One Step Tamale Pie – Casserole

Casserole comfort food.

1 pound ground meat (beef)|
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Saute in skillet until onions are clear and meat is thoroughly cooked.

2 – 8 oz cans seasoned tomato sauce
-12 oz can corn, drained skillet
1/2 cup pitted olives, sliced
Few dashes hot pepper sauce
2 – 2 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt

Add above to skillet.

1 cup chicken broth
2 eggs slightly beaten
3/4 cup cornmeal

Blend in a bowl until smooth then add to skillet & cook for a few minutes.

Cook in a baking dish in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Add cheese, if desired, in the last ten minutes.

Lisa’s Adaptations:

Same way of prepping and cooking – slightly different ingredients

1 pound ground elk meat
1 chipotle pepper
1 – 12 bag frozen peas, corn & green beans, thawed
1 large onion, chopped
1 entire bulb of garlic, chopped
two pinches salt
6 shakes chili powder

Saute in skillet until onion and meat are cooked.

To pan, add

1 cup polenta
1 – 6 oz can green olives with juice ( I like them whole)
1 – 7 0z can Embasa Salsa Casera
1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
2 tblsp. oregano
1 tsp. Better than Boullion Chicken Base (water from olives adds more salt and dilutes chicken base)
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Mix thoroughly & cook for a few minutes.

Cook in a baking dish in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Add 1 lb of shredded cheddar cheese, if desired, in the last ten minutes.

 

 

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Polish Stuffed Cabbage

cabbage-roll-makingMeat Stuffing

1 1/2 – 2 cups Panko or Italian bread crumbs – soak in water then drain with a strainer (press firmly to remove as much water as possible).

1 lb. ground pork

1 lb. ground beef

1 lg. yellow onion chopped

1 egg

salt and pepper

Mix together like a meatloaf.

*Stop here if you prefer mild meat stuffing.

 

Since my tastes run more toward zippy, I also add;

juice from one lemon

1 tsp. Hungarian paprika

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. dill

1 full pkg. of fatty bacon – cooked until drippings are obtainable

2 –  14.5 oz cans chicken broth

Cabbage Leaf Stuffing

1 large head cabbage with the core cut out.

Fill a large soup pot with water, add salt and boil.

Place the entire head of cabbage into the boiling water. Watch for the leaves to begin to separate.  Remove the leaves when they become soft or take the head out of the water, put it in a strainer, and peel the leaves.

The leaves are ready when they are translucent and soft. Continue boiling and leaf peeling until the entire cabbage is disassembled.

On a cutting board, spread a leaf out as flat as possible. Cut a “V” to remove the thickest parts.

Cut a small palm-sized portion of the leaf. Hold it in your hand and place 1 tablespoon of the meat stuffing on it. Turning it over onto the larger leaf, fold the leaf around the palm-sized portion. *The goal is to have no spaces where the meat squeezes out.

Secure with a toothpick.

Continue stuffing leaves until they’ve all been used.

Cook the Cabbage Rolls

In a large soup pot, bring 1 can of chicken broth + some water to a simmer.  Add 3 tblsp. of bacon fat.

Place stuffed cabbage rolls into the bottom of the pot in a single layer, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove cooked rolls, add another batch to the pot to cook for 30 minutes. Add more water / broth as needed.

*The brand of bacon that I had didn’t yield much fat, so I added three full strips of bacon to the chicken broth in the pot.

Gravy

Add 1 can of chicken broth to the remainder of the bacon grease. Heat till warm.

*I had more meat stuffing than the cabbage leaves would hold, so I fried it up and added it to the gravy.

Blend a couple of tablespoons of flower with water and slowly add to broth mixture, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.

Storage

Place cabbage rolls in a casserole dish and cover with gravy. Heat them at 350 degrees in the oven for 45-50 minutes if you have a large group to feed or place the dish in the refrigerator and eat them a couple at a time.

with-vinegar-and-creme-fresh2

 

Being a vinegar fan, I liberally douse my stuffed cabbage rolls with red wine vinegar. London Malt vinegar is good too as is rice vinegar – though milder. Top it off with Crème Fraîche, plain yogurt or sour cream.

