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Southern Green Beans (McIlhenny Company) 

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appeal of the food of one’s childhood and early youth.”

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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 they were
so inclined. Not true, I'm told. Since it's one of my favorites, I thought I'd try
to 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 beans, it's 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
trimmed (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 kettle.
Add the oil to the pot, and in it sear the ham a few minutes. Remove it
from the 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 peach cobbler and ice cream for dessert...

Featured Archive Recipes:
Dooky Chase's French-Style
Green Beans

How Green Is Your Bean?
Smothered Greens with Ham
Hock Gravy (Emeril)

Southern-Style Greens with Variations


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