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Green Beans with Bacon

Have you ever noticed, when reading anything related to pioneer cooking, that they added some seriously caloric ingredients to the most innocent of dishes? I almost feel like their four food groups were: Meat, Beans, Bacon and Butter. With Sugar and Cream as first alternates! And, to be honest, if it weren't for the health ramifications, I am not sure I wouldn't be too unhappy with the same diet!! (As long as chocolate were included!!)

Here is a recipe that was handed down from my own family . . . I have a couple of Mayflower peeps, some Native Americans (including a chief!), some British kings, and numerous colorful westward emigrant type folks in my lineage, some of whom came west via the Deep South, so bacon fat may run in my veins. I apologize to your cardiologist in advance.


  • 1 pound of green beans (fresh from the garden is best!)
  • ¼ pound of bacon, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • Salt, if needed, and pepper to taste


Wash the green beans, then top-n-tail them. If they are very long, or you just like shorter beans, snap in half. Set aside.

In a large, cold non-stick or cast iron pan, put the bacon, spreading so that it's in a single layer.

Turn the heat on to medium and cook, stirring, until the fat starts to render.

Add onions and cook until they are translucent.

Add the beans, stir well and cover, cooking/steaming until they are done to your liking.

Salt if it needs it (the bacon is usually enough) and pepper to taste.

Stir well, then turn into warm serving dish and serve immediately.

Note: this has to be timed well, or the bacon and onions might overcook before the beans are done enough. Young, 'fresh from the garden' beans take little cooking, but older, tougher beans might take a little while longer. If you see the bacon beginning to get too crispy before the beans will be done, just add about a half cup of water to the pan, re-cover, and, when the beans are almost done, take the lid off to let the remaining liquid evaporate.