Beans of all kinds are popular in the German kitchen. Used in “Eintöpfe” or stews, you do not often find them in restaurants, but they are used in home cooking quite a lot. Green beans are mixed with fresh or dried, shelled beans to make a brightly colored stew that is a real comfort food.
- 12 oz. green beans (frozen or fresh)
- 16 oz. shelled fava beans (fresh or canned- you can substitute Lima beans)
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 16 oz. "Kasseler" (pickled, smoked pork loin, may substitute ham)
- 2 medium onions (cut lengthwise into strips)
- 16 oz. potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 1-quart broth (your choice)
- 16 oz. carrots (sliced on the diagonal)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup parsley (chopped, fresh)
- Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
- 1 tsp. dried savory (and/or marjoram)
- Salt (to taste)
If fresh beans are used, clean them and steam them for 15 minutes or until done. Canned beans should be drained and rinsed under running water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan. Brown the “Kasseler” or ham on all sides. Remove from the pan, add the onions and brown.
Add the potatoes and brown for several minutes, then add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add half the parsley, ground pepper to taste and the dried herb(s).
Cook onions and potatoes in broth for 5 minutes, then add the carrots and cook until the vegetables are almost done.
Add the beans and the meat, continue to simmer until everything is heated through and as done as you like it. You may want to thicken the broth with a mixture of potato starch and water (1 to 2 tablespoons starch) or flour and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly after adding. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Alternatively, you can mash some of the potato chunks (or cook a potato separately and mash it) to thicken the sauce.
Sprinkle with the rest of the parsley before serving.
Lemon juice or white vinegar is often added to bean stews at the table to enhance the flavor.