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Ahh, ham and green beans– sweet meal of my childhood. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania is a childhood to dream of. The countryside is beautiful, the people are hardworking and honest, and life is quiet and peaceful. Pretty much everyone has a garden, and my Mom always did (and does) have a huge, amazing one. She always planted rows and rows of green beans, and toward the middle of the summer, those beans were in full swing. This simple meal was one my Mom fixed often– it’s the busy woman’s friend. You can plop all the ingredients into the crock pot or Dutch oven, set the heat to low, and go about your day. When it’s time for supper, come inside to a kitchen that smells amazing and a simple, yet delicious meal that is ready as quickly as you can slice a loaf of crusty bread to go with it.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Ham and Green Beans
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, washed and stems removed
2 potatoes, washed and cubed (I leave peels on but you may peel if you wish)
1 1/2 cups fully cooked ham
1/2 cup water
Place all your ingredients into a Dutch Oven (I have this gorgeous beauty from LC here) or crock pot, with the potatoes on the bottom so that they sit in the liquid and don’t turn brown. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
Low and slow meals are the friend of the busy Mama. When you have hundreds of responsibilities and not nearly so many free minutes, this meal is a superb choice. It’s veggie heavy, economical, and DEEEEELICIOUS. It’s also easy. Here is the only thing you have to do: put everything in the pot. Yep. That’s it. You’re so talented. haha.
Of course you can use a crock pot, but I adore using a cast iron pot for this recipe. Everyone should have a big heavy pot for cold days sitting on the back of the stove, quietly bubbling and making your whole house smell good. Plus, it’s gorgeous, to boot. The absolutely best cast iron Dutch Oven, in my humble opinion, is this gorgeous beauty from Le Creuset here. I use it for everything– from a melt-in-your mouth pot roast to crusty, delicious loaves of no-knead bread. And any dish that can even make doing the dishes fun is worth every penny. 😉 I use my little Le Creuset beauties every day, and they make me smile every single time. 🙂
I always place the potatoes on the bottom so that they will remain in the liquid and not turn brown. After a few hours of cooking it’s fine to stir everything up, but at the beginning when they’re raw, leave ’em on the bottom.
Of course, after about 4-5 hours, your raw veggies will have turned into these divine, melt in your mouth morsels that taste like meat. And that broth . . . oh my goodness. DEEEEELICIOUS.
At that point, break out a loaf of crusty bread (your Le Creuset is aaaahhhmazing for making that too, btw), or make yourself a nice skillet of cornbread. Nothing is better after a long day than sitting down to a simple, warm meal shared with those you love. That type of meal nourishes the soul as well as the body. And the warmth it brings lingers long after the food is gone.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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