Monday we finished off the last of our Easter ham with one of my favorite cheap n’ easy recipes: crock pot ham and beans. If I have a spiral cut ham, I always use this recipe to use the last of it because it uses the ham bone, or ham hock, to flavor it. It also softens the meat, so the last bits clinging to the bone will still get eaten this way! I like that I’m using the whole thing.
I also love crock pot recipes: I defiantly don’t have enough of them in my repertoire. I like that I can do all the hard work before things are hectic in the evening and I’m tired, and that it will be ready and waiting when we want to eat. This recipe is especially forgiving. As long as you don’t cook the ham to powder, it doesn’t really matter how long you cook it, as long as the veggies get soft and the ham is tender enough to pull from the bone. If you want to speed things up, turn up the heat to shorten your time.
The amounts also don’t really matter. I just try to end up with a bit more beans than ham, and a fair amount of veggies sprinkled in. Like I said, most forgiving recipe ever.
Ham and Beans
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 8 hours (but this is really up to you)
1 lb ham hock or 1 lb diced ham
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 cup water
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
salt (to taste)
white pepper (to taste)
3 cans of white beans of your choice
Dice as much of the ham as you can get off of the bone, add both the diced ham and bone to the crock pot.
Add all the rest of ingredients but beans to crock pot and set on low. Some crock pots have a hotter “low” setting than others; if yours runs hot then set it to “warm” instead. Cook for 6 hours, or until veggies are tender and meat is falling off the ham bone.
Rinse the white beans, add to crock pot, and stir to mix ingredients. Continue to cook on low for two hours or until beans are warmed through and creamy. Some beans, such as navy beans, will soften faster than other beans, such as kidney beans.
Remove the bay leaf and discard. Remove the bone
Serve with cornbread – Yum!
*Note: I work at home, so throwing in the canned beans a few hours before the recipe is complete is no problem for me. You don’t want to put canned beans in at the beginning, or they’ll be pretty much liquified by the end. If you want this to be a weekday meal that’s ready and waiting when you get home from work, you can use dried beans instead. For dried beans directions, check out this recipe.
Find more recipes from the Nerd Nest here.