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Ham and Trotter Baked Beans, from scratch, w/Q-View

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by snorkelinggirl, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The weather turned cold and rainy this weekend, which puts me in the mood for a fire in the fireplace, soft lighting, a glass of wine, and....baked beans!

    This is a great dish to use up leftover bits of cured or smoked pork, any pork bones you have lying around, and definitely a trotter if you have one. Lots of different versions of baked beans on the internet. My version is loosely based on an Alton Brown recipe (Once and Future Beans) but I cut back on the sugar and spice, and add in some extra savory flavors. And a trotter.

    I had some bacon ends and about 1/2 lb of uncooked ham from my last curing projects, so I used those. You could use 1/2 lb or more of uncooked bacon, leaving the rind on if you have it. If you don't have the rind, definitely try to throw in a split trotter to add that collagen silkiness.

    Soak 1 lb of beans overnight in a lot of cold water. Navy or Great Northern work well. In the morning, rinse them well, cover them by 2" with fresh water, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. Reserve the cooking liquid.

    I sauteed my chopped ham and bacon with 1 diced onion and 1 minced jalapeno in a braising dish. I mostly seeded my jalapeno, but leave in the seeds and membranes if you really like heat. You just want to render some fat from the bacon and cook the onion enough to soften it but not brown it. Since I was using mostly ham instead of bacon, I added in some olive oil. I would have used bacon grease if I had it on hand.

    Then I added in 3 Tbsp molasses, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 Tbsp ground mustard powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. If you like aromatics, you can throw in a small pinch of ground clove and ground cinnamon or a little bit of the whole spice; a little goes a long way. Be careful of adding in salt right now....I usually wait until later so that I can gauge how much saltiness the bacon and ham are going to add.

    Add in the cooked beans and enough of the cooking liquid to just cover the beans. Add in the split trotter if you have it.

    Bake tightly covered at 275 deg F for 3-4 hours or so until the trotter is fully cooked and everything is coming away from the bone. I usually start it at 325 deg until I get a good simmer going, then lower the heat to 275 deg.

    Pull out the trotter and return the covered dish to the oven. When the trotter has cooled a little, strip everything off the bones and dice it finely. I mean everything: skin, collagen, tendons. This what your trotter should look like after you have stripped off everything, before and after.

    Stir the diced trotter bits back into the beans; remove the bay leaves. Check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another hour or so until the beans are completely tender and the sauce is thick and silky. If it seems a little liquidy then you can cook it uncovered. If it seems dry, then add in a little boiling water. If you want your beans extra smokey, then cook them uncovered in your smoker for this last hour or more.

    If you used a trotter, keep in mind that the collagen from the trotter will gel the bean liquid as it cools. If you are the kind of person who likes to eat cold baked beans (meeeeee!), then you might want to leave your beans a little on the liquidy side so that they aren't too solid when cold. Otherwise you'll be able to slice them with a fork and knife. They'll soften right back up with a little heating, though.

    These beans came out really delicious.....soft and creamy, smoky, porky, not too sweet, and with a spicy kick. Perfect for a chilly Sunday night.

    Thanks for reading!
    disco likes this.
  2. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit

    Yum yum... it got to 43 here last night.. and that right there beside the out door fire would have been GREAT! THANKS for another great thread miss C!
  3. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, Mikey! They were delicious!

    Hope you have a great week!
  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll bet they had good flavor, they look awesome!! [​IMG]
  5. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Your beans look good, Carissa.

  6. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mmmmm..... beans is my second favoraist food group. White beans, red beans, black beans, black eye'd susies, pintos beans, Pink eye'd purple hull, etc etc etc..... Ya know I like trotters and hocks by themselves, but with beans.........OMW!  And those beans and Trotter looks great. Ya know they look so good, I think I'll put on some red beans now for supper! Thank you Clarissa for the most excellent looking meal, and the inspiration. I will thank you again tonight I am sure! Perfect timing, Monday, Red Beans and rice maybe some of those good bacon trimmin's.

    Thank you Lady C
  7. disco

    disco Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm sorry, Clarissa, but this post is just plain cruel. I am looking out my window at a foot of snow that I have to shovel off a 200 foot driveway and I don't have a pot of these beans.

    They look stunning, your post walks us through the process and your Qview is so good I can almost taste the beans.

    Yep. Pretty cruel.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  8. Those pics remind me of that pudding. "Might-T-Fine"  I'm Gonna store that in my archives.
  9. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you all very much for the kind words and comments! I appreciate you checking out my post!

    Hope everyone has a great evening and week!
  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brilliant ,love it. Made all round the world,your version equal to any I have seen.
    It's seasonal eating now its getting cold. We are eating salads ,grilled fish & meats,cold oysters down here. Getting towards that Aussie Xmas dinner,the cold seafood buffet!
  11. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    you are going to have to tell this dummy what a trotter is????
  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Trotters are "Pigs Feet".

  13. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ahh i see..
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bah! Horses broken to the harness and used in races as surrey or harness racing are called trotters! Its Horse meat!!! 

    OMG!! OMG! OMG! Its horse meat, I wonder if mule tastes the same. Ewwwww..........