Navy Beans and Cornbread

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Bright Raven
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Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Bright Raven » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:48 pm

Mom was not the best cook. There were some women where I grew up who were the kind of cooks that dreams are made of. But mom made the best navy beans and Cornbread. She cooked her navy beans with a cottage ham. She made her cornbread in a cast iron skillet. The cornbread was yellow and black where it baked in the skillet. It had that gritty texture. I don't like cornbread that taste like cake. I have tried a 100 times to make navy beans like hers. I cannot. Mine tastes bland compared to hers. I don't know why.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby greybeard » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:49 pm

Same with fried cornbread. I've made it 1/2 dozen times and it never came out like my mother's did. (no, it was not 'hot water' cornbread or 'hoe cakes')
I have no idea what a cottage ham is)

I think one of the problems with cornbread today is it comes ground too fine..not coarse like it used to be and every mix I ever saw had flour in it or at least too much flour.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Jogeephus » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:55 am

How are you cooking yours? Have you tried starting with broth? Cooking for 6-8 hours? Do you add some dry mustard near the end? Gotta be sure to cook the ham long enough that the internal temp of the ham gets to around 195F so it will just fall apart like pulled pork. Adding some fresh ground mustard near the end will also step up the game.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby ddd75 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:35 am

ol' pauline in lewis ky made the best cornbred in a cast iron pan..

I know what you're talking about.. yum!
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Bright Raven » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:43 am

greybeard wrote:Same with fried cornbread. I've made it 1/2 dozen times and it never came out like my mother's did. (no, it was not 'hot water' cornbread or 'hoe cakes')
I have no idea what a cottage ham is)

I think one of the problems with cornbread today is it comes ground too fine..not coarse like it used to be and every mix I ever saw had flour in it or at least too much flour.


Ask a native Cincinnatian what a ‘cottage ham’ is and they’ll be quick to answer. It’s the delicious 3 pound heart-shaped cured ham their mom used to boil slowly with bay leaves and onion and serve with boiled potatoes and green beans. They might even recognize it as a ‘cottage roll.’ But go only 40 miles out of the city and ask a butcher for a cottage ham and they’ll say, “Huh?”

That’s because cottage ham is a Cincinnati meat term that’s been used by our local butchers for at least the last 100 years. But no one outside our metro area seems to know the term. Cottage ham is actually not a ham at all, by the definition, which states that ham is taken from the upper part of the pig’s hind leg. The USDA actually calls what we call cottage ham “smoked pork shoulder butts,”


Actually, they have them at Kroger in Maysville. Called "Bluegrass Cottage Ham". No one anywhere else I have lived knew what they were.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Bright Raven » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:52 am

Jogeephus wrote:How are you cooking yours? Have you tried starting with broth? Cooking for 6-8 hours? Do you add some dry mustard near the end? Gotta be sure to cook the ham long enough that the internal temp of the ham gets to around 195F so it will just fall apart like pulled pork. Adding some fresh ground mustard near the end will also step up the game.


Soak beans in water. Put in crock pot. Cook for about 4 hours. Season with black pepper and add salt. Drop in cottage ham. Cook for another 2 hours.

Have not tried broth. What kind? Will try the mustard.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Bright Raven » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:58 am

ddd75 wrote:ol' pauline in lewis ky made the best cornbred in a cast iron pan..

I know what you're talking about.. yum!


Mom was born in Lewis County 1921. Moved to the Kentucky side of the Ohio River across from Cincinnati when her dad gave up preaching and went to work at the steelmill in Newport, KY. They lived a short time in Maysville. Mom was 4 years old when Grandpa took the job at the rolling mill at Wilder outside Newport. I think the steelmill and rolling mill have been closed for years. At one time, Cincinnati was a center for industry. Lots of well paying jobs. Several of my uncles worked at the mill or as machinist in Newport and Cincinnati.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby greybeard » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:43 am

Bright Raven wrote:
greybeard wrote:Same with fried cornbread. I've made it 1/2 dozen times and it never came out like my mother's did. (no, it was not 'hot water' cornbread or 'hoe cakes')
I have no idea what a cottage ham is)

I think one of the problems with cornbread today is it comes ground too fine..not coarse like it used to be and every mix I ever saw had flour in it or at least too much flour.


