Friday, November 20, 2009

Original Plymouth Succotash

I adapted the following recipe from the 1939 edition of “The New England Yankee Cookbook.” According to the two ladies who contributed the recipe, “This dish was made by the Pilgrims and handed down through succeeding generations.” Although easy to make, this old-world cuisine requires about a half-day of preparation and cooking time. This dish will feed approximately 8-10 people, keeps well and improves each time it is warmed over, making leftovers a real treat.

4 lbs. corned beef
4-5 lbs. poultry (I recommend a whole chicken that has been cut-up)
1 qt. dried pea beans (you can substitute your favorite beans or lentils)
1 large pkg. frozen kernel corn
1 whole turnip, sliced
6 potatoes, sliced
Salt & pepper

Wash and pick over dried beans and put in a pot. Add enough cold water to cover, place a lid on the pot and let beans soak overnight. In the morning drain well and add 2 quarts fresh water to beans. Cover and cook on medium heat for approximately 2 hours or until beans are tender enough to mash. (Note: You can use a crockpot and cook beans on low for 10-12 hours, or high for 6-8 hours.)

Place the corned beef and poultry together in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a rolling boil before covering pot with a lid and letting simmer on medium heat for a couple of hours. Check water level periodically to make sure the broth doesn’t cook too far down; add 1-2 cups of water if necessary. Remove beef and poultry, and place on a warming platter.

Add sliced turnips and potatoes to broth and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until tender. During the last 5 minutes, add the mashed beans and frozen corn. Stir frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve in a large tureen as a side dish for the corned beef and poultry.

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