We recently visited Nashville Tennessee for the first time and stopped in to their wonderful downtown Farmers Market where we met a gentlemen selling all kinds of beans. We had a conversation about Butter Beans and picked up a pound to give them a try. Of course like all our recipes we put our own spin on it using our Bacon Pepper and low and behold we have a new household favorite!
Making your own beans can be a little intimidating at first but I can assure you it is easypeasy! We used fresh from the farm butter beans but you can use frozen ones as well and you don't need to thaw them but I would reduce your water just a tad. You can always add more water if need be. If you are using dried butter beans then you will need to pre-soak them by placing them in a bowl and add cold water and let them set for about 6 hours or you can leave them overnight. You can speed that up by rinsing the beans and adding them to a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and let them soak for an hour. To soak or not is a personal choice. It does reduce the phytic acid that makes us gassy!
You can also make this recipe ahead of time which will allow all those ingredients to talk to each other for awhile which allows enhances the flavor. In addition you can store then up to four days and make a whole new meal out of them by adding potatoes and sausage and therefore making a stew perfect for a cool fall day with a pan of cornbread. Here is one of my favorite cornbread recipes but don't forget to add a tbsp of Bacon Pepper!
You Butter Believe it Beans!
While visiting Nashville, Tennessee we stopped by the ever so popular farmers market where we met a very kind gentleman who educated us about the various beans he grows. One bean in particular aroused our interest and that is the butter bean so we picked up a bag to bring home.
Even though I spent much of my childhood in the South, I never recalled eating just as well as cooking butter beans. Oh my was I missing out! Oh and the mystery behind the Lima vs butter bean is non-existent as they are, in fact one of the same bean.
This protein-rich legumes provide endless opportunities for a variety of recipes. Butter beans make an excellent side dish and are also wonderful in salads and stews but can hold their own as a main dish as well. For this recipe I used dry beans but you can find the canned in your grocery store. If using dry, you must soak the beans overnight so plan ahead and give yourself plenty of cook time to ensure they are perfectly boiled.
Of course we add in our Bacon n' Pepper to the recipe for that extra blast of flavor. You butter believe this is the best butter bean recipe ever!
1 lb fresh or frozen shelled butter beans
6 slices of bacon
1 small yellow onion
4 cloves of minced garlic
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp chicken base or bouillon
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp Bacon Pepper
Chop the onion and set aside.
Fry the bacon in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Once cooked, remove the bacon while retaining the grease,
Add the onion, garlic and thyme to the pan and cook over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Add the butter, sugar, beans, salt and Bacon Pepper
Slowly add three cups of hot chicken base or bouillon and water to the pan and gently stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the beans to a boil and then cook for approximately 30 minutes or until you reach the tenderness you enjoy.
Add bacon and chives upon serving.
Add carrots and celery for additional flavors.
You can use chicken broth instead of the base but the base provides a more robust flavor.