Comfort food at its best. Many people will tell you to soak your beans first (however, I have been told that you should soak dry beans when using a pressure cooker. Please follow manufactorers instructions in this case). I never do. I just wash them and cook them as below. For a really hearty winter meal, serve these with a loaf of hot fresh bread or a pan of corn bread and a pan of old fashioned crisp fried potatoes. These may also be made in the pressure cooker and crockpot.
- Wash beans and remove all gravel and such.
- Place beans, ham hocks, onions and garlic in a large dutch oven filled with water.
- Add spices.
- Bring to boil.
- Simmer on med-low heat for 4 to 5 hours, adding more water as needed.
- Remove hamhocks when they are tender and falling apart; allow to cool so they can be handled.
- Remove meat from ham hocks (discarding fat and bones) and return to the soup.