Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup

img_5945Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup
very slightly modified from Spend with Pennies

Ingredients

  • 1 package Hurst’s® HamBeens® 15 Bean Soup® with flavor packet
  • 8 cups chicken stock (can substitute other stock, broth, or water)
  • 1 leftover ham bone with meat (plus enough diced ham steak to make about 1 lb. of meat total for the soup; if no hambone available, a full 1 lb of diced ham or smoked sausage can be used)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • Optional for serving: scallions, hot sauce, rice, cornbread, corn chips

Method

Rinse beans and drain. Sort any unwanted debris and set seasoning packet aside.

Place beans, stock, ham bone, onions, garlic, chile powder, and thyme in a 6-quart slow cooker.

Cook on high 4-5 hours (or low 7-8 hours), or until beans are tender.

Once tender, remove the ham bone (if used) and chop any meat left on the bone and add it back to the pot, along with any additional diced ham steak to make 1 lb. of meat for the soup.

Stir in diced tomatoes and Ham Flavor packet.

Cook for an additional hour on low.

Serve with scallions, hot sauce, rice, cornbread, etc., as desired.

NOTES

This was so damn good! It’s hard not to have something fabulous on your hands when beans and leftover ham are involved. I am kicking myself for not having scallions to top it with – big oversight on my part – but the side of hatch chile cornbread was a pretty fantastic pairing all on its own. I will definitely make this again, with or without a leftover hambone!

Peppery Pinto Beans with Sausage

IMG_0292

Peppery Pinto Beans with Sausage
courtesy of The Homesick Texan

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • 1 pound smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced into coins
  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large jalapenos, seeded, stemmed, and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Sliced jalapenos, for serving

Method

Rinse and sort the beans. Place in a large pot or Dutch oven, cover with two inches of water, bring the pot to a boil then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and allow the beans to soak for an hour. After an hour when the beans have almost doubled in size, drain and rinse the beans and rinse the pot.

Place the pot back on the stove and heat the oil or bacon grease on medium heat. Add the sausage, and while occasionally stirring, cook until it just begins to crisp and some of the fat is rendered, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and jalapenos and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Pour in the water and deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any stuck bits.

Return the beans to the pot and add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch, about 6 more cups. Stir in the cilantro, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, black pepper, and salt, turn the heat up to high and bring the pot to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to low and then cook partially covered until tender, which can take anywhere from 2 hours to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans.

Keep an eye on the beans as they cook, making sure the liquid doesn’t get too low (if it does, add about 1/4 cup more water to the pot) and gently stir every half hour or so. I also like to taste the broth after 1 1/2 hours and see if the seasonings need any adjusting. You’ll know they’re done when the broth is rich and brown with most of the vegetables dissolved, and the beans, of course, are tender.

When the beans are done to your satisfaction, taste again and adjust the seasonings. Serve the beans warm, topped with sliced jalapenos.

NOTES

A couple of weeks ago, my Timehop showed an entry from February 2014 in which I linked to this recipe post from The Homesick Texan and said “this is going on my list immediately!” And then I never made it. Whoops.

Well, thank goodness for Timehop, eh? Because going back to this one was an A+ decision. It was absolutely as good as I expected if not better. Spicy – but surprisingly, not too spicy – savory, proteiny goodness. Served with Fritos and cornbread for dinner, then with a fried egg on top for lunch the next day. This one will easily become a permanent fixture around here.