Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweet & Smokey Homestyle Green Beans

See the steam rising?  Mmmmmm....
Growing up, my family always had jars and jars of delicious canned green beans picked fresh from the garden.  Whenever there was a church pot luck or a holiday, Mom or Grandma would fix a big pot of green beans with chunks of smokey ham and sweet onions that had simmered on the stove or in a crock pot for a couple of hours, soaking up those delicious flavors. 

I love those beans, but I don't can my own veggie and I don't have a lot of time.  So I came up with this simplified version with beans straight from a can that will make it to the dinner table in 20 minutes.  

I added my very own secret ingredient- brown sugar.  It may sound weird, but it gives the green beans just a hint of sweetness to go with the spicy black pepper and smokey bacon. 

Once you try my secret ingredient, you'll never go back.

Well, unless you count going back for seconds.  ;-)

2  cans french cut green beans (or your favorite cut)
4 slices thick cut bacon diced into small pea sized pieces
1/2 c sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a medium pan cook bacon 2-3 minutes until it starts to render up some of its fat.  (You'll need the fat to cook the onion.)
  2. Add onions and saute until onions are soft and bacon is cooked.  Watch carefully so not to burn.
  3. Drain liquid from green bean cans and fill cans with fresh water while beans are still in the can.   You could also chicken broth if you'd like.  I like the flavor broth adds, but I don't always have it on hand.
  4. Add beans, brown sugar and S & P to taste.  I like to add a lot of freshly ground black pepper to add a spicy dimension to the beans.  
  5. Simmer 10-15 minutes. 
Serves 6


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