YEA-YUUUUUUUHHHHH. Anything with bacon is automatically a winner and this green bean dish is no exception! It’s slightly smoky and tomato-ey, and, to be honest, I had no idea it would be as good as it was. I wouldn’t have even thought to make this dish had I not accidentally thawed that now-legendary pack of bacon.
I usually take a pound of bacon out of the freezer every Saturday morning, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, then, we have a traditional “Sunday breakfast”. This particular weekend, James’ dad called & took us to eat authentic Persian Kabob, instead. TRUST ME when I say not having the bacon was totally worth the Persian Kabob from Moby Dick. It’s amaaaaaaazing… and now I’m getting sidetracked.
THE POINT IS, we did not eat the bacon and come Monday morning, I had a full pack of raw bacon pleading “fry meeeeee!” I had seen a stewed green bean recipe with tomatoes and bay leaf a few days earlier and I had fresh farm stand green beans starting to get brown spots, perfectly ripe farm stand tomatoes & half a pack of raw bacon just waiting to be used (what happened to the other half-pack? obviously, I had 4 pieces with an egg & fruit for breakfast. oops.)… the end result: spicy, smoky stewed green beans with bacon AND tomato! I served this with a small green salad, smashed potatoes, & pork chops and it was perfect. Super simple and James-approved. Woop woop!
- 1 tbsp bacon fat, ghee, or olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, sliced into matchsticks (You can cook, then, slice OR slice, then, cook. Doesn't matter.)
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (this actually packs a baby punch! add less if you don't want that lil' spicy kick. I'm now imagining a baby-ninja wielding knives & ninja stars with tiny chili peppers around it's neck)
- 3-4 ripe tomatoes, diced & drained - About 2-1/2 to 3 cups
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- In a 5 qt. cast-iron casserole, heat bacon fat/ghee/oil (I save all my bacon fat in a jar in the fridge) over med to med high heat.
- Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel.
- Add the onion and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the green beans, garlic, and red pepper flakes - toss. Cook until the beans are coated in bacon fat and just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves and crispy bacon bits, salt & pepper and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to med low - cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 15 minutes.
- With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a large bowl & boil the remaining cooking liquid over high heat until reduced by half, around 15 more minutes.
- Return the beans to the reduced liquid on the stove and toss to heat through. Discard the bay leaves & serve warm.