Basic Beans in the Oven (With Variations)
November 04, 2011
Categories: Comfort Food, Main Dish, Side Dishes, Soups/Stews, Beans, Pork, Ham, Vegetables, Onions, North American, Southern, Southwest, 5 Ingredients Or Less, Budget-Friendly, Cooking For A Crowd, Easy/Beginner Cooking, Freezer (OAMC), Kid Pleaser, Make-Ahead, Cinco de Mayo, Entertaining, Fall/Autumn, Game/Sports Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Picnic, Potluck, Regional Holiday, Summer, Winter, Weeknight Meals, Oven Bake, Stove Top, Heart Healthy, High Fiber, High Protein, Low Cholesterol, Low Fat, No Eggs, Non-Dairy, Sugar-Free more
"This versatile recipe has been a standby in our kitchen for many years because it cooks without tending -- no stirring, no watching to add extra liquid -- much like a slow cooker, but in less time. We use it to cook navy beans, butter beans, pinto beans, small red beans, kidney beans, and black eyed peas to use as a side dish or turn into a soup. Changing the seasonings yields a Southwestern dish and adding more liquid produces a comforting soup. This is just the "starter" recipe. Vary it to fit the occasion or your mood."
- Serving Size: 1 (401 g)
- Calories 427.1
- Total Fat - 38.9 g
- Saturated Fat - 4.8 g
- Cholesterol - 15 mg
- Sodium - 375.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 13 g
- Dietary Fiber - 4 g
- Sugars - 0.8 g
- Protein - 12.6 g
- Calcium - 51.2 mg
- Iron - 1.5 mg
- Vitamin C - 2.8 mg
- Thiamin - 0.8 mg
Reconstituting the beans: Either soak the beans overnight in water to cover (10 cups) or bring them to a boil, let them boil for 2-3 minutes, cover and let stand off of the heat for 1 hour. Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans.
Return the beans to a large dutch oven and add 8 cups of hot water, the ham bone, the crushed peppercorns, garlic, and onion. Cooking the beans with salt will toughen the skins, so salt it later, before serving.
Bake, covered, at 325 degrees for 3-4 hours. Check the tenderness of the beans at 3 hours and continue cooking if necessary.The beans should be soft but still retain their shape.
Remove from the oven and stir in room temperature cooked ham. Add salt if necessary and adjust seasonings to taste. Reheat briefly if necessary. Flavors will develop fully if the beans are cooled and refrigerated overnight, and they freeze admirably.
Serve it with cornbread, toasted slices of french or Italian bread, or warmed bolillos (a small, crusty Mexican baguette). Add a green salad and you've got a full meal.
For Southwestern Pintos: Start with the basic recipe, using pinto beans, and add 1 can Ro*tel tomatoes, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (crushed), 1 tablespoon celery flakes or 2 ribs of celery, diced. If you need to substitute, Ro*tel tomatoes are basically stewed tomatoes with jalapenos.
For "Senate Bean Soup": Start with the basic recipe, using navy beans, but increase the water to 10-12 cups. Start with 10 cups and add more to find the consistency you want. Add 2 carrots, diced, 1 tablespoon celery flakes or 2 ribs of celery, diced, 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce.
The recipe doubles or triples easily and freezes well. Make a pot for your family and one for a friend or neighbor. Garnish servings with sliced scallions or chopped parsley, or add grated cheese or a spoonful of sour cream to the top.
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.