I have the secret for making EVERY vegetable, as long as you are a carnivore, taste better.
It is not a very well kept secret, since EVERYONE knows about bacon. This recipe started out as green bean bundles from a cookbook I borrowed from my mother. The beans were blanched then slow roasted which left them limp and unpleasantly mushy. I prefer my green beans to be slightly al dente, or tender crisp, but I loved the flavors in the recipe so I set about making some much needed changes. First, roasting was out. Why roast a bean that is perfectly done? Second, since we are no longer roasting I needed to tweak the sauce so it would have more punch.
These are my favorite green beans! I make them at the holidays, and almost every other special occasion, and they are always among the first things to go. Even my brother, who has an aversion to most things green, devours these. Bacon is key here, so use a really good quality smoked bacon. The other key is the dressing. I flavor it with mustard powder, smoked paprika and a little bit of brown sugar. Trust me when I tell you the brown sugar really adds a lightly sweet depth to these beans that, along with the mustard and smoked paprika, make these taste better than any green beans I’ve ever had. These are lovely with chicken, turkey, or steaks and are just as good the next day if reheated in a skillet.
Bacon Dressed Green Beans Serves 4
12 ounces fresh green beans
2 slices thick-cut apple wood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Chop the bacon into 1/4 inch or smaller pieces. In a medium skillet over medium heat cook the bacon until brown and very crisp. Remove the bacon to drain on a towel and discard all but two tablespoons of the rendered fat.
Clean and trim the green beans. In a pot of salted boiling water cook the beans for 4-5 minutes. Shock the beans in an ice water bath to preserve their color. Drain well.
Place the skillet with the bacon drippings over medium heat and add the butter, brown sugar, paprika, and mustard powder. Once the butter foams add the drained green beans and cook, tossing the beans to coat then evenly, for about 2 minutes, or until they reach your preferred level of doneness. Season with salt.
Garnish with the cooked bacon. Enjoy!
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