I have had so much fun lately cooking out of old cookbooks and the record book. This past week, I made yummy stuff like meatloaf, pork chops and so on using old cookbooks, but putting my spin on them. It was so much fun! The one thing that I am realizing about vintage cooking is that you have to be willing to take the time. It truly is an art form as well as a labor of love.
But I must say, that my absolute favorite recipes that I updated this week was a Beef Bourguignonne recipe and a Potato Dumpling recipe. Yes these were served in the same dinner, and yes I know they are completely different cultures. Hopefully I will not have the German and French angry with me, but let me tell you, it is well worth it. But that is the fun of cooking right? You can mix and match and make it even more delicious. And essentially, I do believe this is also what the vintage cook did as well. Using what they had to make a delicious meal.
The Beef Bourguignonne recipe was from a family cookbook called Pat Hatfield’s Fabulous Recipes. She would be my husbands great aunt, and apparently a very fine cook.
Oh, this recipe sounded delicious all on its own, but I of course added my own personal touch. Here is the recipe, with what I did differently in parenthesis.
2 medium onions (no change)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms ( I used a little less than a pound
2 tbsp. shortening (I used 4 tbsp. butter to sautte and 2 tbsp. olive oil then the same amount to cook the beef)
2 lbs round steak cut into 1 inch cubes. (I used stew meat 2 lbs)
1 tsp salt ( I used salt and pepper to taste throughout the process)
1/4 tsp marjoram ( I did not have any so I did not use it)
1/4 tsp thyme
Then here are the herbs I used and she did not:
1 tbsp. celery salt
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
2 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
3/4 cup beef bouillon ( I used 4 cups beef stock)
1 1/2 cups burgundy ( I used a whole bottle of red wine. It was a huge pot of soup)
Cook and stir onions and mushrooms in hot shortening (or butter and olive oil) until onion is tender. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Brown meat in same skillet ( found I had to add the same amount of butter and olive oil as mentioned above). Sprinkle all of your seasonings over the meat and stir.
Mix flour and bouillon; pour into skillet ( I put the flour over the meat and then added the broth) Let boil for one minute. Stir in burgundy ( or just pour the bottle in and then stir) The liquid should always just cover the meat. If necessary add more bouillon and Burgundy. ( I did not have to because I add it all at the beginning)
Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Gently stir in the mushrooms and onions; cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until heated through. ( I added the mushrooms and onions before adding the broth and red wine and stirred them around with the beef so they could get all the yummy flavor.)
Serve with French bread. ( I did not, I served with potato dumplings, recipe down below.)
The next recipe, I took from “Recipes Around the World; A World of Good Eating”. by A New England Housewife from 1951.
Oh my goodness, time consuming, but so worth it. I did the basics of the recipe but changed it in many ways. Again the recipe from the book is down below, and what I changed is in parenthesis.
Kloesse- Potato Dumplings
9 medium potatoes (I used 11 because I had a mix of small and medium)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
2/3 cup bread crumbs (I used uncooked oatmeal)
1/2 pound butter ( did not use any, you will see why later)
1/2 cup bread crumbs ( did not use this amount, you will see why later)
1 teaspoon chopped onion (did not use, you will see why later)
1/2 tsp nutmeg ( did not use, hate nutmeg)
Press boiled potatoes through ricer onto towel and let stand a few minutes. Place them in a bowl and add salt, eggs, flour and 2/3 cup bread crumbs. ( I combined my flour and oatmeal and then put into the potaotes.) Mix thoroughly and then form into balls. Drop the balls into rapidly boiling water to which salt has been added and cook for 3 or 4 minutes after they pop up to the surface. ( I did not boil, instead I fried the potato dumplings in canola oil. But before I did that I did a basic breading technique. I coated the balls in milk, placed in flour, then dipped in beaten eggs, then again in the flour. This is the reason why I did not use the sauce that goes over the dumplings, already fattening enough by frying them, but also, they were going into my soup.)
Melt butter in skillet and add onion, cooking gently until tender. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Cook for a few minutes and then use this as the dressing for the dumplings.
Serve with sauer braten-sauerkraut or any good gravy. (Or in my case, place in soup)
Each one on its own was delicious, but when I added the fried potato ball to the soup, oh my goodness, a little piece of heaven here on earth. I hope you try each of these recipes. Time consuming, but so worth the effort.
Have fun cooking,