Dear Reader, this recipe almost wasn't one. I was tinkering about in the kitchen with no intention of making this into a bloggable recipe. Until I tried some and it was so delicious I had to ask people on Instagram whether they wanted unsexy food. The answer was a resounding yes. So that's how this humble but delicious black bean and ham hock stew came to be. It's perfect for the chilly weather and another a bonus? It cost around $10 to make and feeds four! If you are looking for something rich and nourishing please make this recipe.
That's why my lovelies, there are no process photos. Just pictures of the finished product where quite honestly it doesn't look like all that much. But the proof is in the flavour. The ham hock releases all of its gelatinous goodness and flavour. Although it is mostly bone it has so much smoky flavour. You can find ham hocks at butchers or even the deli section of the supermarket.
I have a friend Mr X that I was talking to about eating out with a while back. He works in food so he was saying that he eats out to have food that he doesn't have to make at home. For me, I tend to eat out to eat food that I can't make at home.
For him, while he eats at high end restaurants for research he also eats at the pub once a week so that he doesn't have to cook at home. For me I always choose dishes like duck and steak, things that I don't so much make at home. I rarely order chicken because it's so easy to make. I'm not sure what category this stew falls in (the closest dish is Brazilian feijoada but it has a different flavour profile). But promise me you'll try this at least once?
So tell me Dear Reader, do you eat out to eat things you don't have the time to make at home? Or do you eat out at places and order things that you can't make at home?
Black Bean Ham Hock Stew
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2-2.5 hours
- Oil for sauteeing
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 5 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 smoked ham or smoked pork hock (I usually ask for the smallest one so that it can fit into my pot)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 cups chicken stock (or enough to cover the ham hock)
- 2x400g/14oz tins black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 4x teaspoons Qidra spices
- 2 chillies, sliced
Step 1 - Heat a large cast iron pot with lid (big enough to fit your ham hock) on medium heat. Add oil and saute onions for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the garlic and carrot and cook for 1 minute. Then add ham hock and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for 1.5 hours turning over if the water runs low so that the meat becomes soft and falls away from the bone. Remove the meat from the bone and sort of mash it so that it breaks up into smaller chunks. I also discard the rind because it can be quite fatty and Mr NQN doesn't eat it. But by all means keep it in if you want. It becomes meltingly soft.
Step 2 - Add the black beans, spices and chillies and simmer with the lid off until the liquid starts to evaporate and thicken to a stew-like consistency. This may take up to 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much liquid is left and how much liquid you want. Season with salt and pepper if it needs it. I served this with brown basmati rice (my favourite brown rice as it takes less time to cook).