Juicy: gammon steak with butter beans and kale.

Smoky slabs of pork with puréed beans and fried green veg for a heartwarming night in

The recipe

Lightly season 2 thick slices of smoked gammon with black pepper. They need to be about 250-350g each in weight. Wash two handfuls of small kale leaves.

Drain 2 x 400g tins of butter beans and rinse them of their liquor. Tip the beans into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. I like to add a couple of bay leaves, too. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer for 7-8 minutes until they are thoroughly hot, then drain.

Warm a couple of tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, add the gammon steaks and fry for 6-7 minutes on each side until firm and the fat is pale gold. Set aside in a warm place but don’t wash the pan.Advertisement

Put the beans into the bowl of a food processor with a good handful of flat-leafed parsley, 4 tbsp of fruity olive oil, a little black pepper and a twist or two of sea salt, and whizz to a smooth cream. Return to the pan and keep warm.

Fry the kale in the pan in which you cooked the gammon, turning it over in the fat, over a high heat, for a minute, moving it around the pan so it doesn’t burn.

Divide the bean purée between 2 plates, add the gammon and then the hot kale and serve. Enough for 2.

The trick

To prevent the gammon steak curling as it cooks, score the edges with a knife or make small cuts into the fat with a pair of kitchen scissors.

The twist

The smoky notes of gammon are good with the creamy bean mash, but you could use frozen peas instead. Bring the peas to the boil, let them cook for four minutes, then drain and purée with a thick slice of butter and a little tarragon. Or use broad beans or edamame, the latter with a little coriander leaf.

Email Nigel at nigel.slater@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter@NigelSlater