Welcome to the third installment of budget meals adapted from Cooking Light.  This recipe was another winner.  It’s a rustic French ham and vegetable Stew and like the other two recipes in this series it costs almost nothing to make.  If you make it with homemade chicken stock it costs a meager $5.83 and if you buy your stock it will set you back about $8.33.  That’s for a big pot of stew that will feed 4-6 people!

This stew re-heats really well, so I decided that it would be perfect for lunches.  Once the stew was done, I divided it into individual storage containers and put them all in the freezer.  Now we’ll have a tasty lunch for several days that only needs to be re-heated in the microwave.  It’s still morning, but I’m already thinking about how delicious my lunch will be today!

The recipe calls for a smoked ham hock.  I was only able to find a fresh ham hock at my grocery store.  I’m not sure if smoked ham hocks are more readily available in other parts of the country, but if you can’t find any I would suggest that you substitute an 8 oz piece of ham.

Garbure (French Ham and Vegetable Stew)

  • 4 oz dried cannellini or Great Northern beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock (I used homemade)
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • 1 cross-cut smoked ham hock , about 8 0z (I was only able to find a fresh ham-hock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small red potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 large turnip, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, cubed
  • 4 cups thinly sliced green or Savoy cabbage (I used green)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Sort and wash beans.  Place in a pot or a bowl.  Cover with water 2 inches above beans.  Cover and let stand for 8 hours or overnight.  Drain.

Prep all your veggies and set aside.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add leeks and garlic, saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add soaked beans, stock, herbes de Provence, ham hock and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are just tender.

Remove ham hock and allow to cool enough so you can handle it.  Pick meat from bones, reserving meat.  Discard bones and fat.

Add potatoes, turnips and carrots to the pan.  Cook about 10 minutes until veggies are tender.

Stir in cabbage and simmer for 4 minutes.  Stir in parsley, thyme, vinegar, reserved meat, salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread if desired.


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