Another American classic: Pork & Beans. These pork and beans are made in a crockpot, which makes it so easy.
Since we’re making ours with chicken stock, this recipe for pork and beans is much more nutrient-dense than what you’d normally get.
Kids love pork and beans. It’s also very economical, just like the Black Bean Soup recipe I posted last week.
Plus it’s easy to make. While it take some planning ahead, this meal is simple enough to make for a weeknight.
I start the morning before, adding the dry beans to the crockpot, adding filtered water, set it on warm for an hour or two, then let it soak until the following morning. Then I drain and rinse the beans, add the broth (make sure to use homemade or organic from the store) and other ingredients, bring to a boil, and let it cook all day in the crock pot.
If you want to speed up the process, you can use canned beans. (That’s what I’m making tonight — since I don’t have anything planned.) All you have to do is reduce the cooking time to a couple of hours on medium heat in the crock pot.
Pork and beans go great with a nice slice of buttered sourdough bread (check my resources page if you would like to make your own) or cornbread (make sure to buy organic as non-organic corn is basically all genetically modified). You could always serve with a green salad.
To add some fermented foods to your meal, be sure to top the pork and beans with sauerkraut. Both are great ways to add enzymes to your diet.
This recipe is adapted and modified from the Baked Beans recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon-Morell.
The changes I made were to increase the nutrition and flavour of the recipe. To do this I added a ham hock and I used bone broth instead of water to cook the beans. Ham hocks are relatively inexpensive, but you may substitute bacon.
Other changes were to the condiments – ketchup instead of tomato paste, and I added mustard. My grandmother always used to add mustard to her baked beans — and my grandma made the best baked beans ever!
If you like, you can substitute sausage for the hot dogs.
If you are on the GAPS or SCD diet, you can substitute honey for the sweeteners and use sugar-free or ketchup.
If you don’t have a crock pot, you can just as easily make this recipe in the oven. Instructions for both methods follow.
Things to Do Ahead
1. Soak the beans for 24 hours (32-36 hours ahead of your dinner)
2. Cook the beans (8-12 hours ahead of your dinner)
Crockpot Pork and Beans
Serves: 6-8 (Leftovers will freeze well)
Beans, Great Northern or other small white, dried (4 cups)
Onion, yellow or white, large (1)
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed (2 TBS)
Coconut oil, expeller-pressed & refined, or lard or tallow (2 TBS)
Chicken stock, homemade or organic (1 quart or 32 oz)
Ham hock (1)
Ketchup, without HFCS (1/3 cup)
Mustard (2 TBS)
Vinegar (3 TBS)
Maple syrup (1/4 cup)
Molasses (1/4 cup)
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot dogs, grass-fed (1 package)
Crockpot, stock pot or Dutch oven
1. First thing in the morning, put the beans in the crock pot. Pick out any stones. If you don’t have a crock pot, use a stock pot or Dutch oven.
2. Cover with filtered water (about an inch or two higher than the beans).
3. Set the crock pot on warm and let it stay warm for a couple of hours, then turn off the heat. Let it sit for 24 hours. (If using stock pot, turn on the heat and just bring the water up to warm. Then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 24 hours.)
4. The next morning, drain the beans in a colander and rinse well.
5. Chop the onion.
6. In a skillet (or in the stock pot if you are using it), melt the fats and saute the onion.
7. When onion is soft, add beans and chicken stock.
8. Bring to a boil and skim.
9. Transfer to crock pot if using (or, if using stock pot or Dutch oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees).
10. Add the rest of the ingredients except the hot dogs.
11. Set crock pot on high and cook for 6-8 hours, or cook in oven for about 6 hours. If you prefer, you can also set the crock pot on low and cook for 10-12 hours.
12. About an hour or so before serving, slice the hot dogs into coins and stir into the pot. Remove the bone from the ham hock and discard.