Here's another classic Southern dish. Like most southern cooking, it relies heavily on simplicity. We cook with so much love, that the dishes don't have to be crazy complicated. When you look below at the ingredient list, you will see exactly what I am talking about. You do have to be patient, as the beans take 3-4 hours to cook, but they are so easy, you won't care. I watched my grandma make these a million times and they are absolutely delicious. Here's how I did it:
5 slices uncured bacon, chopped
1/2 large organic yellow onion, chopped
1- 16 ounce bag large lima beans, rinsed thoroughly
5 cups of water, plus more as needed
salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until slightly crispy, you are looking for as much fat to be rendered off as possible. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, I started with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add your rinsed beans and the water. In the first 2 hours you are looking for about an inch or slightly more water above the beans. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Drop the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes- 1 hour. Stir the beans and add more water if needed. At this point I added 1 more cup of water. Set the timer again for about 45 min.- 1 hr and stir the beans, adding water if needed. I added another cup. Continue cooking, stirring every 45 min-1 hr until the beans are creamy as pictured above. Let cool a little and season with salt & pepper.
Tip: My beans were done at about 3 hrs 15 minutes, maybe slightly longer. I only needed to add extra water at the first 2 stirs. After that they were fine. Don't add too much water, as you want them creamy not watery. As a general rule, about 1 inch or 1 1/2 inches above the beans is perfect. You might notice I didn't soak the beans. You don't need to soak the beans when making butter beans. I find they don't turn out as creamy when you soak them. But you must rinse them very well. I found a couple small sticks in my bag, so rinse those beans.