We are fortunate here in Bundaberg to be near the peanut growing districts of Kingaroy and Coalstone Lakes. A trip to Maryborough or further south takes us past the Peanut Van which is parked in the main street of Childers. So fresh peanuts are easily obtained.
My Pop and Dad had large gas rings and boilers made from cut down 44gal drum and various other large tins and drums for boiling crabs. These are perfect for the task of boiling peanuts. We'd go down to the beach and collect a few buckets of sea water. These were carried back to the house (near the beach of course) and poured into a large boiler. A sack of peanuts were added and the lot boiled until done - frequent testing was necessary.
You can make a salt solution that is much like sea water by mixing 30gms of salt per litre of water. Remember that the solution will become saltier as the water evaporates because the salt is left behind.
- 500g raw peanuts in their shells
- 2 litres of cold water
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- Rinse the nuts under water until all dust and dirt has been removed.
- Place the nuts, water, salt and vinegar into a large boiler or pot
- Bring to a rapid boil then reduce to a simmer
- Cover the pot and continue cooking for at least 90 minutes
- Check the nuts for saltiness and softness
- Add more water or salt to adjust the saltiness
- Continue boiling if necessary
- When done to your liking, remove from the heat and allow the nuts to cool in the water.
- Keep the nuts refrigerated if you are not eating them straight away.
If the shells are particularly dirty, you might need to soak the nuts overnight prior to cooking. Simply weigh the nuts down with a plate and something heavy on it. The nuts should remain submerged in the water.
You could use a pressure cooker to boil the nuts which would reduce the cooking time to about 45 minutes.