I adore fresh green beans cooked until crisp-tender. These are not those beans. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely start this recipe with fresh green beans, or frozen if you like; the proportions will be a bit different. But time’s at a premium during the holiday, and snapping and cutting several pounds of green beans definitely infringes on my me-time. Mom always uses home-canned green beans for this, but the good folks at the Jolly Green Giant put out a fine product as well.
Green beans with bacon & onion
For each 15oz can of green beans, you’ll need 1 slice of bacon and 2-3 tablespoons of yellow onion chopped medium.
Cut the bacon into smallish pieces, I usually chop it in half lengthwise and then cut each of those strips into pieces about a quarter of an inch across. In a saucepan or small dutch oven over medium heat, fry the bacon until just done but not crispy. Scoot it to one side of the pan and add the onions. You can drain as much of the bacon grease as you like at this point, depending on how many slices you cooked. A whole onion takes about 2 tbsp of grease, so if you’re just doing a can or two, you can easily get by with one tablespoon of grease. Saute the onion until it turns translucent. Add the beans and liquid from the can. You want the liquid to come to just the top of the beans, so add extra water or chicken stock if you need it. Season with a pinch or two of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer partially covered for an hour. Or two. Or as much as three. Just stir occaisionally and check to make sure the liquid hasn’t boiled away, adding extra if needed. When ready to serve, check seasoning.
Until I was in high school, I didn’t realize green beans could be cooked any other way.