It's common to witness cows lazily grazing in bucolic meadows in Amish country. Sometimes the cows purpose are dairy, producing the milk and cream and cheese that the Amish rely upon.
But another equally important role for the lowly cow on Amish farm is to provide massive amounts of meat for families, from ground beef to steaks to roasts, cows are an indispensable source of beef for the Amish.
🥩 The Beef With Amish
The Amish use a lot of ground beef in their diet. They are a religious group that practices a simple life, and their diet reflects this and hamburger is simply sourced for most Amish.
The great thing about ground beef is its versatility. Ground beef, like other meats, is often used in traditional Amish dishes, such as meatloaf, meatballs, casseroles, and stews.
And, of course, nothing better than frying up some hamburgers on the grill with ground beef.
Rarely do Amish homemakers have to purchase their ground beef from a supermarket chain. Even if an Amish person doesn't have their own steer to butcher, they usually have family or friends that do. So most of the time when you visit an Amish home, the ground beef they are usually is very fresh and locally sourced.
🐄 Butchering Day
Often an Amish family or families will gather for a day of messy butchering, but by day's end they have embodied the expression "many hands make for light work. And by day's end a family has enough beef, chops, steaks, roasts, and even brains and tongue to last them an entire year.
Some Amish, even the most conservative, tech-free ones, will have access to freezers, so they can just wrap up the meat, freeze it, and come back to it at a later date.
🙋 FAQ About the Amish and Beef
Yes, beef is a staple of the Amish diet. It's used in burgers, casseroles, soups, in omlettes, on pizzas, in stews, and more!
Yes, they do can ground beef, although, my experience says that canning chunk beef or stew meat is much more common.
🍲 Five Delicious and Easy Amish Hamburger Casseroles
Casseroles are a staple of Amish life. They are perfect for feeding a crowd, piling on calories for those in physical jobs, and they are very portable, easy to take to a potluck or carry-in supper. Here are five favorites!
Mrs. King's Budget Casserole: Meals like Mrs. King's Budget Hamburger Casserole are a mainstay in Amish kitchens. Why? Because they are hearty, versatile "pile meals". There are many variations of hamburger casseroles and this is one that is your basic casserole and I appreciate so much reader Karen testing out this recipe for us. I've had this one forever. It was given to me by an Amish woman in Lancaster County, PA. As an aside, the last names King and Fisher are very, very common in Lancaster County Amish communities, but you hardly ever run into those names elsewhere. Click here this budget supper.
Six-Ingredient Hamburger Casserole: As the name implies, this one is easy-peasy. Now any of these recipes you can experiment with your own seasonings and spices, many Amish dishes are not that seasoned, seasoning is not big part of Amish culinary culture. Check out six-ingredient hamburger casserole.
Beef & Noodle Company Casserole: Beef and noodles, to me, that is about the best combination imaginable, which is why you see so many variations of this in casseroles. Check out beef and noodle company casserole here.
Farmer's Hearty Casserole: Here is a bit more about this one:
This Farmer's Hearty Casserole reminds me of some of the more turn-of-the-century (turn of the 20th century) traditional dishes you’d find being served in an Amish home. There’s no cans of cream of mushroom soup in this, this is all basically scratch-made or home-raised stuff. In the early 20th century, actually up until the mid 20th century, the vast majority of Amish men were farmers. And it was hard hard work.
Farming is still hard work, but in the absence of any technological or equipment improvements, it was even more difficult 100 years ago. Most Amish farming was all manual labor from dawn till dusk. They really did truly need hearty dishes to fuel them for such calorie expenditures. Farmer's Hearty Casserole delivered those calories.
Hamburger-Rice Comfort Casserole: What combination is as good as beef and noodles? Perhaps beef and rice! Check out Hamburger-Rice Comfort Casserole.