My son loves history. It is his thing. He will talk American history for hours. This year he is taking AP United States History. As part of his class they were required to make an authentic Civil War recipe. His teacher helped him find a recipe that did not involve hunting a rabbit or squirrel or trying to create some ridiculous dish from modern items. The story of the stew was interesting.
If you have a few minutes hop over and read “Civil War Cooking: What the Union Soldiers Ate,” on PBS.org (click for link to original recipe and article) . It is really a great read on how they fed the soldiers during the war.
This stew was “different.” It used salt, pepper, and vinegar for flavor. Root vegetables were plentiful in the northern area of the Midwest which is where the troops were based that he had to make a dish for. The turnips, carrots, potatoes, onion, leeks, and parsnips were the vegetables that were used. It created a chowder type feel to the dish. If you didn’t know it had beef in it you would have thought it was some kind of chowder.
As my son said it was far from the worst thing served at their meal. He loved the catfish with homemade ketchup, the Dolly Madison cake, and the homemade fruit cake. He thought the hard tack, coffee, and the Johnny cakes were less than desirable. I think this is such a great idea and may try a few recipes from different time periods. Maybe not an authentic Thanksgiving dinner but maybe a Victorian tea? Who knows.
A simple hearty stew similar to what would have been served during the Civil War ear. Ingredients: Directions:
Civil War Beef Stew
A simple hearty stew similar to what would have been served during the Civil War ear.