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La Belle Cuisine
Southern Green Beans
This is one of those dishes that I've eaten all my life,
cooked at least all of my
adult life, and always assumed that everyone knew how to make if
so inclined. Not true, I'm told. Since it's one of my favorites, I thought I'd
write it down and pass it along.
There's really nothing to it. The most important
thing is to start out with really good quality fresh beans, if not from your own garden,
then from your farmers'
market. If you don't have access to good fresh
probably better to use
frozen beans than mediocre "fresh" ones. (MG)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon grease
(just let your conscience fight it out
with your taste buds...)
1 ham hock or pieces of a ham shank
1 large or 2 small yellow onions,
cut into "crescents"
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
(and perhaps a dash of cayenne)
3 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and
(from your local farmers'
market, if you are lucky!)
Water or chicken or beef stock
You will need either a very large saucepan, Dutch oven or soup
Add the oil to the pot, and in it sear the ham a few minutes. Remove it
pot and add the onions, season them with salt and pepper and
sauté them for a few
minutes, stirring. Then place the ham back in the pot
and add the green beans. Cover the
beans completely with water or stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low,
partially cover the pot,
and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I very often add small new potatoes
during the last half hour. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. It
is difficult to salt this dish in advance, as the amount of additional salt
required will depend on the saltiness of the ham.
The tradition in our family is to serve these delicious green beans with
corn on the cob, summer squash
and sliced vine-ripened tomatoes. A
batch of Mammy's Corn Bread certainly would
not be out of line.
For me, this is a main dish, not an accompaniment to meat, but
it certainly goes well with a large variety of meat entrées if you choose. How many
people will it serve? Well, how hungry are they??? In our family, this is enough for 4
people. Some families might be able to make 8 servings out
of it! Be sure to have
and ice cream for dessert...
Featured Archive Recipes:
Dooky Chase's French-Style
How Green Is Your Bean?
Smothered Greens with Ham
Hock Gravy (Emeril)
Southern-Style Greens with Variations
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