Confederate Soldier's Beef Stew
PREP TIME: 3 Hours


A lot of one-pot meals were made during the time of the Civil War, because of the lack of time, cooking area and variety of ingredients. Soldiers received salt pork, fresh or salted beef, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, hardtack, dried fruit and dried vegetables. If the meat was poorly preserved, the soldiers would refer to it as "salt horse." Sometimes they would receive fresh vegetables such as carrots, cabbage and potatoes.


  • 1 (3-4 pound) beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup bacon drippings
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 quarts water
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, melted bacon drippings. Add beef and brown completely. Add onions and celery and sauté until onions are slightly browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil meat at a continuous rolling boil for about 1½ hours or until beef is tender. Skim any foam that forms on the surface of the water and discard. Add potatoes, carrots, cabbage and seasonings and simmer until potatoes start to break up and thicken the stew, about 15-20 minutes. If stew is a little too thin for your taste, mix 1 tbsp of flour and ¼ cup of water until dissolved and add to the stew while it is simmering. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary.

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