1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 pounds smoked ham hocks
8 cups water
1 pound frozen lima beans
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Peel, rinse, and chop onion. Peel and mince garlic.
- In a large pot over high heat, add ham hocks and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add onion and garlic. Cover and cook until meat is tender and internal temperature registers 145°F on a food thermometer, about 30-40 minutes.
- Transfer ham hocks to a clean cutting board. Let cool.
- Add lima beans to pot. Cook according to package directions.
- When ham hocks are cool, shred meat from the bone, removing any fat. Return to pot. Stir in pepper. If using salt, stir in now.
– Ham hocks may be salty enough already. Taste the dish before adding optional salt.
– Serve this traditional southern dish like a soup or use a slotted spoon to take out the beans and meat. Serve over brown rice.
– For extra flavor and color, add diced carrots and celery.
– Use a leftover meaty ham bone or smoked neck bones in place of the ham hocks.