This is an amazing cookbook that you are not able to find easily in bookstores anymore. It is packed with recipes from different villages in all US states.
Given that these are old recipes from villages, and all the stories about the villages the book includes, it is not the kind of cookbook you use for a quick meal. But it is a leisurely Saturday morning and I have all the time to prepare a meal from it and read the stories along the way.
Leisurely Saturday also means being lazy about going out for grocery shopping, so working with what I had on hand, the choice was a Cabbage and Beef Bake (page 281); a recipe from Murdo, South Dakota. Mudro was established in 1913 and is now an Antique town with just over 600 people. Anyone reading this is from Murdo or been there? I'd love to hear from you.
The dish begins with making a tomato sauce from scratch - six tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and 1 Tbsp sugar simmered on medium heat for 45 minutes.
Despite the cold weather we had, the jardin's rosemary and thyme, particularly the thyme, have never looked better. So out into the jardin to pick up the herbs and get the sauce going.
In a separate pan, brown 1 lb ground beef with 1 onion (chopped) in 2 Tbsp of butter (about 10 minutes), season with salt and pepper, then leave on low heat until the tomato sauce is ready.
Mix all, add 1/4 cup rice and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
Butter a small casserole dish, arrange the pieces of half a cabbage cut into 6 slim wedges at the bottom, add the meat mixture on top and bake, covered, in a 350 oven for 1.5 hours. Enjoy as any Murdoist would.