This is almost too simple to post. The dish is common in the South and Midwest during the time of the year when garden green beans are ready to pick. It was once considered an economical meal. Old simple recipes like this one have many versions.
- 2 pounds of ham, diced, or a couple ham hocks
- 1 qt of green string beans, cleaned
- Potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
Put the ham or ham hocks in a Dutch oven or large pot. Cover meat or hocks with water and cook over medium heat for 2 hours or until tender. Keep an eye on the meat and add more water as needed. If you use ham hocks, remove the meat from the bones when tender and add the meat back to the pot. Clean the green beans and cut off the ends. Add the green beans to the meat and cook about 30 minutes more. Peel and chop the potatoes into quarters. Add the potatoes to the meat and beans, cook slowly until tender.
Serve with fresh biscuits or cornbread.
It can be made without ham by using chicken bouillon and a couple tablespoons of butter. I usually add chicken bouillon even if I use meat.
Some people use peas instead of green beans and new potatoes are often used instead of larger potatoes.
A large chopped onion can be added with the green beans before the potatoes. Most people add the onion.
One version uses 4 or 5 pieces of bacon or fresh side meat sautéed with a large chopped onion. It also uses new potatoes cut in half with the peel left on. Fresh side is usually coated in flour before frying.
Some cooks add a cream sauce or thicken the cooking liquid.