Southern Ham and Brown Beans Recipe -
Southern Ham and Brown Beans Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Southern Ham and Brown Beans

Recipe by  

"This is the same recipe my mother's side of the family has been making for years, with my own special touch. Serve it with all of the fixin's. It goes great with cornbread, fried potatoes and fried cabbage."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 10 mins


  1. Place the beans and water in a large stockpot. Add the ham hock, onion and garlic. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Cover, and remove from heat. Let stand for one hour.
  2. Return the pot to the heat, and bring to a boil once again. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for at least 3 hours to blend flavors. The longer you simmer, the thicker the broth will become. I like to cook mine for about 6 hours.
  3. Remove the ham hock from the broth, and let cool. Remove the meat from the bone, and return the meat to the stockpot, discarding the bone. Adjust seasonings to taste.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • This recipe is also very good with diced ham added, and a can of chopped green chilies.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 09, 2010

I give this 4 out of 5 because it is a good recipe true to form, but there are some techniques that could help make sure the beans turn out the way you want them to - that is, nice and creamy beans in a relatively thick cooking liquid. So here's the trick: brine your beans overnight in plenty of water and 2-3 tablespoons of salt. You may worry they'll be salty. They will be. But you'll dump a lot of that salty water off. Because you've done this, don't add any salt to the recipe until the end to suit your tastes. Since you've now brined them, add them to the pot with water to cover, add your other ingredients (I soften my onion and garlic in a little oil over medium heat first), and bring to a boil. Reduce to a VIGOROUS simmer for 45-60 minutes. Stir occasionally. That simmer will give you the thick cooking liquid. After that, you can add more seasonings or ham if you like, and continue to simmer until your beans are all nice and soft - maybe up to 30 minutes or so. Another note, I love to use up a left over ham bone if there's one lying around, and add a bay leaf or 2 to the mix. If you have bean issues (your beans are always crumbly and not creamy), then definitely give these tips a whirl and see if it doesn't help!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 13, 2003

My hubby raved about this one, he's a big "southern cookin'" fan. :) One thing to note, MAKE SURE you don't keep the pot covered when it is simmering for the 3 hours. I checked on mine about halfway though, and all the liquid had dried up, and the beans were scorching on the bottom of the pot. Thankfully I caught it in time, before anything was burnt too badly, added water, more chili powder and salt and pepper to the mix, and it came out fine in the end. I didn't even notice any extra "smoke" in the taste. ;)

Sep 07, 2006

scrumptious recipe Sarah! I soaked my beans (pinto) overnight. I read somewhere that you should add the salt at the last hour of simmering because salt can make beans tough. I did that, and cooked the recipe for 6.5 hrs. my family loved them.

May 03, 2014

I made it with great northerns and it was delish.

Apr 01, 2013

Thinking what to do with the ham bone from our Easter dinner and decided to make the family's favorite stand by; Ham and Beans!!! Wonderful, easy, versatile recipe! Only two things I did differently was to soak the beans the night before (which cuts down on the cooking time) and then cooked them in chicken broth vs water. BEAN 101: DO NOT add salt until the beans are cooked; adding salt during the soaking process or while cooking make the beans hard. Wait to the end and season to taste. Excellent recipe!

Jul 13, 2003

Thanks for this recipe. I am a native Texan and with only slight adjustments can now make beans like they should be. I like the six hour cooking best too.

Apr 13, 2014

I'm the original submitter for this recipe and I'd just like to give a quick side note... The liquid should be 4 cups water, 4 cups chicken or veggie broth, the salt should not be added til towards the end of cooking. Why Allrecipes editors changed this, is beyond me!

Jan 03, 2011

I've finally found it! I have been looking for this recipe for months. This has to be the best ham and bean recipe ever. I followed it as writen and cooked it for 6 hours and ate the whole pot myself. Thank You for sharing.


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  • Calories
  • 272 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 37.7 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 17 mg
  • 6%
  • Fat
  • 6 g
  • 9%
  • Fiber
  • 9.3 g
  • 37%
  • Protein
  • 16.7 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 323 mg
  • 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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