Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (Pears, Beans and Bacon)

Pears, Beans and Bacon is an interesting dish from northern germany.

There are some variations of it, but all recipes include, you won't guess it, pears, beans and bacon.

Usually it is cooked in August and September, when the ingredients, pears and beans, are available in the garden or at a market.

The needed beans are French Beans, the bacon is usually smoked bacon, and the pears are a little bit special, since you can't eat them, when they are not cooked.

They are small, hard and not so sweet as usual pears are, called cooking pears.

If you're not living in northern germany, you can try to get some small, hard and not too sweet pears as a replacement. The sweet and big ones you can buy everywhere aren't a good replacement, because they will become too soft after cooking and are too sweet.

You can use the bacon as a hole piece or cut it into pieces before cooking it.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

800g French Beans
6-8 pears
400-500g bacon
500-600g potatos
some savory
water (or broth)
if wanted, pepper


Put the bacon in the pot, add water (or broth) until the bacon is well covered and cook it for 25-30 minutes.

Clean and wash the beans and cut them into not too small sections. Something like the size you can still eat with a table spoon.

Remove the flower from the pears, but not the stalks, and wash them.

When the beacon is cooked, after 30 minutes, add the beans and the savory and put the pears on top and let it cook for another 20-30 minutes.

If there is not enough water left in the pot, add some, that at least the bacon and the beans + savory are covered.

Meanwhile clean and peal the potatos and cook them separately.

After cooking that whole thing for at least 50-60 minutes in total (30 mins for the bacon, 20-30 mins with the beans and pears), you can add some flour, if the stew is too liquid for your taste. Just mix some flour with water, add it and let it boil a little bit.

So, when everything is cooked, serve.

First, the potatos, put them on the plate and cut them into pieces. Then every person gets one or two pears, depending on how many you have cooked, then add the beans, bacon and liquid.

A fresh beer goes well with this dish :)


Add some beef or mutton, cut into pieces.

Add some salt, if the bacon itself is not salty enough.

Don't use savory but add chopped parsley before serving.

Use broth instead of water or add some broth to the water.

Add some pepper.

What you should not do is to make it too spicy or you won't be able to taste the fine taste of the bacon, pears and beans.

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