Friday April 22
Any Friday is Good with this bean dish. Wholesome but unrepentant.
1 lb great northern beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight and drained of water
1 Schad's ham bone; reserve whatever fat and meaty bits you can chop off it
1 bay leaf
1 big sage sprig
1 large yellow onion
1 large stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Put beans in crockpot. Add fresh water to cover plus a half inch. Nestle ham bone, meaty bits, bay, and sage among them. Get the crockpot going on low.
In a pan, start salvaged ham fat rendering in a little oil to get it started.
In a food processor, chop onion, celery, carrot, and garlic fine, with a little salt to sop up the juice. Add to pan and cook in ham fat until onions are transparent, 4-5 mins. Pour it into the crockpot, deglazing the pan with water, and stir it all together. Add water to cover if necessary. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
When beans are tender, remove meat from bones and return meat to the pot. Stir to combine and break up ham pieces. Taste and see if it needs anything - salt and pepper of course, but consider molasses, a dab of tomato paste, a fresh sprig of sage, whatever you like. From this point, let it cook open to thicken, stirring occasionally and stopping when you're ready to eat.
At that point, discard bay leaf and sage sprig; to thicken more, smash some of the beans on the side of crockpot. Thick and extra-beany.