Just call me the bean queen, bean whisperer, the bean goddess. I LOVE beans. And, I have to say, I make one fine killer pot of beans regardless of what type of bean it is. I haven’t met a bean I can’t tame into something luxurious and chic with spices, herbs, seasonings and more. And, these salsa verde latin red beans & pork are to die for~I had several food seekers come eat, and they gave them 10+++!
Beans also can take on a very gorgeous presentation when serving. They just don’t have to be put in a bowl by themselves. Depending upon the finished beans, and I love mine with a thick rich sauce like broth, you can serve them even on bowl-like plates. Thick rich beans also lend well to be served on beds of greens and with other raw veggies. Of course, beans and rice are a given, but why not try beans and pasta, beans over grilled toast, beans gracing a homemade biscuit (move over gravy!), beans on a mound of creamy mashed potatoes! Oh, lawsy, I’m hungry!
1 cup green salsa (salsa verde)—store brand (I used Herdez.)
See my 'Note' below. You can opt for this procedure or go straight to cooking the dried beans.
In a large cast iron pot over medium heat put the olive oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes.
Add the beans, two cups of chicken broth, enough water to cover the beans about 3-4 inches, ham hock, salt, pepper, chili flakes and cumin. Bring to a roaring boil for about 30 minutes.
Put a lid on (slightly askew to let steam escape), add more water (keep beans covered about 2-3 inches). Turn heat to medium and cook for the next 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Keep adding water about every 30-45 minutes. You want to keep those beans covered.
In the last hour, add the pork, turn heat to medium low add the remaining chicken broth and green salsa. Cook another hour or so, until the beans are tender, the pork is fork tender and the broth starts to thicken.
Add water as needed. When done, turn heat to simmer, remove ham hock and pull off any meat and add back to the beans (discard bones and fat). Keep beans on simmer until ready to serve.
Taste a bean or two for tenderness as you're cooking them. Adjust your time accordingly.
I don't soak my beans overnight because the skins usually peel off. Rather try this technique. Rinse and soak about an hour. Pour off most all the water (a small amount will be in the bottom of the bowl just providing moisture). Then cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let the beans sit overnight.
I'm not sure there's a particle of difference in the end result from this pre-soak and cooking versus just cooking.