfect tool for skimming that scum.Slotted spoons do okay, but it is still a pain as the slots are usually not fine enough.

 

Got pretty close, it needs to be like this:

 

skimmer.jpg.ca0d8c3531f9924ed8609253d51fb2a1.jpg

 

Only the lip needs to be thinner, more of a steel rod, and the shape should not be round but rectangular. For some reason a lot of the scum you want to skim will migrate to the perimeter of the pot, and with the circular sieve, there is a small tangent point to the pot, making it tedious. A straight edge would be much more efficient.

 

 

Wow, all I have is a small round screen strainer, line one would use to drain a can of vegtables or rinse fruit.

 

By the way, what is that scum? Perhaps a combination of protien and fat?

I’m assuming it should be skimmed so it doesn’t re-appear in the finished soup & make it unsightly?

15 mins ago, JimW said:

Found the article.  SE refers to a CI article but gist was sodium ions in salt replace some calcium and magnesium ions in the skins.  This kind of regulates the expansion in the skins and the interior as they cook and absorb water to about the same rate.  No salt, the skins don’t grow as quickly as the beans expand.   

 

Nice, I will use salt when soaking then to help avoic or limit bursting.

Thanks again!

JD

 

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JJD - That is all I have as well. A few different sizes. I have yet ot ever see one as I described, perhaps I should patent it...... ;)

 

 

The scum is blood and other proteins from the marrow.

 

I have seen Jacques Pepin do something with egg shells to flock it (sorry, chemistry term, "congeal" maybe?) to make it easier to remove, but he was doing chicken stock.

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Good stuff, Jim...... It was one of those things that some chefs said for years, and then it came into question. I think Alton Brown even has a bean episode where he mentions that in his humorous type of way he has..........

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Congeal is probably the right word.  Not sure but think flocculation is ion attraction.  The scum is protein and egg white raft with gather most of it up.  I think what’s important is not to boil and not stir.  Most of the scum will congeal on the surface and slotted spoon will work.   I keep a bowl of water out to float the scum off the spoon and just dip some out whenever I walk by. 

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