Friday, February 18, 2011

French Friday's with Dorie: Pancetta Green Beans

Valentine’s Day Supper ~ Part 2

After Christmas I bought Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan. Shortly thereafter I found the group French Fridays with Dorie. Each week we cook one recipe from the book. 

The second part of our Valentine’s Day supper was the pancetta green beans that are this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. (In last week's post I was confused and thought that we were posting the short ribs this week, thanks to DessertByCandy for pointing that out!) This simple recipe turned out to be kind of a pain to make.

Usually we make a trip into the heart of Minneapolis to do our grocery shopping, but this week we just did not feel like it. What that means is that I had to find green beans and pancetta in Coon Rapids. This was a bit of a daunting task.

You see it is winter in Minnesota and fresh beautiful green beans are a bit hard to find. I am sure we would have found some at the Wedge, but as I said we did not make the trip. I was left with what I could find at Cub. All I could find was some sad pre-bagged ones and some even sadder pay-by-the pound kind. So the pre-bagged ones it was. (To be fair I was at Grass Roots at one point, but at that point I thought we were going to go to the Wedge so I did not look at their green beans.)

Now pancetta was a different story. It was a problem because it is just not easy to find in this neck of the woods. I actually looked for that at Grass Roots and two meat stores. None of them had it. I finally found it at Cub. (One of the reasons I thought we were going to have to go to the Wedge was because I was having so much trouble finding pancetta.)  I am sort of wishing we had not found it, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The recipe was easy enough to make. Timing was an issue, but we will talk more about that next week. The green beans I bought were quite ugly. They were just this side of still edible. The pancetta did not render out fat like the recipe said to expect (and like I have seen pancetta do in the past). It was also very salty. Nevertheless I put it all together and it was tasty enough. I think I paid way too much money for a dish that should be a simple throw together. In the future I will make this when I find beautiful green beans and I have access to good pancetta. Though I am thinking bacon would be good too, maybe not as delicate. 

Pancetta Green Beans and Roasted Parsnips.
What else do you think is on that plate? Hmmmm....?


  1. I, too, was a bit concerned about the lack of fat that the fried pancetta was producing. So, I just left whatever fat that was produced in the pan. Then again, I was also halving the recipe. Great post! Can't wait to hear about your short ribs!

  2. Don't get discouraged, but look forward to next week's short ribs! And when winter will be past (hopefully as soon as possible), you will surely find fresh green beans again...

  3. Great greenbeans! I never thought I would put a post on my bog about Greenbeans!HA! It just shows how amazing Dorie is!!
    I used bacon and it was great!!

  4. The pancetta hunt was definitely a challenge! I am sure with fresh beans, this dish would shine even more. Sorry it didn't work out so well for you.

  5. Nana and I live outside of Philadelphia and even we were trying to decide which supermarket (there are a lot) might have the best green beans. We did ok but it is not the season. We had better access to the pancetta but I also was a bit surprised at how little fat was rendered, although I did like it that way. This was a hit at our house. Love the roasted parsnips. Have never eaten or cooked them but am very intrigued.