Saturday, February 28, 2009

Canning-Day Cooking: Potatoes and Green Beans

Not going to win any beauty contests... but it's gooood.

When I was growing up, every weekend (and more often than that, usually) from early August through at least the end of September, we canned. Pint after pint and quart after quart of tomatoes, hot sauce, green beans, pickles, salsa, and spaghetti sauce... Many Saturdays after school started in late August, we spent all day putting up vegetables, filling the pressure canner six and eight times. Those days represent some of my fondest memories. Even now, the sound of a pressure cooker on the stove, burbling and hissing and chirping, makes me feel very nostalgic.

But when you have an epic canning day spent elbow-deep in produce, it's tough to find time to make lunch for your starving children. So what do you do? If you're my mom, you grab a few potatoes, throw them in a pot with some of the green beans you're canning, and let them cook while you're blanching and peeling tomatoes, making pickle brine, or dodging spaghetti sauce spatters.

My Mama's Canning Day Potatoes and Green Beans
serves 4-6 hungry canners
prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time 35-45 minutes

5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
3/4 pound green beans (frozen or fresh)
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 small onion, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat until rendered but not completely browned. Add onions and cook together with bacon until onions are soft and brown. Add potatoes and green beans. Add water, enough to almost cover vegetables. Stir. Season generously. Cover and simmer for 25-35 minutes or until quite soft. This ain't yer fancy al dente veggies, y'all! Taste and adjust seasoning and serve in bowls with the "pot likker." If you want something to soak up that pot likker, serve with cornbread, biscuits, or bread.


Some Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christi Lee said...

could you 'splain "until rendered but not completely browned"?

Laura said...

Sure, girl. It just means you cook it until some of the fat has come out into the pan but not until it's as dark and crispy as how you'd eat it. The point is to get enough fat out to cook the onions in, but not cook the bacon so much that when you add the onions, the bacon will burn before the onions get browned.

Bridget said...

Hi Laura,

I really love your blog! I'm very much still entry level in the kitchen department, and love all your easy, cheap and tasty ideas!

I actually tried cooking this one last night for my housemates, they totally loved it!! I was a tad skeptical it wouldn't have enough flavour, but you were right, it is gooood!

I'm thinking of giving the yogurt a crack next! Thanks heaps!!

Laura said...

Bridget, thanks for your comment and the kind words! Hope you keep coming back and testing out the recipes and tips.