Ham, string beans & potatoes
By Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie
Sounds weird to those who are not near PA Dutch Country. But, trust me, this dish is EASY and incredibly yummy!!!! Everyone in Central PA makes it, although I have added a few twists for flavor.
ham shank, smoked ham hocks, or large ham slices
frozen green beans (or use fresh uncooked green beans, which i prefer)
red potatoes (fine to use white, russet, etc.)
apple cider vinegar, fresh ground pepper, water
1So easy! Ready? Wash and cut the potatoes (keep skin on or off, your preference) in quarters and put in bottom of crockpot. You may want to check on the potatoes about half-way through to ensure they are not getting too cooked & mushy. Putting them @ the bottom at first helps get all the ham juice & yummy flavors dripping on them, though. :)
2Put ham in crockpot (NEVER used a canned ham or spiral-sliced ham for this recipe -- you want the smoky, bone in kinda ham). You don't need to cut it up, but may want to cut in half for flavors to mesh.
3Sprinkle with lotsa fresh ground black pepper. Add about 3 cups water. Then, add about half cup of apple cider vinegar to a bit more water & dump that over top. Cut a peeled, large onion in half & put on top. (You also choose to do sliced onion in it, if you want more flavor.)
4Put green beans on top (if using frozen green beans, let the dish cook for about 3 hours before you add them) & add some more black pepper & a sprinkle some apple cider vinegar over (pouring the vinegar in its cap or a separate cup helps to ensure you don't get too much in. :) ) Cook on low setting in crockpot for about 7-10 hours, depending on what kind of ham you are using.
5You can add more water if you want, or cut the ham & veggies into smaller pieces for more of a soup texture. It is DELICIOUS! Most people I know add white vinegar @ the end of the preparation, but I found apple cider vinegar cooked w/ it slowly, ground pepper, and an onion really set off the flavors while keeping it authentic to PA Dutch Country.