Butter, bacon drippings, and crumbled freshly cooked bacon flavor these fresh green beans perfectly.
The recipe is a popular one, and it is delicious! To cut back on the fat a bit, discard most of the bacon drippings before you add the butter and cooked green beans to the pan. See some other ideas and possible add-ins in the tips and variations section.
- 2 pounds fresh green beans
- 8 strips bacon, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
Wash the green beans in a colander under cold running water. Top and tail them (slice off the stem ends and tail ends) and then cut them into 1- to 1 1/2-inch lengths. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat; add the diced bacon. Fry the bacon until crispy; remove to paper towels to drain. Leave 2 to 3 tablespoons (or more) of the bacon drippings in the skillet and save the remaining drippings for another recipe.* Set the skillet aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and then add the beans. Boil for about 8 to 12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
Drain the green beans and then add them to the skillet along with the cooked bacon and the butter. Toss well and heat until the green beans are thoroughly coated and hot.
Sprinkle the green beans with freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste.
*Bacon drippings can solidify and cause clogged drains, so don't pour them down the drain. If you are going to discard the drippings, pour them an empty can and let stand until the grease has solidified and then toss the can in the trash.
Tips and Variations
- Use frozen green beans, steamed following the package directions.
- Use trimmed fresh wax beans in place of the green beans, or a combination of the two.
- Bake the bacon in the oven. Heat the oven to 375° F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the strips of bacon in the pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Reserve some of the drippings for the green beans and drain the bacon on paper towels. Proceed with the recipe.
- Before you add the cooked green beans to the skillet, saute (medium-low heat) a finely minced or pressed clove of garlic and/or a few tablespoons of finely minced shallots in the butter and bacon drippings for about 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the cooked and drained green beans and bacon; toss, heat, and season with salt and pepper.
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