M: As I handed my sack of green beans over to the older woman working the farmer’s market booth to weigh, I jokingly asked her if they came with a guarantee. “I guarantee they’re larrapin’ with some fried ham!” and we both chuckled as she handed the beans back. I told her that was good enough for me and moved on. I’d never heard of larrapin, but from context I figured it was yet another Southern dish with which I was unfamiliar. You know, like “I guarantee these butterbeans are succotash with corn!” or something along those lines. I filed it away to look up when I got home. I’m glad I left the conversation at that, because, as some of you may know, larrapin’ (or larapin’ or larrupin’) isn’t a recipe at all. It’s slang. Apparently heard in parts of the South and Midwest , it translates to mean, roughly, “mighty tasty”. New one on me. I’m going to hold on to it though. Never know when it might come in handy. Sooner than I thought in this case, as this entry is larrapin’ good. Wait. This is a larrapin’ recipe? Something like that. I’ll work on it.
This is another good recipe for the home gardener to keep in mind. I suspect the combination of beans and potatoes is often conceived on the walk from the garden to the back porch, basket in hand. Although my beans came from the farmer’s market this time, I didn’t even have to leave the back porch to harvest the potatoes. Tip for the lazy gardener. Fill a storage bin about halfway with dirt, throw some cut up potatoes in there and cover with a little more dirt. Watch ’em grow and when the plants start to fade, tip over the bin. I got a couple of surprisingly good yields of new potatoes this summer/fall. For a bucket on the porch anyway.
Now about this easy little recipe. Can’t go wrong with fresh green beans. New potatoes are always a winner. Put them together and you are well on your way. But simmering it all with a little salt pork really takes it home. As in so many Southern dishes, a little salty pork goodness running through and through just brings it all together. This simple meeting of beans and potatoes becomes larrapin’. Dang. I can’t quite pull that off.
Recipe: Country Cooked Green Beans with New Potatoes
Summary: Beans and potatoes brought together by a common friendship with salt pork. Larrapin’ with some fried ham. From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook.
- 8 c Runner Beans, strung and broken
- 4 oz Salt Pork
- 2 Lb New Potatoes, scrubbed
- Salt, if needed
- Place green beans in a large pot and push salt pork into center.
- Add water to coven beans and bring to boil.
- Reduce to medium-low heat and cover.
- Simmer until beans are tender (about an hour) then taste, adding additional salt and water if necessary.
- Lay potatoes over beans and replace cover to simmer another 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.
Originally: Country Cooked Green Beans with New Potatoes