Ham and Beans and Homemade Cornbread

Okay, this is a crazy thing to admit, but until recently, I’ve never tried to make ham and beans. Like, never! I tried making from-scratch baked beans with dried beans once and it was such a disaster that I never tried any other kind of dried bean ever again.

As usual, though, Alton Brown has inspired me. After recently watching his show about dried beans, I thought maybe it was worth a shot. So I gathered all the info that I could find and gave it a try…it was the best ham and beans I’ve ever eaten, and since I normally don’t like beans, that’s pretty good. I mean they were good enough that I would make them again because I wanted them not because I’m trying to save money or because the family wants them. I used a recipe off of allrecipes.com, but I left out the onion in favor of onion powder (we don’t care for onion pieces in our food). Then I thought, “Hey, why not try cornbread from scratch as well!”. It, too, turned out awesome. I just combined the best of a few different recipes and made some incredible cornbread.

First, the pics:
Ham and Beans anyone?

The cornbread in the skillet:

And an individual serving of the cornbread:

Now, it is a rarity in my house that we run out of something simple like butter, but for some reason on this day, we were out. K and I love our butter, so this was a tragedy, but the meal was already made and hot and we ate anyway. K’s comment: “This cornbread is good enough that I actually don’t mind eating it without butter. In fact, without butter I’d give it a 9.5 (out of 10) and with butter, I bet it’s an 11!”

This was way better than Jiffy, folks, and I love Jiffy Cornbread!

The ham and beans recipe is:
1 pound dry great Northern beans
1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Rinse beans in a large pot; discard shriveled beans and any small stones. Add 8 cups of cold water. Let stand overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans.
Return beans to pot and add ham, onion, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley and water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. Add more water if necessary during cooking time.
What I actually did was put the beans in the slow cooker on low for like 12 hours. Perfection!

The cornbread recipe is as follows:
Jessica’s Sweet Cornbread
1 c. flour
1 c. yellow cornmeal
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 c. plus 2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, soak 1 c. cornmeal in 1 c. milk for 15 minutes without stirring. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 to 12 inch round pan (I use cast iron for even heating). In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder with whisk. Stir in eggs, cornmeal and milk mixture, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Batter will be slightly lumpy, that’s okay. Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cornbread comes out clean.

Published in: on January 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm  Comments (47)  
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47 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This looks nice, thanks for the recipe!


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  2. Woohoo!! I’m out of butter too (tomorrow’s payday, thank goodness!) so when I googled “cornbread recipe without butter”…..there you were!! Thanks for posting this!! We’re having chili and cornbread (and a side salad) for dinner!

    I have some recipes on my blog as well if you are interested!

    Thank you!!!!

  3. Okay, that cornbread was a HUGE hit! Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be back for more! πŸ™‚

  4. Hey thanks for the cornbread recipe! Can’t get Jiffy where I live — but this is WAY better anyway. Only thing — did you preheat the skillet in the oven before pouring in the batter? I had to bake mine (using an enamel cast iron casserole) for an hour before it was cooked through! I wonder if I should have preheated the pan first. It was still stunning though. And you’re right, it doesn’t need butter, and I put butter on everything.

    Thanks again!

  5. […] (as evidenced by my blog counter,) everyone thinks of ham and beans. This is a great idea, especially using the hambone up as […]

  6. Nope, didn’t preheat, but my kitchen is usually warm, so I guess if your cast-iron is cold, you might want to preheat on low or something.

  7. Thanks for your help – I learned from my Daddy – instead of using milk in the cornbread mix – use water (you can go half in half). It is much better – a little less sweet so you can taste the corn! I use a cast iron skillet – warm a little “olive oil” instead of veggie oil or butter – I try to be kinda healthy hillbilly πŸ™‚

  8. If you like jiffy cornbread try one pkg jiffy cornbread and one pkg jiffy yellow cake mix. mix together with all the ingredients to make both. It tastes just like Boston Market cornbread!

  9. I just have to let you know that I make this dish all the time and I love it…so does my very picky family!

  10. […] My cornbread recipe can be found hereΒ  […]

  11. When you put this in the slow cooker, had you already let the beans soak overnight?

  12. Yes, I guess I should’ve said that, the soaking is necessary no matter which method you use! Thanks for the question.

  13. I am going to make this tomorrow and I was wondering if you still cover everything with water in the crock pot. I am new to crock pot cooking and I am not sure how much liquid is needed! Thanks for the recipes they look delicious!!

  14. Yes, you still cover with water just like the recipe says…that is so that the beans can absorb a lot of the liquid and not dry out. Hope that helps!

  15. I have NEVER had nor made ham and beans in my life (but I am def. a cornbread lover lol) And I have been doing the try new things. Mom used to tell me about how Grams used to make Ham and Beans when times were tight (and this was depression times so that was a lot with 7 kids)I decided to try it. I have 2 very picky kids. I would like to report after making YOUR recipie that the kids wanted MORE then I had ready! That is the first time a new recipie has ever flown that well in this house! Congrats to you!

