In honor of my “Agent Carter” sew along, and in the spirit of being inspired to delve into decade of the 1940’s, I will be posting a few recipes so we can cook food from the era. Each of the recipes I post will have been tried out by hubby and myself, to be tested true to the letter, able to turn out well as instructed, and tasting excellent to our taste. As my blog is primarily about sewing, history, fashion, and the like, not about ideas for food or for living, I don’t expect to post cooking recipes again after my “Agent Carter” sew along is over at the end of May.
The cookbook from which the recipes come is one that is a family heirloom. The title is “Modern Family Cookbook” , by Meta Given, and it had belonged to Hubby’s Grandmother. Looking at the inside cover of all the reprinted editions, I can see it must have been quite popular, although I’ve never heard of this cookbook anywhere else. The first printing was 1942, and the last recorded edition is 1948.
This post will feature a main meal, with a meat and a side. This food tastes like hearty, rich, good old-fashioned home cooking. It uses lots of bacon grease, cheese, meat – things modern society tell us is not good for us. However, the Grandmothers on both sides of our family are (and were) very long-lived, and they survived on this kind of cooking! Ignore the guilt for once and cook up this yummy meal.
For the beef balls, I used a pre-packaged one pound portion of ground beef, so I slightly decreased all the other ingredients just a tad. We also chose to cut the amount of horseradish in half, only adding 1 tablespoon, to make the taste not so overpowering.
You don’t need much to make the beef balls – just a handful of basic ingredients (see picture).
When we made the side dish, we made a half batch, and it was enough for two adults and a child with a large appetite 🙂 As is optional in the instructions, I did use a can of green beans (they were organic) out of convenience, and – yes – they tasted good…much better than I ever expected.
The great thing about making the braised beef balls with the green beans as the side is you can fry up one big batch of bacon, and the drippings go towards both recipes. About half of the bacon we cooked up went into the green beans, which left a good amount to have on hand for anything else.
Yum! Don’t you smell that bacon!
Served up on our table, the finished meal looked like the picture below, rounded off with a side of mashed potatoes and a topping of pan gravy (from the beef ball recipe).
Enjoy! I hope you try making this dish to serve in your own home and find comfort in an old-fashioned meal.