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

This is a classic German dish, that uses non-ripe pears, and simmer them whole in a pot with a good stock simmered with speck,(german bacon) and then add some potatoes and green beans, I substituted a pork shank and streaky American bacon with this.

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1 lb approx. Speck, or Ham Shank .

4 strips bacon (optional)
2 medium large waxy potatoes ( Like Red skin or Yukon)
2 Pears
1 lb green beans, washed and stemmed
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
4 Bay Leaves

3 tablespoons chopped parsley ( reserve a bit for garnish)

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1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven add 8 cups of water and the ham Shank, onion and Bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook covered or uncovered for 2 hours or until the meat is starting to pull away from the bones. a

2. Add the potatoes and the pears whole and cook for 20 minutes, you can pull out a pear and potato to check for doneness. You don't want them to fall apart but just be close to tender.

3. Add the green beans and the parsley and cook for 15 minutes or until the beans are tender. Then turn off the pot and pull from the stove.

4. Cut the bacon into chunks and fry in a sauce pan until crisp.

5. Pull out the potatoes, pears and ham shank. Cut the shank into 4 portions and plate. Then cut the potato in quarters and the pear in half and place next to each other, and then spoon some green beans on top of them. Sprinkle some of the chunks of bacon and ladle a bit of the stock over all. Top with chopped parsley and serve with a nice Rye bread, or crusty roll.

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Last updated June 16, 2011