Ask a native Cincinnatian what a ‘cottage ham’ is and they’ll be quick to answer. It’s the delicious 3 pound heart-shaped cured ham their mom used to boil slowly with bay leaves and onion and serve with boiled potatoes and green beans. They might even recognize it as a ‘cottage roll.’ But go only 40 miles out of the city and ask a butcher for a cottage ham and they’ll say, “Huh?”

That’s because cottage ham is a Cincinnati meat term that’s been used by our local butchers for at least the last 100 years. But no one outside our metro area seems to know the term. Cottage ham is actually not a ham at all, by the definition, which states that ham is taken from the upper part of the pig’s hind leg. The USDA actually calls what we call cottage ham “smoked pork shoulder butts,”


Actually, they have them at Kroger in Maysville. Called "Bluegrass Cottage Ham". No one anywhere else I have lived knew what they were.


Cincinnati..that explains it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf3mgmEdfwg
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Jogeephus » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:59 am

Bright Raven wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:How are you cooking yours? Have you tried starting with broth? Cooking for 6-8 hours? Do you add some dry mustard near the end? Gotta be sure to cook the ham long enough that the internal temp of the ham gets to around 195F so it will just fall apart like pulled pork. Adding some fresh ground mustard near the end will also step up the game.


Soak beans in water. Put in crock pot. Cook for about 4 hours. Season with black pepper and add salt. Drop in cottage ham. Cook for another 2 hours.

Have not tried broth. What kind? Will try the mustard.


I have no idea how your mother's tasted but I'd be willing to bet she used broth rather than water. I normally use venison stock as a base but pork or chicken works good. Also, I don't think you are cooking the meat long enough. True, Cottage ham is already smoked and essentially cooked but I think you'll find it will taste better if you put the beans in the stock along with the ham and cook in the crock pot for 6 hours or better with the last hour or so being uncovered to reduce and thicken and concentrate the flavors. By doing it this way you will insure that the ham breaks down properly - like pulled pork - and in so doing it will release a lot of the intramuscular fats to the beans which will give you a much better flavor. As for mustard, I'll either grind seed or use Colman's. Not much. Maybe a teaspoon to the pot but mustard really goes well with ham and it will only be a background flavor at a low rate. You will know you are finished when your spoon will break the ham into itsy bitsy pieces and it is as tender as pudding. My wife and MIL make this and cornbread a lot. When chilled it has the firmness of hummus only its not as pasty. Good stuff. And cheap.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby msplmtneer » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:08 am

Did your mother use a crockpot or cook them in a pot on top of the stove?
Are you cooking with the love that your mother did? :tiphat:
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby Bright Raven » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:19 am

msplmtneer wrote:Did your mother use a crockpot or cook them in a pot on top of the stove?
Are you cooking with the love that your mother did? :tiphat:


On the gas range. I don't think she ever used a crockpot.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby greybeard » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:26 pm

We never had navy beans at home, and I don't care for them today. My father wouldn't allow them in the house..said he already ate a lifetime's worth of them in CCC and later, again in the Army. Closest we ever came was big lima beans or butter beans. Rest of the time it was red beans, pintos, butterbeans or several different peas and of course, Blue Lake green beans.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby HDRider » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:51 pm

Grandma put a pinch of sugar in hers. Her white beans were great. That is the only bean I don't eat now. Had too many when I was a kid.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby slick4591 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:15 pm

HDRider wrote:Grandma put a pinch of sugar in hers. Her white beans were great. That is the only bean I don't eat now. Had too many when I was a kid.


Mine is the pinto. Every morning at my grandparents there were pintos cooking. They were served at lunch and supper, then pintos were cooking again the next morning. Every day was a repeat of the prior day. Even tho that was 50 years ago I'm still sick of pintos.
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Re: Navy Beans and Cornbread

Postby callmefence » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:42 pm

greybeard wrote:We never had navy beans at home, and I don't care for them today. My father wouldn't allow them in the house..said he already ate a lifetime's worth of them in CCC and later, again in the Army. Closest we ever came was big lima beans or butter beans. Rest of the time it was red beans, pintos, butterbeans or several different peas and of course, Blue Lake green beans.


Wife cooked butter beans the other night (all day actually) with a venison shank. One of my favorites. The beans and meat cooked in chicken broth until it's the consistency of lumpy mashed potatoes.
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