Recipe for 8-Cent Relief Banquet Stew

April 29, 2011 11:53:06 AM PDT
Catherine Lambrecht and Whitney Lingle with Greater Midwest Foodways were in the ABC7 studio and shared the recipe for 8-Cent Relief Banquet Stew, which is interpreted here by Catherine Lambrecht.

No recipe exists beyond a list representing 8-cent ingredients and a newspaper clipping photo of a stew. It appears there was a math error, because the cost of these ingredients in 1938 added up to 6.99 cents. This recipe is an effort to capture what was likely served.

Makes 4 servings.

1 lb. boneless beef chuck, cut into large cubes and reserve fat trimmings
5-1/2 oz. onions, roughly chopped
Water to cover
1/2 lb. carrots, sliced
1 lb. 6 oz. potatoes, large cubes
Salt and pepper to taste

In a Dutch oven heated to medium high heat, melt beef fat, then add beef cubes to sear and caramelize meat. Don't be afraid to add more heat, a good browning of this meat will add lots of flavor.

Once meat is browned, add onions and reduce heat to medium.

When turning the onions, be sure to scrape the bottom to loosen any browned bits.

When onions have softened, add water to cover.

Put on a tight lid, then bring temperature down to a simmer.

When meat is almost tender, about 90 minutes to two hours, add carrots and potatoes and bring up temperature to medium for 20-30 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.