Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stewed Baby Lima Beans

Baby lima beans, stewed down to creamy perfection and seasoned nicely with bacon and ham, are as at home as a side dish as they are a main dish, when paired up with a nice garden salad, cornbread and iced tea.

Stewed Baby Lima Beans

I mostly prepare frozen baby lima beans as a side to be honest, like in succotash, but we don't eat them as often as I like, because they require some advance planning for cooking, and unfortunately I tend to forget about them! Unlike my beloved butter beans, it's a rare occasion where I make them from fresh or dried, but I don't know why, because they are just so much more delicious and worth the effort.

This is a pretty standard formula for beans down this way, basic and simple. Beans are simply stewed down and seasoned with a bit of pork, here both ham and bacon, a little onion, garlic and maybe some jalapeno, a few simple seasonings... and a little time.

You'll notice that most of my recipes that call for jalapenos, call for chopped, sliced pickled jalapenos, frankly because that is what I always have on hand in my fridge. My favorite is the Mezzetta brand of tamed pickled jalapeno shown below, because they have a nice kick without being too fiery. They're also available as whole jalapenos, and you can find them pretty much anywhere - I buy them right at Walmart or my local grocery store.


You can, of course, certainly use fresh, raw jalapenos instead, but keep in mind that peppers can vary widely in heat level. Always taste them before you add them to your recipes so you'll know how much to use.

As far as dried beans go, Camellia brand has always been my pantry staple and, since we tend to eat beans regularly, I usually have a half dozen varieties on hand at any given time. Those of you living in this part of The Deep South probably know exactly what I mean about Camellia, but if you happen to now be displaced from here, or can't find your favorites in your own local market, did you know that you can actually order them online? Sure can! It's not a bad deal with shipping if you buy in quantity and you miss things like lady cream peas.


Now, let's go make some baby lima beans.

Rinse and sort beans, soak overnight or use the speed cook method (cover with water plus 2 inches, bring to boil, boil for 5 minutes, turn off heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour); drain.


Saute the bacon with the ham in the bottom of a cast iron Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium high heat, for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the onion and jalapeno and cook another 3 minutes or until onion is softened. Add the garlic; cook another minute.


See all that lovely brown stuff in the bottom of the pot? That's the fond.


Deglaze the pot by adding in just a splash of the water.


Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all of the fond from the bottom. That's added flavor y'all!


Add the remaining water and bring to a boil. Add the beans and bay leaves, reduce heat, cover partially and low simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender and creamy, adding additional water only as needed, to keep the beans covered by about 1/2 inch.


Remove bay leaves and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.


Serve as a side dish vegetable, or over rice as a main dish, along with a mixed garden salad and some southern cornbread.


Recipe: Stewed Baby Lima Beans

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried, green baby lima beans
  • 6 slices of thick cut bacon, sliced
  • 2 cups of diced, cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/8 cup of sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 medium sized bay leaves
  • 6 cups of water, chicken broth or a combination
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Couple of dashes of hot pepper sauce
Instructions

Soak beans overnight and drain. Saute the bacon with the ham in the bottom of a cast iron Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium high heat, for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook another 3 minutes or until onion is softened. Add the garlic; cook another minute. Deglaze the pot with a splash of the water, scraping up all of the browned bits on the bottom. Add the remaining water and bring to a boil. Add the beans and bay leaves, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover partially and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender and creamy, adding additional water only as needed to keep the beans covered by about 1/2 inch.

Remove bay leaves and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as a side dish, or over rice as a main dish, along with a mixed garden salad and some southern cornbread.

~Cook's Notes~

As with most all beans, the time they take to cook will be dependent on how fresh or old the beans are. Fresh beans will cook much quicker than beans that have been hanging around your pantry or the store shelves awhile.

Crockpot: Prepare as above. Transfer to a slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 6 to 8 hours, or low for 11 to 12 hours, stirring at 8 if possible.

Quick Boil Method: Rinse and sort beans and place into a deep pot, adding water to cover beans plus two inches. Do not add any seasonings or salt! Bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes uncovered, turn off heat, cover and let soak for one hour. Drain and set aside.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from Real Cajun
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Posted by on January 19, 2012
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24 comments:

  1. I fixed a variation of this the other night. Did you know my Grandma?
    I use smoked pork chops and simmer for hours just to make me remember being a kid again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love beans with smoked pork chops! I know what you mean about that association with those memories for sure too. Our foods are certainly a bit part of our memories in the south.

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  2. I love Lima beans like this! Your recipe looks delicious. Thanks.

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  3. these and fordhook limas are my fav beans! And your recipe with bacon and ham just take them over the top!!! Can't wait to make some. I moved from Mobile to Texas and have trouble finding Camellia brand but I'm happy to know I can order them online!

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    Replies
    1. We have plenty of Camellia beans in the stores down here but not always all of the varieties, so I order from there myself!

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  4. Silly question - do I transfer the beans to the crockpot before or after bringing it to a boil? I'd love to make these this weekend in the crockpot...Saturday is my lazy day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not silly! Just add the bit of water to the pot after sauteing the meats and veggies, scrape up the fond from the bottom, then transfer everything to the crockpot and add in the rest of the water or broth, beans and bay leaf. All slow cookers vary in cooking time, and while you don't have to pre-soak the beans, doing so may shorten the time a bit. Hope that helps!

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  5. I haven't had limas in years and your recipe is socked full of rich deep flavors.

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    Replies
    1. They are so good when made this way Katherine!

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  6. Can you do this same thing with black-eyed peas? Although I love baby limas, I have an abundance of frozen black-eyed peas that I put up last summer.

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    Replies
    1. Sure you can! You can find my actual recipe for those rigth here: Southern Black Eyed Peas It's very similar.

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  7. These look so good and the timing is perfect. I've been conversing with another blogger about soup beans and one of the subjects was dried limas, which has me wanting some - and along comes your post.

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  8. Those make me want to make a batch right now on this dreary rainy day. Funny, I HATED limas as a kid and now they are among my favorite legumes.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't that crazy? I laugh everytime it surfaces in my own son too!

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  9. After about 45 mins, the beans did not come out creamy, how much longer should I let them cook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiya, you just have to keep them cooking until they are tender and creamy. The time is a basic estimate and will depend on the freshness of the beans. Fresh beans will cook much quicker than beans that have been hanging around your pantry or the store shelves awhile. Just keep cooking them and add water only as needed for about 1/2 inch over the top of them, to keep them from drying out. Hope that helps!

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  10. Another great bean dish Mary! I saved the recipe when you first posted & is on my must try list!! Don

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  11. Mary these turned out delicious! Thanks for the tip :)

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome Darci - glad y'all enjoyed them!

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  12. OMG! These are the best! I followed the recipe to a t, and they came out great! Keep 'em coming.

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