Like many recipes that are considered to be traditional American dishes, this recipe is actually a variation of Hamburg Steak that comes from Germany. Although it could be served with something else, mashed potatoes are the natural accompaniment, especially with the rich brown gravy. It s an inexpensive way to feed a crowd, but that doesn't mean that it isn't packed with flavor and something that people will truly enjoy.
For whatever reason, most of our traditional family recipes seem to be ones that we make during the autumn and winter seasons. They tend to be meals that we create in large batches and either enjoy the leftovers the next day or freeze to have at a later date. Most of these were handed down from family member to family member by example and not written down. Cooking is one of those things that definitely can bring a family together, regardless of where you live or where you are from. It is probably one of the reasons why we enjoy eating traditional meals when we travel to places, because the food will also give you a sense of the people. Here are a few of our family’s recipes that we’ve posted over the past few years.
Meat Lasagna – We certainly enjoyed having lasagna in Rome and Florence, but our homemade lasagna is still one of our favorite meals. We also tend to make our own garlic toast to go along with it as we really like that combination. We always make a large batch so that we can have plenty of leftovers.
Red Chili – You will find many different varieties of chili as you travel throughout the southwest. From green chili to red chili, with or without meat, spicy or not spicy, they are all usually interesting and have plenty of flavor. Our version combines kidney beans and chili beans to create a very hearty meal.
Pumpkin Cookies – We bake these cookies every year in October or November and it is a way to welcome the change in the seasons. We typically make a couple dozen and then share them with our friends, who always look forward to them as well. It is a simple recipe, but the cookies are moist and delicious.
Egg and Hash Brown Potato Skillet – That isn’t the actual name of it, but egg slop doesn’t quite describe the dish. What makes this unique is the sauce that we make from chili powder and other seasonings. We have always had it for dinner, but it would make for a good weekend breakfast as well.
French Stew – This is an inexpensive meal that combines fresh ingredients in a simple way to make a “stewp”. Similar dishes can be found in the countryside’s of many different countries and is typically considered to be a hunter’s stew. A hunter stew is usually made from meat, potatoes, and vegetables, whatever happens to be available at the time.
One of the meals that we had when we visited Strasbourg was a very rustic chicken pot pie. Because of the fact that we wanted to share it, they basically prepared it deconstructed for us, which we actually enjoyed. We decided to make our own version of this hearty meal and it turned out quite delicious. Needless to say, it certainly wasn’t as elegant as the meal we had in France, but since it was just a weeknight meal for the two of us, that was perfectly fine. We happened to have left over turkey, so that is what we chose to use, but you could easily do something similar with beef, chicken, or even lamb. You could also use a puff-pastry instead of biscuits, but we liked the biscuits as it made a cross between a pot pie and dumplings. Obviously this recipe is very versatile, so you could add in different vegetables to create your own spin on the meal. It is really about what leftovers you may have on hand and what flavors you prefer.
3 cups Turkey Stock (we used homemade stock, but you can use store bought chicken stock)
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Red Onion – chopped
1 cup Celery – sliced thin
1 cup Potatoes – peeled and diced
1 cup Carrots – peeled and sliced
1 1/2 cup Cooked Turkey – diced
Biscuits – store bought or homemade
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sauté the onion and celery in a skillet over medium-high heat until they are soft and translucent. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and stir in the flour to create a rue and add the stock and continue heating on medium-high heat until it simmers (alternately, you can heat the stock in the pot and mix the flour and some cold water in a bowl to create a slurry and then add that to the simmering stock). Add the carrots, potatoes, and cooked onion and celery to the broth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring continuously. Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, the stew is done. Pre-heat an oven to the temperature in the biscuit directions (350 degrees in our case). Pour servings of the stew into oven-safe bowls and put the uncooked biscuits on top of the stew trying to cover it is fully as possible. Place the bowls in the oven for the time in the biscuit directions (16 minutes in our case). Remove and serve.