Make what fun you will of beans, those magical fruit! They still deliver a hearty taste along with good basic nutrition at cheap cost every time. This slow cooker version is one I’ve made for a number of years now. I happen to like it and hope you will too.
- 8 oz. Great Northern beans, soak over night
- 4 cups of water
- 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce or one 16 oz. can
- 1 cup ham, diced
- 1 med. Russet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced or sub garlic powder
- 1 tbsp basil or parsley
- 1 dash of cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste (hold off til the end)
Soak the beans overnight as per package instructions. Drain off old water and place in a 3 quart pot. Add 6-8 cups of fresh water and bring to a brief boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Drain once again and move to the slow cooker. Test the beans at this time. Note: They should feel somewhat soft.
Combine the beans with three cups of fresh water along with the rest of the ingredients. (Note: do not add salt until the beans are done as this will only toughen them)! Cook on low for about 4 hours. Test for doneness and add salt towards the end of the cooking cycle. Serves 6-8.
Following is a real time log of the cooking process for this recipe;
11/25/11 - Soaked beans overnight.
11/26/11 – 9:00 AM - drained & rinsed beans. Added fresh water and brought to a brief boil, then reduced heat.
9:15 AM - Simmered for 45 minutes!
9:50 AM - Rinsed the beans again and added them to the slow cooker. Added warm water and tomato sauce. Beans were beginning to feel somewhat soft. Also nuked the veggies & ham for 20 seconds to warm them after taking from the fridge. Left the slow cooker on the high setting to bring the contents up to speed quicker.
10:45 AM - I turned heat to low setting. Smells pretty good at this point.
12:15 PM – Checked slow cooker – everything on track to finish about 2 PM.
1:48 PM – Checked and beans still a little undone!
3:30 PM – Checked and potato still a little al dente. Total time is now 5 ½ hours in slow cooker.
4:00 PM – It was done to a tee!
This is a great dish to make anytime of the year! I also like the fact of how inexpensive it is especially if you grow your own vegetables. Sure, the cost of smoked ham has skyrocketed as of late and that’s why I only use a small amount in this recipe.