Crock Pot Northern Beans & Ham

1 – 16 oz package package dried northern beans
2 – 3 meaty ham hocks, shank or use a meaty ham bone (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 – small onion, diced
water, enough to cover beans
1 – packet Goya ham flavored concentrate, optional but so good
1 – bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/3 – cup light brown sugar
Directions :
Sort the beans for any pebbles and rinse them under cold water. Soak the beans for 3 hours in a large bowl. Drain and rinse the beans.
Add the the rinsed beans, onion, salt, pepper, bay leaf and ham shanks, hocks or ham (chopped into large chunks) into the crock pot.
Add enough water or water and broth to cover the beans by about 2 inches. (about 6 – 8 cups) add the goya ham concentrate if using.
Cover and cook on high for the first hour then turn the crock pot to low and cook for an additional 4 hours or until the beans are tender and a bit creamy.
Remove the ham shanks or hocks and pull off all of the meat. Remove the bay leaf and throw away. Return the meat to the crock pot and add the brown sugar.
If there is a lot of juice in the cooked beans I will remove about a cup of the juice before adding the brown sugar.
It all depends on how thick or thin you want the beans. Lightly mix to combine. Ladle in to bowls and serve.
Cooks Note: Keep in mind that EVERY Crock pot is DIFFERENT. I have 3 crock pots and all of the cook differently. Some quicker than others, so the cooking time will be different and could be increased.
I don’t soak my northern beans before cooking because they cook tender after 5 hours of cooking in MY crock pot. Several readers were stating the beans were still not tender after 5 hours of cooking, so I have added to soak the beans prior to cooking in the recipe. Just use your own judgement.

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