This is how green beans were always prepared at the Stein house. It’s another dish I learned by helping LaVerne in the kitchen. There was never a written recipe, so it’s recorded how we’ve remembered it. Of course, these were usually beans out of Dad’s garden, and there were lots and lots of those. The recipe applied to their canned quart jars of beans as well as the fresh ones, though, and the cooking time was adjusted to account for the form of the produce used.
1 pound of fresh green beans, washed and snapped
1/2 medium onion, diced
3-4 slices of bacon, diced
Water to cover beans
Dice and then saute 3-4 slices of bacon. Drain if needed, leaving enough fat to saute the onions. Cook these two ingredients together until the onions begin to soften.
Add washed and snapped green beans and saute until the beans begin to change color to bright green. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot with about an inch of liquid and bring to a boil.
Turn down and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, about 20 minutes for fresh mature beans. Cooking time will vary depending on size of beans.
We use enough bacon to impart flavor to the beans but not so much that they’re greasy. The bacon we used this time turned out to be very lean and we didn’t drain it. I added no salt to this recipe, but I’m thinking some was added during cooking. LaVerne’s salt box comes to mind.
The Stein green bean recipe did not depend on measured amounts of vegetable, but whatever came out of the garden, so adjust your quantities of onion and bacon to taste. This method works well with frozen green beans, too.
If the home-canned beans were used, the juice from the jar was the only liquid.
What is your favorite three-ingredient recipe?