Pork and beans are almost a staple when it comes to ribs and barbeques and our family wanted to be able to have them as well without high fructose corn syrup and dextrose in them. The only way it seemed that we would be able to do this is if we made them at home since none of the stores near us did not have what we wanted. It might take some time to prepare but in the end you are going to have a dish that everyone is going to comment about and be begging you for the recipe.
Home Made Pork And Beans Recipe
1 lb. dry small white beans or small navy beans (when you can’t find the white beans)
4 oz. of country ham
3 oz of concentrated tomato paste
2 tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp garlic (powder or fresh – either will work)
1 to 2 tsp salt
Prep the beans for use:
It is best to take and soak the beans in a bowl overnight so that they will be easier to cook with. Some might say just to use a pressure cooker but this is a simple recipe for those that might not have a gourmet kitchen to work with. You don’t have to do anything fancy, just put the beans in water and soak them over night.
In the morning or just before you are going to cook them, drain them and rinse them and then put them in a 4 to 6 quart cooking pan or pot. You would then cover them with water, making sure that they will be indeed fully covered. You don’t want any of the beans to be uncovered since you have to cook them to tenderness. Place the pot on a medium heat until it starts to boil. Once it has achieved a rapid boil then you will turn the heat down to a simmer and continue cooking with the lid off.
About the ham, you want to make sure that you use a good country ham that is salt cured and not some ham that has been cured in dextrose and high fructose corn syrup, remember we are wanting to stay away from that. If you can’t find a good ham to use then you can use a few slices of thick cut salt cured bacon. Make sure to read the label so that you know exactly what is in it. Take and cut the ham or the bacon up into small bits for use in the beans as they are cooking. Making sure that you have good pork or ham in the pot will make a world of difference to the taste and how long it will keep in the fridge.
Now is the time to add the rest of the ingredients, add in the salt, garlic, sugar, tomato paste and the ham making sure that the paste is dissolved into the beans. Now comes the hard part, you have to sit and suffer as the smell starts to fill the house for the next 4 hours. During that time make sure that you stir it often as you do not want to be left with all of the tomato paste sitting on the top. You should also have 4 cups of water handy as you will be adding it in as you are cooking so that the beans do not go dry. When finished cooking you will have a nice thick mix of beans and sauce like the picture below.
Enjoy the beans and make sure you keep a copy of the recipe for future generations of your family because they will all want to know how to make it. Remember this is a base recipe and some might like to add peppers or onions to the mix but our family likes it the way it is presented here.