Hamburg Manful Green Beans

“Let the main part of the diet be meat, to the exclusion of all else”

Walt Whitman, Manly Health and Training

In Hamburg we were taken out to Butcher’s steakhouse, a restaurant full of theatre, where each type of steak was described with a flourish whilst a massive slab of a sample which had been cling-filmed to a plate was used as a prop to underline the reality of the ever unbelievably huge slabs of meat being portrayed. I chose a ‘ladies’ steak – 200g of fillet, while my colleague on the other side of the table tucked manfully into a 600g T-Bone.

The meat was excellent, but I was more taken with the beans which went with them. They were, of course, very successfully seasoned by yet more meat (the bacon). This is my attempt to replicate them.

Recipe for manful green beans and bacon

For 3-4

  • 300g/10 oz fine green beans (washed and with ends chopped)
  • 4 tbsps fresh breadcrumbs – sour dough or ciabatta are good
  • 80g finely-chopped bacon, use good back smoked bacon
  • 1 banana shallot
  • Olive oil for frying
  1. Get a large pan of boiling, salted water going.
  2. Chop the shallot finely.
  3. Fry the bacon and shallot.
  4. Boil the green beans for about two minutes.
  5. Add the bread crumbs to the bacon and shallot.
  6. Drain the beans and run them under the coldest water you can get out of the tap to keep their bright green colour.
  7. Add them to the shallot/bacon mixture and continue to fry for about another four or five minutes.
This post is dedicated to Richard Blair.

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