Friday, April 29, 2011

Ok, so Pioneer Cooking... It's pretty good! We started out by making Steak and Onion Pie, Shortnin' Bread, and Country Style Chocolate Cake (made with mash potatoes!)

After a nice little trip the store for a few things, twe were on our way to preparation!

Wow! The Steak and Onion Pie surprised me with how wonderful it tasted! It reminded me of a beef pot pie without the vegetables in it! It also wasn't difficult to make and after all the requests for more, we'll probably be making this again!

I also made Shortnin' Bread. When you first bite into it, it tastes like hard tack. Hard tack was a simple, hard cracker or biscuit made from flour, water, and salt and was commonly used for sustenance for long sea voyages or military campaigns.  The difference in the Shortnin' Bread (because they look and feel the same) is that it starts to taste like hard tack, but then you get this sweetness to it. It's a three ingredient recipe and all you need is flour, light brown sugar, and butter. It' worth making again!

For dessert, I made a delicious Country Style Chocolate Cake. It reminded me of a dense brownie, even though it was cake! By tasting it, you would never know that it was made with mashed potatoes! Although without some sifted powered sugar or icing, it just tasted like dense chocolate.

Pioneer cooking, ok, so NOT outside with a fire or open hearth. Still using a Dutch oven, it was all and all some good eatin' and everyone agreed we should do the Pie and Bread again! Not completely thrilled with the cake, but 2 out of 3 wins isn't bad!

Steak and Onion Pie

2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup shortening
1 lb round steak
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
Dash ginger
Dash allspice
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 medium potatoes, diced
1 unbaked pastry top crust

Cook onions slowly in melted shortening until yellow.  Remove onions and set aside.
Slice meat into one-inch cubes and toss in a mixture of flour, seasonings, and spices.
Brown meat cubes in the hot melted shortening.
Add boiling water.
Cover skillet and cook over low heat approximately one hour.  Add potatoes and cook 15 minutes more.
Arrange onions over top of mixture.
Pour into 8 inch casserole dish. Fit pastry crust over top.  Slit top with knife and seal edges of crust.
Bake in 450 for 25 minutes.

Shortnin' Bread

4 cups flour, sifted
1 cup light brown sugar
2 cups buter, softened

Combine flour and sugar.
Work the butter in gradually until well mixed.
Place dough on a floured surface and pat out (do not roll) to a half-inch thickness.
Cut into shapes with glass or cookie cutter. 
Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Country Style Chocolate Cake
(Made with mashed potatoes)

2/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup hot mashed potatoes
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts
4 egg whites

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in egg yolks.
Blend in mash potatoes, vanilla, then cocoa.
In separate bowl sift together remaining dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture alterntely with milk.
Beat egg whites to stiff-peak stage.
Fold in nuts, then egg whites.
Pour batter into two buttered loaf pans 5x9 or a 13x9x2 pan.
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

(We personally would add some sifted powder sugar, for some added sweetness on top!)

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