Steaming bowl of beans in hand, The Husband turned to me and said, “These are a national treasure.” Whether you choose pinto, navy or great northern beans this easy recipe will earn you raves. It’s a highly nutritional dish that fits most any budget. Use a left over ham bone or omit meat ingredients for a totally vegetarian dish.

1 pound dry pinto, navy or great northern beans
2 – 3 bay leaves
4 – 6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon whole pepper corns
½ bunch of parsley – about 1 cup, stalks and all
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 medium yellow onion
4 – 8 ounces pork “ends and pieces”
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Salt 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon
1 sweet onion
Hot sauce (I prefer “Crystal Sauce”)

Pick through the dry beans for stones. Place the beans in a Dutch oven, cover with fresh cold water and soak for 8 hours.

In a section of cheese cloth place bay leaves, pepper corns, garlic cloves and the parsley. There is no need to peel the garlic. You may need to fold or wad the parsley to make a nice bundle. Fold the sides of the cheese cloth over the seasonings and roll up. Secure your bundle with a clean cotton string. Tip: if you’ll start with the bay leaves and work in order, the pepper corns won’t roll away.

Wash the carrots, celery and yellow onion. No need to peel, these will be removed when the beans have cooked. No need to chop, just break the vegetables that are too long to fit easily into the Dutch oven.

Place the carrots, celery, yellow onion, seasoning bag and pork in the bottom of a Dutch oven or slow cooker. Drizzle the olive oil on top. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Cover with fresh cold water to a scant inch above the beans. On a stove top, turn the heat on high. Without allowing the pot to come to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to a slow simmer when the water is about to boil. Place lid on top, slightly askew to vent some steam and cook until tender; between 3 and 6 hours depending on the simmer. In a crock pot, cook on low for 10 – 12 hours until tender and creamy.

If you’re serving the beans over rice, approximately 30 minutes before the beans are finished, prepare according to package directions. Peel and chop the sweet onion.

When the beans are cooked, remove the seasoning bag and vegetables. Add salt if you like. Add ¼ cup of vinegar wait a minute or two, taste and adjust to your liking.

Serve the beans with or without the rice. Garnish with a hand full of sweet onion and a few dashes of Crystal Sauce.

These beans taste even better the following day :-)

Tip: Do not add salt or vinegar to your beans until they have finished cooking. Acidic ingredients cause bean skins to become tough during cooking.

*Magic: this recipe is exclusive to I Love You Recipes. It is from my personal, unpublished collection.

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