Ever since we moved to Texas, I’ve been researching places to get local food. It’s a different situation here than it was in Caliornia. There are a lot more farms offering pastured meat our here, but a lot less offering organic produce. Every area has it’s ups an downs.
I had the privilege of visiting The Barry Farm last week. They run a small operation, raising red wattle heritage breed pigs and chickens. I got to see first hand the happy pigs wallowing in the mud (it had just rained) and the cutest piglets!
Knowing where my food comes from is important to me, since it’s hard to know the quality of meat and produce from the grocery store.
I got a pound of smoked ham hock, and it made the BEST beans. Ham hocks are best when cooked over a long period of time at a low temperature. Even though it’s the ankle bone, there is actually a lot of meat attached to it, but it takes some slow cooking to make it tender enough to shred.
The delicious smoky flavor really permeates the beans when you slow cook it!
It was one of the easiest slow cooker recipes I’ve ever made.
All I did was soak the beans in water overnight, rinse them, then add the beans + ham hock + 1/2 onion + 2 cloves of garlic + 5 cups of water in the crock pot. 8 hours on low. Shred the meat. Done! So easy! It just takes a little planning.
The wonderful about this dish was how far it stretched. Taylor and I ate it for 3 dinners! So cost effective. It goes well with cornbread too. Especially this Cheddar Chipotle Cornbread.
I’ll be making this again soon!
- 2½ cups dried pinto beans
- 1 lb smoked ham hocks
- ½ onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 5 cups water + more for soaking
- salt and pepper
- Soak beans in enough water to cover them by about 2 inches for 12-24 hours.
- Rinse beans and add to crock pot.
- Add ham hock, onion, garlic, and water. Stir to combine. Nestle ham hock as low as possible so the smoky flavor will release evenly in the water.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. Transfer ham hock to cutting board and remove skin and fat.Discard. Shred remaining meat.
- After beans and broth settle, skim fat off the top with a large spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add shredded meat back to broth and serve hot.