Green bean eating is writ into my family’s genetic code. We’re all farmers, gardeners, chefs and mountain folk. With an abundance of vegetables grown the right way (with cow manure) you soon grow accustomed to having a big pot of green beans plucked from a nearby garden or field at every single meal.
While I love Kentucky style green beans, they’re not the over the top version you get down in Alabama where the cuisine is more of a hybridized version of white folks country food and black folks soul cooking.
The key to successful green bean making is ratio. There must be an equal amount of bacon as relative to the bean. The dish is further powered by sweet onions and potatoes. Kenebec is the best potato I’ve ever tasted but might be hard to come by depending on where you live.
3 lbs Bacon, Chopped
3 lbs Green Beans
3 lbs Onions, Yellow Sweet, Sliced thin
[Optional-some folks like potatoes in their beans]
3 lbs Potatoes, Kenebec, Sliced thin
* Fry bacon til right at crisp. I use Wrights smoked ends and pieces available in a 3.5 lb box. It’s very meaty and bacony tasting. Do not drain pan.
* Add onions, cook til caramelized which might take about an hour
* Add potatoes, put lid on pan, cook 20 minutes
* Add green beans, which you have separately steamed
* Cook the melange of bacon, onions, beans and potatoes, liberally salting and peppering all the while for a half hour or so til the dish melds into simmered mess of deliciousness. Stir vigorously to “break up” the ingredients
I put this recipe [minus the potatoes] on a menu at a southern fine dining restaurant I worked at back in the early aughts out here in Texas.
It was a knock down drag out of a success. This dish goes really well with a ribeye cooked pink and juicy at extreme high heat.
Slightly different versions of this recipe abound across the Deep South but this is the best one I’ve tried.
Bon Appetit y’all.