Like a lot of people, I grew up eating frozen and canned green beans and never knew the unbelievable deliciousness that is fresh green beans cooked with fatty salt pork. Fortunately, a distant cousin in the family introduced me to them almost 20 years ago and I’ve never looked back! There’s a few key things to note. First, only half-runners will do versus any other type of green bean. The family has grown their own for more than 50 years and this is the tried-and-true variety for the best flavor and tenderness. Next, there is a very methodical process to harvesting, stringing, breaking and canning. It’s hard work, time-consuming, therapeutic and TOTALLY worth it! I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to go through all of it this past weekend and am sharing the super-simple, but the best way to prepare these emerald gems.
DEANA’S GREEN BEANS
- 12 Cups Fresh Green Beans
- 12 Oz Salt Pork, Cubed
- 2 Tsp Salt
- 2 Tsp Pepper
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
- In a colander, wash green beans thoroughly. Drain well.
- Place washed beans in a large pot or dutch oven. Porcelain-coated cast iron works great here.
- Add salt pork, salt, pepper and water and stir together.
- Cook on medium-low, covered, for 6 hours stirring every 30 minutes.
- Green beans will darken in color and soften completely. Serve and enjoy! (HINT: if you don’t have fried chicken and cornbread, you’re probably eating them wrong!)
Yeah, it’s just that easy. The key is to put very little water in the pot and allow the pork fat to coat the beans. I was told by Deana herself that “you should never need a slotted spoon to serve your green beans”. If these aren’t some of the best beans you’ve ever tasted, tell me how you like them. I love a fresh bean just sautéed and eaten crisp, but it doesn’t remind me of the hard work done to grow, harvest, prep and can these. Try these and taste the love!!