I futzed with this one, and it turned out great. I started by boiling the beans separately while I sauteed the following together: bacon (to replace the ham), onions, garlic, 2 seeded and sliced jalapenos, and a palmful of sage leaves. Once that was soft I drained & rinsed the beans and added them to the pot. I added the canned tomatoes (roughly chopped) and covered with vegetable stock. That just simmered for about an hour (maybe less), and it turned out brilliantly. Coupled with cornbread, my fiancee had his first true southern meal this New Year's Day. Yum!
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I futzed with this one, and it turned out great. I started by boiling the beans separately...