By Kevin Williams
This recipe comes from a Shaker cookbook. I've compared the cooking styles of the Amish and Shakers before. They share similarities but are different in some key ways. Whereas Amish cooking has been shaped by the culture's insularity, Shaker cooking as been shaped by community. The Shakers traditionally led a communal existence and the hard word was rewarded by more elegant meals that you typically find in more threadbare Amish kitchens.
This is stew, with choice cuts of beef, is a good example. This dish, when doubled or tripled, would easily fill the bowls of an entire Shaker settlement.
Enjoy this Lazy Day Stew!
- LAZY DAY STEW
- 2 pounds beef cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons instant tapioca
- Arrange the beef cubes in a single layer in a baking dish, there is no need to brown the meat first. Add chunks of carrots, potatoes, and onions to suit.
- Add the sugar to the water and once dissolve pour over the mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle tapioca over the meat.
- Seal the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.
The tapioca I think is an interesting twist and would be eager to hear from someone who tried that.
One of our recipe testers took this recipe and added some good "Shaker twists" to the stew. Unlike the Amish generally don't use cooking wine (not from religious objection, but more from frivolity concerns), you would find wine, and the barley, in a Shaker kitchen. So thanks to Jay from Middletown, Ohio for giving this a twist!
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite size cubes
1 small Vidalia onion chopped
3 potatoes cubed
¼ # baby carrots cut into small pieces
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 6 oz. can of V-8
3 oz. more or less of Burgundy wine
Layer the beef cubes in a lightly greased 8 x 8 glass dish. Then add the potatoes followed by the carrots, mushrooms and onions. The sprinkle the top with barley. After that pour a small can of V-8 over the pan. Then fill the can approximately half way with the burgundy and poured it over the pan. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for an hour at 350, checking for doneness and potatoes being fork tender.