The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.


Boulestin’s peas with bacon, lettuce & onion.

Good frozen peas are superior to fresh ones except for an extremely short time at the height of their season and we like not only the convenience but also the spry taste of Bird’s Eye frozen pearl onions, so that is what we recommend in tis recipe. The original, from The Best of Boulstin, is a bit curious. It provides no proportion for the peas (“Take some peas and cook them in very little water….”) but gives precise amounts for everything else. Anywhere from two to four servings, depending.

  • Worcestershire-L-P-old-image2013.jpgabout 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter-
  • 2 slices diced Irish bacon (see the Notes)
  • 1 package good frozen baby peas, thawed
  • about ⅔ cup thawed pearl onions
  • 2 cups shredded Boston or iceberg lettuce
  • pinch or so of white pepper

  1. Melt the butter over medium heat and scatter the bacon into the pan.
  2. Once the bacon is rendered of fat but not browned, add the peas and onions to the pan with as little water as you dare.
  3. When the onions soften, usually in but a minute or two, stir the lettuce into the mix, checking to ensure that the pan is not too dry: Add a few drips of hot water if needed to prevent scorching.
  4. Check the seasoning. You should not need salt but may want a little white pepper.


-If you cannot get Irish bacon substitute a similar cured but not smoked product, like pancetta, lean salt pork, Louisiana pickled pork (actually the best of the bunch but difficult to find out of state).