Oh gosh y’all, there really aren’t words to describe how much I love ham. The sweet, the smokey, the juicy, the glaze options – I love it all! But can I be honest? I have never used a ham bone in my entire life! Is that crazy? Maybe. It was worth the wait though because these beans are creamy-smokey-herbacious-heavenly.
After Thanksgiving one of my aunts posted a picture on Facebook of ham and navy beans, apparently a traditional in their house. We never had a ton of beans growing up because my dad didn’t love them but I definitely do and couldn’t wait to figure out a killer recipe.
Besides the fact that the ham MAKES this recipe, I attribute the killer flavor to the fresh thyme (always a good idea) and the hit of red wine vinegar at the end. I promise you’ll want to make sure these things happen too – your Christmas ham bone deserves the best!
The creaminess is all thanks to a few of the beans being well-mashed at the end of the cooking process and then added back in. You don’t have to do this step but I love the texture this gives the finished dish. I will tell you this, though, I really didn’t think it would take 6-8 hours to make these beans and it totally did. My crockpot tends to cook things faster than most recipes, but this is definitely one you’ll want to allow plenty of time for. Just a heads up, y’all!
You guys, enjoy!
CREAMY CROCKPOT NAVY BEANS WITH CHRISTMAS HAM
- 1 pound dry navy beans, soaked, rinsed and drained
- 1 ham bone
- 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 ribs celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 6 springs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Combine the beans, carrots, celery, onion, fresh thyme, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a crockpot.
- Pour water over everything until it reaches about 1 inch over the beans.
- Add the ham bone, nestling it into the water.
- Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours until the beans are soft.
- Remove the ham bone and set aside to cool slightly.
- Remove about half of the water left in the crockpot.
- Take 1 cup of beans out of the crockpot and mash thoroughly.
- Add them back into the crockpot and stir to combine; the mashed beans will make the mixture creamy and thick.
- Carefully pull the remaining ham off of the ham bone and shred or chop.
- Add the ham back into the pot and stir to combine.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of red wine vinegar.
- Stir to combine and serve hot.