Easy Cassoulet With Honey

cassoulet

It’s snowing in Cincinnati and getting colder by the minute. When the weather’s like this, all I want is some hearty cassoulet!  If I can’t wait until tomorrow to have it, this is the recipe I use. It’s SO good!

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 tomato, chopped, or one 8-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

3 15-ounce cans of great Northern, cannellini, or navy beans, drained and rinsed

5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup plain breadcrumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Directions

In a Dutch oven (a heavy pot, usually made of cast iron, that you can use on the stovetop and in the oven), heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage until well browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove and drain on paper towels; set aside.

Pour out the excess oil from the Dutch oven. Add the chicken broth, vegetables, beans, thyme, honey, salt, pepper, a third of the garlic, and the sausage and return to heat. Mix well, scraping up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour, until thickened and the vegetables are tender.

Heat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, combine the bread-crumbs, parsley, butter, and remaining garlic. Sprinkle evenly over the cassoulet and place in the oven. Bake, uncovered, until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Thanksgiving 2013 – Old-Fashioned Southern Green Beans

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Southern green beans. This is the real thing, and they’re even better the next day!

Yield:  12 servings

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. fresh green beans

5 cups water

4-5 oz. smoked hog jowl

1 teaspoon salt (more or less, depending on saltiness of the seasoning meat)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon (or more) honey

A red-pepper pod or red-pepper flakes

1 onion, quartered

Directions:

Put the water, smoked hog jowl, honey, onion, red pepper, salt, and pepper in a 5-quart Dutch oven and bring to a boil on high heat. Place the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or more.

While the hog jowl is simmering, you’ll have time to prepare the green beans. Remove the ends and strings, and snap into pieces of desired length, discarding any beans that are blemished or wilted. Wash the beans in cold water and drain.

When the hog jowl has simmered for at least 30 minutes, remove any scum from the surface of the water. Add the green beans to the pot, turn up the heat, and bring back to a boil.

Once the water has reached a good boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans — partially covered — for 3 full hours. It’s important to simmer the beans with the pot only partially covered. Between the pot and the edge of the lid, leave an opening of at least a quarter of an inch on one side, so that the steam can easily escape.

Once an hour or so, gently turn the beans so that those on the bottom are brought to the top and vice versa. The reason: the beans on the top will not be in contact with the water, and it’s important that all the beans in the pot get some time on top, out of the water.

In determining the heat setting on which to simmer the beans, the goal is to simmer them for 3 hours such that the water and the 3 hours run out at pretty much the same time. If you’ve simmered the beans for 3 hours and there is still water in the pot, just turn up the heat a tad and keep simmering until the water is gone. Of course, if you’ve used too much heat, you may have to add a little water before the end to keep the pot from boiling dry — just don’t cook the beans any less than 3 hours. You’ll probably find, however, that in a 5-quart Dutch oven 5 cups of water will just about be gone if you’ve simmered on low heat, with the lid 1/4 inch open, for 3 hours.

When done, the beans will be a good bit darker green than before being cooked. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the beans from the pot and put them in a serving bowl.

Cooking With Honey – Spicy Honey Barbecue Pulled Pork And Coleslaw On Homemade Buns

pulled pork

Among my friends and family I’m renowned for this dish. It’s good all year around!!

It’s a scientific fact that honey makes food taste better.  Honey is largely composed of gluconic acid, a completely safe and natural flavor enhancer. According to the National Honey Board, a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight, honey “balances and enhances the flavor profiles of other ingredients used in a recipe.”

The use of honey as a healthy and flavorful alternative to refined sugars has exploded in popularity in recent years. Raw honey is organic, easily digested, adapts to all cooking processes and lasts virtually forever.

Raw honey is also an integral part of the local food or “locavore” movement. Nationwide, small farms, farmers markets and specialty food makers are popping up and thriving as more people seek locally produced, seasonal foods. More than half of consumers now say it is more important to buy local than organic, according to market research firm Mintel.  Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan called the local food movement “the biggest retail food trend in my adult lifetime.”

Enjoy this recipe and feel good about it!!

