Quick Southern green beans give you the flavor of long-simmered traditional Southern green beans in barely over half an hour! Scroll down for video.
No. Quick Southern green beans is not an oxymoron. You can indeed make green beans that are tender, with the flavor of bacon (or ham, if that’s more your thing) and perfectly seasoned in just a little more than thirty minutes. I am not joking.
I’ve lived in Tennessee my entire life. Every potluck, every church dinner, every holiday, and, yes, every post-funeral meal, involves slow-cooked Southern-style green beans. Sometimes there is onion, or, like my grandmother used to do, there might be peeled new potatoes. But always, always, there is ham hock involved. And lots of simmering. Those are the magic ingredients, and until maybe about a year ago I thought that if you took away either of those ingredients, well, you could not have true Southern green beans. Thankfully I was incorrect.
I have no idea the origin of this recipe or honestly even if my recipe is anything like the original, but my mom made something like this a while back and a month or two later I started making this on a regular basis, using my memory of what she told me was in the green beans she made. The bacon and onion take 5-10 minutes, then simmering the green beans takes about twenty minutes, and another 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid. I like to add a brown sugar glaze, but if you don’t want to do that, well, don’t (though I encourage you to try it at least once. It’s amazing.).
Yield: 4 servings
10 minPrep Time:
30 minCook Time:
40 minTotal Time:
- 4 Strips thick-cut bacon (sliced into 1/4 inch pieces)
- 1 Small onion (sliced into half-moons)
- 1 Pound green beans (trimmed and cut into manageable lengths)
- 2 Cups chicken stock (low-sodium or homemade)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (optional but highly recommended!)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat a medium saucepan (I used a 10-inch cast-iron skillet) over medium heat. Place the bacon into the pan and cook until almost crisp. Add the onions and cook until they are tender and translucent.
- Add the green beans and the chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about twenty minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium-high. Simmer vigorously until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- If using, add the brown sugar, stir to coat, and allow to cook until the brown sugar makes a "glaze" on the green beans-two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.