In high school, I went to Sweden for a year as an exchange student. Some of the experiences, along with the Swedish vocabulary, resonate in me to this day. One of the most memorable of experiences was the cuisine. Swedish brown beans is one of my favorite recipes of my time in Sweden.
I entered the Iron Foodie Challenge, but didn’t make the cut. I was given a consolation price by Marx Foods of five chosen ingredients, one of which was Swedish brown beans. The challenge was to come up with a recipe using those five ingredients. Here is my spicy-sweet twist on Swedish brown beans. Bon appétit!
Spicy-Sweet Swedish Brown Beans
1 cup Swedish brown beans 2 tsp Fleur de Sel 2 tsp Telliberry black pepper, coarsely ground 1 guajillo chile, rehydrated and coarsely chopped 3 tbsp coconut sugar 1 pork hock 3 cups water, add more as needed 1/2 cup of sliced onions 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Place beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight. Drain and add the beans, pork hock, salt, and pepper to Dutch oven. Add water and pork hock. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add chile, sugar, and sautéed onions. Turn over pork hock. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender. Mash some against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to give beans a creamy texture. Adjust seasonings to taste.