Slow Cooker Pork and White Bean Stew

11-DSC00188 I am still amazed at what low heat and time can do to improve most anything.  It is rare that something non-delicious comes from my slow cooker, I do not take credit for that.  It does even better if I am actually gone for the day, leaving it to do it’s business without my constant poking, stirring, tasting and tongue burning.  I am an impatient cook.  I like to watch my water boil, I like to stir.  Yes I love making risotto, it makes me feel needed.  My slow cooker doesn’t need me, it likes it space and sometimes that’s a good thing.

Someday I would like to make a cassoulet.  This is not a cassoulet as much I would like to say it is and as much as I like to say “cassoulet.”  It has beans and meat and cooks for a long time and has some similarities, but is a lot less work.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz.  The beans become smooth and creamy and complement the salt from the ham, and does deserve an overnight in the fridge if you can handle it.

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Recipe:

Time: 6-7 hours

Yield: about 8 servings

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried cannelini beans, or other white bean
  • 3 1/4 pounds ham shanks
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (cut into small pieces about 1/4″)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine, I used Sauvignon blanc
  • 6 cups water
  • salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and sort through beans, add to slow cooker.
  2. Add the diced onion, diced carrot, thyme, garlic, wine and water.
  3. Nestle the ham shanks in until they are partially submerged.
  4. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until beans are cooked.
  5. Remove hams shanks and let sit until cool enough to handle.
  6. Shred meat with fingers and add back to slow cooker.
  7. Stir and salt to taste.
  8. Serve with fresh chopped parsley.

Note: can be kept in the fridge for about four days, can also be frozen for longer term storage.

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