Part 10 – Casseroles, Soups, Stews and Dumplings‌‌‌

Soup Anyone?

Much colonial cooking consisted of meals that simmered for hours in cast iron kettles over the fireplace. One-pot meals in a dutch oven or iron kettle over a fire are still a practical method for preparing a lot of food with minimum effort. For casseroles, the ingredients are mixed together in the cooking vessel and then baked. For soups and stews on the stovetop or over the fire, the meat goes in first, and vegetables are added towards the end of the cooking time. If unexpected guests show up, an extra potato can be quartered and dropped in the stew pot. If meat is in short supply for your stew, you can substitute bouillon cubes and a little butter or vegetable oil and add potatoes or dumplings. Dumplings can be quickly prepared to stretch a meal by adding biscuit dough in small lumps or strips and steaming in the covered pot for 10 to 15 minutes (either use a biscuit recipe from the previous blog post “Bread and Biscuits” or try one of the dumpling recipes below).

Whole Wheat Biscuit Mix for Dumplings 

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. shortening or oil 
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk

Combine at home and store in a zip-lock bag or Nalgene bottle. In camp, add 3 tablespoons water per 1/2 cup biscuit mix and mix well. Spoon into boiling stew or soup. Simmer 10 minutes uncovered and 10 minutes covered.

Cornmeal Dumplings

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper 
  • ham stock

Mix cornmeal and pepper. While ham stock is boiling, pour some over cornmeal mixture and stir into dough. Make stiff enough to form balls the size of an egg and drop in briskly boiling stock.

Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup lard or another shortening 
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups water

Mix together flour and lard. Add water and mix thoroughly. Toss dough on a floured surface until coated with flour. Divide into 4 balls and roll dough out 1 ball at a time to about 1/4-inch or thinner. Cut in strips and cut strips into 2-inch pieces. Add a few pieces at a time to boiling broth. Cook uncovered, making sure that each dumpling is under the liquid part of the time. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 large servings. (Note: If using self-rising flour, make sure to use hot water so the dough will rise before cooking.)

Beef Stew with Dumplings 

  • 1-1/2 pounds rump roast 
  • 1/4 cup flour‌‌
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/3 cup cubed carrots 
  • 1/3 cup cubed turnips
  • 4 cups potatoes, quartered

Wipe meat off, remove from the bone, cut in 1-1/2 inch cubes. Mix flour with salt and pepper and cover meat with mixture. Heat some fat from meat in a frying pan. Add meat and brown. Put meat with browned fat in stew kettle, add boiling water to cover. Simmer until tender, about 3 hours. Add carrots and turnips for the last hour of cooking. Add potatoes 20 minutes and dumplings 15 minutes before serving. Use one of the dumpling recipes above.

Chicken and Dumplings 

  • 1 stewing hen
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping tablespoon shortening 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Cut chicken for stewing. Barely cover with water and cook until tender for about 2 to 3 hours. Remove chicken from stock and remove bones. Put flour in mixing bowl. In the center of flour put egg, shortening, and salt. Gradually add cold water. Work plenty of flour into the dough. Roll thin and cut in 2×3-inch strips. When dumplings are added to the broth, lower heat and simmer about 12 to 15 minutes. Place the chicken back in the stew. A little butter may be added if the chicken lacks in fat.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 3 to 4 cups cooked chopped chicken
  • 1 16-ounce can mixed vegetables, drained 
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup self-rising flour 
    • (if using ordinary flour, add 1 tsp. Baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt) 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) margarine, melted

Place chicken in a large casserole dish and add vegetables, soup, and broth. Mix together, in a separate bowl, the next 4 ingredients for the topping. Pour the topping mixture over the chicken. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Meat Loaf with Cornbread Topping meatloaf ingredients:‌‌

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage 
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper 

topping ingredients: 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. shortening 
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal 
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp. 
  • thyme 
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meat loaf ingredients together and lightly press into a 9×5-inch loaf pan. The top of the meat loaf should be flat to make an even surface for the topping. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry topping ingredients and cut in shortening. Add eggs and milk and blend well. Spread topping evenly on top of meat loaf. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Beef Stew and Lima Beans 

  • 3/4 cup dried lima beans
  • 1 pound boneless chuck stew beef, cut in pieces 
  • 1 bunch carrots
  • salt
  • pepper
  • celery salt

Soak beans overnight, drain. Add meat and cook 1-1/2 hours in boiling water. Add carrots and cook until tender. Season with salt, pepper and celery salt. Serve with tomato sauce.

