Pears, Green Beans & Bacon

I am in Germany at the moment and my mum made one of my favorite German dishes, ‘Pears, Green Beans & Bacon’, it’s absolutely delicious. Traditionally it is eaten in the late summer , early autumn months, this northern German dish is like a very light stew and served with boiled potatoes , either cooked in the stock or separately. The combination of sweet and savory works really well and is almost a guarantee for guests to help themselves to an extra serving.

Before we start, here some nutritional highlights of the ingredients: Green beans are a rich source of vitamin K , manganese, vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber and vitamin B2. Pears are super rich in phytonutrients and are a good source of fiber, copper , vitamin C and vitamin K.

As for the bacon, I am an advocate of eating very little to no meat for a number of reasons, animal welfare and environment protection being the first two in line, followed by health impacts.  Please try and get organic bacon from local farmers. The meat will not be loaded with chemicals and the animal will have had a happier life. The bacon does add the distinct flavor to this dish and has some goodness, like most animal products it contains vitamin B12,  which is only found in trace amounts, if at all in some plant based foods.

This is my mums recipe, so all credit goes to her !

Enjoy !

Pears, Green Beans & Bacon – serves   4

375 g smoked organic bacon ( if you can get a proper piece of bacon from the butchers great, if not normal smoked bacon will do too)

750 g green beans ( fresh or frozen)

500 g waxy potatoes ( Charlotte, Maris Peer or Jersey Royals)

500 g pears ( Williams work really great or any other will do too, make sure they are not too ripe)

1-2  cubes or  2-4 table spoons of vegetable stock

750 ml water

salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of brown sugar

Fresh parsley

Method: Heat water and stock in a pot and bring to boil.  Cut bacon into 2cm thick slices or into  streaks, if you couldn’t get a hold of a cut from the butchers and add to the stock. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until tender. During the cooking process, add the pears for 15 minutes, then take them out and set them aside. Add the pealed potatoes and cook in the stock, cover with a lid to stop the stock from reducing too much, add stock if necessary. The starch in the potatoes will  thicken the stock. Season with pepper and a bit of sugar before adding the green beans towards the end, they only need to cook for 5-7 minutes , so they keep their goodness. Season with salt at the very end. Be careful as the bacon and stock are already quite salty and you therefore might only need little to no salt .  Serve topped with fresh parsley.