Baked beans are always a treat, no matter how you look at them. And this baked beans recipe is no exception! Loaded with smoky chunks of ham hock, beans, and barbeque sauce, this delicious recipe can easily pass for a meal or hearty side for your next potluck!
Today we are going to try something a little different by making baked beans with a ham hock.
Cooking smoked ham hocks is a relatively simple process, and the smoky flavor closely resembles a meaty bacon flavor!
This recipe is hands down my favorite side to go along with these stuffed venison backstraps.
how to cook a ham hock
Have you ever had to ask yourself what to do with a ham hock? Well, you are not alone. A ham hock is a peculiar-looking piece of meat that comes from right below the ham.
Well, actually below the shank, but either way, the lower portion of the leg.
The ham hocks are best slow-cooked since it’s a rather tough, heavily worked piece of meat.
It actually makes incredible ham broth, which, now looking back on it, I probably should have done while I was cooking the ham hock.
Cooking smoked ham hocks
Cooking ham hocks is a pretty straightforward process. Since we are making ham hocks and beans, baked beans style, the first step is to cook the hock.
Heat the dutch oven on the stovetop with a bit of cooking oil. Coconut oil and avocado oil both work well.
Once it is good and hot, sear the flat, or cut side of the hock for about a minute and a half.
Then, add a cup of water to the dish (this is the point where I should have gone ahead and made some broth), cover, and place it in the oven at 350°F for about an hour and 40 minutes.
The meat will pull away from the bone and shred easily with a fork when it is done. If the meat is ready, pull it out of the oven and let it cool before pulling it apart with a fork.
With the hock meat out of the dutch oven, set the pot back on the stove and saute a bell pepper and onion with another splash of oil.
Once the vegetables begin to soften, add back in the ham, along with 3 cans of pinto beans and barbeque sauce.
At this point, you can keep it simple, leave it alone and move on to the next step, or add in smoked paprika, ground black pepper, a dash of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), and a pinch or two of brown sugar.
Stir it all together until the ingredients are well incorporated, then set it back in the oven, at the same temperature, uncovered this time, for about 15-20 minutes.
What to make with ham hocks
Baked beans are such a simple recipe while, at the same time, outrageously delicious! But what goes well with baked beans? Let me tell you, it pairs so well with so many different recipes. Here a just a few!
- Rosemary garlic tenderloin
- Juicy tender brats
- Fried chicken
- Venison meatloaf
- Jalapeno burgers
- Venison steaks
- Classic cornbread
Cooking ham hocks with baked beans Is an excellent way to use up that ham in your freezer, especially if you bought a hog from a local farmer and were not quite sure how to cook it.
We all know those cuts that get pushed to the back of the freezer – I’m talking about the pig’s tail and pigs feet.
I do hope you enjoyed this recipe; smoked ham hocks have such a rich, bacon-like flavor, simply fantastic slow-cooked.
Be sure to check out the recipe card below for exact measurements and cook times. And if you tried it, make sure you leave a comment below telling me what you think!
Smoked Ham Hock & Beans
- 1 ham hock
- 4 cans of pinto beans 15.5 oz
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 large onion diced
- Avocado oil
- 3/4 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce
- 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper optional
- Heat the dutch oven to medium-high heat with a dash of oil and sear the hock for 1.5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pot, cover, and bake at 350° for an hour and 40 minutes.
- Once the meat is done, transfer it to a plate and shred it with a fork.
- Saute the bell pepper and onion with about a tbsp of oil until soft.
- Add the beans and meat back in, along with the rest of the ingredients. (drain the liquid from 3 of the cans first)
- Stir in well, then transfer back to the oven to bake uncovered for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through.