Friday, September 19, 2014

Taco Stew

The Union Soldiers ate beef stew. One of the culinary issues during the Civil War, for both North and South was inexperience. Back then men were used to having the woman of the home, or female slaves cooking. For male soldier, cooking was completely different. 

The war forced to the soldiers to adjust to a new way of life and eating on the battlefield. The beginning of war, Union soldiers of the North benefited from supervised United States Sanitary Commission, known as The Sanitary. Health and nutrition was top priority. Volunteers in The Sanitary were trained to find and distribute food to the soldiers in the field. They were expected to know which foods were available during each season. How to preserve food for transportation and storage. The Sanitary had to schedule and maintain supply of food to soldiers at war.

James M. Sanderson, a member of the Sanitary, became concerned with reports of poor food quality and preparation. Sanderson, who was also a hotel operator in New York, believed that his experience would be of value to the Union. With the help of Governor Edwin D. Morgan (New York), Sanderson visit soldiers in the field, in hopes of teaching them a few simple cooking techniques. He started with the camps 12 New York, as they were deemed “most deficient in the proper culinary knowledge.” He reportedly saw a change in as little as three days.

Sanderson, as skilled cook was given the rank of “Cook Major” and receive $50.00 a month. Sanderson wrote the first cookbook to be distributed to the military. The book was titled: Camp Fires and Camp Cooking; or Culinary Hints for the Soldier: Including Recipe for Making Bread in the Portable Field Oven” Furnished by the Subsistence Department.
Research Source: History Kitchen

The family loved this Taco Stew. Once you try this you will see why.

Taco Stew
Copyrighted 2014, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.

2 large potatoes, diced
1 white onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 (10.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (14.5 oz.) can corn, undrained
1 (14.5 oz.) can green beans, undrained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

In a large pot over medium heat, add vegetable oil. Cook onions until tender, about 3 minutes. Add potatoes and just enough water to cover them, cook until tender.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan over medium heat, cook ground hamburger until no longer pink. Drain grease and add to water with vegetables.

Add remaining ingredients, except dried oregano. Cook about 20 minutes. The last 5 minutes of cooking stir in dried oregano.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, fritos or thinly sliced flour tortilla. Enjoy!



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