Beans are SOOOO under appreciated ! You can call this a side dish, but in the South it's a main course.. Heartier than a lot of soups, it's a one pot meal served with cornbread and rice.. Hope you enjoy :)
1Add beans to large pot. Cover with water, and add salt , enough that it tastes like sea water. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover, allow to sit one hour.
2Drain the beans in a colander. Add bacon grease to pot. Cut onion into quarters, and then slice thinly. Add to bacon grease and cook until soft. Add your shanks. Cook till lightly browned.
3Add beans to the pot. Cover with water, just to cover. Add the dehydrated green onion and bell pepper. Add pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer , light boil. Cover and cook slowly, checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes.
4When beans begin to soften, cook uncovered to allow liquid to cook off and begin to thicken. Also of note, if the beans are still not soft and it's thickening too soon, add only enough liquid to keep from sticking. Check the shanks.. They should be tender and you can now take them out of the pot, remove the bone, and cut and then add meat back to the pot.. If the bone has already fallen from the meat, fish the bones out and remove.
5TASTE !!!!!!!! When the beans are soft and beginning to fall apart, check for taste.. add salt and pepper as needed.. Serve over hot rice with a little sport pepper sauce and ENJOY !