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, sliced into half inch lardons
1 sweet onion, sliced thin into half moons, then halve once again into quarter rings
6 cloves garlic, smashed
I Fresno chili, sliced thin (optional but recommended)
1 cup white wine or dry vermouth
4 – 8 cups cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs is best!)
salt and pepper
Saute’ the bacon over medium-low heat in a large dutch oven. After about 5 minutes, (well before the bacon is cooked through!) add the onions, smashed garlic and Fresno chili, if using. 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…. if the veggies start to brown, turn heat to low.)
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. 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. If you run out of broth, add water. I usually add broth at least three times. 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.
After an hour, add the cider vinegar and a few shakes each of onion powder and garlic powder.
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.)
Remember: add salt and pepper as you cook (taste!) you do not want bland green beans.
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 then quickly sautéed very crisp fresh green beans with garlic and lemon.
I 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.