I am surrounded by some wonderful cooks and many of their recipes I shared in the cookbook, including one from my guest blogger today. She is one heck of a cook, she can run an Alaskan fishing lodge just about single-handedly, and she’s a dear friend and a help to me in many ways–Amy Ausman. Amy and her husband Nick formerly owned the Crystal Bay Lodge in Petersburg, Alaska, and Amy did all of the cooking for her guests. When she and Nick come to Nashville to visit us, she always brings an ice chest full of food and on one trip, she brought this dish and Charlie and I loved. I asked Amy if she would share the recipe with you all and she agreed! I’m excited and happy to welcome her as my guest blogger today:
Hello friends of One Pan Nan!!
Coming from an Italian family on my mother’s side, the one-pan meal was not very common. Coming from northern Minnesota, the one-pan meal was even less common, unless it was lasagna! We usually cooked meat, potatoes, and veggies and served them separately, where they remained separate on your plate, most times not even touching…especially for me. Nan’s husband, Charlie and I have this in common, so maybe it’s a northern thing, but the only time the “hot dish” or “casserole” was served was at a church function or family “potluck”. That said, I immediately became a fan of the one-pan meal with this little jewel of a dish my mom made for those social occasions. Although I have seen many versions of this dish, my mom’s has remained my favorite and gets the most compliments from guests when I serve it. During my mom’s annual winter visit from the north, I asked her where her recipe came from and she told me “Martie Sarah, the Scandinavian lady from next door”. She always talked about food in nationalities. Probably because Minnesota has a population made up of people of German, Scandinavian, and Norwegian descent among others, and it seems the folks from her generation held onto their European roots a little more tightly, especially when it came to food! She said she changed a few things, like adding the sausage, using broth instead of water, adding some Worcestershire sauce, and of course taking out the nasty carrots (Mom’s choice).
While we were making the hot dish, we started talking about how my dad, his brothers and nephews would go ricing every year. At the end of the summer, they would head out to the marshes and whack the rice stalks with sticks as they paddled by and the grains would fall into a sheet that lined the boat. Then, my mother and I would have to wash the grains by bringing them to a boil at least three times, until the black water finally ran clear. She then explained why she eventually banned him from making these food-gathering treks. One afternoon he came home from ricing just in time to go to his night shift in the iron mines of northern Minnesota. He quickly changed into his Dickie over-alls, grabbed his lunch box and hard hat, and headed out the door. When my mom went to pick up his clothes to wash them, she found them crawling with the worms he had picked up walking through the weeds. He was promptly banned from ricing and from that point on, we left the gathering of rice to his brothers and nephews and paid them for the fruits of their labors, thus enabling my mother to keep a worm-free home.
As my nana would say – Mangiare! Mangiare! Eat! Eat!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground sausage (I like Jimmy Dean)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup chopped green pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 small cream of mushroom soup
- 1 small can chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup washed wild rice
- Salt & Pepper for taste
- In a skillet, brown the ground beef and sausage. Add the vegetables and cook for approximately 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer mixture to a baking dish and add the soup, broth, Worcestershire sauce and rice. Stir to blend. Cook in oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.