Recipes for the New Depression: Hoover Stew

Pick a sausage, any sausage. Through my contact form I have been hearing about meat shortages in the US grocers. “Meat is becoming impossible to obtain, yesterday the Kroger put a limit of two packages and they only had sausage and cold cuts left at the end of the day”

First let me point out that you can have a full nutritious meal without meat of any sort. In fact if you peruse this site you will see many delicious preparations that are naturally meat free. However I do understand that for many it is not a meal unless a meat product is involved.

Once again I turned to depression era cookbooks and looked at how they were eating. For many families that did not hunt, meat was a treat, often served on special occasions. One of the celebration meals I came across was Hoover Stew. It contained sliced hot dogs, tomato, water, noodles and the seasoning of the time, salt and pepper. I made my version with white beans, but this is essentially a soupy stew and you can use any sausage you like, however I would discourage the use of hot dogs, unless you really like those pink tubes of over processed slime. I have added some seasoning as modern tastes might not appreciate the inherent blandness of the original.

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet, hot, or smoked
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups pre cooked (VERY al dente) pasta
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, chickpeas or and equal amount of any sausage sliced thinly
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute onion in oil until it just begins to brown, add in finely chopped garlic and the paprika. The smell will become heady. After the garlic and paprika bloom add the tomatoes and water and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the beans to heat through, then the pasta and salt and pepper to taste. Taste the pasta after about 3 minutes, it should absorb some of the flavor and then serve.

Cheap, cheerful, delicious.

Possible add ins:

1 cup any vegetable sliced, carrot, cabbage, green beans, spinach. Anything you have on hand will enhance and make it more delicious. It will easily serve 4 persons and the recipe can be doubled with no adjustments.

Published by Chef Wilder

A chef who has been specializing in Food tourism for several years. I decided to launch this to put in one place some of the simplest ways of making food primarily because I am seeing people in the grocery for often the first time due to the Corona outbreak who have no idea what to do with food once they get it home. In the US I became known as the Food Stamp Chef for publicly taking on both the establishment in D.C. and personally living under a food stamp budget twice in my life for two months at a time. #SocialSolidarity

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