Windus Macaroni Casserole

grandma-windus-reciep

Lisa’s modified version of Windus Macaroni Casserole made with white rice angel hair pasta. *A short style pasta – on the bottom layer – is the optimal way to prepare this hearty one dish meal.

1 lb ground beef

1 whole onion – chopped

1 – bulb garlic – cloves peeled & chopped

3 tblsp. Italian herbs

2 –  16 oz cans chopped tomatoes (*drained or with liquid – see notes below)

4 – 6 cups cups macaroni (partially cooked) – enough to fill whatever sized baking dish you have

Pour macaroni into greased / sprayed casserole dish. Top with remaining ingredients and back uncovered at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes.

 

Lisa’s additions:

2 fresh zucchinis thinly sliced

one bunch of fresh, chopped parsley

juice from one lemon

pinch of salt

Notes: For the version that I prepared (photographed above), I used an entire 8.8 oz package of white rice angel hair pasta. (This is what I had on hand.)  It worked, but with the added zucchini, a short pasta would have been better to soak up the extra juice. Pasta on the bottom, as the recipe instructs, is the right way to go. short-pasta

*Include the juice from the chopped tomatoes or drain it depending on how much liquid you need to make this dish moist.

 

Upon receipt of the recipe, I noticed several things. There was only an ingredients list – no measurement amounts, and like the other family recipe collections that I’ve studied, casserole cooking used to be popular.  The lack of measurements told me that Virginia was a cook, like my Grandma, who could get the proportions right by ‘feel’ or eyeballing it. She had a lot of mouths to feed and casseroles were an economical way to satisfy it.

Casseroles in the US became popular after World War II, when the Campbell’s Soup Company distributed a booklet entitled Helps for the Hostess, published in 1916. Recipes from this book became staple meals in Baby Boomer homes. Click on this link to learn more about the history of condensed soup and its impact on American culture.

 

 

margaret-windus

 

This recipe is from the Adrian (Bud) Schmidt collection. (Betty Wrysinski’s younger brother.) It was passed down through the family from Margaret Windus, maternal grandmother to Mary Schmidt Schwaller. Margaret was a neighbor to Betty’s mother, Lillian Schmidt.

 

 

Slumgullion Stew – A Historical Mystery

Stew and the making of it has been going on for centuries.  Ancient Greeks (8th – 4th centuries BC) put ingredients into a stomach-like (paunch) of an animal and cooked it over an open fire.

Miriam Webster

slum·gul·lion    noun \ˈsləm-ˌgəl-yən, ˌsləm-ˈ\
Definition of SLUMGULLION
:  a meat stew
Origin of SLUMGULLION
perhaps from slum slime + English dialect gullion mud, cesspool

 

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

National Archaeological Museum in Athens

A variety of cultures lay clam to the name ‘Slumgullion’; English, Irish, Pirates, Pioneers and many more. Some folks have negative associations with it (Ancestral Dish?)‘Slumgullion’ denoted fish offal of any kind. It also has meant “the watery refuse, mixed with blood and oil, which drains from blubber.  Later, ‘slumgullion’ was the name for the muddy deposits at a mining sluice. And finally, it came to mean “a kind of watery hash or stew.

 

One of the earliest mentions of Slumgullion in literature comes from Mark Twain’s book “Roughing It” (1872) where it was a vile drink served at a roadside way station.

 

In 2013,  a visiting friend from the United Kingdom (Paul W.) described an ‘If It’s Stew’ that his mom makes. “Basically, if it’s in the refrigerator, it goes into the mix,” he said.

 

By all accounts, Slumgullion Stew falls into the category of a ‘clean-out-the-refrigerator,’ ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’  type of meal.

 

I think that there is no reason that the dish cannot be delicious and delightful as long as the preparer has a good sense about flavor, texture and spice combinations.

