I was never a fan of ham and beans growing up. I don't know why to tell you the truth. But I have really grown to love it. Especially poured over a big square of cornbread on a cold day. That's comfort food at its best!
This is the best recipe for ham and beans. I've tried a few, and this one never fails. The best part... it's EASY!
First, I recommend great northern beans. I think they cook up creamier than pinto beans. Maybe that's why I never cared for ham and beans growing up.... I think Mom always used pinto beans.
Also, use ham shanks because they release a really good flavor. They are also very meaty. They usually come two in a package. You'll use both in this recipe. You could use more if you like it really full of ham, but two works well for me. I have even pulled them right out of the freezer to the slow cooker (still frozen) for this recipe.
And the final touch, add some brown sugar. I don't use a huge amount; just enough for flavor.
1 - 16 oz package of great northern beans
2 meaty ham shanks
onion salt to taste
water, enough to cover beans (6-7 cups)
pepper to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar
Sort the beans for pebbles and rinse under cold water. Add the rinsed beans, ham shanks, onion salt, and pepper to your slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches (6-7 cups). Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until beans are tender. Remove the ham shanks and pull off the meat. Return meat to cooker and add brown sugar. Lightly mix to combine. Ladle into bowls over cornbread, if desired.