After a big ham dinner, there is always the dreaded task of what to do with the ham bone. In the past, I have watched my hostess trying to saw off every last bit of meat, wondering aloud what she should do with this clunky holiday has-been. Once the star of the show, it’s now a nuisance. I offer suggestions for its use, and she lifts her eyebrows to the possibilities. But after quietly realizing the ham bone will just end up taking up space in her fridge, finally with a sigh, she offers it to me. Trying not to get too excited, I accept and wrap it up. Upon leaving her home, I greedily tuck the treasure under my arm, as I promise this ham bone it will produce great things. This is a star that will shine again.
I did not feel like cutting up celery or carrots for this recipe, so I just grabbed some I had dehydrated. If you use dehydrated vegetables for this recipe, reduce the amount of fresh listed.
This is the quintessential budget recipe, and will feed an army. You will feel so incredibly pleased with yourself when you see the massive amount of food you produced using a humble ham bone and a pound of beans. My husband and children all love this dinner.
I serve this with rice and corn bread. This is a great freezer meal.
Red Beans and Rice
1 pound dry red kidney beans
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 quart water
1 large smoked ham hock
2 teaspoons salt
2 carrots, diced
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Rinse beans. In a large pot place all ingredients except parsley and rice. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 3 to 4 hours or until beans are tender. Occasionally stir adding water as needed to make a thick gravy. Just before serving, remove bay leaves and stir in parsley. Serve over rice and with cornbread.