Fresh green beans - enough for 4-5 servings -- ends and strings removed
2 tbl bacon grease, preferably from Benton's bacon
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/2 can petite diced tomato,
2 tbl brown sugar
1-2 tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbl fresh
Salt and black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the green beans about 10 minutes, til cooked through, but still a little crisp. Drain and refresh in ice water; drain again. Blot dry (you can do this ahead and refrigerate the beans).
Saute onion, garlic in bacon fat until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, thyme, brown sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and vinegar. Bring to a boil and let reduce until thickened and a bit syrupy. Taste and correct salt, pepper, and vinegar. This can be done ahead and refrigerated.
When you're ready to serve, reheat the tomato mixture, add the green beans, stirring until piping hot.
Alternatively, you could mix the green bean into the tomato mixture and reheat in the microwave.