"Leather Britches"

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Miss Maggie, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. Miss Maggie

    Miss Maggie

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    Does anyone know the right way to cook "leather britches."

    They're dried green beans, often strung on a heavy sewing cord or string and hung until both pods and beans are dried. Our family used to make them every summer and then have them for winter use. I remember how to do the drying part, but am not sure about the cooking once they are ready to be used. I'm wondering if they need to be soaked in water before cooking begins?
     
  2. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

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    Maggie, I don't want to offend you but... could you use a couple bucks?

    ;e
     

  3. Miss Maggie

    Miss Maggie

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    Thanks for the thought, Mild Bill, but these dried beans were a real treat when I was growing up. Now, I still love to get my hands on a mess of them every once in a while. I remember the hours of helping Mama and Daddy string green beans to dry back when I was a young’un. After we’d snipped off the ends and removed the strings, we’d sew them onto heavy cord and hang them behind the wood stove to dry until they turned a beautiful golden tan and rattled.

    Anytime Mama fixed these dried green beans we called snap beans, (most people call them leather britches), was a special treat. Mama’s long dead and those times are gone, but even today, Daddy strings and dries and cooks enough leather britches for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.
     
  4. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

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    In a cookbook by Joseph E. Dabney named SMOKEHOUSE HAM, SPOON BREAD,& SCUPPERNONG WINE -The Folklore and the Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking)page 307 is Mountain Favorites
    Leather-britches and other Delectable Beans.

    Rilla Chastain Nelson (from north Georgia) says “ I break them up and try to get all the strings off of’em and I sop ‘ em in boiling water for an hour and then put them in (a pot) and cook em. Usually you put meat with ‘em either fat back or ham bone. You have to cook ‘em a long time, though to make ‘em good

    The method of drying and the name came from the Indians.

    The other method is to soak over night.

    After they have cooked a time, taste for salt.
     
  5. Miss Maggie

    Miss Maggie

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    Thanks, Lethal tupperwa.

    I appreciate the information. That sounds like a fascinating book.

    I cooked the beans last night. Someone else had suggested soaking them twelve hours, washing them, soaking four more hours, washing again, and then soaking one more hour before cooking. That's what I did. Then I tossed a big ham bone in them and cooked them for hours. They turned out delicious. Even my daughter, who usually will not even consider eating dried beans such as pintos, white beans, peas and the like, ate a large share of them.

    The recipe in your cookbook without all that soaking sounds far simpler. Next time I'll try it like that.
     
  6. pizzaaguy

    pizzaaguy

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    Shucky Beans aka Leather Britches

    http://www.mountain-breeze.com/kitchen/recipes/28.html

    Wash about 1 cups of dried green beans.
    Place them in a pan with 4 cups of water.
    Let stand overnight.
    Next day, pour off the water in which the beans were soaked and rinse them well.
    Put the beans into a large pot with a close fitting lid.
    Add 3/4 teaspoon salt. 3 cups of water, and a 2 inch square of salt pork. (can use bacon grease)
    Cook over medium heat for about 3 hours, adding more water if need.
    Dried beans swell as they soak, what you think is just a little turns out to be a lot when cooked.
     
  7. Miss Maggie

    Miss Maggie

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    Thanks, for sending the link to this site, Pizzaguy.

    I checked out some of the recipes and just reading them is enough to make me want to eat. I'm sure I'll be going there again.