I'll make a confession here. I've been eating green beans with bacon since I was a wee tot. Come on...it has bacon in it, what's not to love? The two together are a perfect match. The confession though, is I usually just add bacon to my canned green beans. Yes, canned green beans. Back in the day, you didn't find fresh green beans at the market 365 days a year. And if you did, there was some work involved. Sitting around stringing the damn things. Canned was so much easier and quite frankly, I loved them, but when Mom added some bacon? it took the canned beans to a whole new level. YUMMY.
As for that famous green bean casserole made with soup and canned fried onions usually served during the holidays? Loved it too, but I've never actually made it myself.
When it was decided that I would be in charge of the green beans for Thanksgiving I panicked. Do I make the standard traditional casserole that folks either love or hate? Do I try something a bit avant guarde and make something completely off the wall? Or do I do something simple? Well simple won out and Stewed Green Beans with Bacon showed up as the veggie side at Thanksgiving. Since it was not only simple but tasty, it showed up again at Christmas. It came from the November 2008 issue of Everyday Food Magazine.
There is some labor involved. Cutting the ends off the green beans takes a bit of time, but once I got into the rhythm of it, it went pretty quickly. I made this twice each time using a different type of bacon: one was thick apple smoked and the other was standard, regular Oscar Meyer. Both worked well and tasted great in this dish.
This heats up really well. For Thanksgiving, I made it a day ahead and just reheated before dinner. I, of course, added a TON more bacon than called for.
STEWED GREEN BEANS WITH BACON
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
2 1/2 pounds green beans (stem ends removed) cut into 1-inch lengths
1 can (14-.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
coarse salt and ground pepper
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, cook bacon over medium, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add green beans, broth, and 2 cups water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook until green beans are very tender, about 1 hour.
Season with salt and pepper. (To make ahead, refrigerate, up to 1 day).
Serves 8. (88 calories a serving-more if you add as much bacon as I did)
Note: I used Better than Bouillon instead of canned broth, so I didn't add much salt during cooking. I also added a pound of bacon to my first batch but then cut it to just half a pound for my second batch.