Beef Stew

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless stew beef 
  • 3 tbsp. bacon fat or shortening 
  • 1-3/4 tsp. salt
  • a few dashes of pepper
  • 1 onion the size of a large egg, peeled 
  • 1/3 cup water, and more as needed
  • 5 carrots (6 inch long)
  • 5 potatoes (medium size)

Wipe meat with a damp cloth and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes. Heat fat until sizzling in a heavy 3 quart saucepan or dutch oven. Add meat, turning it often until a fine rich brown. Add thickly sliced onion to meat the last five minutes of browning. When brown, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add water, cover, heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until meat is almost done, from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. After simmering 1 hour, if more water is needed, stir in 1/4 cup at a time. A half-hour before serving time, add scraped and washed carrots cut into 2-inch lengths and pared halved potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until vegetables are just done. There should be enough liquid in the pot to almost cover meat and vegetables. To make gravy, mix 1/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon flour. Blend until smooth. Push meat and vegetables to one side and pour flour mixture, while stirring, in a stream into the broth. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes longer until thickened and smooth.

Carolina Beef Stew‌

  • 1 pound boneless beef cubes 
  • 2 tbsp. fat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. catsup
  • 3 cups beef bouillon 
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp. salt and pepper
  • 2 cups diced raw potatoes 
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 6 small onions (whole)

Brown beef in fat. Add chopped onion, catsup, bouillon, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer about 1-1/2 hours until meat is tender. Add potatoes, carrots and whole onions, barely cover with water. Cover and simmer until vegetables are cooked (about a half hour).

Brunswick Stew

  • 1 large chicken
  • 1 rabbit
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled 
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 stalk celery, cut up 
  • 3 potatoes, cut up
  • 2 large onions
  • sliced piece of salt pork
  • 2 cups fresh corn, cut from cob 
  • 2 cups large lima beans
  • 6 tomatoes, quartered 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp. sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. savory

Cut salt pork in small pieces and brown slowly in a large skillet. Remove salt pork and save. Cut rabbit into serving pieces, dredge in seasoned flour and brown in salt pork fat. Place chicken in large pot, place rabbit on top of chicken. Add salt pork, beans, onions, and celery. Cover with boiling water, cover tightly and simmer 2 hours. Add other ingredients except for tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are just tender. Mix a little flour and water and add to stew. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Correct seasoning and serve.

Brunswick Stew

  • 2 pounds beef or veal cubes 
  • 1 large chicken
  • 2 cups diced raw potatoes 
  • 4 cups cut corn
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cups fresh lima beans (or cooked dry lima beans) 
  • 4 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. salt (to taste) 
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. red pepper

Place beef or veal and chicken in large pot, cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat until tender. Remove meat from bones. Skim fat from liquid. Return meat to broth. Add other ingredients. Simmer slowly for several hours to blend flavors and thicken. Serve hot.

Company Brunswick Stew 

  • 2 fat hens, cut up‌‌
  • 6 28-ounce cans of tomatoes 
  • 5 pounds of onions, chopped 
  • 10 pounds of potatoes, cubed
  • 4 10-ounce packages frozen lima beans 
  • 4 17-ounce cans cream style corn
  • 3 10-ounce packages frozen cut okra 
  • 4 red pepper pods
  • 2 20-ounce cans tomato puree
  • 1 5-ounce bottle worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 pound butter (no substitute)

Cook hens in plenty of water over medium-low heat until they are tender enough to fall from bones. Remove chicken and let cool. Add tomatoes and onions to broth and cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Meanwhile, remove meat from bones and return to broth. Add potatoes, lima beans, corn, okra, and pepper pods. Reduce heat and cook 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally. Add tomato puree, worcestershire sauce, and butter. Simmer about another half hour. Serves 35 to 40.

Pea Soup 

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper 
  • 2 tbsp. butter celery salt parsley
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked green peas 
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 onion 1 cup milk

Set aside one third of peas. Add remainder to water, chicken stock and seasoning and let simmer for 30 minutes. Press through sieve. Add butter. Let boil for a few minutes then add milk and remaining peas which have been heated.

Split Pea Soup

  • 1-1/2 cups dried split peas 
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped 
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 5 cups water

Simmer peas, onion, salt and pepper in water 20 to 30 minutes until peas are tender.

Corn Chowder

  • 2 slices diced salt pork (or 2 tbsp. butter) 
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups diced raw potatoes 
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh (or canned) corn 
  • 4 cups hot milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Saute onion in butter (or pork grease) and mix all ingredients (except milk) in large pot. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add milk last and serve hot.

Confederate Corn Chowder 

  • 3 cups water‌‌‌
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1 cup potato flakes
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn 
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder 
  • salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until onion is tender. Season to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Forager’s Potato Soup

  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled and diced 
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil or butter 
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Bring potatoes, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Without draining the potatoes, mash them up.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil and add onion. Cook until onion is soft. Sprinkle in flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, frequently stirring for 5 or 10 minutes until thickened. Add cooked potato mixture and seasonings blended together.

Old Timey Potato Soup 

  • 1 medium onion, minced 
  • 1/4 cup butter
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