Southern Style Green Beans w/Bacon

 

Serves 4-6    I’m updating this recipe to increase the flavor intensity. I found that using some chicken broth and reducing the amount of liquid to start, improves the final dish. I also started adding garlic and onion to the mixture. The result has been very well received.

I like my cooked veggies cooked a bit on the firm side. My husband prefers them softer.  Usually I compromise and cook them just a little al dente.  Tonight, as a surprise, I prepared some good old southern style green beans, which cook for over an hour. No al dente here! I had forgotten just how delicious they are. And, since you can make them ahead of time, they may end up on my holiday menu this year.

 

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. thick sliced smoked bacon cut into 1/2″ pieces (or use smoked sausage, sliced)

1 small white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 lbs. green beans – trimmed and cut into 2-3” lengths

1 can Swanson’s Chicken Broth

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or chipotle flakes if available)

1 Tbsp good cider vinegar

2 Tbsp butter

 

Directions:

In a large saucepan, cook bacon or sausage in olive oil until softened, add onion and saute until translucent, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the cut up green beans and stir to coat. Pour in the chicken broth and enough water to barely cover the beans. Bring liquid to a boil then quickly reduce to a gentle simmer.  Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

 

After 30 minutes, add 1 Tbsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, red pepper flakes and vinegar. Stir to mix well.

 

Cover the pot and simmer on low for 45 minutes. Check the mixture every so often to stir, and make sure the liquid does not evaporate.  If it gets too dry, add more boiling water, by 1/2 cup increments but only as needed.

 

Since I like the beans without a lot of excess liquid, I drain (and *reserve) the liquid at the end of the cooking time, leaving only a little liquid in the pan.  Correct the seasoning and add the butter to the beans, stirring to blend it in.

Serve and enjoy.

 

Note: * The reserved liquid can be used as a vegetable broth in soups or sauces.