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Grandmother's green bean recipie ?

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Windmere
Lindacol
Turan
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ETNRedClay
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Post  ETNRedClay 6/26/2013, 11:09 pm

My late grandmother used to fix green beans by boiling them with some kind of pork something -- pork necks or ham hocks or...?  And with new potatoes... I never asked her for the recipie while she was live -- dumb, I know.  But now I have a mess of green beans -- which means a lot -- and I can't figure what to do with them to fix them like she did.  How much water, what temperature on the stove, how long to cook them, what was the pork she added, etc. etc. Anyone fix green beans this way and could help out a NOOB cook?
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Post  yolos 6/27/2013, 9:12 am

My husband used to cook beans this way but no recipie available.  He was a good ole southern boy raised on a farm in Tennessee.  But I do remember he used ham hocks.  He put them in the pot with water and boiled them for quite a while before he put in the beans. Covered the beans with water and either added water as needed or boiled the water down at the end.  When he figured they were getting close to being the right tenderness, he put the new potatoes in and continued to cook until the potatoes were just the way he liked them.  I don't like them cooked that way because they were usually pretty mushy.  I like mine stir fryed and crispy.
 
I'll bet bnoles' wife knows how to cook them.  I think he was talking about eating them cooked this way in his post in "What are you eating from your garden today".  Maybe he will chime in.
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Post  jillintx 6/27/2013, 9:53 am

We love green beans this way! I usually use bacon instead of ham hocks: put green beans, a few slices of bacon cut into 2 inch lengths, half an onion cut into slices, and whole creamer potatoes in a pot. Add enough water to cover by a couple of inches Add salt and pepper to taste. Slow boil it for a couple of hours, and watch your water level - the beans need to stay covered. When it's done the beans have changed to a duller, darker color and they are soft. If I were to make this with the smoked ham hocks, I would put it in at the beginning instead of the bacon. My grandma also added one okra pod at the beginning. On occasion I will "get fancy" and season the pot before adding beans and water - cook some bacon pieces and a little onion in the pot first, then add beans, water and potatoes. Changes the flavor slightly...you can taste the bacon more. Good stuff!
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Post  herblover 6/27/2013, 1:30 pm

I put my green beans, a ham bone, and potatoes in my crockpot with the liquid from the home canned beans; turn it on low and cook all day. Everything is really tender, alsmost mushy but I like that dish that way.
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Post  Turan 6/27/2013, 1:45 pm

You are talking about green beans like Kentucky Pole or Blue Lake? What I would call a snap bean? Or is this a bean you shell like a dry bean but before it has dried?
I have only heard of simmering beans with ham hock for hours with dry beans or black eye peas...... This Northerner here is ignorant but curious to learn Laughing

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Post  Lindacol 6/27/2013, 2:30 pm

@Turan wrote:You are talking about green beans like Kentucky Pole or Blue Lake?  What I would call a snap bean?  Or is this a bean you shell like a dry bean but before it has dried?  
I have only heard of simmering beans with ham hock for hours with dry beans or black eye peas......   This Northerner here is ignorant but curious to learn Laughing

Glad I'm not the only one who is confused. Wouldn't green beans(in the pod, not shelled) get really mushy when cooked for hours in water?
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Post  herblover 6/27/2013, 2:38 pm

They do get mushy, but in that dish is the only time I actually like them that way.
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Post  ETNRedClay 6/27/2013, 2:43 pm

Got hold of my great-great aunt Ruth in Texas (101-years young and does email -- who'da thunk it?)  This is her recipe for "Country Beans" -

Fry 6 or 8 strips of thick-cut bacon in deep pot for beans.  She likes the black pepper bacon.  Remove bacon when crispy and set aside.  Leave grease, that's the flavor.  Lower heat to simmer.  Dice 3 large yellow cooking onions (the kind sold in mesh bags).  Add to bacon grease.  Add a heaping collender -- or so -- full of green snap beans (blue lake and cherokee wax are what I have and she recommends).  Break off both ends and snap into big knuckle-width pieces.  I just love her measurements.  Add enough water to cover.  Bring to roil -- a roil is not a boil, a roil is a slow bubble and a boil is a fast bubble.  I didn't know that.  Reduce heat to simmer, which is different than either roil or boil, and cover pot for 2 hours.  Make sure beans are not out of water for this 2 hours.  Then add a collender full of potatoes any way you like them, pealed or dressed, small new jacketed red potatoes are her preference.  Enough water to cover.  Stir.  Leave uncovered and turn up heat to roil, again not boil.  After roil, lower heat to simmer and cover pot.  Cook down until potatoes are done about 30 minutes if small taters.  Crumble bacon over pot and serve with cornbread and salsa.  She is in Texas afterall but sounds good to me.

I'm bringing home bacon tomorrow!  Then I'm going to try all of your ways, too.  Yum, yum.
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Post  ETNRedClay 6/27/2013, 2:49 pm

Oh, forgot to say, Aunt Ruth said this recipe was Sunday dinner because you start it before Church. leave simmering for the 2 hour service and Sunday School, then add potatoes and make cornbread and it all comes out at the same time 30 minutes later....  

