Ham, string beans & potatoes

Michelle Koletar/Mertz Recipe

By Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie

Prep Time:
Cook Time:

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.


3 lb
ham shank, smoked ham hocks, or large ham slices
2 pkg
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

Directions Step-By-Step

So 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. :)
Put 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.
Sprinkle 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.)
Put 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.
You 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.

About this Recipe

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Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie
Dec 9, 2013
Good for you introducing this to people! Those who haven't had this have no idea what they are missing!
Bonnie Bryant GamB
Dec 9, 2013
I am from Gettysburg, my heritage is Pa. Dutch, and now live in NC I have continued to make this over the years and have some Southern converts. So good!!!!
Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie
Jul 25, 2013
Oh, that's awesome, Lori! Thanks for letting me know!!!
Lori Kent 1crazygal
Jul 24, 2013
Made this today with a big, meaty ham bone, 2 cans of new potatoes, a BUNCH of fresh green beans, an onion, cut in half, plus a few more chopped up onions in the mix. We only used a 1/4 of a cup of the apple cider vinegar (it was all I had left!). We put the onion halves on the bottom, followed with the canned potatoes, sprinkled some salt and pepper on top of the potatoes, then piled everything else on top - a few more sprinkles of salt and pepper on top, then turned the crock pot on low for about 6 hours. The crock pot turns to 'warm' after that, until we got home from work. Removed the ham bone(s), and had the BEST meal we've had in a long, long time! Thank you so much for this recipe! It was the B.O.M.B.!!!
Tina Scarsdale ScarsdaleKitchen
Mar 31, 2013
Thanks!making this for dinner tomorrow night :)