My little German kitchen no.1: Birnen, Bohnen, Speck

One of the perks of living on busy Bethnal Green Road (the not so trendy end of it) is all the fresh veg and fruit from the Bangladeshi green grocers and the East London market traders on a Saturday. I am not saying Bethnal Green market is a cool or glamorous one- no Broadway market or Columbia Road, but you can find useful things like leopard print leggings and plastic rugs…and lots of fresh fruit and veg.

So when I did my weekly Saturday veggie shopping at the market stalls I couldn’t help noticing the variety of lovely pears- I’m still learning about what’s in season, so for all of you who are equally clueless- in spring it’s rhubarb, asparagus, artichokes, elderflower and some pear types like the Bosc .

I found this pear picture on the internet and thought they looked like the 7 dwarfs (just that they are 8) and it’s pretty useful too….Bosc pears (above the 4th from the right) are medium/large sized pears with a long neck and a golden brown colour. They are available from September through to April- most pears are just available until Jan/Feb.The Bosc has a firm, dense, yet tender flesh with brown skin that hides a deliciously, sweet and spicy flavor. Their dense flesh makes it ideal for baking and cooking.
So there I was in my kitchen with a huge bowl full of pretty looking pears and no idea what to make for dinner- sweet isn’t really an option as I’m a savory person- so I remembered one  famous German dish:

Translated: PEARS, BEANS, BACON.
Birnen, Bohnen und Speck is a North German dish which is especially popular in the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Hamburg. In case someone asks.

Sounds simple and it isn’t really anymore difficult than its name:

For 4 people:

-dice 2 Bosc pears and put in a baking dish.

-Add about 1 kg (frozen) beans and 5 bacon rashers, some whole garlic gloves into the baking dish

– drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

–  leave in a pre-heated oven on about 210’C until the beans get crunchy and the bacon crispy.

Serve with a big dollop of buttery potato mash. The sweet/salty taste is just amazing.

…but be aware of the old German saying: Jedes Böhnchen gibt ein Tönchen 
(Every bean makes a sound…figure this one out for yourself.)



3 thoughts on “My little German kitchen no.1: Birnen, Bohnen, Speck

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