By Gabrielle. Images by Lindsey of Café Johnsonia.
Are you ready for the easiest slow cooker recipe ever? You only need two ingredients for this ultra-simple recipe, but don’t underestimate how amazing it is. This is something our family loves, loves, loves. We learned this recipe from our friend, Emily, when we were brand new newlyweds (that seems like ages ago!), and it is so good and reliable, that the recipe has since been adopted by dozens of friends and by pretty much every one of my siblings. It’s also become part of our holiday tradition — we make it every Christmas Eve.
The bonus is that it’s the recipe that keeps on giving. The first night, you might serve this yummy slow cooker shredded ham as a main course, with a side of yams or carrots. The next day, it’s the perfect lunch served on bagels with cream cheese. Put the rest in the freezer, and pull it out the following week for creamy pesto, ham, and pasta. And you get all of that from one bone-in ham plus a little bit of water and a day of slow cooking!
It’s delicious in every season, and we make it throughout the year. Friends, I’m so happy to share this recipe with you! I hope you’ll love it as much as our family does. If you make it, I’d love to hear what you think!
Let’s be honest, this is hardly a recipe at all. It can be described more as “simple instructions”. As I said above, it’s probably the easiest slow cooker meal ever. You’ll need:
Enough water to come up 1-inch in the slow cooker
Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until it shreds easily with a fork.
– You’re basically looking for the most inexpensive cut of bone-in ham you can find. It doesn’t even need to be sliced. It will be labeled Shank Portion or Butt Portion, and will be quite big. We usually by one that looks like this. The long, slow cooking time will make it incredibly tender and juicy.
– Even though you start with just an inch of water, the pot will fill with liquid as the day progresses. If the liquid level isn’t increasing — or if it’s decreasing, that means the pot is too hot. Add more water and turn down the heat.
– Get a really big ham if you’ll be feeding a crowd. This is a popular recipe and you’ll be amazed how quickly it disappears! But consider the size of your slow cooker. We definitely bought hams too big for ours before.
– You’ll know the ham is done, when it falls apart in shreds with a fork.
– To keep the ham from drying out when you serve it, save some of the cooking liquid and pour it over the top.
– This recipe can also be done in a big pot on the stove top. If I put the ham in by 10:00 AM, it will be ready for dinner around 6:00 PM.
– Serving suggestions: I mentioned as a main course, on a bagel with cream cheese, or with pasta above, but it’s also wonderful as a breakfast meat (like inside an omelet), on a sandwich, or served with any complimentary vegetable as a main course.