The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Searching for the perfect green beans
I have been searching for the perfect green bean recipe for years and now I am asking for your help. Do you have a family recipe, or perhaps a secret recipe, for green beans that you would be willing to share with me? My Grandma Barbra made the absolute best green beans I have ever had in all my life. I have the recipe, but they just do not taste the same as hers always did. I joke with my Grandpa Jr that I must not have the extra love to add to mine, like she did! Ha! My Grandpa Max made amazing green beans too and his secret was to add little red potatoes and sausage to his. I have his recipe too, but still can not get that final taste. A friend and fellow cookbook author friend of mine, said that I am chasing the memory of eating their food, not really the recipe. Which, I could see being true. However, I am still on a quest to find the best recipe for southern style green beans around. Which is where I need your help.
I have tried adding garlic to mine, bacon grease, sliced uncooked bacon, sliced cooked bacon, ham hocks, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, sliced mushrooms, all kinds of potatoes, sliced sausage and even ground beef. I have also tried all types of cooking methods from stove top cooking, oven cooking, Dutch oven cooking, microwaving, baking, roasting and slow cooking. Is it just me, or am I missing something here? I asked this question on my Facebook page last year and I was flooded with ideas, ingredients and cooking methods that I could try and most of them I did, but it still was not what I was looking for. I want dark, flavorful, strong green beans that have that color and texture that you know is going to be delicious before even biting in. The recipe I am sharing here today is one of my favorite recipes only because it comes out good every time and it calls for ingredients that just about everyone will have in their kitchen. It is a delicious recipe, do not get me wrong, otherwise I would not be sharing it here with you, but I would love to hear from you about your personal green bean recipes! To reach me, visit my website and click on the contact button at the top of the page. Hope to hear from you soon!
Southern Style Green Beans
Feel free to peel your potatoes for this recipe, although keeping the skins on will help the potatoes hold together.
4 large potatoes, diced
4 cans green beans, not drained
12 strips of cooked bacon, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Combine the prepared potatoes, green beans, prepared bacon, diced onion, minced garlic, salt and black pepper in a large pot over medium high heat.
Add enough chicken stock to cover all by about 3 inches.
Keep on medium high heat until boiling.
Let boil for 45 minutes, then turn the heat to medium and boil for at least another hour.
Do not stir the mixture.
Ask and Answer: Many of you wanted to know if the new meat market business in Henry County, Rocking M Meats, sold any pork. Yes, they do! They just now started selling it. For more information, please find them on Facebook or call 765-422-8731 or visit their location at 6121 W. State Road 234, located just right outside of Kennard. Call for hours and special orders.