You know its summer in the South when there's Fresh Green Beans with Bacon cooking on the stove. I love my moms canned green beans but fresh from the garden is hands down the best way to serve them up-simple goodness. If you don't have a garden, support your local farmers market or barter with a friend with a green thumb.
Bartering is a blessing
I bartered this summer with some dear friends that grow rattlesnake green beans for a loaf of my Zucchini Pineapple Bread and a jar of Sweet Heat Pickles. Bartering is a blessing! The blessing comes when your friend allows you to give them something that you hand made, grew, painted, designed or baked! The bonus is that you receive something that they had a hand in making or creating.
It not only helps both parties involved, it brings back an old tradition of tradition of trading something of value without using money. True, you can barter with anything, but my favorite is home grown and handmade from the heart! It's like sharing a part of yourself with your friends and neighbors.
What are rattlesnake beans?
In South, there's quite a debate on how long to cook fresh green beans and whether or not to throw in the traditional smoked ham hock for flavor.
I'm somewhere between the generation before me that might cook them for a couple of hours until extra tender and the ham hock meat is falling off the bone and the generation after me that likes them "crisp-tender".
A little bit of bacon goes a long way with flavor and adds very little fat if used in moderation.
What's the shortcut?
- Starting with chicken broth infuses flavor quicker than cooking the beans for an hour with a ham hock.
- Cooking the bacon in the same pot at the beginning infuses more flavor, renders the bacon drippings at the beginning, and saves washing a skillet.
- To save even more time, just trim the ends (not cut into 1-inch pieces) and cook them whole.
I cook my fresh green beans for 30 minutes in chicken broth for flavor and texture. If you like them extra tender like Grandma used to make simmer for about 15 more minutes or until it suits your taste.
I do love the flavor of the smoked ham hock but lean toward eating on the lighter side most of the time, so I sprinkle crisp, thick-cut bacon on my green beans just before serving or cook the bacon along with the beans.
I may or may not be guilty of frying an extra piece of bacon just to eat!
Do you add onion?
I do not love chopped onion in my green beans but I know many do. It's a personal preference and you absolutely can saute′ them with the bacon or stir them in raw with the beans. Sweet Vidalia onions would be my recommendation.
Can I cook fresh green beans in the Instant Pot?
Yes. Cook the chopped bacon in the Instant Pot insert on Saute mode about 8 minutes or until crispy. Add remaining ingredients; add lid and seal.
Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes (7 to 8 minutes if you like them extra tender like Grandma used to make them). Natural Release for 10 minutes. Carefully Quick release and serve.
Other vegetable recipes you will love
Fresh Green Beans with Bacon
- 2 pounds fresh green beans
- 5 to 6 slices smoked bacon
- 4 cups chicken broth (32-oz carton)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or garlic salt and omit garlic powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
- Stack the bacon on top of each other, three at time, and cut crosswise into slices. Cookin a large over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring often, until crisp.Drain the bacon pieces on paper towels. I like to keep 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in the pot to cook with the green beans. Reserve about one-third of the bacon pieces tosprinkle on top of the cooked beans and leave the rest in the pot. (You can also skip this step and just toss the raw bacon into the bean pot.)
- Wash green beans, then snap or cut them into about 1 1/2-inch pieces. This is a personalpreference. If your Grandma always snapped them into smaller or larger pieces, they willtaste just the same if not better!
- Combine green beans and chicken broth in the pot. Add just enough water to coverif the chicken broth doesn’t cover your beans. Add salt, pepper and two-thirds of thecooked bacon (or raw bacon).Cover with the lid and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes or untilthe beans are as tender as you like them. Sprinkle with reserved cooked bacon beforeserving.