Green bean bundles have become a more ubiquitous side dish for holiday gatherings, and this recipe out of the John Folse Encyclopedia is a tough one to beat that doesn’t get too complex.
1 lb bacon
2 lbs green beans*
1⁄4 cup margarine
1⁄2 cup diced onions
1⁄4 cup diced red bell peppers
1⁄4 cup diced yellow bell peppers
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp worcestshire sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
*Note: I recommend using some fresh green beans if you can find them just to get a more consistent length. It can be hard to find bags of frozen beans that aren’t cut up, and shorter beans are harder to wrap.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You’re going to par-cook your bacon some, enough to render off some fat and make it pliable, but not too crispy, otherwise you won’t be able to wrap it. Depending on the size of your green beans, you may want to slice your bacon in half. I do NOT recommend using thick-cut bacon, as it tends to break when you try and wrap it.
I used the microwave for cooking the bacon in the interest of time. But if you want to use a skillet to take advantage of the bacon fat, go ahead.
2. In a skillet (the same one you used for the bacon, if available), melt the margarine over high heat and saute the onions and bell peppers until wilted. Add the tomato sauce, mustard and worcestshire, bring to a rolling boil.
3. Reduce heat to simmer and add the brown and white sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets too thick, add a little water. Taste and season with salt/pepper.
4. Roll the green beans in the bacon — use your best judgement on how many beans to use per strip of bacon. Secure with toothpicks if necessary.
5. Line the been bundles in a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with the sauce and bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until the bacon crisps up.