White Beans& Ham
with Sweet Potato Crisps
"Cannellini beans slow cooked with seared, smoked ham hocks, sautéed onion, parsnips, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, Madeira wine & chicken stock, served with seasoned sweet potato crisps"
1.5 pounds Cannellini beans (or similar) soaked 8-10 hours
5 quart Dutch oven w/ lid
"About" 2 pounds smoked, ham hocks
2.5 cups white onion, medium dice
1 cup parsnips, small dice
1.5 tablespoons fresh, minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/3 cup dry Madeira wine
6 cups chicken stock (or broth)
Whole nutmeg-to grate
1 sweet potato
Salt & black pepper
Large baking sheet
Rinse the beans under water and discard any that are discolored. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water, about 4 inches over the surface of beans. Let soak 8-10 hours, drain and set aside.
Position oven rack so Dutch oven is centered and preheat to 300 degrees F.
Using a sharp knife, slice off the fat from the ham hocks and discard. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Dutch oven, heat over med to med-high temp and sear all sides. Reduce heat if needed (or lift off burner) to keep from burning. After ham hocks are seared, remove, add onions, parsnips, stir, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and cook over medium temp, stirring often until onions are translucent and parsnips start to brown on edges. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring continuously for 1-2 minutes.
Add the Madeira wine, 4 cups of the chicken stock, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and stir. Place the seared ham hocks in the center, cover and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours.
After 1.5 hours, remove, add more chicken stock if beans are thickening too much, season lightly with salt-to taste. Bring beans back to a slow boil on stove-top, place back in oven for 1.5 more hours.
Remove, place on stove-top, season with salt & pepper if needed and a few shaves of fresh nutmeg to-taste. Add desired amounts of pats of butter and serve with sweet potato crisps.
Sweet Potato Crisps
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off thin strips of the sweet potato.
Drizzle some olive oil over the sweet potato strips, season with salt & pepper and spread out a thin layer, evenly onto the baking sheet. Place in the center of oven and bake about 7 minutes, then toss and bake until crispy.