1 pound bag pink beans
6 cups water
4 teaspoons, or half-stick, butter
8 ounces brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch
Put beans in large pot. Add enough water to cover beans with a few inches to spare. Let soak overnight or at least 10 hours. The beans will be crunchy if not sufficiently soaked. (You do not want to wake up, twenty years later, in the middle of the night screaming, “Why? Why did I not soak the beans long enough?”)
Drain the water. (This gets rid of any dirt on the beans.) Add 6 cups water. Cook on medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans. Covering the pot with a lid also keeps water from evaporating.
Add butter. Cook on low-to-medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes to avoid burning. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans.
Add sugar. (If the brown sugar comes out of the box as a brick, saw it in half.) Cook on low-to-medium heat for 40 minutes. Stir every few minutes to avoid burning. Add more water if the water no longer covers the beans. (Engrave this advice in your memory.)
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar, teaspoon by teaspoon, according to taste. If needed, thicken beans by adding cornstarch.
1) This recipe comes from my grandmother Anna Erickson who was born in Murrum, Sweden, in 1889. I miss her.
2) Her family came to America through Boston, having heard of the hardships of Ellis Island in New York.
3) She grew up in Shickley, Nebraska. She later went back with my mother to visit. The whole town went to an outdoor movie, but was distracted by a rather lengthy meteor shower.
4) I grew up with this sort of Swedish food. Where the weird, modern Swedish pizzas came from I don’t know. It’s also strange that Bruna Bonër, or Brown Beans, uses pink beans. Wacky Swedes.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.