Monday, December 26, 2011

Leftover Holiday Ham, Rice & Beans

Wondering what to do with that left over holiday ham?
I recently served a spiral ham, and after a few meals, my family was wanting some variety.  I put the ham into the into a pot and cooked the bones until I had a nice broth and the meat was falling off of the bones.
Then I added beans, and once cooked through, served this over rice.  My favorite part of this recipe is that I can take a couple of days - and put it in the fridge for a few days and not worry about it if I get busy with something else, and then come back to it for a quick meal on another day that is simple and light.  (It can be made and served in a day, or spread out into a couple of days depending on when you are ready to get around to it)

I borrowed the rice/bean combination that so many latin countries use, and found that my family (even the kids) found this meal tasty & comforting - especially after all of the rich heavy holiday foods.

The ham bone can be prepared, and frozen with it's broth, or served immediately.

1 ham bone with as much (or little) meat left on it as you'd like
1 lb. dried beans (I used navy this time, but have used black, white, pinto or whatever I've had on hand)

Ham Bone:
Place ham bone and any remaining meat in a stock pot or crock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until all of the remaining meat falls off of the bone.  Approx. 3-4 hours on the stove, and 6-8 in the crock pot.

Meanwhile, prepare beans
Rinse and sort beans (I always find small dirt clods in beans so washing is imperative).
Place in medium pan, and cover with water.
Bring water to boiling.
Cover with lid, remove from heat and set aside to soak for an hour.

Rinse beans and discard water.
Place beans in ham broth and cook with ham bone (1-3 hours) until beans tender.

For best results, refrigerate overnight (or place in freezer to make it speedy) so that grease/fat rises to top.  Scrape grease/fat with a spoon and discard.

Using your hands, remove all bones and fat or gristle, and break up any remaining large chunks of ham.  Reheat, and ladle into bowls on top of rice.  

2 c. white rice
4 c. water
1 t. butter
1/2 t. salt

Bring water butter and salt to a boil.
Add rice, and bring to boil again.
Allow to boil for one minute, then turn heat to low, and cover with a lid.
Allow to cook undisturbed for 20 minutes.

To serve:
Place rice in bottom of bowl.
Spoon or ladle rice/ham mixture and broth over top.  More broth makes it more of a soup, less, makes it more rice and beans with a ham gravy.

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