Similar in preparation to my Lady Cream Peas but with slightly a different flavor, these green beans are truly melt in your mouth. Though they take a little time, these beans are very easy to make and the long simmer is so worth the wait. Vegetarians can omit the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
2 – 3 lbs trimmed fresh green beans (use frozen if necessary)
3 strips of bacon, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs is best!)
salt and pepper
Saute’ the bacon over medium heat in a 4-6 quart pot. After about 5 minutes, (well before the bacon is cooked through!) add the onions and smashed garlic. If there isn’t enough fat from the bacon to coat the vegetables, add a little olive oil. Saute’ until the vegetables are soft. (You do not want crispy bacon here, just soft.)
Add the white wine and as many of the green beans as you can fit. They can stick out of the top of the pot. If you don’t have enough room in the pot, don’t worry. As they cook down, you keep adding beans. All will eventually fit!
Bring the wine to a boil and toss the beans with the wine and vegetables and fat. Reduce to medium heat and cook until the wine is about 2/3 cooked off.
Add 2 cups of broth, the cider vinegar, and a few good shakes of both salt and pepper (don’t be shy!).
Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to low. Simmer the beans, partly covered, all afternoon. Keep adding beans until you have none left. Watch the broth. The broth should not cover the beans but there should be an inch or so of broth always in the pot. Just add broth when it gets low. I usually add broth at least twice. You want to err on the side of more broth than less: along with wonderful green beans, this is making pot-likker, which is heavenly. We sip it in cups, it’s that good.
Simmer, toss, and taste the beans, all afternoon. You can use a heat diffuser under your pot to help keep the heat low. (This is my favorite.)
Add salt and pepper as you cook (taste!) you do not want bland green beans. If you want a little kick, you can add red pepper flakes (or even a diced pepper at the start, with the onion) but I like my green beans without the added spice.
These are very hard to overcook. While you don’t want green bean mush, you want these almost falling apart tender. This is the wonderful antithesis of another preparation I do love, blanched, very crisp fresh green beans.
While I don’t add peppers to my green bean pot, I do LOVE pepper vinegar over my green beans, the same as I do with my greens. Trappeys is a very good bottled pepper vinegar, though it is extremely easy to make: Pepper Vinegar Recipe.
FINAL NOTE: I realize a lot of people do it but never, ever add tomatoes to long simmered green beans. Ever.