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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Ultimate Great Northern Beans Recipe
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    Ultimate Great Northern Beans

    Ultimate Great Northern Beans. Photo by Derf

    1/7 Photos of Ultimate Great Northern Beans

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    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    11 hrs

    8 hrs

    3 hrs

    Bone Man's Note:

    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.

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Make sure that there is twice as much water as beans because they will swell up.
    2. 2
      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.
    3. 3
      Add the onion and allow to simmer until the onion is tender, stirring often.
    4. 4
      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.
    5. 5
      Boil, covered, over low heat until beans are tender, stirring occasionally (about 2-3 hours).
    6. 6
      Serve with cornbread, fried potatoes, eggs and biscuits.
    7. 7
      If you wish, you can use chunks of ham or bacon instead of pork jowl.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on February 03, 2008


      I feel bad beacuase I have made these many times and have not taken the time to review them. This has become a staple recipe for me and is enjoyed by all of my family. I like to pair the beans with Mike Garcia's Sweet Cornbread, Sweet Cornbread. The sweetness of the cornbread with the spiciness of the beans compliment each other very well. I have never used hog jowl but have had great success with ham chunks and ham hocks. I would have loved to have had this recipe when I was a Scout leader, I think it would have been wonderful cooked over an open fire in a Dutch Oven alongside some peach dump cake (a sort of peach cobbler prepared in a Dutch Oven)!

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    • on May 24, 2012


      Oh. My. Gawd. These are insanely good. Made exactly as directed, except threw in a ham bone with meat on it. Used the quick soak method (I forgot to soak them last night, but reeeaaaally wanted beans tonight!) and cooked it all together for 2 hours. Came out so freak delish!!! Just moved to the south and this was my first time making beans. OOH you made me look like a pro! Thanks so much!!

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    • on January 14, 2009


      Absolutely a 5-star recipe. Boneman, I never cared for cooked beans but these are delicious. DH and perennial dinner guest also gave them a high-five. The rotel was a perfect addition. I used a leftover ham bone and didn't brown it. Just put all ingredients in the pot and let 'er rip. I waited an hour to add the rotel tomatoes because I know sometimes tomatoes make the beans hard. These beans were perfect, neither hard nor mushy. There was a lot of liquid but I will mush up some of the beans and make soup for later on. All the photos are misleading; the beans are beautifully white and red, very appetizing. Thanks so much for posting this recipe......Janet

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    Read All Reviews (23)


    Nutritional Facts for Ultimate Great Northern Beans

    Serving Size: 1 (424 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 241.2
    Calories from Fat 157
    Total Fat 17.4 g
    Saturated Fat 5.8 g
    Cholesterol 19.1 mg
    Sodium 793.2 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 13.6 g
    Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
    Sugars 1.1 g
    Protein 7.9 g

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