Michelle Koletar/Mertz Recipe

Ham, string beans & potatoes

By Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie

Recipe Rating:
 6 Ratings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Michelle's Story

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

  • Comments

  • 1-5 of 54
  • user
    Brenda Garman mscheviuz - Oct 29, 2011
    Doesn't sound crazy to me! (smile!) This is exactly how I make it using the fresh green beans. As a matter of fact, I looked out the window and the snowfall has just started! What an excellent meal for a cold, dreary 1st snowfall of the yr! And I just happen to have a nice ham hock calling my name from the fridge! ;^) mmmmmm! Reading your recipe made me hungry for this!
  • user
    Brenda Garman mscheviuz - Oct 29, 2011
    I tried this recipe and say it's Family Tested & Approved!
  • user
    Michelle Koletar/Mertz Mertzie - Oct 29, 2011
    Thanks, Brenda!!! Yes, this unexpected snow would be much more tolerable w/ a pot of this! Good call!
  • user
    Dana Ramsey DRamsey - Nov 6, 2011
    Yes good old PA Dutch food. Made this many times! Love using smoked ham hocks which you can get from Mertz Meats in Northumberland, PA!!!! Great posting!
  • user
    Dana Ramsey DRamsey - Nov 6, 2011
    I tried this recipe and say it's Family Tested & Approved!