Lumberjack Beef Stew
This is the real thing. I got this recipe from my father, who got it from his mother. She was a cook in a Michigan lumber camp in the 1890's. In fact, that's how she met my grandfather. He was one of the men she was cooking for.
I have set up this recipe for a one gallon crock pot or slow cooker. My grandma used about four 20 gallon cauldrons per dinner. I'm not that ambitious.
LUMBERJACK BEEF STEW
I got this recipe from my father, who got it from my grandmother. She was a cook in a Michigan lumber camp in 1899, where she met my grandfather.
All spices can be adjusted for individual taste. The method that I use is a 1 gallon slow cooker set to High. If cooked on top of the stove, cooking time should be adjusted to the length of time needed to make the carrots and potatoes tender and thickening should not be added until just before serving. The original recipe called for far larger amounts of everything since it was intended to make 20-30 gallons at a time.
1 ½ pounds of beef (can also use wild game such as venison or rabbit) cut into ½ inch cubes.
6-9 potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes.
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks.
2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges.
2 stalks of celery, cut into ½ inch pieces.
2 tablespoons salt.
1 ½ tablespoons pepper.
1 teaspoon garlic powder.
2 tablespoons beef stock mix combined with 2 cups of hot water or 1 pint of liquid beef stock.
3 tablespoons corn starch combined with 2 cups of hot water.
Solid ingredients should be placed into a 1 gallon slow cooker until they come to within 1 inch of the top. If there is not sufficient room for all solid ingredients, cut back on potatoes, carrots and onion until they fit.
Salt, pepper and garlic powder can be mixed with the beef stock or added dry to the solid ingredients and mixed in before adding liquids.
After adding beef stock and corn starch mixture, add sufficient water to bring liquid level to the top of the slow cooker. NOTE: If cooking in a stove top pot, corn starch mixture should not be added until cooking is complete. Replace it with water and let the water boil down and be replaced as needed as it boils. The last addition in that case should be the corn starch mixture used as thickening.
Set slow cooker on High Heat and let cook for 4-6 hours, stirring about once an hour. Ready to serve when potatoes and carrots can be cut with a spoon and thickening has taken place. If not thick enough, add more corn starch mixture at the end of the cooking.
YOU MAY WISH TO START THE SALT, PEPPER, BEEF STOCK AND GARLIC POWDER AT A LOWER LEVEL THAN GIVEN. IF SO, TASTING WHILE COOKING IS TAKING PLACE WILL ALLOW FOR ADJUSTMENT TO TASTE AS NEEDED.