Green beans are a delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed many different ways. This is a simple recipe that I grew up eating, but I've swapped a stove cooking pot for a slow cooking crock pot so that you don't need to check on them as often!
Start with some fresh green beans. We usually try to get them from the garden, but this time of year we had to go to the market. This was super easy because they were prewashed and the ends were already cut off, and since the date was coming up, they were on sale!!
Step 1: Cut the Ends Off and Rinse
If you're using a bag like me, first open up the bag and give them a rinse. If you're gardening, you'll need to cut off the ends first, then rinse them. Even in the precut/prewashed bag, you'll see some stems still attached. They won't hurt, but most folks don't like to eat them, so I broke them off before the rinse, then put them all in the crock pot.
Step 2: Place Them in the Pot
Once you have rinsed all the beans and removed any extra pieces parts (stems, leaves, bugs, etc), put them all in the crock pot. We've got about 3/4 of a pot full, which is enough for approximately 11 servings (according to the bag).
Step 3: Add Salt, Pepper
Now add some salt and pepper to enhance the flavor. I added around 1 tablespoon of salt and about half tablespoon of pepper. You can adjust if you would like, but I tend to under salt, since you can't get it back out once you've cooked it in. A lot of people will salt them at the table before eating them anyway (although it's usually better flavor if it's cooked in).
Step 4: Bacon!
We always added a few strips of bacon when cooking our beans, but it always ends up being a soggy floppy mess. Now we've decided to start using the super quick and easy bacon bits. Just don't eat the do not eat packet that's in those bags!! I added about half of a cup.
Step 5: Oil, Water
We all know that oil and water don't mix, but here we make an exception. Some olive oil to add flavor (1-2 tablespoons), and a cup or so of water to keep the crock pot from burning the beans.
Step 6: Cook - Slowly
Now that we've got everything in the pot, let's get these beans cooking. Turn the crock pot to low and set it for 4-6 hours. The longer you cook, the darker (and softer) the beans will get. I like mine a good squishy dark green, but if you like more crunch, just take them off the heat earlier.
Step 7: Looking Good
See the darker color now that we've got about 5 hours of cooking done. These are ready to eat. Or they can sit in the pot and warm for a couple more hours and it's not a big deal!
Step 8: Yum - Time to Eat!
Now that we've cooked and cooked and cooked, slaved over the -- wait, we spent about 10 minutes getting all of the parts together and checking it a few times, and we've got a delicious dish to enjoy alone or paired with some other foodstuff!