This is comfort food from my childhood. It’s a blend of my Southern and Pennsylvania Dutch roots. I wrote about this initially for The Kitchn. My Mommom used to make ham steak glazed with the juice from canned peaches for supper. She would cook the beans down in the juice to go with. Ground cloves added depth and brought out the sweetness of the peaches, which would be baked while the ham and beans were in the skillet. I do this now in a Dutch oven and sans canned peaches. But it still has the comfort sweet flavor along with the salt of the thick ham steak. Most often, I use a ham steak bought in where the boneless hams are sold. Sometimes, though, I go to the butcher and ask for an extra thick pork steak, which makes this simple dish extra special. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 (1-pound) bone-in ham steak
- 1-1½ teaspoons ground cloves, divided
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, diced
- 2 pounds green beans, stem ends removed
- 2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute to soften. Add the ham and sprinkle with half of the ground cloves. Cook until the edges of the ham begin to brown and curl, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the ham over, sprinkle with the remaining cloves, and brown for 3 to 4 minutes more.
Move the ham to the side of the pot. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the green beans on top in an even layer. Pour in the broth; the beans and the ham will be mostly covered. Add the salt and sugar and stir gently to incorporate.
Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even cooking. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated and the beans are soft, about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Stir in the pepper and serve.