Pork, Beans & Greens

I flew home last Tuesday from an intense two-week study trip to New Orleans. OK, there may have been a little fun thrown in there. But, since then, it’s been all about work and school. I spent most of the weekend reading and writing, but I did manage to carve out some time to cook those beautiful yellow eye beans from Cayuga Pure Organics that I picked up last month.

Dried beans may seem intimidating, but they are infinitely better than canned and it’s honestly hard to screw them up. They’re also cheap and a great source of nutrition. Ideally, you soak them overnight, after which they should look something like the photo below. But the quick-soak method is just fine. Add the beans along with enough water to cover them to a pot, bring to a boil over high heat for a few minutes, and then let soak for a couple of hours. Whichever method you choose, be sure to drain them.

Soaked Yellow Eyed Beans

Yellow Eye Bean Stew

  • 1 pound dried yellow eye beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 6 ounces bacon, roughly cut
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • dried, smoked chili peppers (to taste)
  • 1 pound smoked pork neck bones (A ham hock or even a smoked turkey wing or two would also do the trick.) 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Render the bacon in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until wilted but not yet browned.
  3. Add the celery and carrots and cook for a couple more minutes.
  4. Add the beans, garlic, dried chili peppers, neck bones, bay leaf, and enough water to cover.
  5. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until the beans are tender, about two hours. (If by chance you just tossed in a few peppers from your extensive and unlabeled collection, you might want to taste the broth midway through. If it has already reached that sinus-clearing point but is just shy of bringing tears to your eyes, it’s probably time to remove the chilis.)
  6. Remove the neck bones, strip off any remaining meat, chop roughly, and add back to the pot.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

BeforePre-Cook

AfterYellow Eyed Beans with Pork

I love me some beans. And I love them even more when they’re served with greens. I cooked these up on Sunday night, took a nice helping over to my neighbors’ apartment, and have been eating the rest throughout the week along with some mustard greens that I had in the fridge.

Last night, I tossed the beans, raw mustard greens, and some cherry tomatoes with an apple cider and whole-grain mustard vinaigrette.

Yellow Eyed Bean and Mustard Green Salad

Tonight, I heated the beans up with some additional water, added the mustard greens, and simmered until they were lightly cooked. A few splashes of a vinegar-based hot sauce was the finishing touch.

Yellow Eyed Bean and Mustard Greens Soup

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