This recipe, that probably originates in the southern U.S., came to Ontario via the MCC meat canner and an Amish community in Ohio.
Read the accompanying Gathering Around the Table story at canadianmennonite.org/stories/hostess-enjoys-surprising-her-guests.
Serves 10-14 people
The yucky stuff (broth):
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 pkg. seafood-boil seasoning (3 oz.) (I use Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil seasoning that comes in a mesh bag, available at Walmart in the U.S.)
- ¾ cup salt (the broth should be very salty)
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 16 cups water
- Put all the above in a large stainless steel pot.
The good stuff:
- 6 lbs. chicken tenders or chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 5 lbs. sausage links (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 lbs. shrimp (thawed)
- 12 potatoes (not peeled and cut into 8 wedges, not slices)
- 1-2 green peppers (sliced)
- 3 12-oz. pkg. mushrooms (leave whole)
- 3 large onions (cut in wedges)
- 2 lbs. baby carrots
- Optional: 12 corn-on-the-cob (each cut into three pieces)
Heat the pot of liquid on high heat about 1 ½ hours before serving. It needs to be boiling before adding the other ingredients.
- 55 minutes before serving, add potatoes and carrots
- 50 minutes before serving, add sausage
- 40 minutes before serving, add chicken
- 20 minutes before serving, add mushrooms and onions
- 10 minutes before serving, add shrimp and green peppers
- 5 minutes before serving, turn off the heat and let everything sit for five minutes.
When people are seated at the table, drain off the broth. Pour the remaining contents directly on the table that is covered with a disposable table cover. Guests are invited to use their fingers or toothpicks.
Serve with dips such as ketchup, sour cream, ranch dressing or cocktail sauce that can be squirted directly on the tablecloth. After the stew is on the table, hand out cups and napkins.
- Have everything cut up before the broth begins to boil.
- Tell your guests to be there 15 minutes before you intend to have the stew ready. The stew is best if served as soon as it is ready and the potatoes will get mushy if you need to wait for latecomers.
- Before adding shrimp, check to see that the meat and potatoes are ready. If not quite done, wait five minutes or so before adding the last ingredients.
- Dinner rolls and an ice cream dessert go well with the stew.
- Providing lifters or spatulas allows guests to move stew from the middle of the table to their personal eating space.
Editor’s note: Recipes for homemade seafood-boil seasoning can be found on the internet.