My quest for new simple dinners continues. Today I tried to push the limit of how basic I could make a complete ham dinner with a slow cooker. This experiment was of limited success. The long hours of stewing produced a rich amber broth that lent a robust flavor to this dinner, but I made some mistakes in cooking time and volume of ingredients that toughened the ham and potatoes.
My 5 qt. slow cooker has a liner that can be removed, so I decided to assemble the dinner the night before and store it in the fridge until morning. As I was filling the crock, I noticed that I had erred in a scaling the recipe: the crock would be full to the brim if I continued. I’ve had three slow cookers over the years, and all of them came with instructions that the cooker should be 1/2 to 3/4 full for best results. Today I learned that I should not have ignored this advice.
I also learned that a ham can’t quite withstand an entire work day of slow cooking. It starts to fall apart and dry out a bit, even if it is submerged in liquid.
I present this recipe with the corrections I’d make if I were to cook this again. The taste was great, but I think these alterations would greatly improve the results.
- 3 lb boneless hickory ham
- 8 oz sliced button mushrooms
- 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 1/2 lb baby carrots
- 1 lb baby red or yukon gold potatoes
- 1 cup water
Place ham cut side down in slow cooker. Add sliced mushrooms around the ham. Top mushrooms with cut onion, separating wedges if needed to make a full ring around ham. Next layer the potatoes and carrots over the onions and pour the cup of water over all.
Cook on low 6-7 hours.