Spicy Honey Barbecue Pulled Pork

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

1 Boston Butt roast, about 5-6 pounds

Wet Rub:

1 cup honey

1/2 cup garlic, granulated

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup paprika

2 tablespoons onion, granulated

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Sauce:

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons onion, chopped

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Dash ground red pepper

Directions:

Stir together all rub ingredients in a bowl. If needed, trim the fat back to about 1/8 inch thick on shoulder. Smear meat generously with rub, massaging it into the meat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Stir together all ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 40 minutes.

Divide sauce into separate containers for basting and serving at the table. Refrigerate table sauce and reheat for serving.

Heat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit. Place meat in a Dutch Oven and add 1 cup water. Baste with 1/2 of the barbecue sauce. Cover tightly and cook for 4-5 hours or until pork is very tender.

Remove pork to a large cutting board or platter, cover with sauce from pan and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Pull, slice or chop to serve. Serve in buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Coleslaw

Yield:  12 servings

Ingredients

6 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 cup honey

Salt and pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a smaller bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, honey, salt and pepper. Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill.

Homemade Buns

Yield: Makes 28 buns

Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)

1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast

1 teaspoon honey

1 3/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup honey

3 teaspoons salt

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, bread flour or whole wheat flour, divided (I use King Arthur’s)

Directions

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles.

Meanwhile, heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes or until 100° to 110°.

Stir together warm milk, eggs, and next 3 ingredients in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer, blending well. Add yeast mixture, stirring to combine. Gradually add 5 cups flour, beating at medium speed, using paddle attachment. Beat 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 1 hour.

Uncover dough, and add remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, beating at medium speed 5 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.) Transfer to a lightly greased large mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough. Turn dough out on a well-floured surface, and roll into 28 (2 1/2-inch) balls (about 1/4 cup dough per ball). Place balls in 4 lightly greased 9-inch pans (7 balls per pan). Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Bake rolls at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with butter.

Note: To freeze, place baked buns in zip-top plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to two months. Let thaw at room temperature. Reheat, if desired.

Coq Au Vin Et Miel

250px-Coq_au_vin_rouge

It’s perfect weather for a great pot of Coq Au Vin…  avec Miel!! 

Yield:  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

6 oz. bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 1/4 lb. chicken legs and thighs

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb.  mushrooms

3/4 lb. shallots, halved

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups full bodied red wine

6 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 yellow onion, cut in half

2 tablespoons honey

2 cups chicken broth

3/4 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

Directions:

Cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the skillet, turning once, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Add the garlic, tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the red wine, the honey and the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the bacon, chicken, mushroom mixture, carrots, the herbs, the bay leaf and the yellow onion. Simmer until the chicken is fork-tender, about 2 hours.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Skim the fat off the sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard the herbs and yellow onion and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to Dutch oven. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with noodles or boiled or mashed potatoes.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 16 – Onion and Garlic Soup For A Snowy Day

onion garlic soup

It’s a cold and snowy day in Cincinnati and everything is quiet outside. I didn’t feel like going out, so I made this lovely soup from what I had on hand. I’m pretty sure it’s good for whatever ails you, and will also keep any Vampires away!

Yield:  1- 2 servings

Ingredients

1  thinly sliced large yellow onion

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/3 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus additional to taste

1/4 teaspoon honey (helps the onions to brown)

1  tablespoon almond flour

3 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup  dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

2-4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Directions

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 2- to 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions and garlic, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and honey. Cook onions and garlic, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown.

After the onions and garlic are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed.

Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness.  Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 15 – Chicken, Hunter Style

MB2B27_Chicken_Hunter_Style_lg

Uhh, some of you may have noticed that there was a long weekend-shaped hole between Day 14 and Day 15 of the Romancing the Bee Diet…

I was visiting my daughter Molly and the adorable Baby Lucy in Chicago, and between the pizza, the macarons and the three course luncheon at the American Girl Doll Store, I kind of fell off the Diet Wagon.

I’m back on it though, without sustaining too much damage.  After all, the RTBD should be a joyous way of life, not an exercise in Food Deprivation. 

This Chicken Cacciatore recipe is fabulous, and made it easy for me to return to low Glycemic Index eating. 

