Country comfort in a pot.
October 24, 2010 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Country comfort food, non-kosher edition: what are your favorite bean soup/stew recipes for smoked ham hocks or pork neck bones?

I got started cooking with smoked pork-on-bone products with this here and it was delicious, but am not so thrilled about using a prepackaged seasoning mix with artificial flavorings for the next one.

What are your favorite soul food/country/ethnic soup or stew recipes that involve flavoring with smoked pork bits on the bone? (I'm more interested in recipes that call for simmering with and then removing these parts, than anything featuring them as a main focus.)
posted by availablelight to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I always always always put a ham hock in pinto beans. I grew up in West Virginia - it's a cardinal sin if you don't have a pork product in your beans. I do mine in a crockpot - 2 lbs pinto beans, 1 ham hock, bit of salt, and enough water to cover the beans. 8 hours and they're done. Swap the pintos out for any sort of bean and you'd be good, too. Especially black beans.

Barring that, any sort of greens and ham hocks work well - collards, kale, etc. Best to serve with cornbread so you can sop up the juice. My grandmother makes green beans with a ham hock and then chops up the meat finely and mixes it in - similar to this. This is not for everyone, as I prefer my green beans to be crunchy and not mushy.
posted by kerning at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Split pea soup. You don't even really need any seasoning beyond some sauteed onion, pepper, and the ham hock/ham bone. There are lots of variations out there.
posted by cabingirl at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

Split pea soup is dead simple. Boil smoked ham hocks with dried split peas, carrot, celery, and onion. Once the peas are mushy, pull out the ham hocks and any the meat back in (if you like). Season with salt and finish with a squirt of lemon juice.
posted by Gilbert at 1:40 PM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: My family loves bean soup made with these. The simplest recipe doesn't require soaking the beans overnight, just put about two cups of dried, cleaned, navy beans in the slow cooker with one large hock or 2-3 small/medium ones. Add 2-3 chopped, yellow onions and 2 stalks of celery, chopped finely. 2 Bay Leaves and some fresh ground pepper. No salt yet as this will toughen the beans. Cover with water about an inch above the beans and cook on the lowest setting for at least eight hours. Skim the fat, remove the hocks and return the lean meat to the soup. Salt to taste and add any other seasonings you like. Bay Seasoning works well, or you can spice it up with a little Tobasco. You can make a Senate Bean soup by adding some mashed potatoes at this stage. If you don't do that you can blend some of the soup then return it for a smoother texture. You'll get this naturally as you reheat it on the stove a couple of times.

Serve with hearty breads like banana or zucchini.
posted by Mertonian at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: Pea soup. Aside from carrots, onions, and optionally celery, I recommend opening a bottle of a dark beer (stout, porter, etc.), drinking 3/4 of it and pouring the rest in the soup near the end of the cooking time for added flavour.
posted by ssg at 3:54 PM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: For a really porky, smoky split pea soup, make stock out of your hock (or ham bone), more or less as you would with chicken.

To remove some of the salt from the hock, first blanch it by putting it in a stockpot of cold water, bringing it to a boil, and then discard the water. Depending on how salty your hock is, you may have to do this one or two more times.

Once the hock has been blanched, simmer it in your stockpot until the water takes on a pronounced flavor of the hock, and the meat has almost no flavor whatsoever--about 3 hours or so. At this point, add a coarsely diced mirepoix (carrot, celery, and onion--as much onion as carrot and celery combined), a bay leaf and some peppercorns. Allow this to simmer until the vegetables are well cooked and have given up their flavor, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Strain out the vegetables, reserving the broth, and then cook the peas in it.

Allowing the soup to reduce while it's cooking (leave the lid off) gives it a fantastic, thick texture, as does the gelatin extracted from the hock.
posted by Lycaste at 4:17 PM on October 24, 2010

Green beans, taters, and ham -

It is as simple as is sounds - simmer the hocks and peeled potatoes in enough water to cover and after a couple of hours, add in the green beans.
If you want to be really fancy, use vegetable broth* instead of water and/or fresh green beans. If you want to go basic: toss the hocks, canned peeled potatoes and canned or frozen beans into a crock pot on low for 6 hours. Serving suggestion: potatoes on the plate, mash them up then add beans and a hunk of hock. Tastes best if you mash up the potatoes and add in a little of the pot liquor.

*Due to the salt in the ham hocks, I would recommend using a low salt veggie broth.
posted by jaimystery at 5:22 PM on October 24, 2010

lima beans
posted by elle.jeezy at 7:18 PM on October 24, 2010

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