Sunday, August 4, 2013

Grandmother's Green Beans

This is my grandmother's recipe for making green beans and potatoes. Please don't take this post as the means to create the healthiest version of green beans, but this is a typical "ol' southern" version. It is the kind that those of us that grew up in the south were used to seeing on the table when someone said we were going to have green beans.

It is delicious, and I spent the better part of 20 years trying to figure out how to make it, all the while being mocked by my mother. Perseverance pays off, people. I have finally figured it out, and I must say that even halfway through the effort I was convinced it was a complete failure.

The Masterpiece

I spent 20 years trying to pry this process out of my mother. Turns out the trick isn't the ingredients -- it is the process that makes the beans take on the stewed and caramelized character that is so special.

My mom doesn't measure ingredients, so I would always get a "put some of this" and "some of that" and "swirl in this and that." The imprecise nature of the instructions made me think that it was the ingredients that I was getting wrong. But this time as I made it I talked to and sent pictures to my mom as I went through the process, and that made all the difference.

The Plan:

Snap some fresh green beans out of the garden. Add into a pressure cooker with the beans, a couple of store-bought white potatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook for 20 minutes once it is to pressure, or until the water is gone. Then serve.

Seems simple...


Prepped the ingredients while cooking other things

Filled the pressure cooker to about 1/2 to 3/4 full of green beans

Green beans

Added all the ingredients at once.

Also added a little bit of bacon fat that we held for this. Shhhhh. Don't tell Mom.

Adding in the ingredients
Up to pressure for 20 minutes
 With great anticipation I cracked the pressure cooker and this is what was revealed.

"Burned" looking beans on the bottom
Once again, I was flummoxed by the result. I sent the above photo to my Mom, and she responded by saying that it look great! Needs stirring.


After stirring it up and serving

So, after mixing up the "burned" parts mixed in with the other beans, it created that great color and flavor that I was used to seeing! It was fantastic. I will say that I think we ended up with too much oil because we added the bacon fat but didn't delete any of the vegetable oil. So we did mess up a little. But I couldn't be more delighted as it was delicious.

Thank you to the women of my family for passing on this gift to all of mankind.

Yeah. It was good.

Please help support our site, buy something you like on Amazon. Simply click through the links below and though you can pick anything, I suggest the thermometer and knives below:

So apparently Thermoworks doesn't sell through Amazon anymore. You must buy direct. Still the thermometer to have. Go here and order direct. 

Aaron Franklin's Favorite trimming knife:

Dexter-Russell (S131F-6PCP) - 6" Boning Knife - Sani-Safe Series

Aaron Franklin's Favorite Brisket cutting/serving knife:

Sani-Safe S140-12SC-PCP 12" Scalloped Roast Slicer

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