Homestyle Comfort: Slow-Cooked Potatoes, Green Beans, and Smoked Ham

Welcome, dear readers! Today, I’m excited to share with you a cherished recipe that has brought warmth and comfort to countless family gatherings over the years. This delightful dish of Potatoes, Green Beans, and Smoked Ham, cooked to perfection in a slow cooker, embodies the essence of home-cooked goodness. It’s perfect for busy days when you need something hearty yet easy to prepare. Let’s dive into the details and make this recipe your new favorite!

Ingredients Overview

  • Potatoes: Six medium-sized potatoes provide the perfect starchy base for this dish. Their creamy texture pairs wonderfully with the savory elements.
  • Green Beans: Two family-sized cans of green beans, drained, add a vibrant green color and a crisp texture that contrasts beautifully with the soft potatoes.
  • Smoked Ham: A pound and a half of good-quality smoked ham brings a rich, smoky flavor that infuses the entire dish.
  • Vegetable Broth: A 32 oz carton of vegetable broth adds depth and helps meld all the flavors together.
  • Seasoning: Salt and pepper to taste, allowing you to customize the flavor to your liking.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Preparation:
    • Potatoes: Peel the potatoes if desired, or simply scrub them clean. Cut them into uniform chunks, about 1-2 inches in size, for even cooking.
    • Green Beans: Drain the cans of green beans thoroughly to avoid excess liquid diluting the dish.
    • Smoked Ham: Dice the smoked ham into bite-sized pieces, ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the crockpot.
  2. Layering:
    • In an 8-quart crockpot, start by placing the potato chunks at the bottom. This will ensure they cook evenly and absorb the flavors from the broth and ham.
    • Add the drained green beans on top of the potatoes, spreading them out evenly.
  3. Adding the Ham:
    • Scatter the diced smoked ham over the green beans and potatoes. The ham will infuse the vegetables with its rich, smoky flavor as it cooks.
  4. Pouring the Broth:
    • Carefully pour the vegetable broth over the layered ingredients, ensuring it covers them adequately. This broth will simmer and reduce, creating a delicious base for the dish.
  5. Seasoning:
    • Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember, you can always adjust the seasoning later, so start conservatively if you’re unsure.
  6. Cooking:
    • Set your crockpot to cook on high for 4-6 hours. This setting will allow the potatoes to become tender and the flavors to meld beautifully.
    • Once the cooking time is complete, switch the setting to low or warm to keep the dish at a perfect serving temperature all day.

Tips for a Seamless Cooking Experience

  • Preparation: Spend a few minutes in the morning prepping the ingredients, and let the slow cooker do the rest. This dish is perfect for busy days or when you want to spend more time with family and less in the kitchen.
  • Ingredient Quality: Use the best quality smoked ham you can find. It makes a significant difference in the flavor.
  • Uniform Cuts: Ensure all the potato chunks are roughly the same size for even cooking.
  • Broth Choice: While vegetable broth is recommended, you can also use chicken broth for a slightly different flavor profile.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Storage: Allow the dish to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: This dish also freezes well. Portion it into freezer-safe containers, and it will keep for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave, or warm larger quantities on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of broth or water to prevent drying out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use fresh green beans instead of canned? A: Absolutely! Fresh green beans can be used. Just trim and cut them into bite-sized pieces. You might need to add a bit more broth as fresh beans will absorb more liquid.

Q: What type of potatoes work best for this recipe? A: Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes are excellent choices. Russets are starchy and will break down a bit, creating a creamy texture, while Yukon Golds hold their shape better.

Q: Can I add other vegetables? A: Certainly! Carrots, celery, or even onions can be great additions. Just ensure they are cut into similar-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.

Q: How can I make this dish vegetarian? A: You can replace the smoked ham with a plant-based protein like smoked tofu or tempeh. Ensure it’s well-seasoned to maintain that savory, smoky flavor.

Final Thoughts

This Potatoes, Green Beans, and Smoked Ham recipe is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. With minimal prep and the magic of a slow cooker, you can create a comforting, flavorful meal that will delight your family and guests. Embrace the ease of this recipe and let it become a staple in your home-cooked meal rotation. Happy cooking


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