Who says beer can’t also be part of a healthy diet?
Recently I was preparing some green beans to use as a side dish with dinner. Fresh green beans are one of my faves, and cooking them in a steamer is super easy. Earlier in the day I discovered we had just a slice and a half of bacon in the fridge (what a weird quantity!), and I was looking for a way to use it for dinner, because who just wants a slice of bacon come breakfast time, right?
And then it came to me: beer and bacon green beans.
These are super easy to make, fresh, and are bound to dazzle everyone at your dinner table (or at least it did mine).
1/4 cup or so of beer
To get started, I cooked the bacon that I had on hand (one and a half slices) in a frying pan. Once it was cooked, I removed it from the pan but kept the bacon fat in there. You want enough fat to lightly cover the bottom of the pan, but not so much that you’ve got a ton of standing grease. If you cook more bacon than I did (or are using a fatty cut), then you might want to drain some off before going forward.
While the bacon is cooking, cut your green beans. You can use frozen ones for this, but I think fresh are much, much better. You’ll want to cut off the ends and then cut them into manageable pieces.
Once your bacon is cooked and your green beans are cut, add your beans to your pan and cook the beans on a medium heat in the bacon fat. For fresh green beans, this takes roughly 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and turn them occasionally. When they start to have a softer consistency, or start to brown, then you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Next, pour in enough beer to cover the bottom of the pan and halfway cover your green beans. For me, that was roughly a quarter of a cup. If you have a larger pan or more beans, that could mean you need a little more or less. I chose to use Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown for mine. If you have another brown ale on hand, that would be great. I also think this recipie would be amazing with a spicy pale ale.
Once your beer is added, turn the heat down to a medium-low/simmer, and let the beans cook in the beer for roughly 10 minutes. As they cook, the beer will reduce, and the beans will absorb some of it. While this is happening, chop up your cooked bacon into small “bacon bite” pieces. When the beer looks like it’s almost gone from your pan, you’re ready to move on.
Remove the beans and place them in a bowl. Add the chopped bacon and some salt and pepper, and give it a little shake to mix everything up. I went with garlic salt for my batch. You could also add a little spice at this point too, if that’s what you’re into.
And now you’re ready to eat!
These make for an awesome side dish with chicken or burgers, or a great thing to bring along with you to that last cookout of summer. Isn’t it crazy that summer’s almost over? That’s almost as perplexing as how I ended up with only a slice and a half of bacon in my fridge.