Of course, I’ll be madly working to create a recipe for RTBD  macarons to further enhance the RTBD experience!!  🙂

macarons

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (5-6 pound) chicken cut into eighths

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned

4 ounces thick cut bacon, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices

1 tablespoon honey

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or capers

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Basil sprigs

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large plate.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and bacon and cook until golden brown, season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chili flakes to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, honey and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken, mushrooms and bacon to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and tent loosely with foil.

Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar and basil and pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 12 – Chili Con Carne

chili

This dish is affectionately known at my house as “Meat Chili.” It’s been an integral part of every successful diet I’ve ever been on.

In my opinion, it’s close to the perfect diet meal.  It’s satisfying, it’s healthy, it’s tasty, it’s even better the next day, and, best of all, when I eat it I don’t feel like I’m dieting!

The most important thing to remember is DON’T ADD BEANS!  It won’t be a diet meal anymore.

Yield:  6-8 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large yellow onion, small diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon honey

1 pound lean ground beef

1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes

Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish only

Directions:

Preheat a 8-quart sauce pan or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. Saute ground beef, onion, garlic, and peppers in canola oil with salt until beef is browned and vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Add spices and cook for 1 more minute. Add honey and canned tomatoes, including juice, and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and to break up the tomatoes. Adjust seasonings. It may need additional salt.

Serve in soup bowls and top with no more than 2 tablespoons of cheddar cheese for garnish.

Honey Braised Short Ribs With Creamy Polenta And Ragout Of Winter Vegetables

short rib ragu

Eating locally in January is not as difficult as one might think. Winter vegetables such as hearty greens and root vegetables are widely available and at their peak. This is a delicious way to make use of winter’s bounty.

Recipe: Root vegetable ragout

Ingredients

2 each sweet carrots, washed and peeled

4 each turnips, washed and peeled

2 each parsnips, washed and peeled

12 each pearl onions, peeled

12 each red pearl onions, peeled

1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Cut the carrots, turnips, and parsnips into pieces of about the same size and shape, preferably a medium-sized dice. Blanch the cut carrots, turnips, parsnips, and onions together, in a pot of boiling salted water, until tender, about 5 minutes or less. Carefully remove from the blanching water with a slotted spoon and place into an ice water bath. Allow vegetables to cool; reserve in refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.

To serve, put the vegetables in a small skillet along with sherry vinegar, butter, and chopped tarragon. Place the skillet over a medium-low flame and warm just moments before serving. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe: Creamy polenta

Ingredients

2 cups water

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup organic yellow polenta (can substitute plain cornmeal)

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (can substitute cream cheese)

Preparation

Lightly season 2 cups water with salt and bring to a boil. Quickly whisk in the polenta until it has been fully incorporated. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the butter and allow the polenta to cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and season to taste with salt.

This may be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave just before serving.

Recipe: Zinfandel braised beef short ribs with creamy polenta and a ragout of fall vegetables

Ingredients

4 pounds beef short ribs, bone in, cut into single rib chops

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 cups zinfandel (red wine)

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

3 ounces canola oil

2 cups small-diced onion

.5 cup small-diced celery

.5 cup small-diced carrots

6 ounces canned chopped tomatoes

2 cups beef broth

2 ounces mushrooms, preferably porcini

2 each bay leaves

Preparation

Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the zinfandel, honey, garlic, fresh thyme and a pinch of salt. Marinate the short ribs in the wine mixture for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Pour 3 ounces canola oil into a Dutch oven over high heat. Remove the short ribs from the wine and allow the beef to rest for several minutes and come to room temperature. Reserve marinade.

Once the meat has rested, place in the hot pan. Stir and turn the meat often, carefully allowing each piece to brown on each side before removing from the pan. When browned (will take several minutes per side), remove the beef from the pan and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir constantly and allow the onions to cook until mahogany in color, about 10 minutes; if onions are browning too quickly, reduce to medium heat. Add the short ribs back to the pot along with the reserved wine marinade. Allow the wine to come to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, skimming foam and fat from the surface of the liquid. After simmering for several minutes, add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer uncovered until the meat is fork tender and nearly falling off the bone, roughly 5 hours.

Once the beef has cooked, transfer short ribs to a dish and cover. Reduce the pan liquids until they coat the back of the spoon, simmering about 30 minutes. Strain the braising liquid and return the short ribs to the liquid. Season the short ribs and braising liquid with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve for later use.

