put the bacon with the salt into 3/4l water and bring to a boil, leaving to cook covered on medium heat for 30 minute add pears and onion and leave to cook for another 10 minute.
add beans and leave to cook for another 30 minute.
take out the bacon and cut into small pieces.
salt and pepper to taste and add the bacon strips.
serve over boiled potatoes.
from original poster:
This is a very typical northern German dish that will be served end of summer, early fall. The pears used in this recipe are not the juicy pears, that you would buy normally, but rather a small type which remains it's shape when being cooked. On markets they are usually sold as cooking pears and not recommended to eat raw as they are a bit sour. This is how it is cooked in my family for generations. I'm sure other families have their own recipes, but for a reason unknown to me, whenever my mum made it, she reported on her return from the butcher's who else was making it the same day (usually 5 or 6 other families using the same butcher). It is a dish, though comparatively cheap, eaten by rich and poor alike. It is served with boiled potatoes.