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Green Beans with Sweet-and-Sour Bacon Dressing

Sweet, salty and sour flavors mingle irresistibly in this simple yet bold-flavored dish of green beans dressed in a bacon vinaigrette. Chef Sarah Johannes says these beans, inspired by her grandmother’s recipe, are famous in her family and are a staple at her holiday gatherings in the Midwest. They make a festive addition to a Thanksgiving spread and would be delicious for summer picnics, as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch strips
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 lb. green beans, trimmed

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat in the pan. Pour the remaining fat into a heatproof container and set aside.

Return the pot to medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Stir in the sugar, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock and half of the bacon. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved bacon fat and season with salt and pepper.

Add the green beans and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to coat them with the dressing. Cook until the beans are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the beans stand in the dressing for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally to coat them with the dressing.

Transfer the beans to a serving bowl and top with the remaining bacon. Serve immediately. Serves 12.

Adapted from a recipe by Sara Johannes, WP24, Los Angeles.