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southern green beans with new potatoes

from Nashville Eats by Jennifer Justus

The snap and smell of fresh green beans reminds me of my grandmother’s gossip. When I was a kid, those activities—listening and snapping green beans—went hand in hand. And while some might lament the “cooked to death” Southern green beans in bacon drippings, I relish this dish on occasion.

1 1⁄2 pounds (680 kg) green beans
4 slices bacon
2pounds (910 g) small yukon gold potatoes
kosher salt to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons)
yellow onion, finely diced, as garnish (optional)

Makes about 4 servings

Break the beans into pieces about 1 1⁄2 inches (4 cm) long. Wash and drain the beans. In a large skillet, fry the bacon until it is crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving as much of the drippings in the pan as you can.

Add the green beans to the hot drippings in the skillet and sauté them over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. They will lose a bit of their bright color at this point and become coated with bacon fat.

Add 4 cups water and the potatoes and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium to simmer. Taste the beans and add salt if needed; Continue simmering them in the covered but vented saucepan for about 1 hour. Taste again and adjust the seasoning. Serve them garnished with the crumbled bacon and the chopped onion if desired.

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