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Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Stew with Bacon

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Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Stew with Bacon is a hearty and comforting dish that’s perfect for a cozy family dinner. This easy-to-make stew combines tender potatoes, savory ham, and crispy bacon, all slow-cooked to perfection. The addition of cheddar cheese (optional) adds a creamy and rich element to the stew. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the ingredients, instructions, and tips for making the perfect Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Stew with Bacon. Additionally, we’ll provide variations and address frequently asked questions to ensure you achieve the best results.

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Ingredients

For the Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Stew with Bacon:

  • 1.5 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb cooked ham, cut into cubes
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Peel and Chop Potatoes: Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Cook and Crumble Bacon: Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the skillet and crumble once cooled.
  3. Dice Onion and Mince Garlic: Dice the onion and mince the garlic cloves.

Step 2: Assemble the Stew

  1. Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker: In your slow cooker, add the chopped potatoes, cubed ham, crumbled bacon, diced onion, and minced garlic.
  2. Season: Add the chicken broth, dried thyme, and black pepper. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Step 3: Cook the Stew

  1. Set Slow Cooker: Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Add Cheese (Optional): If using, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese during the last 30 minutes of cooking, allowing it to melt into the stew.

Step 4: Serve

  1. Garnish: Before serving, stir the stew well and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  2. Serve Hot: Ladle the Ham and Potatoes Stew into bowls and serve hot. Enjoy!

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes

  • Ham: Use pre-cooked ham for convenience. Leftover ham from a holiday meal works perfectly in this recipe.
  • Broth: If you prefer a thicker stew, you can reduce the amount of chicken broth or mash some of the potatoes to thicken the stew.

Variations

  1. Vegetable Stew: Add 1 cup of diced carrots and 1 cup of diced celery along with the potatoes for added flavor and nutrition.
  2. Creamy Stew: Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream or sour cream during the last 30 minutes of cooking for a creamier texture.
  3. Spicy Stew: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for a spicy kick.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use different types of potatoes?

A: Yes, you can use any type of potatoes you prefer, such as Yukon Gold, red potatoes, or even sweet potatoes.

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Q2: How do I store leftovers?

A: Store any leftover stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove before serving.

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Q3: Can I freeze this stew?

A: Yes, you can freeze this stew. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to freezer-safe containers or bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

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Q4: Can I make this recipe dairy-free?

A: Yes, you can omit the cheddar cheese or use a dairy-free cheese alternative.

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Q5: What can I serve with Ham and Potatoes Stew?

A: This stew pairs well with crusty bread, a fresh green salad, or a side of steamed vegetables.

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Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes Stew with Bacon is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its hearty ingredients and rich flavors, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Follow these simple steps and tips to create a comforting and satisfying meal that your loved ones will enjoy. Serve this hearty stew with your favorite sides for a complete and delightful meal!