Southern Green Beans

A Southern side isn't complete without meat to season your veggies. Ham hocks added to these green beans, with a tablespoon of sugar, give them Southern charm and flavor.

  • Servings: 10

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2002


  • 1 large or 2 small ham hocks
  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 small dried red pepper (optional)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place ham, onion, and dried pepper, if using, in a medium saucepan; add the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a gentle simmer; cover, and cook 2 hours.

  2. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer ham and onion to a plate, and set aside; discard dried pepper. Return liquid to a boil over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, shred any meat from the ham hock with a fork, and return to saucepan. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium; add green beans, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot.


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