Green beans seasoned with pork are a traditional Southern staple. Here is an old-fashioned recipe for country-style green beans that the whole family will love. Although I prefer my green beans cooked until they're just barely tender, folks down here tend to cook them much longer, until they're quite soft. Feel free to simmer these green beans to your desired tenderness. Either way, using fresh green beans and real country ham will result in that special down-home flavor you just can't get from a can or package.
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans
3/4 cup to 1 cup coarsely chopped country ham
3 or 4 new potatoes (little red potatoes)
1 medium onion, chopped
Seasonings to taste, e.g., salt, pepper, hot sauce
Pick through and rinse the green beans, then string them (for you Yankees or cityfolk, that means removing the string that runs from end to end on a raw green bean - simply snap off an end and pull the string off). Rinse the potatoes and quarter them or cut into more chunks each if the potatoes are large enough. Brown the country ham in a large stock pot, then add the chopped onion and saute until onions begin to soften. Add the green beans and potatoes, stir and cover with water, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for about half an hour or until the beans and potatoes are cooked to your preferred tenderness. Drain and serve, seasoned to taste with your choice of seasoning. Because of the saltiness of the country ham, I simply add some ground pepper or perhaps a few dashes of hot sauce, but feel free to season with salt if you wish.
PS: For more delicious country ham recipes, just visit our new country ham page where you'll find 4 more recipes towards the bottom of the page, and you'll also find links for ordering genuine North Carolina country ham from our partner, Johnston County Hams.