This may all be done up to 3-4 days in advance. Reheat in oven or microwave until meat is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Assembly: Reheat the three components of the dish separately.

On each of 6 large plates, place a couple of spoonfuls of polenta in the center of the plate.

Carefully remove the bones from the hot ribs and place the beef short ribs over the bed of polenta.

In a pan over medium heat, bring the reserved braising liquid to a simmer. Once the sauce is hot, check for seasoning and, if needed, add a touch of salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce around the beef short ribs and polenta. Carefully place the root vegetable ragout on the beef. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6

French Onion Soup

Julia Child French onion soup

I don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten like three pigs and a goat over the past three days. I didn’t encounter a chocolate or a cookie that I didn’t want to ingest (and usually did…). The perfect medicine for overdoing it is Julia’s French Onion Soup. With a touch of honey, of course!

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams or 24 ounces or about 5 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
3 tablespoons (42 grams or 1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt, plus additional to taste
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) honey (helps the onions to brown)
3 tablespoons (24 grams or 7/8 ounce) all-purpose flour
2 quarts (8 cups or 1.9 liters) beef or other brown stock*
1/2 cup (118 ml) dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cognac or brandy

To finish [Gratinée]
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 to 2 cups (to taste) grated Swiss or a mixture of Swiss and Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
12 to 16 1-inch thick rounds French bread, toasted until hard

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to real low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and honey. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown. Don’t skimp on this step, as it will build the complex and intense flavor base that will carry the rest of the soup. Plus, from here on out, it will be a cinch.

After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed. Correct seasonings if needed but go easy on the salt as the cheese will add a bit more saltiness and I often accidentally overdo it. Stir in the cognac or brandy.  It’s not onion soup if you don’t!

Set aside until needed. I find that homemade onion soup is so deeply fragrant and flavor-rich that it can stand alone, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the graitinéed top once in a while. Here’s how to pull it off:

Preheat oven to 325. Arrange six ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Bring the soup back to a boil and divide among six bowls. To each bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Stir to combine. Dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and float a few on top of your soup bowls.

Bake soups on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler. Finish for a minute or two under the broiler to brown the top lightly. Grab pot holders, and serve immediately.

It Wouldn’t Be Thanksgiving Without Southern Green Beans

This is the real thing!

2-3 lbs. fresh green beans

5 cups water

4-5 oz. smoked hog jowl

1 teaspoon salt (more or less, depending on saltiness of the seasoning meat)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon (or more) honey

A red-pepper pod or red-pepper flakes

1 onion, quartered

Directions:

Put the water, smoked hog jowl, honey, onion, red pepper, salt, and pepper in a 5-quart Dutch oven and bring to a boil on high heat. Place the lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for 30 minutes or more.

While the hog jowl is simmering, you’ll have time to prepare the green beans. Remove the ends and strings, and snap into pieces of desired length, discarding any beans that are blemished or wilted. Wash the beans in cold water and drain.

When the hog jowl has simmered for at least 30 minutes, remove any scum from the surface of the water. Add the green beans to the pot, turn up the heat, and bring back to a boil.

Once the water has reached a good boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans — partially covered — for 3 full hours. It’s important to simmer the beans with the pot only partially covered. Between the pot and the edge of the lid, leave an opening of at least a quarter of an inch on one side, so that the steam can easily escape.

Once an hour or so, gently turn the beans so that those on the bottom are brought to the top and vice versa. The reason: the beans on the top will not be in contact with the water, and it’s important that all the beans in the pot get some time on top, out of the water.

In determining the heat setting on which to simmer the beans, the goal is to simmer them for 3 hours such that the water and the 3 hours run out at pretty much the same time. If you’ve simmered the beans for 3 hours and there is still water in the pot, just turn up the heat a tad and keep simmering until the water is gone. Of course, if you’ve used too much heat, you may have to add a little water before the end to keep the pot from boiling dry — just don’t cook the beans any less than 3 hours. You’ll probably find, however, that in a 5-quart Dutch oven 5 cups of water will just about be gone if you’ve simmered on low heat, with the lid 1/4 inch open, for 3 hours.

When done, the beans will be a good bit darker green than before being cooked. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the beans from the pot and put them in a serving bowl.