Making this slightly smoky bean stew is very easy: Just saute vegetables: add water, ham hock and beans; then let everything simmer. Mixing in a garlic mayonnaise and bitter greens at the table provides additional flavor and depth.
1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern or navy, soaked overnight
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sautéed Mustard Greens and Garlic Mayonnaise, for serving
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, celery, carrot, onion, bay leaf and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the water, ham hock and drained beans and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the ham hock from the stew and chop the meat; discard the bones, skin and gristle. Discard the bay leaf. Add the ham hock meat to the beans, season with salt and pepper and serve with Sautéed Mustard Greens and Garlic Mayonnaise.