The following recipe was inspired by a Thanksgiving side dish, made by my sister-in-law, which received rave reviews from young and old alike. I've taken the liberty of adding my own zesty personal touch in the form of roasted garlic and balsamic vinegar. I also chose to replace the bacon she used in her recipe with hog jowls -- call them by their Italian name "guanciale" if you prefer the more sophisticated-sounding name for this lowly but magnificently flavorful part of the pig. If you just can't bring yourself to eat the cheeks of a pig instead of its belly -- or if you simply don't have guanciale but do have bacon -- by all means use bacon instead. I find that the guanciale imparts a smokier, meatier and more complex flavor than bacon, but be aware that it also adds to the total fat because hog jowls tend to be fattier than bacon.
One last note: You can multiply this recipe to make more servings, you can adjust all the ingredient amounts to suit your taste, and any leftovers can be refrigerated for reheating and enjoying over the next day or two.
1 lb French beans, washed, trimmed & cut in half
1/4 lb smoked hog jowl (guanciale), cut into approx. 1" chunks
2 to 3 Tbs chopped roasted garlic cloves
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste (I didn't use, but you may wish to)
Optional chopped parsley for garnish
|Frying smoked hog jowl chunks|
Add beans and saute, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes or until bright green.
Add garlic & balsamic vinegar and cook, stirring regularly, for several minutes until beans are almost done and the vinegar has reduced down somewhat (you may want to lower the heat a little if the beans are cooking too quickly).
Add the cheese and cook, stirring regularly, until cheese melts a bit and the beans are done to your desired tenderness. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper if desired. Serve hot, garnished with parsley if desired.
Carolina Sauce Company
PS: These string beans are a delicious side dish to serve as part of your Christmas or New Year's dinner. For more holiday recipes and cooking tips, visit our Christmas & New Year's Recipes board on Pinterest.