She mentioned electric -skillet chicken was the same Sunday food because after you batter and brown chicken thighs in electric skillet before church, you turn the skillet to the very very lowest setting, add water to cover and let simmer for 2 hours.  While the potatoes are cooking in the beans and the cornbread is cooking in the oven, you make chicken gravy from all the stuck-to-the-skillet chicken pieces...  

I am SO hungry right now.
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Post  yolos 6/27/2013, 3:00 pm

Also, lots of southerners put shelly beans in with the green beans. According to my husband, the shelly beans are green beans that got a little tuff. Take the actual bean out of the pod and throw that in the pot with the younger green bean pods.
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Post  Windmere 6/27/2013, 4:19 pm

Howdy all,

Yes, I am a transplant in the south from Los Angeles.  I have two aunts and a cousin who are transplants from New Jersey and Canada.  As you can imagine, after moving to the south, there is a bit of adjusting involved.

That being said, my nearly 90 year old Aunt Lillian told me:  "You know how long it took me to start liking southern cooking?  One minute!!!"

And I'm with her on that.  Southern cooking is comfort food at its best.  ETNRedClay, thank you so much for sharing your aunt's recipe.  I'm happy for you that you were able to rescue the recipe from your aunt.  Her directions have a lot of character (I love it!).  I never know what a "roil" was.

While I did not plant green beans this season, my neighbor down the road has been bringing us many of his.  My daughter and I were talking about it to our next door neighbor and I casually mentioned that my daughter loves them raw and so do I.  He about had a conniption.  He exclaimed, "RAW!!!!  What in the world?!  You eat them RAW??"  Seeing how this practice is common in Los Angeles, we were taken aback that this seemed so strange to him.

Happy gardening, and make sure you get those family recipes from your elders!

Wind


Last edited by Windmere on 6/27/2013, 4:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo in the word)
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Post  yolos 6/27/2013, 4:32 pm

Windmere  -  roflroflroflrofl
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Post  camprn 6/27/2013, 4:33 pm

Bacon, salt pork or ham hocks.
Gotta love the pig!
Grandmother's green bean recipie ? 1245696592590661388bloodsong_Pig-RoundCartoon.svg.thumb

Sadly my greenbean plants are only 4 inches tall right now. Sad

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Post  bnoles 6/27/2013, 6:32 pm

Looks like I am late to the party, but ETNRedClay's aunt Ruth has it nailed and pretty much the way my wife cooks them. The only thing I would add is to use a cast iron dutch oven for even a higher level of "old fashion southern style". It really does make a difference.

And for Windmere..... RAW?????? Just when I was starting to like ya Shocked We need to pack you up and send you back to CA rofl
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Post  unit649 6/27/2013, 9:43 pm

In Eastern KY where I was born, green beans are always a favorite meal.  It is also my husband's favorite meal in the whole world.  So I learned from my mother-in-law, before she passed away, how she made such great green beans.  So this is Maggie's beans:

There are two types of green beans that are favorites; white half-runners and greasy beans.  String and break the beans into a large kettle; she usually fixed 5 lbs.  Wash beans twice and put on stove on high.  Add new potatoes to top of beans, making sure they are covered with water.  Add salt pork cut into cubes, or bacon if you don't have salt pork.  Cover and cook on high for about 1 hour.  Watch the water to make sure it does not get too low.  She did not worry about keeping the water over the beans because the pot was covered.  After about an hour, taste to make sure if you need any added salt, usually the salt pork supplied enough.  Add salt if needed.  Now take the lid off and boil down the water.  The trick is to get them nearly dry of water, without completely dry.  This usually takes about 20 minutes.  Just enough time to make the corn bread.  They almost seem to saute' in that last 20 minutes and really get their taste.  She would serve with hot cornbread, some fresh green onions and tomato slices.  My father-in-law loved a tall glass of buttermilk with his.

Fall beans and shuck beans are another favorite, although I never liked them.  The different types of beans makes a big difference in the taste.  It is hard to find white half-runners here in the city.  And I did not find the seeds this year, Seed Savers does not have them.
I am hungry now too.
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Post  Turan 6/28/2013, 12:19 am

Thanks for the clarification and all the recipe ideas.  Now to just get some beans,,,   they have sprouted so only a month or so to wait now.....

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Post  sanderson 6/28/2013, 2:32 am

Mother was from Nowata, OK, and she cooked great comfort food when I lived at home. I will always remember her fried chicken. It was great hot or cold. Refried beans with bacon grease and jack cheese, mashed potatoes with real butter and 4% milk. Over the decades, she slowly changed to healthier cooking to the point you would have thought she was born in CA!! "Save the whales and pass the alfalfa sprouts!" Oat bran with breakfast cereal and nonfat milk!

I make strings beans as follows: Trim the fat off bacon and saute in grapeseed oil. Add prepared beans and stir during sauteing, maybe five minutes? Add twist or two of pepper corns and sea salt. They are crispy but good.
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