By Kevin Williams
Amish wedding steak. It's a budget-friendly meal that is a tradition in some Amish settlements, primarily in northern Indiana. Amish weddings are huge undertakings that often require feeding 800 to 1000 guests. Obviously, you won't be serving porterhouse steaks to the attendees. The ground beef, cracker crumbs, mushrooms, etc are all a way to "dress up" the beef in an economical but festive dish.
A few other Amish wedding thoughts:
Traditionally Amish weddings have been held on Thursdays although that is slowly changing. Some Amish weddings are shifting towards Fridays and Saturdays.
Few Amish can actually give the reason behind the Thursday weddings, the original answer largely lost to history. Now they just cite “tradition.” The best answers I have been given date to the 19th century, This is when people might have had to travel a long distance by horse-drawn buggy. If the wedding was held on a Thursday faraway guests could leave without missing church on Sunday, They could then arrive back home for Sunday services. Although since worship is held every other Sunday among the Amish, so that theory has some holes.
Amish couples do get marriage licenses so the ceremony is official and the advent of the “wedding wagon” has made life much easier for the bride’s family which usually holds the wedding at their home. Gone are the days of having to round up every spoon, commandeering ovens, and procuring plates.
These harried tasks have been made easier by renting a “wedding wagon." For a fee, one can rent an RV-size mobile kitchen stocked with plates, portable ovens, tables, table service, glasses, tablecloths, and virtually everything else you’d need to throw a party for a 1000 people. These wedding wagons first started appearing only about 10 years ago by a few brilliantly enterprising Amish (rule one of capitalism: find a need and fill it)
Now, back to the wedding steak...this is a superb recipe to feed a crowd while still retaining some trappings of elegance.
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 2 c. soda cracker crumbs
- 2 c. milk
- 1 sm. onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 soup can of water
- 1 can mushrooms (may also use fresh)
- Mix meat, crumbs, ,milk, onion and spices together.
- Pat down firmly in cake pan in square cake pan let set overnight.
- Cut into serving size squares, roll in flour, and brown on both sides (in margarine or butter)
- Set in baking dish and cover with mixture of soup, water and mushrooms.
- Bake at 350 for 90 minutes.