Blindhuhn (blind hen), a national dish of Westphalia

(Recipe #28, page 57)

Beforehand boil a piece of ham or smoked bacon. Take green beans, which may be somewhat on the hard side, wash them thoroughly and cut them into small round pieces on a cutting board, a handful at a time; add the previously shelled white beans, cut a little more than half as many carrots as green beans into small dice. Rinse and add in batches to the ham, bringing to a boil each time. If available, add a few peeled and quartered pears; when the vegetables are almost done, add quartered potatoes with as much salt as needed, along with apples cut in pieces. Cook everything until tender.

Remove the ham, add some flour mixed with a little water, and stir thoroughly into the vegetables. Blind hen must be cooked quite smooth and juicy; the apples should only lend a somewhat tart flavor. If not enough apples are available or none at all, mix the flour with vinegar instead of water. If the beans are on the hard side, it is better to cook them in advance with a bit of soda for a good quarter of an hour.

Cooking time 2–2½ hours.

Serve with raw and boiled ham, pork belly.

Translated by David Green.

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