I usually cook these outdoors, suspending a cast iron pot over a campfire but honestly, they taste about the same on the stovetop. And the flavor is just great. If you've yet to adopt a cooked beans recipe, this might be the one you're looking for. It's right out of Appalachia.
- Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Make sure that there is twice as much water as beans because they will swell up.
- In a large cooking pot, pour in the cooking oil and toss in the smoked jowl pieces. Stir and allow them to sizzle over medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes. After they brown a bit, deglaze the pot with about 4 ounces of the chicken broth.
- Add the onion and allow to simmer until the onion is tender, stirring often.
- Rinse the beans in fresh water a final time and, after draining, add them, plus all the remaining ingredients into the pot. This should include the 48 ounces of water listed in the ingredients.
- Boil, covered, over low heat until beans are tender, stirring occasionally (about 2-3 hours).
- Serve with cornbread, fried potatoes, eggs and biscuits.
- If you wish, you can use chunks of ham or bacon instead of pork jowl.