 

 

slumgullion mystery

 

Redfern Slumgullion Stew

1 large onion, peeled & chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
1 medium sized yellow beet, peeled & chopped
1 large turnip, peeled & chopped
4 medium sized yellow potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 can tomato paste
4 slices bacon – cut into small bits
4 tblsp. olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 pkg. Saag’s Asiago Fennel Chicken Sausage – cut into bite sized slices
salt & pepper to taste

Start with olive oil and uncooked bacon bits in a pot. Heat on medium heat until bacon starts to release it’s fat. Add all peeled & chopped vegetables. Saute till lightly browned.

Add tomato paste and chicken broth. Simmer for several hours until vegetables are done.

About 20 minutes before serving, add sliced Asiago Fennel Chicken Sausage and salt & pepper.

Serve with Baking Powder Biscuits.

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Historical research for Slumgullion Stew came about as part of a fiction series that I wrote (Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone).

Haylee is an illustrated, paranormal, adventure. A young woman struggles to understand and control an unusual power that causes her to steal something that should never be stolen.

In Haylee The Traveler (book #3 of the trilogy) , the main character is suddenly transported to San Francisco in 1849 where she directed to find another Traveler who carries a stone with answers to some of her problems.

Excerpt:

Maybel and Song from the Bella Union on Portsmouth Square. [ Fictional characters from the book Haylee: The Traveler, by Lisa Redfern ]

Maybel and Song from the Bella Union on Portsmouth Square. [ Fictional characters from the book Haylee: The Traveler, by Lisa Redfern ]

Stepping into the dimly lit interior, Haylee was assaulted by the smell of cigar smoke and cheap perfume. Underneath those layers of smells was the cloying scent of unwashed bodies.

Maybel led them through the room, winding between gaming tables crowded with men. A few women served drinks, one woman led a man up a set of stairs, and several more leaned over the balustrade at the top, wearing…not much at all. Haylee’s cheeks flamed.

Focusing her attention away from those disturbing sights, she watched the layers of clothing sway back and forth over Maybel’s behind. Haylee thought that the dress must be hot, heavy, and uncomfortable. She was glad to be wearing men’s clothes.

People glanced curiously at Homer as he clomped along in the rear. Moving through a set of curtains, they were led into a small room with only a few tables, one of which was occupied by a tall, thin man in formal attire and a woman dressed similarly to Maybel. The hostess’s eyes met the other woman’s. An imperceptible nod communicated across the space between the two. Maybel seated Haylee and Homer farthest from the couple.

A hearty Slumgullion Stew with biscuits arrived. It smelled wonderful! Haylee would have liked nothing more than to shovel it down. But she noticed that the woman at the other table, although chatting and interacting with her partner, kept sending quick glances in their direction.  The woman looked familiar but Haylee could not place where she could have seen her before. It made her nervous.

Eating slowly, pausing to put spoons of thick broth to Homer’s lips, Haylee surreptitiously studied the other woman as well. Dressed in a ruffled, deep purple gown, dark hair swept up on her head revealed clear olive skin. Tendrils that escaped confinement snaked their way along her graceful neck.

Her table partner leaned in close to whisper in her ear. She laughed, placing her hand on his cheek. He moved his head down to nuzzle her neck. Letting her head fall back, her eyes met Haylee’s.

Haylee could feel the burn of embarrassment scorching her face.

The man stood, making a curt bow to the woman as he took his leave. “Until next time, Martina.”

 

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More about Slumgullion Stew – History & Culture

Grim to the last drop. – Word Dective

In the 1880s, “slumgullion” was apparently also used to mean the watery refuse from processing whale blubber as well as the muddy sludge created by mining operations. 

The late Eric Partridge, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, sees the “slum” as being a variant on “slob.” A related word, “slubberdegullion,” meaning “a slobbering or dirty fellow.”

So the root sense of “slumgullion” appears to boil down to “unappetizing liquid concoction.”

