Slow Cooker Pork & Bean Stew

slow cooker pork and bean stew, pork and beans, ham and beans

A southern staple that became so because it’s not only hearty, satisfying and nutritious after a hard day’s work, but economical as well – a pot of beans could feed a brood of young ‘uns for mere cents back in the day and a warm bowl of ham and beans is budget-friendly even today and perfect for the healthier you this year.

As part of the legume family of food, beans offer plenty of heart-healthy folate and fiber, and can be a filling substitute for meat. One of my goals this year is to include more legumes in my diet and seek out heirloom bean varieties like some of those collected by Master Gardener John Coykendall that I read about in The Blackberry Farm Cookbook. But rest assured, it won’t be just the year of the bean because the legume family of foods is a diverse one that includes peas, alfalfa, clover, and sprouts, as well as tiny lentils, and the inappropriately named peanut.

In fact, I ushered in the new year with the southern tradition of having blackeyed peas (another legume) for good luck on New Year’s Day; my humble Hoppin’ John salsa kicked off a lovely alfresco brunch with friends complete with champagne toasts and Manna Hatta bourbon punch beneath magnificent trees overlooking a picturesque canyon vista – a truly auspicious beginning to 2013.

Hoppin' John, blackeyed pea salsa

As a kid, blackeyed peas always seemed kind of bland and boring, but I’ve jazzed them up over the years with chile peppers, corn, cilantro, and lime or Meyer lemon for a crunchy flavorful Hoppin’John salsa with tortilla and flaxseed chips that both kids and grown-ups love. Plus, spread the salsa on top of chips with a little cheese and bake for some great tasting nachos. Try it some time – no need to reserve it for New Years –  it’s a perfect football snack for the approaching playoffs and Super Bowl or a healthy dip/salsa any time of year.

slow cooker pork and beans, slow cooker ham and beans, pork and bean stew

Slow cooker pork and beans, ham and beans

Da-Le Ranch is a small, sustainable family farm in the Central Inland Empire (Southern California) specializing in sustainable, FARM-FRESH pork, chicken, grass fed lamb, grass fed beef, rabbit, duck, quail, pheasant & turkey,  You can buy meat by the individual cut, or full, half and quarter sides available (on some animals) for the freezer.  The exceptional quality meats are derived from animals that are pastured, hormone free, steroid free, and U.S.D.A. inspected, where required. Dave (the “Da” of Da-Le Ranch) sells almost exclusively at farmers markets. Visit their website for their farmers market schedule. When time permits, Dave and Leslie (yep, the “Le” in Da-Le Ranch) give tours of their 22-acre ranch because they love sharing their vision and introducing people to their farm. Two friends and I took a Saturday morning to visit Da-Le Ranch – it was super interesting and informative and I’ll share more with you in another post. In the meantime,

I wish you and your family a year filled with joy, opportunity and,

most importantly, good health! Without your health, its difficult to maximize the rest :)

14 Responses to “Slow Cooker Pork & Bean Stew”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) January 5 at 6:13 pm #

    Happy New Year, Priscilla! I’m loving this stew, I know a mug would warm me up on this chilly January evening!

  2. Magic of Spice January 5 at 6:57 pm #

    Great stew Lady! Hope you had a wonderful holiday and wishing you a fantastic 2013!

  3. Lana @ Never Enough Thyme January 8 at 6:04 am #

    Looks delicious! I’d love to come home to a slow cooker full of this wonderful stew.

    • Priscilla January 10 at 3:05 pm #

      Thank you, Lana! We share a fondness for southern home cooking – I’d love to come sit at your table for dinner one day :)

  4. Angie@Angie's Recipes January 8 at 10:35 am #

    What a warming and delicious stew!

  5. Patty January 9 at 10:48 am #

    Great looking stew!!! Would love a mug to warm me up right now;-)
    Happy 2013 to you Priscilla-look forward to following your culinary adventures in the new year;-)

  6. Lynne @ CookandBeMerry January 10 at 12:26 am #

    I saw your photo on FoodGawker and had to come and see the mouth-watering recipe. Love your photos. Happy New Year!

    • Priscilla January 10 at 3:03 pm #

      Thanks, Lynne! That is a huge compliment as I admire your photography so much :)

  7. Wendy @ La Phemme Phoodie January 10 at 9:21 am #

    Slow cooker meals are one of my favorite things to make. I love a good hearty stew. This looks fabulous.

  8. Jamie January 14 at 8:35 am #

    Mmm does this look fabulous – rich, hearty, flavorful and comforting. I’ve been trying to make more stews this winter (and as you say they are healthy and economical aside from being so delicious) and this one looks a winner! All it needs is a hunk of fresh cornbread or southern biscuits and it’s a meal. I may try and adapt it to beef or lamb.

    Happy New Year, Priscilla!


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