One of the reasons I love my crock-pot is that it saves me a lot of cash throughout the year. I can’t tell you how often the simple act of throwing a few ingredients in before heading out for the day has kept me from ordering pizza, Chinese food or the fast food at night.
That being said, there are some days (or weeks), when money is tight. That’s when a great frugal dish like the one below comes in handy. It tastes great and fills the belly for little money.
Ham, Red Beans and Rice.
1 lb. dried red beans, rinsed and drained well
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 C of water
2 2/3 C of beef broth
1/2 tsp crushed red hot peppers
1 smoked ham hock, skin scored in a diamond pattern
4 C of cooked brown rice
Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain well.
Place the oil into a skillet over medium high heat. Add the celery, onions, bell pepper, scallions and garlic. Stirring often, cook the mixture for 6 minutes or until the onion is tender. Transfer to the crock pot.
Add the beans and stir to blend in. Pour the water and beef broth into the crock pot. Add the crushed peppers and stir to blend all the ingredients together. Bury the ham hock into the beans.
Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the beans are tender. Remove the ham hock and remove the skin and any fat. Shred the meat and place back into the beans. Serve the beans over the hot brown rice.
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