Slumgullion may not sound like the most appetizing name for a dish, but that’s part of its charm. The word’s etymology doesn’t do it any favors: “slumgullion” is believed to be derived from “slum,” an old word for “slime,” and “gullion,” an English dialectical term for “mud” or “cesspool.” The earliest recorded usage of “slumgullion,” in Mark Twain’s Roughing It (1872), refers not to a stew but a beverage. The sense referring to the stew debuted about two decades later, and while there is no consensus on exactly what kinds of ingredients are found in it, that’s the “slumgullion” that lives on today.
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck, browned and drained
- 16 ounces macaroni noodles, dry weight
- 10 ounces condensed tomato soup
- 30 ounces chicken broth, canned
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes, canned, with juice
- 2 large celery ribs, diced
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1⁄/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 quarts water
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil and sautee the onion, bell pepper, and celery until it begins to get tender, (about 12 minutes), then set it off the heat.
- In a large cooking pot, over high heat, boil the dried pasta, uncovered, in the 5 quarts of water and one teaspoon of the kosher salt until it reaches slight tenderness, (au dente). It is best to get the water boiling before adding in the pasta. Once the pasta boils, it should take about 10-12 minutes to achieve the desired tenderness but you must check it frequently by tasting it near the end of the cooking time.
- Once it is done, drain it and “shock” the pasta in ice cold water and then re-drain it. This keeps the pasta from becoming mushy later on.
- In a large cooking pot, over low heat, Mix together the browned and drained burger, the cooked (cooled) macaroni pasta and, the sauteed onion/pepper/celery.
- Add the chicken stock right away and bring to a low boil.
- Add all other ingredients, herbs, and spices — bring the ingredients back to a low boil, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer and allow the blend to cook, covered, over very low heat, for about 30 minutes, until all flavors have integrated.
- Serve hot with buttered, sliced bread on the side.
Store-bought broths and stocks are certainly convenient, but they lack the silky texture and mouth feel that you get from simmering bones for hours on end, extracting all of that wonderful collagen. To make the box stuff taste and feel more homemade, just add a little gelatin.
It may not be the most glamorous ingredient, but gelatin can vastly improve the texture of a variety of foods, from silky pan sauces to juicy meatballs but perhaps the most useful shortcut is for jazzing up a pot of boring broth:
So, when you’re not up for brewing a whole potful of gelatin-rich broth, you can simply bloom some powdered gelatin in boxed or canned stock—about one and a half teaspoons per cup of stock will do the trick. A quick simmer and a pat of butter later, you’ll have a mouth-coating white wine and fines herbes or creamy morel mushroom pan sauce with a restaurant-quality texture.
Just like that, watery sub-par broth becomes a warm, rich soup or sauce, adding a decadent element to a chilly weeknight meal.
- 1 cup stock
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- Sprinkle the granules of gelatin over the surface or 1/4 cup cold surface of cold stock Do not dump them in a pile, as the granules in the middle won’t dissolve.
- Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the stock to gelatin mixture
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer stirring until dissolved. To verify the granules are melted, lift the stirring utensil and make certain that there are no undissolved granules clinging to it.
- Stir in butter and cook at a hard boil until emulsified, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 4 cups)
- 4-6 slices of bacon (depending on your preference)
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 4 sprigs of sage leaves
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Cut the butternut squash into 1 1/2 inch cubes (peeled or un-peeled). Reserve the seeds if you’d like to roast them.
- Stack the bacon slices on top of each other, and cut into 4 chunks. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and 1 tbsp. of brown sugar.
- Add the butternut squash to a large roasting pan. Make sure that the squash is spread out evenly, in one single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan. *See note below.
- Drizzle the squash with olive oil to coat.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture over the squash, and toss together with your hands. It may seem a bit dry, this is ok. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the rosemary and sage sprigs.
- Separate the bacon slices and drape them over the squash.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp. of brown sugar on top of the bacon.
- Bake, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and begins to caramelize about 30-40 minutes.
- Heat under the broiler for a couple of seconds to crisp up the bacon. Make sure it doesn’t burn!
- Serve warm.
- The biggest mistake when roasting butternut squash is to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding will cause the squash to steam rather than caramelize, thus creating extra moisture.
- To avoid this, use a very large roasting pan/tray and spread out the squash evenly in one single layer.
- None of the pieces should be touching, and ample space in between is ideal.
Warm spinach salad served with your favorite dressing.
Puree the leftover squash with chicken stock, reserving the bacon and sage leaves for garnish. You could also roast the seeds and top with yogurt or crème frâiche.