  16. Hi im 28 and kinda new at making ham and beans,now i dont have a crock pot so what needs to be differnt in the recipe!! thank you

  17. I was just wondering if anyone knew the calories in a serving of the ham and beans and the cornbread? I am making this tonight but I am keeping count of my calories?

  18. Your Recipt Sounds good if you didn’t put Brown sugar

  19. Your Receipt Sounds good if you didn’t put Brown sugar

  20. This recipe was amazing. I made it all tonight and my entire family loved it. I have never had beans and cornbread that was this delicious. This will definitely be a regular meal in our household. Thanks!

  21. OH MY GOODNESS! I was with you on the whole not liking ham and beans thing! I probably haven’t had it since I was 15…that was 17 years ago! So, I thought I’d try it again. It was DELICIOUS! Your recipe is the perfect blend spices! This will definitely be a regular in our home from now on!!!
    PS-the corn bread was great as well!! Great combo!!!

  22. This is the most fantastic cornbread ever! I’m sharing on facebook – hope you don’t mind! πŸ˜€

  23. […] Ham and Beans and Homemade Cornbread Π’Β« HomemadeWithLove's Weblog Jan 3, 2008 … The ham and beans recipe is: 1 pound dry great Northern beans 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced … […]

  24. […] Ham and Beans and Homemade Cornbread Π’Β« HomemadeWithLove's Weblog Jan 3, 2008 … The ham and beans recipe is: 1 pound dry great Northern beans 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced … […]

  25. Tried this recipe tonight and all four kids loved it loved it loved it ! Husband loved it as well. I used smoked ham hocks and some chicken broth for a deeper flavor . Just took the hocks out before adding beans. The cornbread was beautiful. Only a little butter is needed or perfect on its own ! Will make this soup and cornbread again ! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  26. I had never attempted to make this before and after searching around for recipes, I decided to try yours. It was AWESOME! Thank you. Both the ham/beans and cornbread were wonderful. I also wrote a report on the ease of making this recipe for my ENG 111 class in college. I will be making this again and again. Also, no more instant cornbread for me. I’m making this one from now on!!! Thanks again.

  27. I’m planning to try your recipe tomorrow, but all I have on hand are pinto beans. Do you think it will still turn out?? Has anyone else ever made ham & beans with pinto instead of Northern?

  28. Does anyone know how to adjust the cornbread recipe for altitude? I live at 6000 ft. I’m thinking an extra 2 Tbsp. flour and an extra 1-2 tsp. milk?

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  30. You should try adding 1 half can of whole kernel corn (drained) and chopped hot peppers to your corn bread recipe.

  31. I have to say I have made your recipe 3 times and have had kudos all 3 times. Love the cornbread. Would have never thought of soaking the corn meal in the milk, but boy is it good. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  32. Can I double the cornbread recipe and bake in a 9x11pan? Also, is the ham and bean for 4 or more?

  33. Can the cornbread recipe be doubled and baked in a 9×11 pan? Also, how many does the ham and beans serve?

  34. Yes, it can be doubled and the beans serve at least 6-8…it’ll be a whole crocpot full. πŸ™‚

  35. If I do it in the crock pot, do I still have to soak the beans?

  36. True cornbread does not have vanilla in it, & judging by the look of it, yours is much too cake like. It’s corn bread not corn cakes which are in fact two different recipes.

  37. Just made the ham n beans it was wonderful a old family secret is to add butter and pet milk u can find it by the evaporated milk in the spice isle!

  38. Mine tasted a little too sweet….were you supposed to “pack” the brown sugar like in other recipes?

  39. I am making this I think I put too much brown sugar in it. Its really sweet. Is there anything I can do to fix that? I made 4 lbs of beans. Lots of it!!! LOL

  40. making ur ham&beanz with cornbread thankz for the info

  41. I simmered my beans all night in very large pot, , do I need to drain them before I add the Ham bone? Thank you

  42. Usually I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

  43. Th cornbread was excellent! The 2 of us loved it and it will be our go to from now on however, the beans were too sweet and I was sadly disappointed that I added the brown sugar. 😦 I didn’t pack the brown sugar and I also felt weird about it from the beginning, so I only added 1/3 C but even that amount was too sweet. I prefer a salty flavor to accompany a sweet bread. I’ll make the 2 again for sure!! Just without the addition of any sugar.
    Thank you for the new fall and winter meal idea!

  44. […] into bowls and serve with crackers or cornbread, depending on your style. Or for my favorite application, layer chili in a bowl with shredded […]

  45. Putting this in the oven right now. Wanted to let you know that if you put your cast iron in the oven while it’s preheating (with oil in it) you’ll get wonderfully crispy edges on your corn bread πŸ™‚

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