Pic of Guernsey bean jar

Guernsey bean jar

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Meat mains

Guernsey bean jar

Main Serves 4 4h
This is a peasant dish from the Channel Islands, traditionally made with pork trotters or beef shin – certainly go ahead and use these if you have them. It depends on slow cooking for its success. It's traditionally eaten with bread and butter, but it's also good with mash, or eaten on its own.

Cook's notes

Vegetarian version: Omit the pork and add extra beans and use veg stock Tastes even better the next day...


  • 500g belly pork (with no rind), cut into small pieces
  • 4 potatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 small swede, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2x400g tin butter beans
  • 1 tsp cornflour mixed with water to thicken at the end of cooking
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp of suet
  • fresh or dried herbs
  • water to thicken
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 3h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Add the pork, vegetables, bay leaves, butter beans, and stock to a large casserole dish or slow cooker, make sure the veg and pork are covered with the stock, add more if necessary. Season, and cook in a slow cooker for most of the day on low.
  • Step 2

    To make the dumplings, mix the flour and suet in a large bowl. Season and stir in the herbs. Gradually add just enough cold water to make a dough with your hands. Roll into 8 similar sized balls.
  • Step 3

    Add the dumplings to the casserole for the last 15-20 minutes, then add cornflour to thicken for a few minutes at the end, and salt to taste.
  • Step 4

    If using a conventional oven cook it at about 160°C/Gas 3, for a few hours, and add dumplings and cornflour as before.
  • Step 5

    Traditionally served with bread and butter, but also good with mash, or just on its own.

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