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Wednesday, September 14, 2011 • Posted September 14, 2011

I love fresh green beans, and since I was able to get some at our local grocery store the other day, I thought I’d tell you what I do with them. Hopefully you are lucky enough to have some fresh from your (or a neighbor’s) garden, but with the drought that may not be very likely. This is an easy, healthful, inexpensive meal that you can cook in the crock pot all day, come home and bake some cornbread to go with it, and have a great Fall dinner! To the older generation, this will be nothing new, but I don’t think this is something that a lot of young people might think to fix so I thought I’d share. I’ve also included a fresh green bean recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, mostly because she cracks me up (plus it’s another good recipe).

Slow Cooker Green Beans, Ham, and Potatoes

* 2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed (you only have to cut or “snap” off the end that is was growing from)

* 1 large onion, chopped

* Leftover hambone (with some meat still attached), or just a cup or two of chopped cooked ham- or a link of smoked sausage (sliced) would also work!

* 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, quartered (any potatoes are fine, sometimes I like the little red skinned ones- or just whatever I have)

* 1 teaspoon garlic powder

* 1 teaspoon onion powder

* 1 teaspoon seasoning salt

* 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules

* ground black pepper to taste

Halve beans if they are large, place in a slow cooker, and add the rest of your ingredients, plus enough water to cover them. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Check halfway through to make sure it still has some water (it doesn’t have to be completely covered anymore).To serve, use a slotted spoon to put beans, potatoes, and ham into a serving dish with a little broth. Take out the bone (if you used a hambone) at this point (all of the meat should have fallen off of it). Season a little more if desired. Great with cornbread!!

The Pioneer Woman’s Fresh Green Beans

1 lb green beans 1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper

Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.P.S. (From Kristy) if you use bacon grease, PLEASE keep it in the refrigerator, and don’t keep it for longer than several days! I know it’s delicious and your grandma always just kept it in a can on the back of the stove, but nowadays that is just asking for a foodborne illness! Sorry, but I just had to make that disclaimer…

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