Monday, February 16, 2015

Mary Beth's Sweet and Sour Green Beans

I made these last night to go with grilled steaks. I had all these wonderful drippings from cooking Benton's bacon for breakfast, and I started thinking about green beans and tomatoes, which I love. My friend Mary Beth was coming for dinner, and she loves anything that's piquant. So, I decided to add the vinegar and balance it with the brown sugar. This is one of the best versions of green beans that I have ever made! They would be good with any simply grilled or roasted meats or with macaroni and cheese.

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.

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