1 pound lima beans -- dried
2 pieces smoked ham hocks -- skin
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground
1) Pick over the beans to remove the stones and dirt. Rinse the beans well and drain them. Cover them with cold water and soak them 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
2) Combine the beans and all the remaining ingredients in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Heat to simmering and cook, covered , until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the beans while they are cooking and add more water to keep the beans covered it necessary. Discard the ham skin and serve hot.