Southern Style Green Beans and Bacon (using a pressure cooker)

Pressure Cooker Green Beans

This is my adaptation of how Jim’s mom and grandmother make their green beans. If you have never had pressure cooked green beans you are truly missing out. It’s really hard to explain the difference in green beans that have been cooked in a pressure cooker, but this is how I will make them from now on. They taste different, the texture is different and they cook quickly. They are just really really good.

If you are new to using a pressure cooker (which I am), beans are probably a great food to start with. Beans cook relatively quickly, but they also don’t turn to mush quite as easily as some other veggies like zucchini or broccoli. However, you can really cook almost anything in a pressure cooker including a pot roast or a stew. I have a smaller pressure cooker, so I will stick mostly to side dishes for now. If I wanted to start canning or cooking a chicken or roast I would probably invest in a larger unit. For more information on using a pressure cooker I found a great site here. You definitely want to do some research on using a pressure cooker since you are dealing with very high heat and steam under pressure. I think many people are a bit scared about using a pressure cooker for the first time, (I sure was) but once you understand a bit of the science and mechanics it really isn’t a scary thing at all.

Pressure cooking can also be a very healthy way to cook. First of all, the food that you put in a pressure cooker is typically fresh and unprocessed. Because it is a very quick cooking method you also are able to get meals on the table quicker and for a busy family that can mean less meals out of the house. Also, food just tastes better to me in a pressure cooker and therefore I want to eat my veggies more. I don’t feel the need to add as much salt or butter or oil or sauces to my veggies cooked in the pressure cooker. The downside of pressure cooking is the same as any high heat cooking method in that you do cook some of the minerals and vitamins out. However, because it is more of a steaming method you don’t lose as much as you might in other methods that might use more liquid. All in all, my thing is that it makes veggies taste better without the need for as much seasoning and that is a win.

One other advantage of pressure cooking is that the quicker cooking time means less energy used.

We served these beans with some fried chicken, baked beans, deviled eggs, and blueberry muffins. This was such a great meal. Definitely what I would consider a weekend meal or a Sunday dinner type of meal. Not the healthiest, but all home cooked and a great way to start the week.

I hope you will try this method. I know you can buy pressure cookers that will work great for side dishes like this for as little as 20 dollars at stores like Target or on Amazon. I love mine I consider it an essential tool in my kitchen these days!

For some other wonderful green bean recipes check these out…

Green Beans and New Potatoes
Roasted Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes
Haricots Verts Almondine

Enjoy!

Note: For a healthier version of these beans, omit the bacon and add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the cooking liquid. You can also completely omit the oil and they will still be fine. You can also substitute broth for water – just be careful with the salt.

Southern Style Green Beans and Bacon (using a pressure cooker)
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds fresh green beans, end removed, snapped in half and washed
  • 3-4 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup diced onion
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Towards the end of cooking the bacon add the onions and sauté for another minute or so. Add green beans and toss with the bacon so that the beans are lightly coated with some of the bacon grease. Add water. Cook beans for 5 minutes under pressure according to your pressure cooker directions. Season to taste.

Old Fashioned Baked Beans


I just spent 20 minutes in my backyard and I now have 5.3 million mosquito bites all over my body. They love me – a lot.

Jim and his dad are putting a fence in our backyard this weekend so we were outside measuring where the fence posts will go. There are certain jobs that I would really like to just hide from and determining fence post placement is at the top of the list now.  Right behind purchasing a car and taking out the garbage. I just don’t think a woman should do those jobs:-). I wish I could say I was just kidding, but I’m not. Mowing the lawn is up there, too. Actually I would mow the lawn but I have allergies so I have always gotten out of it. To be honest, it’s not that I don’t think a woman should or could do those jobs it’s just that I don’t like to do them so I happily let Jim take care of them.

There are certain things that Jim doesn’t typically do and making baked beans from scratch is one of them. He also has absolutely no clue where the girls clothes go or who belongs to what clothes. I mean clueless. Totally. Its ok though, because I think it works well to separate duties in the household. It works for us anyways.

He does do the dishes and cleans the bathrooms so I’m REALLY not complaining.

So back to these baked beans. This is just a good basic recipe and if you have never made beans from scratch before I recommend starting out with a recipe like this. This isn’t a hard recipe at all, but it just takes some pre-planning because you have to soak the beans overnight (you can do a quick soak method, but I don’t.) Then, on the day you are baking the beans you need about 3 and a half hours to let them cook. But the rest is easy. After you have made them a time or two you can tweak the recipe however you want. I stir in some chicken broth and BBQ sauce at the end and they turn out just how I like them. You know I love Trader Joe’s and their Barbecue sauce is my favorite. It has lots of flavor and a great kick to it. Just perfect.

This is a great side dish for summer picnics and people will definitely taste the difference. My daughter Taylor told me that if she had to pick a smoothie or my baked beans that she would pick these beans. They freeze pretty well and reheat well, too. Enjoy!

Source:  Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook

Old Fashioned Baked Beans
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb dry navy beans
  • ¼ lb. salt pork or bacon cut-up
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup molasses or maple syrup
  • ¼ brown sugar (I used a bit less)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions
  1. Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse beans. Place beans in a dutch oven and cover with 8 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 1 to 1.5 hours stirring occasionally. Drain beans reserving liquid.
  2. In a 2½ quart casserole dish place the beans along with the onion and bacon. Stir in remaining ingredients along with one cup of the reserved bean liquid. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 2½ hours or until beans are cooked through. Stir occassionally and add more liquid as needed.
  3. **When beans are done cooking I usually add in a little barbeque sauce for some extra smoky flavor and some kick.**

 

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