Green Henry

This recipe is a traditional Northern German recipe, made by my old friend Ariane Severin. I enjoyed it very much, and thought it a suitable case for a chocolate spin. Normally made in the summer, with freshly picked beans and under-ripe pears, serve it as a dish on its own or as a vegetable accompaniment to meat, fowl, game or sausages.

Ingredients

  • 500 g bacon or pancetta in a piece, cut into rough cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 kg freshly picked green beans (string or haricot)
  • 500 g small unripe pears, skins left on
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 25 g real dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • handful of chopped parsley

Method

Fry the bacon or pancetta in a little oil and butter until well cooked and then remove any excess fat from the pan. Remove the tops from beans, but there’s no need to take off the tails. Put the beans and the whole pears on top of the bacon, cover with 500 ml water and the wine and vinegar, but do not stir. Cover the pan with a lid and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the pears are cooked through.

To serve, arrange a pile of beans and bacon on each plate and top with a whole pear. Boil the sauce in the pan to reduce by about half, season with pepper and add the chocolate. Pour some of the sauce over each pear and sprinkle the beans with a grating of nutmeg and some parsley.

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