Slow-Cooker Ham and Beans


1 lb dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked  (No, I really don’t care what sort of beans you use.  Use the beans you like)

1/2 lb cooked ham, chopped

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, whole

1 12 oz can of tomato paste

1 bunch of cilantro or parsley, chopped

2 T. light brown sugar



1.  Mix the 12 oz can of tomato past with 24 oz of water (seriously – just dump it in the crock pot, then add three cans worth of water.  There’s no sense dirtying up a measuring cup).

2.  Place all the ingredients except the salt in the crockpot and set to “High”

3.  Cook for four hours.

4.  Salt to taste.

Serve with fresh bread

Mess o’ Beans & homemade tortillas

Derived from the Moosewood Cookbook recipe “Drunken Beans”)

Mess o' Beans (click to enlarge)
Mess o’ Beans
(click to enlarge)

3 cups pinto beans, soaked and cooked
3 cups of bean water from cooking the beans
1 T olive oil
1/2 – 1 lb boneless pork, cut into 1″ cubes
2 onions, diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced (yes six!  Don’t be a wimp!)
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes in juice
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. salt
2 t. adobo sauce
2 t. soy sauce

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Saute the pork, onion, bell pepper,celery,  and garlic until the pork begins to brown (around 10 minutes).

While that is cooking, place the beans in a pot with the bean water, tomatoes, cumin, salt, and soy sauce.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the pork and vegetables, and reduce heat.  Simmer for one hour or more.

If you want drunken beans, replace the bean water with warm, flat beer.

Feel free to add chili powder and/or chilis to taste.


Homemade tortilla (click to enlarge)
Homemade tortilla
(click to enlarge)

2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 t. garlic powder
3/4 cup milk (not non-fat)

If you have a bread machine, throw all the ingredients in and let it do the work.  Stop the machine after 15 minutes or so when everything is kneaded together.

Alternately – put the flour, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder into a bowl.  Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter.  Add the milk and work the dough with your hands on a floured surface.  f it comes out sticky, add flour.  If it comes out dry add more milk or water.

However you get the dough, put a cast iron skillet on the stove top and heat it to screaming hot.  Don’t add oil.  While this is heating, divide the dough into 8-10 pieces.  Roll out each piece with a rolling pin on a floured surface until it is 1/8″ or less thick and vaguely circular.  Carefully place in the pan for 30 seconds on a side.  If bubbles are not forming in the tortilla after the first 30 seconds, your pan is not hot enough.

A word about the ingredients –
Yes, there is soy sauce in the beans. Yes, there is milk in the tortillas. The both help to boost the protein absorption. You can leave out the soy if you want, and use water instead of milk.

Misha B

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