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Southern sweet and sour green beans on a white platter and garnished with chunks of ham. Top view.

Southern Sweet And Sour Green Beans

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Sweet, spicy, tangy, smokey, and savory, these Southern Sweet And Sour Green Beans are the perfect side dish for a weekend dinner. Fresh green beans are braised in a ham, wine, and onion broth, then seasoned with vinegar, brown sugar, and Cajun seasoning.



4 smoked ham hocks

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon low-sodium Cajun seasoning (more to taste)

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Make the ham stock.

Place the ham hocks, onion, garlic, thyme sprigs, and chicken broth into a large soup pot. Add enough water so the ham hocks are covered by at least 2 inches of liquid. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for three hours. The liquid should have been reduced by half.

Use a wire spider or slotted spoon to remove the ham hocks to a bowl to cool.

Pour in the wine, vinegar, brown sugar, Cajun seasoning, and green beans.

Cover the pot and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the green beans are tender.

When the ham hocks have cooled, remove the skin and fat. If there is any meat, pick it out and return it to the pot. Discard the skin, fat, and bones.

Taste the broth and adjust for salt and pepper.

Serve hot.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: Southern sweet and sour green beans, side dish recipes, Southern recipes, ham hocks, green beans, Easter recipes, homemade ham stock