I love lima beans with ham. It's just one of those comfort foods for me. So many people don't like beans and I didn't either for the longest time. However I've developed a taste for beans and now I love them. Not only are they a cheap food source but there are so many ways to prepare beans. Your not limited to burritos or soups which is how most I know eat beans. This is a simple and very cheap meal. All together this dish probably cost around $5 and it fed us for 3 meals. Your cost will vary depending on what you have on hand and what you add to it.
Lima Beans with Ham
1 lb baby or regular dried lima beans (I prefer baby cause the flavor is not as strong but go with what you have on hand or can find), soaked over night, drained, and rinsed
ham hock, ham steak cut into bite size pieces, or leftover holiday ham cut into pieces (amount depends on you and your tastes, we like to have about 1 cup of ham in our beans)
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cook onion, carrots, and celery in 1 tablespoon oil or butter until they softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add lima beans and ham hock or ham. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer until beans are tender (between one hour to three hours). You want to simmer off most of the water if you want a thick lima bean dish or add more water as needed to make it the consistency you want. If using a ham hock, remove and pull meat off and add back to dish.
Season the dish to your liking. I like to salt with garlic salt to my taste about 1/2 teaspoon. I also add coarse ground black pepper, about 2 teaspoons. I also like using hot sauce. I'd say anywhere between 1/2 teaspoon to one teaspoon. As I said flavorings are where you can make this dish your own. Add whatever flavorings your family likes. Taste often as its easy to over season.
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