By Kevin Williams
Beans are a staple of Amish gardens this time of year as the summer heat begins to crank up. And what better way to enjoy them than this amazingly seasoned and substantive dish whipped up by friend of Amish365, Carmon Hacker! Okay take it away, Carmon:
My maternal grandmother, born and bred on a farm in Wolfe County, Kentucky, used to serve these with cornbread and small, red potatoes covered in a cream sauce she made from scratch. And to top it all off, she placed a platter of sliced tomatoes and crisp green onions in the middle of the table. Some of the best summer meals from my childhood happened around her Formica and chrome kitchen table with this very menu! - Carmon Crystal Hacker
- 4 lbs. half-runner beans, strung and broken into about 1” pieces
- 12 oz. sliced salt pork
- 4 c. coarsely chopped, cooked ham
- 4 Tbsp. bacon grease
- Salt to taste (I used 1 tsp. pink Himalayan salt.)
- Suggestion: I string and break up beans the day before, then place in a large cooker with lid to refrigerate overnight. Be thorough in stringing beans because the strings will never become tender during cooking. Also, if the bean pod is spotted or discolored, open it up and put the little beans in the pot rather than discarding the whole bean! Turn on some of your favorite tunes and let this be a “therapeutic” activity in which your mind and imagination wander. You can also do it with a friend or family member, enjoying a conversation about all of the possible side dishes to serve with your prepared beans.
- The next day, remove beans from refrigerator and cover about half-way up with water. Add bacon grease, salt pork, ham and salt. Cook on medium heat, with lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, for about 5 hours. The beans should boil gently. Stir about every 15 minutes, while you do other tasks nearby. The idea is to boil away most of the liquid before enjoying the beans, so if they still have a profuse amount of water after 4 hours, remove lid to allow more liquid to evaporate.