Soak in cold water for twelve or even twenty-four hours, then put them into boiling water with a little salt and two minced shallots. Cook till tender, but not mashed. They will take from two to two and a half hours, and must be watched. A bunch of herbs and a bacon bone, or a little raw bacon, greatly improve the flavour, but can easily be omitted. Before dishing up, toss them in a little butter and serve very hot. Thin English melted butter with chopped parsley can be used as a change.