International Recipes ~ American

Succotash

“Sufferin’ succotash” is a catchphrase of the Warner Bros. cartoon cat Sylvester, and also used less often by Daffy Duck, if you wondered where you heard it before.

The Wampanoag were the tribe that met the Pilgrims and helped the first settlers in what is now Massachusetts. The tribe were eastern woodlands people; they lived in hide-covered shelters called “wetus.”

Picture of a Wetus

Enough of that! Four hundred years ago, the Wampanoag cook would have soaked dried corn and beans overnight, then used some sort of animal fat for the oil in the recipe below. Any meat would have been acceptable. She would have cooked the mixture over an open fire all day long! For today’s cook:

  • 1 can yellow corn (whole kernel)
  • 1 can red kidney beans or lima beans, drained (kidney are better)
  • 1 medium white onion or one cup scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound lean ground (minced) beef
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cook onion in oil until lightly browned.
  2. Add beef, stirring constantly until browned.
  3. Add corn, beans, salt and pepper to meat mixture.
  4. Add enough water to cover and simmer on a low flame. If the mixture starts to dry, add more water.
  5. Simmer this at least 30 minutes.

Note from Cecelia Lange: “I like to add (in place of salt) a bit of beef bouillon or beef gravy mix. Everyone in my grandson’s classroom (8-year-olds) LOVED this when I made a double batch for his Native American presentation. My family loves it, too. It’s a wonderful, quick, winter dish. It is NOT chile"