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Rinse beans and sort. In a large Dutch oven, combine beans and 6 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in 6 cups water in Dutch oven. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.)
Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to pot Add pork hock, onion, bell pepper, celery, bay leaves, cayenne, garlic and the remaining 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. (Add additional water during cooking, if necessary.)
Remove pork hock. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bone; coarsely chop meat. Discard bone.
Return chopped meat to the pot. Return to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes more or until a thick gravy forms, stirring occasionally.
Discard bay leaves. Stir in salt. Serve the bean mixture over hot cooked rice.