As I've said before, I come from a long line of country folks. My family has been in southeast Missouri since the early 1800's. My Grandma Casey was an awesome cook. She did all kinds of those good ole southern foods...fried chicken, fried peach pies, chicken and dumplings, cornbread and biscuits. Everything she did was good. Vegetables were generally simmered for a long time and flavored with bacon fat or lots of butter. One thing that was especially good were her green beans and new potatoes. She would simmer fresh green beans for an hour or so, flavoring them with some bacon and onion, then adding halved and peeled new potatoes. When done the potatoes would be very tender and the the green beans would be very wilted, soft and melt in your mouth. They are very delicious too. Now I rarely cook green beans like this, usually just steaming them until barely tender, but every so often I get a craving for Grandma's green beans. This is how I make them.
a couple pounds of green beans, either fresh or frozen. if fresh, stem and tail them, then break into pieces and wash well
2-3 slices of bacon, chopped (optional)
or 1 tbsp. bacon fat or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and sliced
6-8 medium sized new potatoes, peeled or well scrubbed, then halved or quartered
Heat a dutch oven over medium heat and add the chopped bacon if using. Fry until crispy, then remove. In the bacon fat or olive oil fry the onion until it is soft and beginning to brown. Add the green beans and potatoes with enough water to barely come to the top of the vegetables. Simmer over low heat about an hour or until the potatoes are tender and the green beans are limp and starting to fall apart. Allow to nearly cook dry, but take care that they don't burn. You may need to add small amounts of water. Make a big pan of corn bread and enjoy!