September 8, 2011

A Colonial Recipe for the Poorer Classes: Colonial Beef Stew

Most of the Colonial Recipes that we still have today were recipes written for the upper class. Cookbooks were generally written for people who wanted to cook the recipes that they had tasted at fancy dinner parties hosted by the wealthiest ladies in town. Even though cooks, and in some cases servants, wrote cookbooks, they were intended for the wealthy using ingredients that the wealthy had ample access to. This recipe was intended to be an inexpensive meal that would make meat go farther, especially among the poorer classes or in places with little meat.

Jonas Hanway, who recorded this recipe, was a British philanthropist who recorded his displeasure with the way that many English people cooked, claiming that they were wasteful.  He suggested that people make economical meals instead of meat heavy, extravagant ones.

This recipe was probably similar to ones used in taverns and other establishments that tried to feed a lot of people in the cheapest way possible.   


- 18 Cups Water
- 1 Pound Beef, cut into pieces
- 2 Cups Split Peas
- 3 Potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and chopped
- 3 ounces Ground Rice (not the same as rice flour)
- 3 Large Leeks, cleaned and sliced
- 2 Heads of Celery, cut into pieces
- Salt to taste


Put the sliced meat in a large pot, brown for about 8 minutes. Add the water, Split Peas, Potatoes, and Ground Rice and let boil 2 hours then add Leeks, and Celery. Let simmer for 10 minutes and salt to taste.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I can use this next Brandywine to feed our regiment. They are of the poorer class :)

    PS It's so sad about that reenactor. I've seen drinking at events but his mother should have known better.


Tell me what you think!

Copyright © 2008-2020 Stephanie Ann Farra. All rights reserved.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Stephanie Ann Farra. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the author has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.