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Green Beans and Potatoes

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Fresh green beans and red potatoes are simmered in a rich and flavorful broth with smoked turkey, onion, garlic, and seasonings. It’s a classic southern soul food recipe that’s perfect for Sunday suppers and festive holidays.

green beans and potatoes

Green beans and potatoes are one of my personal favorites. My grandma would always make them for dinner or on holidays. They’re made with red potatoes, smoked turkey, onion, garlic, seasoned salt, and pepper.

What makes this recipe stand out is the rich and smoky broth, which takes 1 to 2 hours of simmering, then another 45 minutes for the green beans and potatoes to become soft and tender, and infused with all that flavor.

It’s another one of those dishes, like southern cabbage or collard greens, that exemplify the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”

ingredients for green beans and potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 smoked turkey drumstick
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base (or 2 tbs bouillon powder or 2 cubes)
  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • Seasoning salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Recipe Substitutions

  • Smoked Meat: Substitute with one pound of smoked turkey necks or 2 smoked ham hocks.
  • Potatoes: Different types of potatoes, like russet or Yukon Gold, are fine to use.
  • Bouillon: Two tablespoons of chicken bouillon powder or two chicken bouillon cubes can be used as an alternative to chicken base.

Special Equipment and Tools

  • Large Stockpot: You’ll need a large stockpot to accommodate the water, smoked meat, etc.
  • Cooking Utensils: You’ll need basic cooking utensils like a ladle, slotted spoon, and tongs for handling the food.
  • Forks or Shredding Tools: You’ll need forks or other shredding tools to remove the meat from the drumstick and shred it.
green beans and potatoes

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Broth: In a large stockpot, combine 4 quarts of water and smoked turkey drumstick. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil. Allow this to cook for about 1 to 2 hours. This step helps the smoked meat cook and infuse the broth with flavor. Also, the longer you cook it, the easier the meat will be to shred.

Step 2: Combine Everything: After the 1-hour mark, add more water if needed, just enough to cover the drumstick. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and chicken base (or bouillon). Taste and adjust with seasoned salt. It should taste like a flavorful, salty broth. Now, add the green beans and red potatoes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Check them about halfway through to be careful not to overcook them.

Step 3: Shred Turkey Meat: Turn the stove off and carefully remove the turkey leg from the pot. Using two forks or your fingers (if you let it cool slightly), remove the skin and start pulling the meat apart. This will create small shreds of meat. Keep shredding until you’ve broken down all the meat from the leg. Add the meat back to the broth, giving it a good stir. Discard the skin and bones.

Step 4: Serve and Enjoy: Use a slotted spoon to ladle green beans and potatoes onto your plate or bowl. Be sure to scoop up some of the delicious meat and broth. Season with black pepper, serve, and enjoy!

green beans and potatoes

How long to boil green beans

The boiling time for fresh green beans will vary depending on how you’re preparing them and your desired level of doneness. For this southern soul food recipe, green beans are cooked at a low boil until soft, about 45 minutes. Check them at about the 30 minute mark, being careful not to overcook. If you prefer a crisp-tender texture, be sure to check them more frequently.

Storage and Reheating

When properly stored in the refrigerator, green beans can be safe to eat for up to 3-4 days. However, the quality may start to decline after the first day or two. Therefore, we do not recommend making this recipe ahead of time.

Reheating

  • Place leftovers in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with a lid or safe plastic wrap (leave a small vent), and heat on medium power in short intervals.
  • Alternatively, reheat on the stove by placing them in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.

Serving Suggestions

Green beans and red potatoes are a classic Southern soul food side dish, and they pair wonderfully with a variety of other soulful dishes. Here are some traditional Southern soul food dishes that go well with this dish:

  • Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy macaroni and cheese is a favorite that goes good with almost everything.
  • Smothered Chicken: Smothered chicken and rice or mashed potatoes is a perfect pairing.
  • Candied Yams: Sweet candied yams offer a nice contrast.
  • Fried Catfish: Crispy fried catfish is another popular choice.
green beans and potatoes

Summary

Fresh green beans and red potatoes simmered to perfection in a savory broth enriched with smoked turkey, onion, garlic, and seasonings. Ideal for Sunday suppers or festive holidays, this soulful dish brings the heartwarming flavors of Southern tradition to your table.

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Green Beans and Potatoes

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: sides
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: soul food, southern

Description

Fresh green beans and red potatoes are simmered in a rich and flavorful broth with smoked turkey, onion, garlic, and seasonings. It’s a classic southern soul food recipe that’s perfect for Sunday suppers and festive holidays.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 smoked turkey drumstick
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons chicken base (or 2 tablespoons bouillon powder)
  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • seasoning salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, combine 4 quarts of water and the smoked turkey drumstick.
  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil.
  4. Allow this to cook for about 1 to 2 hours. This step helps the smoked meat cook and infuse the broth with flavor.
  5. After the 1-hour mark, add more water if needed, just enough to cover the drumstick.
  6. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and chicken base (or bouillon). Taste and adjust with seasoned salt, if needed.
  7. Now, add the green beans and potatoes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Check them about halfway through to be careful not to overcook them.
  9. Turn off the stove and carefully remove the turkey leg from the pot.
  10. Using two forks or your fingers (if it has cooled slightly), remove the skin and start pulling the meat apart. This will create small shreds of meat.
  11. Add the shredded meat back to the broth, giving it a good stir. Discard the skin and bones.
  12. Use a slotted spoon to ladle green beans and potatoes onto your plate or bowl. Be sure to scoop up some of the delicious turkey and broth.
  13. Season with ground black pepper, then serve and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is adapted from Kevin Bludso’s “String Beans with Red Potatoes and Smoked Turkey Necks” in Bludso’s BBQ cookbook

Keywords: green beans and potatoes, smoked turkey leg

2 Comments

    1. Absolutely! You can make this without potatoes; I would even double the amount of green beans since you’ll have a lot of broth.

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