Growing up, there was never a shortage of home-cooked, heart-warming, comfort food on the table. Between my mom and my grandmother across the street, we always had a hot meal for supper every night and for lunch on the weekends. Strangely, though, as much as I was around all this food and women cooking it, I was never officially “taught” to cook by either of these women. That means that all of the cooking you see going on here has been self-taught with just an influence from my forewomen. Since I was never given the specifics on the art of country cooking (and let’s face it, that’s probably a good thing — who wants a mug of bacon grease in their fridge?!?), I have had to sort out my own method for recreating those comforting favorites that I ate as a child.
When Mr. Homemaker and I returned from our recent European vacation, we were both craving some home cooking. Normally I would call my mom or grandmother and request something but on this occasion we were just too tired to leave the house. So the next day, I went to the grocery store and picked up the essentials to make roasted chicken (recipe coming), mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, and these green beans. Now, since I do not keep the above-referenced mug of bacon grease in my fridge, this recipe is not exactly the same method by which my mom and grandmother prepare their green beans. I like to think my version is perhaps a bit healthier? I’m not kidding anyone — I know there’s bacon fat in these beans and they’re cooked down to a non-bright green, but I just feel better that I don’t put a big scoop of congealed fat in mine :)
So without any further ado, an actual written recipe for creating a soul-satisfying “mess” of deep-South, homestyle green beans!
Granny-Style Green Beans
3 slices bacon
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup white wine
2 pounds frozen flat green beans (Italian-style, or “pole beans”)
1-2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Cook bacon in large pan until some of the fat has rendered but do not cook until crisp. You just want there to be some grease in the bottom of the skillet to sauté the onion.
Add the onions and saute until golden and tender. By now your pan probably has a nice coating of brown stuff stuck to the bottom so we will use the wine to deglaze it and scrape up all the savory bits.
Push all the onions and bacon to one side of your pan. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the stuck-on goodness.
Once the bottom of the pan looks reasonably clean and all the wine has evaporated, add the green beans and enough water to cover. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until reduced, about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. You want your beans to be nice and soft. You can cover them for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking or add more liquid if needed. Enjoy!