I prepare my green beans pretty much like Mom used to. She would put a big pot on the stove (she was usually cooking for a lot of people) put the green beans in the pot and covered them with water, put in some type of ham/bone, salt and usually added small red potatoes then she would cook them for several hours. While she was working around the house, she would run out to the kitchen to check her beans, making sure the water didn’t boil off and scorch them. She always managed to get to them in time but sometimes she would have a close call. As I said I prepare green beans in almost the same way, the only difference is the quantity (I’m not cooking for a large family) and in how they are cooked….I use a Crockpot. When using a Crockpot, I don’t worry about the beans cooking dry and can let them cook several hours without worry.
This is another recipe that isn’t actually a recipe…..it’s more a list of ingredients.
green beans - I use about 2 pounds, cleaned, ends cut off and bean cut/snapped in half or thirds (depends on the length of the bean)
small red potatoes - I put in several, you want plenty but you want more beans than potatoes.
ham/bone -I buy ham shank/bone, you can usually find them at the supermarket for about $1.00 each and usually come one or two per package
water, enough to cover the beans
salt - I use kosher and add some in the beginning and then when beans have cooked about 4-5 hours, taste and usually have to add more.
onion - chopped - I don't always use onion but this time I did add some at the last minute
Ham Soup Base, 1 heaping teaspoon, optional - the beans are delicious without but this just adds a little extra flavor.
Put all of the above ingredients in a Crockpot/slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 5-6 hours. The time will vary...it depends on how firm/soft you like your beans and on your Crockpot. I have several Crockpots and each heats a little differently.
Fresh green beans...cleaned and snapped. I prefer stringless beans.
Ham shank or soup bone - if you can't find this in the section where ham is sold, check with someone at the meat counter.
Put everyhing in the Crockpot and cover with water.
Penzey's Ham Soup Base to the water. If you don't have a store near you or don't want to order it, the beans will still be delicious without. The only other product that I've seen like this in some supermarkets (I've seen it at Meijer, Giant Eagle and maybe Kroger) is Better than Boullion...they make a ham base. I've never used that so can't comment on the product.
Cover the Crockpot/slow cooker and cook on high for approximately 5-6 hours.
You may want to leave the house while this is cooking....the aroma could make you faint with hunger, even if you weren't hungry to begin with. These taste so good, it could make you cry!