Bean Stew With Bacon and Pears

© Markus Biedermann

In the past, the table was served whatever delicacies the season had to offer. From August onwards, when the pear trees were lush with fruit and the beans were just sprouting, it was high time in northern Germany, for example, for the beloved home cooking «Birnen, Bohnen und Speck» (pears, beans and bacon).

Even today, this classic dish tastes good in late summer and autumn. The pears are then really sweet and give the savoury dish that certain something. Those who don’t like bacon will enjoy the combination of beans and pears.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 800 g smoked bacon
  • 2 l water
  • 1 kg green beans, prepared, blanched
  • 4 firm pears, e.g. Qtee pears (a little unripe is ok)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 50 g frying butter
  • 1 sprig savory
  • salt, pepper
  • 600 g potatoes, firm boiled, peeled, cut in a pleasing way


  1. Weigh and prepare all the ingredients. Wash and prepare the beans.
  2. Cook the bacon in lightly salted water for 20 minutes. Finely chop the onions and garlic.
  3. Sweat the onions in the butter, add the beans and fill up with the bacon water. Put the bacon on top and add the potatoes (potatoes can also be cooked separately). Add savory. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cover and simmer at boiling point for 30 minutes. Add the unpeeled pear halves to the bacon and cook for another 15 minutes.
  4. Arrange the beans and potatoes in a pleasing way and garnish with pear halves. Cut the bacon and serve.

Tip: Use the broth for a vegetable soup.

Vegetarian variation: Pear garnish only or pears in combination with smoked tofu. 

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