My Angel Baby is a country girl! Or she would be if we lived in the country. AB will eat anything I throw at her and not bat an eye at it. I set the table for Sunday dinner and waited to see what reactions the ham and beans got. Flossy and Brutus wouldn't have anything to do with it but AB dove in with her spoon ablazin!
I think just about every part of the US has some dish made with ham (or perhaps sausage) and some sort of dried bean. Where I’m from, we usually like to use dried butter beans. I grew up eating these served over rice but you can serve it like a soup too!
1 pound dried small butter beans (baby lima beans)*
1 ham bone with trimmings or 2 ham hocks
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper**
Rinse beans per package instructions then add to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add remaining ingredients, cover and heat over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 hours or until beans are tender. You can also cook in a crock pot 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
Remove ham bone from pot to cool. Taste for salt and add if needed. I make mine a little on the salty side since I serve them over plain white rice so I usually have about 2 teaspoons total in mine.
Once the ham is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bone, cut or shred into small pieces. Add ham pieces to beans and stir well before serving.
I serve mine over white rice topped with fresh diced onion but you can also serve this as a hearty soup. Either way, you’re going to want a big o’ hunk of Skillet Cornbread to go with it!
*We always use the small butter beans but feel free to use any dried beans. A lot of folks use the big butter beans (the “45s”) or great northern beans.
**I use white pepper in these because they cook up so creamy I like to keep things light but you can absolutely substitute with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Click here for Skillet Cornbread recipe.