The Lost Slumgullions of English – New York Times Opinion by Kate Manning

– Informative and entertaining piece about lost words in vernacular.

Slumgullion Fest – East Bay Express (Oakland, CA) – Pirate Food

 

 

A few more interesting Slumgullion recipes from Cooks.com

 

MOOSE SLUMGULLION
In large skillet or kettle
brown 1 1/2-2 pound mooseburger and
one large minced onion,
seasoned with a good sized slug of
garlic salt and
enough salt and pepper to suit.

When meat is nicely browned,
add a #2 1/2 can of tomatoes or tomato puree.

Simmer about an hour and add one package of previously cooked spaghetti or noodles. Season to taste and serve.

 

GRAMMA’S SLUMGULLION (TAMALE PIE)
Brown:
1 lg. lean ground beef, drain grease
Add:
1 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic

Cook 5 minutes – until onions are translucent.Add:
1 (16 oz.) can “Mexican” tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can cream style corn
1 (16 oz.) can pitted olives, drained
3/4 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Bake in casserole dish 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with grated Cheddar cheese and bake 5 minutes.
SLUMGULLION
Boil rice until tender, not mushy. Drain and shake-up fluffy.
In meantime, slowly fry plenty of bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. Use fat to saute
finely sliced cabbage, onions, and celery until tender. Drain if necessary.
Make white sauce; add bacon to sauce and pour over combined rice and cabbage mixture. Stir thoroughly and add pepper – no salt.
SLUMGULLION
1 1/2 c. potatoes, sliced thin
1 1/2 c. cabbage, sliced thin
1 c. diced onion
1 1/2 c. flour
1 lg. egg
Salt & pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 qt. water

In large skillet, cook potatoes, cabbage, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until tender. Add butter and cook until well-seasoned. Water may need to be added.In a small bowl, mix egg and flour with a fork. Drop onto boiling vegetables a forkful at a time. Cook about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Squash (Pumpkin) Shepherds Pie

A good sized squash –  cooked **
Potatoes  – cooked

Vegetable_pumpkin
In approx. 2 tblsp. oil – saute in saucepan till done:
4 cloves fresh garlic – chopped
4 stalks celery – chopped
3 carrots – chopped
1 onion – chopped
1 lb. ground meat (beef/ turkey/ chicken/ pork)

add:
approx. 1/4 cup flour
approx. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce) to taste
salt & pepper to taste
add about 1/2 of the cooked, mashed squash

Shepherds Pie

Mash remaining squash & potatoes together
add approx. 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (sharp)
add a little milk to desired smoothness

Place thickened meat / vegie mixture into the bottom of an oven safe baking dish
Top wth squash /potatoe mixture

Broil for 5 minutes until browned

Top with pumpkin seeds

** Lisa’s squash cooking method:  Rinse the outside skin of the squash then place it (whole) into baking dish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees. After about an hour, pierce it with a knife or press on the outside to see if it  is soft. Once the squash is cooked through, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds.

Chili Soup – Grandma’s

1 lb. hamburgerIMG_0719
1 onion chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato paste or sauce
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of chili powder
salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
4 stalks celery chopped
spaghetti pasta
kidney beans

fry hamburger with onions, tomatoes, sauce or paste and celery

cook at least 1/2 hour before adding pasta noodles (broken up small)

add kidney beans at the very end.

 

 

chili soup

Grandma’s One Step Tamale Pie

1 lb ground beefmexico
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
Cook all above in large skillet till done

2 8oz cans seasoned tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth or milk
2 eggs beaten
1 12 oz can whole corn
1/2 cup sliced olives
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt

A few dashes of hot pepper sauce to taste.

To the cooked beef in skillet, add tomato sauce, corn, olives, hot sauce, chili powder & salt. Stir till will mixed.

In a bowl beat eggs, add milk and beat again, then add cornmeal and stir well.

Pour in skillet of warm beef mixture and mix well, pour into casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.