This is one of the recipes I found in a recent vintage recipe box find. The recipe box dates back to the 1930’s or 40’s and the recipe is a very yellowed scrap of newspaper with no date, but based on the World War II Russian newspapers I found used as wall insulation of one of our old houses I’d say this scrap is also that old!
The Swedish brown bean is a relatively small pale brownish colored bean known for being extremely tender with a nutty flavor that holds together well, even through extended cooking.
SWEET AND SOUR BROWN BEANS
2 cups Swedish Brown Beans
4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 brown sugar or molasses (or half of each 😀 )
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar for more flavor)
- Wash beans.
- Cover with water and let stand overnight OR bring beans and water to a SLOW boil, boiling for 2 minutes. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
- Add salt, recover and bring to a simmer for 2 hours or until tender and most of the water has cooked away. You may need to add a bit more water as they simmer.
- Stir in brown sugar, molasses and vinegar and SLOW simmer uncovered 15 minutes more.
If Swedish brown beans are hard to find in your area, pinto beans make an adequate stand-in for this Scandinavian native bean.