Shuck Beans

Mar
8

I am not sure if this should be submitted under recipe requests or in a forum, but since it is “food” related – I am submitting it here. My grandmother used to dry half runner green beans in a feed sack in her pantry. My family called them “Shuck” Beans, and it only took a handful to create a pot of beans and I remember they had a distinctive almost smoky kind of flavor. I am wondering if anyone has ever heard of this before – she hailed from Berea, KY – so not sure if it’s a regional thing. If so – let me know what you remember, and how they are prepared. Thanks – Kathleen




Comments

  1. Pete says:

    Could they perhaps have been “leather britches/breeches” with the smoky flavor coming from the cooking process, maybe from smoked hocks or some such?

    • katpecosa1 says:

      Pete – I “googled”.. (why I never thought of that before I don’t know)! They are called Leather Britches as well. My grandmother always made them with Jowl bacon – and I just remember them having a unique flavor all their own, that I have never tasted since. They were wonderful with cornbread!
      It appears you dry them either by stringing them like you would peppers (or break them up and put them in a burlap sack like Grandma) – then when you get ready to cook them you soak them over night, and then cook them.

  2. Marilyn Bartoes says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    “Shuck beans” or “leather britches” can be made using any type of green, or wax, bean – often referred to as “pole beans”, but they can be “bush” style, too. The only real difference in these beans is how they grow, i.e. up a pole or other support, or in rows. Any variety, such as “Tenderfoot” or “Kentucky Wonder” can be used, and there are now stringless varieties that remove the de-stringing step for you. Anyway, these “snap” beans are picked when fresh and tender, then a darning needle strung with a light to medium line (such as kite string)is put through the middle of each bean (so that there is bean hanging freely above and below the line. Be sure to make a knot in the string on the outside of the first and last beans! Then these strings of beans get hung up in a dry and fairly clean place (many folks use their kitchen, but an attic or laundry room or some unused room will work) until the pods dry out. They can then be put into a burlap sack whole, or “shucked” and only the beans are saved, to be used as any other dried bean (it takes a few of these strings to make a pot of beans). Hope this helps and that you are able to grow your own beans for this! Marilyn

  3. TeaCup says:

    There’s a variety of bean that traditional in succotash here in New England; we sold them briefly every year at the farmstand where I worked. I don’t remember the name of the variety, but while trying to find THAT I found this recipe that sounds exactly like what you describe above. Here:
    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1752,148163-246203,00.html

    The only other reference I found to the bean I was looking for was as a cranberry bean. It’s a pole bean, tall, and meatier than a traditional green bean, but it is NOT a lima.

    Judi

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