Slow cookers were not my favorite cooking tool, in fact, the one I did own was given away after being used twice. Then about ten years later I decided to give it a try again, and so far I have gotten rid of it, in fact, I now own two, one 4 quart and one 7 quart. The main problem the first time around was I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I understand the liquid issue and the need to not keep lifting the lid. So as long as I can just walk away from the slow cooker once I get it going everything seems to work out. I still don’t use it everyday, more like a couple times a month. This time I decided to cook some beans, but just winged it rather than looking up a recipe.
Since it wasn’t a planned idea the beans were completely dried, no overnight in a bowl of water for these guys. For that reason I figured it was going to take forever, I was wrong!! It ended up only taking a little less than five hours on low. Everything turned out tasting wonderful, so I’ll definitely do this again and will try other beans as well.
For the Recipe:
1 1/2 c. dried navy beans
1 large ham hock (look for the meaty kind rather than the really fatty ones)
2 onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut into thirds
4 celery stalks, cut into thirds
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. pepper
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 cloves of garlic
Put everything into a slow cooker, use enough water to almost cover all the ingredients. Cook on low for about 5 hours. Remove the ham hock and take off all the meat and cut into chunks. Remove the rest of the vegetables, including the Bay leaves, you can either toss them or like me, cut up the carrots into smaller pieces and toss them back in with the meat. I used the broth to make rice to serve along with the beans, which is why I added more water than I really needed.
If you do choose to make rice with the broth, be sure to remove the excess fat from the broth.