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.
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
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).
© 1988 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.