Pork and Beans

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

This is one of the oldest known dishes in British cooking, being for centuries the farmworker’s mainstay during the winter months. He would have a barrel of salted or pickled pork and a barrel of dried beans. Originally, the two ingredients were boiled separately, probably because of the excessive saltiness of the meat. Parsley sauce was and is the traditional accompaniment.


  • 2-3 lb (1–1.5 kg) pickled shoulder of pork
  • 8 oz (250 g) dried butter beans
  • 2 oz (50 g) carrots, sliced
  • 4 oz (125 g) onions, sliced
  • 4 oz (125 g) turnips, sliced
  • 10 peppercorns


Soak the pork for 8 hours in cold water. Soak the beans separately for 6 hours in cold water. Drain both and rinse well.

Put the pork in a pan with the carrots, onions and turnips and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, add the peppercorns and put the lid on the pan. Simmer for 2 to 2½ hours, allowing 25 to 30 minutes per lb (500 g), and add the beans for the last 50 minutes of the cooking time.

Lift out the pork, carve and arrange on a dish. Serve the beans separately, dressed with parsley sauce made from the strained cooking liquid (see the recipe).