Freezing……frigid……..icy…….snowy……..windy……… how about soup!
Now my husband is a bean lover, when we first started dating he raved about what he called October beans. I had never heard of them………go figure. It’s a Southern thing and I’m a Yankee.
Just a little back ground on these beans……
The old-fashioned October beans — also called “shell” or “speckled cranberry” beans the traditional Appalachian way to cook them is to season with a piece of ham hock or fatback (salted pork fat). Cook slowly (low boil) (but oh the modern crock pot is such a help) with onions and herbs until they are creamy and soft. They have a rich, earthy, robust, chestnut-like flavor. They are best served with cornbread.
So I must confess I am not a huge bean lover…….please no shots fired at the Yankee. But if you love beans you will find these to be a beans lovers dream come true. Everyone in Tim’s family is crazy about them. So for all you Southerns hankering for some good ole down home beans this is the recipe for you.
P.S. It also takes minutes to prepare and with the help of the crock pot it is quick and easy.
- 1 - 1lb bag of cranberry beans
- 8 cups of water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 ham hock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tablespoons garlic pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of baking soda (especially if you have hard water, it will help the beans cook
- better as the soda softens the water)
- 10 cups water
- Butter and chopped raw onions for garnish
- Rinse the beans, picking out any bad beans. Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 8 cups of water. Allow the beans to soak 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Rinse soaked beans and place in crock pot. Add the chopped onion, ham hock, garlic, garlic pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, pinch of baking soda, and 10 cups of water.
- Cook on low 6-8 hours.
- Place beans in a shallow bowl and garnish with a pat of butter and chopped raw onions. Serve with Cornbread.