Slovenly Josephs- A Recipe for Fun
This year the second edition of The Donner Party Cookbook: A Guide to Survival on the Hastings Cutoff will be published by Grandma’s Cabin. In producing a second edition of my 2004 book we decided to spice up some of the recipes a bit. Fans of edition one asked for some pretty gruesome recipes, such as Rosemary Baby, Frank and Beans, Patty Melt, and … well you get the idea. Accordingly I searched 19th Century cookbooks for additional sources and was able to actually find Lady Fingers. Frank and Beans was easy as anyone can cut up sausage and mix it in with a hearty bean stock. Below is a recipe for a made-up 19th Centuryish (is that a word?) version of a modern favorite, Sloppy Joes. Of course, use of grammar in the 19th Century was very rich and evocative. Accordingly, Ladies and Gentle it is my pleasure to offer you a taste of the second edition and introduce Slovenly Josephs.
“This dish is included as a special request to a fan of the first edition, though that request was for something referred to as “Sloppy Joes.” The dish makes good use of leftovers, a theme at the core of the Donner Party story, to make a hearty meal. Two version are included here. Both use the elk roast and basic bread recipes in this book. One uses the delicious walnut catsup recipe. If you don’t have elk, the recipe works well with chopped beef roast or even ground beef. If you don’t have the walnut catsup, any catsup from the mercantile will do in a pinch. The beauty of using the walnut catsup lies in its ability to stain all the porous materials it encounters, adding truth to the slovenly sobriquet.
1-2 pounds cooked elk roast meat
¼ teaspoon of rosemary spears
½ clove garlic
½ teaspoon peppercorns
6 ounces of pureed tomatoes
pepper sauce- to taste
water- as necessary
Chop onion fine and sauté in olive oil until caramelized.
Chop the elk meat very fine and add to caramelized onion.
Stir in pureed tomatoes. Crush garlic and peppercorns and add to mixture. Add rosemary spears and pepper sauce while the mixture simmers over a low flame. Simmer for twenty minutes, stirring mixture so it does not scorch. If the mixture begins to thicken too much stir in water as needed.
Serve hot by pouring mixture over thick slabs of the basic bread. The more adventurous might wish to top the dish with shredded cheese.”
There is an alternate version of this fabulous dish offered by Penny Vivey Walters. To get that one you will want to purchase the book.