From Scratch- Green Bean Casserole
A bunch of green beans- about 7 cups
left over bacon grease
1 bay leaf
a lot of mushrooms- 5 cups or so
1/2 large onion finely diced
1 container of heavy cream preferably not pasteurized, but I haven't been able to get any of that yet.
1/4 cup flour - I used whole wheat
3 tbsp butter
Crunchy Onion Topping:
2 onions - I used a sweet yellow onion
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
3 tbsp butter + more if needed
Cut the tips off your greenbeans and then cut them in halves or thirds. Put them in a large skillet and cover with water. Add plenty of sea salt, pepper, bay leaf, smashed garlic clove and bacon grease. Bring to a boil, reduce, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes taste and re-season as necessary. WHAT! Yes, you heard me. I'm not making a "Fresh" greenbean dish here... I'm mimicking greenbeans from a can and greenbeans from a can are much softer than beans that have been blanched for 5 minutes. No, they aren't vivid and pretty green but they are GOOD! Plus, this is how my Mema makes greenbeans and she's been doing it that way for years. Drain the greenbeans and set them aside.
To make the mushroom sauce, chop onion very small and place it in a large skillet with melted butter. Chop mushrooms as small as you like. Since I was again, mimicking the canned sauce, I chopped them fine since the canned stuff almost doesn't even hint at mushroom.... strange, right? Add the mushrooms to the softened, translucent onions and cook until they have cooked down quite a bit. Add more butter if the skillet is dry. Sprinkle flour across mushrooms and stir until there is no dry flour left. Pour in cream and bring to a boil to thicken.
Butter a baking dish, I used an oval one so I'm not sure what size. Pour the cooked green beans in it and top with the sauce. Stir them together. You could also mix them in the skillet and then pour in the baking dish, whatever is easiest. Set aside. Be sure to scrape the skillet and lick the spoon.... oh yeah, it's that good.
To make the topping, pre-heat oven to 475. Slice 2 onions (they cook down A LOT) into thin slices and place in a ziplock bag. Add arrowroot and seasoning. Toss until coated very well. Add melted butter and mix again. On a large cookie sheet that has been greased, lay out onions in a very thin layer. Use two sheets if needed. (I should have used two!) Place in the hot oven and stir every 8 or so minutes for about 30 minutes until they start to crisp up and turn brown. Top casserole and serve. If you are doing it the night before, do not top the onions or they will get soggy. If you can save the onions to the next day, do that. If not, store them in a bag with a paper towel and recrisp them in the oven for a little bit before topping the casserole. Enjoy!!!