Serves6 (side dish)
- Active Time:30 min
- Start to Finish:1 1/2 hr
Beans have sustained people—black, white, and Native American—in the South for centuries. Miss Lewis first developed this recipe as a way of jazzing up canned green beans, which she appreciated for their economy. These days, fresh green beans are available and affordable all year long, so we happily adapted the recipe. Don't rush the cooking time and the goodness of these beans will be a revelation: smoky, luxuriant, and vegetal.
meaty ham hock (about 10 ounces)
green beans, trimmed
Bring ham hock and water to a boil with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a medium pot. Add green beans and cook, uncovered, until very soft, about 1 hour.
Transfer ham hock to a cutting board and discard skin, then finely chop meat, discarding bone.
Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Drain beans, then toss with ham and reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
Cooks' note: Beans can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.