I wax sentimental whenever I see a recipe for “Shipwreck”, especially one like this written in the original Amish Cook’s own hand. You see, Shipwreck is a recipe that used to appear in many Amish cookbooks around the middle of the 20th century. By the time Elizabeth Coblentz included this in our cookbook materials the recipe was slipping out of culinary culture and you hardly see it today. This is an early example of a recipe becoming popular in pop culture and then being embraced by Amish cooks. They likely saw this as a hearty meal during lean times. What is interesting is if you read Jamie Oliver’s history of Shipwreck you can see A) its origins aren’t Amish at all and B) the original version has seven ingredients. This recipe has four (I’m not counting the milk in this which really just tames the soup)
So obviously frugal Amish cooks found the recipe and then started “downsizing” it. And what remains is a very skeletal shipwreck, but I guess they figured it was still plenty hearty enough this way to feed a hungry family.
Interestingly, there is an Amish Shipwreck recipe on Etsy, which is available for $1.50…this is a photo of it, more tomato in than the recipe below which keeps the shipwreck simply and streamlined. You can download the recipe from Etsy here, otherwise enjoy our 4-ingredient Shipwreck below!
Serves: 6 servings
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1 medium onion
- 5 medium potatoes
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- Brown hamburger and put into a casserole dish.
- Dice in a layer of onions and then potatoes.
- Pour soup on top and cover with milk.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.