Deana’s Green Beans

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.

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DEANA’S GREEN BEANS

Ingredients

  • 12 Cups Fresh Green Beans
  • 12 Oz Salt Pork, Cubed
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tsp Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water

Instructions

  • 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!)

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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!!

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