Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes Slow Cooker Delight
Do you know those comforting dinners that permeate the house with their delightful aroma? The kind that draws your family to the kitchen as soon as they walk in? One such dish is the heartwarming ham, green beans, and potatoes cooked in a slow cooker. Let me take you on a journey to rediscover this timeless recipe, filled with memories and a touch of nostalgia.
The Origin: Growing up, the flavors of ham, green beans, and potatoes, affectionately known as HGP, were a constant delight in my childhood home. Its savory scent wafting through the air after school always assured me that everything was just right. Surprisingly, this dish wasn't as widespread in every corner of the country, prompting me to share this simple yet soul-satisfying meal with you.
The Essential Ingredient: At the heart of this recipe lies the ham hock, derived from the hind leg of the pig. While it might not boast an abundance of meat, the ham hock adds a unique umami flavor and contributes to the luscious broth, infusing the dish with unparalleled richness.
Finding the Perfect Ham Hock: Securing a well-endowed ham hock might pose a challenge, especially in urban areas. However, don't lose heart. Local supermarkets and friendly butchers can come to the rescue, ensuring you enjoy the best flavors in your dish. The affordability of ham hocks also allows for convenient storage, making them a smart buy for future culinary adventures.
Cooking Insights: Although the recipe is tailored for a slow cooker, you can effortlessly recreate this meal in a soup pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Remember, adjusting the cooking time is crucial, as the stove tends to accelerate the cooking process.
- 2 pounds of ham leg
- 2–3 big russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 16 ounces of fresh or frozen green beans
- 1 pound of cubed ham steak
- Place the ham hocks in the slow cooker, ensuring they're submerged in water. Cook on high for approximately 5 hours until the meat is tender.
- Use tongs to remove any excess fat or bones, preserving the tender meat in the flavorful stock.
- Introduce the potatoes and green beans to the slow cooker 2-3 hours before serving. Adjust the water quantity if necessary, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- On the first day, simmer the ham hocks in water for at least 5 hours. Once done, let it cool and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, skim off any fat from the top, extract the tender meat from the ham hocks, and add it to the soup. Incorporate the ham meat, diced potatoes, green beans, and broth, allowing it to simmer on low heat for three hours or until the vegetables reach desired tenderness.