Cooking amazing food is easy with just a little preparation. I cook and garden in a very similar manner, I get a lot done by doing a little bit at a time. Breaking down large tasks into many small ones is so easy for me to do in the kitchen. I might stop every-so-often and take 10 minutes contribute to a meal doing things like marinating meat, prepping veggies,or soaking beans for the next day. Each little step just builds upon the next.
This is a two part recipe and each scrumptious step can be accomplished in no more than 20 minutes of active cooking.
The fist step, or recipe, will yield pork-tastic beans that are amazing over rice and served with a side of corn bread.
The second step, or bonus recipe, is for rich and creamy refried skillet beans.
While pork-tastic is a plus in my household, if you oppose then please simmer beans in veggie broth.
Slow Cooker Smoked Beans
Soak as many beans as your slow cooker will hold. I go big and soak at least 2-3c dry beans. Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with beans and the rest with cold water.
Cover and let soak 8hrs.
Drain and rinse, add more water and seasoning:
- Ham hock
- Bay leaves
Set cooker to low and simmer for 8+ hours. Now the bean should be soft and ready to eat. This will give you quantity of cooked pork flavored beans ready for frying, salads, adding to rice and making soups with. Tonight it is refried beans.
Refried Skillet Beans
To make the beans “refried”, pull out the handy dandy cast iron skillet. In the skillet heat 2Tb oil/fat or render fat from the ham hock. Cook till soft.
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2Tb diced pickled jalapeno, I like the pickled variety for this and guacamole because I think it adds good flavor.
- crumbled bacon, optional.
Add to the soft onion,
- 3-5 ladles full of beans and liquid. Approx 3 cups.
While the beans simmer, use a potato masher to smash the beans to pulp. Stir with a wooden spoon and smash the beans until the liquid boils out and the mash begin to thicken and turn creamy. Low and slow, they could simmer and thicken for hours, but a med-high heat, stirring often and they can cook down in 15 minutes.
Best served hot as the beans will begin to thicken as they cool.
Serve with warm fresh pressed tortillas and chopped onion and cilantro.