Like all good children raised in the Appalachian mountains (and elsewhere, no doubt) I grew up eating lots and lots of beans. Since my family lived in the very Southernmost tip of West Virginia, we considered ourselves southerners (people in Northern and Central West Virginia do not, for the most part). So I grew up eating southern green beans.
Southern green beans are a bit different. In addition to adding bacon, you have to cook them until they have only the “merest” molecular structure. My grandma accomplished this by slapping hers in a pressure cooker and I have no illusions about trying to run a pressure cooker – I would totally blow up my kitchen and I know this. So….
I decided to figure this out. I started with a recipe published in Garden & Gun and then tweaked it from there – and although y’all know I hate to brag – mine are better. If y’all want some good southern green beans – this is how you do it.
2 tablespoons of bacon grease – most southerners have a pot of bacon grease in the house. If you don’t, you should get one. Just drain the grease into a jar the next time you cook bacon and save it for when you need it.
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 yellow onion (Vidalia if you can get it) halved and sliced
1 pound of frozen, cut green beans
4 cups of unsalted bone chicken broth
2-4 cups of organic, low sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1/3 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper
- Melt butter and bacon grease into bottom of cast iron pot/dutch oven
- Add onions and cook on medium until the onions are golden and transluscent
- Add green beans
- Cover with chicken stock and as much vegetable stock as necessary
- add salt and pepper
- bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes to an hour (the longer you cook, the better they are)
- you can also add new potatoes to your beans and cook them right along, which I did last time at my husband’s request