My mom used to cook them with bacon. She diced up the bacon and cooked it with the beans.
Since I had some bacon on hand – to use in bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches, but no tomatoes are ripening – I decided to look up recipes for green beans and bacon. I was surprised by the results.
Cooks are very passionate about this issue. Many remember moms who cooked green beans with bacon or bacon and bacon grease.
Some recommend cooking the bacon – you can put onions in with it too, if you like them – in a large sauce pan. Then, add the green beans and water, leaving in the grease from the bacon.
Others recommend cooking the bacon and onions, then placing them on a paper towel to remove the bacon grease. In this method the beans are cooked separately. When the beans are done, the beans and bacon-onion mixture are combined.
Then, there’s another controversial issue. Should you cook the green beans to the crispy or tender stage?
These days, when you go to a fancy restaurant, the green beans are served crispy. However, in the South, beans are cooked for a long time, 1 to 2 hours. I even saw one recipe that said to cook the green beans for 24 hours.
Here’s the recipe I created and liked:
Rita’s Green Bean Recipe With Bacon
4 slices of bacon, cut in small pieces
2 pounds of fresh green beans, with the ends cut off
In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until it’s lost most of its fat and has begun to turn brown. Add the green beans and enough water to cover the beans and bacon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Season with salt, then cover the pan and cook for about 20 minutes or until the beans are tender.
Note: Yes, I like my green beans cooked until they are tender, not crispy. And, the beans are a bit greasy, but tasty, when the bacon grease is left in the pan.