We haven’t had ham in so long. It’s just not allowed in the house much any longer for too many reasons. For Easter, since we have mayo. and potatoes in the house for the first time in ages, I decided that we would have a little ham, REAL potato salad and, of course, deviled Easter eggs. The baby spinach salad with apple cider vinegar that sits on our plates nearly every lunch and dinner will be included. Our ham is teensy. Way too small for leftovers, which was the whole idea.
I wanted something special, but not too naughty for us to enjoy the day before so it really feels like a holiday weekend. I’m absolutely in love with Great Northern Beans right now, some kind of phase I’m going through, so I thought, rather than eating them plain, I would turn them into baked beans.
We don’t use syrup anymore, but there was the sorghum we’ve been working on for months sitting on the shelf in the fridge. I also found some mustard. For Christmas I bought my husband a jar of Dutch mustard. It was the best I’ve ever eaten, but is not available locally. Since the first week of the year we’ve been on the hunt for a brown mustard that tastes like the Dutch we loved so much. We’ve found some that are close. But our new infatuation with brown mustard, something I only ate on St. Patrick’s Day or with my annual German wurst platter, has left us repulsed by the neon yellow hot dog stuff. I found a bottle that still had some in the bottom for my baked beans. They just need the low quality silly stuff.
I tossed in some spices, and a strip of fat from the ham to help with the smoked flavor. They are good! I snitched some even though we aren’t having them until tonight with our chicken dinner. They need more salt, but I don’t add “more salt” these days. We’ve gotten used to eating everything a little bland.
Since we’ve started using sorghum more I’ve learned a lot about it. So much that I want to grow my own, rig up a juicing mill, buy a cute little donkey to work the mill, and spend fall days cooking the liquid down into that wonderful sticky goo I love so much. But…I’ll just keep tooling up to the top of the mountain to my favorite dish barn to pick up another jar when I need it. Sorghum is interesting, though. It’s like cane sugar, in that it is squeezed from a giant blade of grass, basically, but has some surprising purported health benefits. It is said to have the ability to lower cholesterol, inhibit tumor growth, and aid those with celiac disease. It is also said to be a treatment for melanoma, and is high in antioxidants. Good stuff!!
16 oz. package Great Northern Beans
1 T granulated garlic
1/4 c. yellow mustard
Piece of smoked pork or bacon
1-2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. sorghum
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
Handful of chives
Wash the beans. Soak the beans overnight in 48 oz. of water.
Place in a pot with salt and water to cover.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Strain them and place them into a 13×9″ baking dish. Add enough of the cooking water to make them soupy, maybe 4 cups.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Bake for 1 hour.
Uncover and bake for an additional 4o minutes.
Happy Easter weekend!!!