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Open Roads Forum  >  Camp Cooks and Connoisseurs

 > Crock Pot - Ham Hock & Navy Bean Soup

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hotsparks

palouse falls, wa.

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Posted: 03/13/12 12:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm making some of my ham and bean soup tonight. It's too easy and very good. I'm a single guy and if I can make this, anybody can. I make it in the crock pot so it is very easy. But it takes all day to cook it, and it's worth it.

Basic ingredients: I've already told you. Ham Hocks and Navy Beans.

First you will need a couple of packages of smoked ham hocks or shanks. They are usually sold frozen. And if this is something new to you, don't be alarmed when you see them in the package. Yes they look kind of...well you know what I mean. But trust me, this cut of meat has a very good flavor. You will need about 2 packages or 1 big one maybe. I'd rather have too much meat than not enough. They look big but they have a big bone inside and a lot of the fatty parts that are the yum,yums for the dogs.

Cook these in the crock pot with just enough water to cover the meat. Cook on high for about 4 or 5 hours or so, until the meat comes off the bone with a fork. Turn off the heat and let this cool a little.

When the meat has cooled a little, scoop out the meat and bones and put this in a bowl or plate and cover until it's cool enough to touch.

Take the broth that is in the crock pot and put this in a tall container and let this cool a little and put this in the refrigerator to cool some more. Do not stir the broth. If you let this sit and cool the fat will float to the top and will be easy to remove and discard.

Separate the bones and fatty parts from the good pieces of meat and cut into small pieces across the grain. When using the shanks instead of the hocks you will see the meat is a little more stringy so be sure to cut these across the grain and you will have a better texture of meat.

Soak a package of white navy beans or great northern beans over night in water. I guess you could use canned beans maybe, I just have never tried. Get all this ready the day before and put all this in the fridge and relax.

The next morning or afternoon get out your crock pot again. Drain the water from the beans, throw away the bean water.
Just dump all this stuff inside the pot. Meat, broth, and beans. Cook on high again for another 4 to 6 hours until the beans are soft. You can add a little water if needed but not too much. You want this sort of like a chowder or chili thickness, not real watery.

You can add whatever spices you want (it's your soup). I add some cracked pepper and some garlic. Sometimes I will add about half an onion. It just depends on what I have and what mood I am in.

You really can't mess up this soup, well I guess you could somehow if you tried.

I like to serve this with garlic bread and a tossed green salad and a tall glass of ice cold milk. And I think that it taste even better the second day.

The leftovers (if there is any) I put into small plastic containers. These make it too easy to reheat in the microwave for an instant lunch.
------------------
My meat I'm cooking is ready for me to separate and my beans are soaking in water right now. Guess what I am going to have to eat tomorrow. Enjoy.

So how do you cook your ham & bean soup? And if you try to make this let me know what you think and how your's came out.

I know this is nothing new to some of you. But we need to pass these things on to the young people who don't realize how easy it is to make home made soup. You will never eat canned soup again.

Grammie

North Carolina

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Posted: 03/13/12 04:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never soak my beans. Place ham bone in bottom of crock. Add beans on top. Add some cut up celery, carrots and onion. Salt and pepper. Cover with water. Cook on high about 5 hours. Check beans for doneness. I do not like mushy beans. If not done switch temp to low and cook til desired doneness. Gotta have some corn bread. I like mine fried in little patties. Delicious. Just made a huge pot camping last week and had 5 extra campers over for supper. This is a great meal and leftovers freeze well.


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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 03/13/12 06:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Two ways to make the beans, pre-soak and to boil (not actually a rolling boil, just heat to about 180F - 190, so they don't stick, or a cooler temp works for a longer time) them about 4 hours. Either way works. Just quicker to not soak, and cook for 5-8 hours all at once.

I make split pea soup, with 1 pound split peas, 1/2 pound lentils, 1 quart of chicken broth, (Smoked Ham Hocks does sound like a great alternative) and put into a 4 quart crock pot. Add a bit more water, the beans will expand as they cook for 4-5 hours. Add some carrots (bite size pieces) about 1 hour before finished to soften them. Of course ham if desired, pepper, and other spices that seem good.

I guess the way you are making it, a lot of the fat will come out of the broth.

Fred.

Pepperoni

Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198

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Posted: 03/13/12 07:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Call me lazy, but I save hours of cooking by using precooked white michigan beans. Toss the sliced onion into the pot with the beans on top. I use cubed ham instead of hocks. Sometimes I add a diced carrot for color. Don't worry about leftovers, there will not be any.

Variations include substituting kielbasa or cheddar brats for the ham.

Serve with hot cornbread and diced onions, salad and iced tea.

lat471

Lebanon, PA

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Posted: 03/13/12 06:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The soup sounds good. But I usually top ours off by adding some sliced hard boild eggs and maybe a potatoe or two. In anycase you can't go wrong. Yummmm.


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pasusan

PA

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Posted: 03/13/12 06:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grammie wrote:

I never soak my beans. Place ham bone in bottom of crock. Add beans on top. Add some cut up celery, carrots and onion. Salt and pepper. Cover with water. Cook on high about 5 hours. Check beans for doneness. I do not like mushy beans. If not done switch temp to low and cook til desired doneness. Gotta have some corn bread. I like mine fried in little patties. Delicious. Just made a huge pot camping last week and had 5 extra campers over for supper. This is a great meal and leftovers freeze well.
But - then the fat can't be skimmed off, it's all mixed in. I think the OP's method would be healthier.

Finally Fulltiming

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Posted: 03/13/12 07:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been using smoked pork or turkey necks instead of the ham hocks. Like the smoky flavor & they're usually cheaper. And I put the onion in with the meat just to flavor the broth. Strain off the bones & onion, toss the onion.

swtgran

Brimfield, Ohio

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Posted: 03/13/12 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Speed the whole process with a pressure cooker.


Swtgran
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mrhddh

Puget Sound, Washington

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Posted: 03/13/12 06:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When's dinner? Putting my coat on and heading to the store!


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bob213

Fresno, CA

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Posted: 03/13/12 11:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Started my crock pot 2 hours ago! You are the 3rd person I've heard talking about ham and beans this week. Must be the weather...We love them!

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