The Amish lifestyle is one that many of us preppers admire. Amish lead a very simplistic lifestyle that is free of the modern conveniences that the majority of the country takes for granted.
The Amish believe in one God. They believe that their faith calls for them to lead a lifestyle that consists of hard work and discipline. Amish shun certain modern conveniences that would not allow them to adhere to their beliefs.
Amish store their food mostly through canning, since some modern preservation techniques go against their beliefs.
The process of canning hasn’t changed much over the decades, though Amish women today may use a propane-powered or generator-powered stove, depending on what their particular Community and Bishop allows.
While us “English ” (What Amish call non-Amish) use a dishwasher to sanitize our jars, the Amish use a propane-powered stove to heat water to sterilize her jars and for the canning process.
Two thirds of the Amish community live in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. The highest concentration of Amish live in Holmes county Ohio.
I personally grew up right outside of the Amish community so our recipe is directly sighted from one of my local connections to the community. To show our support, all of the food items I’m using come from their local variety store.
Amish grow what is sustainable for their families including lots of root vegetables. Root vegetables last much longer in a pantry than other vegetables since they are used to being hidden from site in the moist dark ground.
I was able to get all of the vegetables for this recipe (potatoes, carrots and yellow onion) for just a little over a dollar. I also was able to pick up some frozen ground beef and beef bouillon for under four dollars and the rest went into a can of diced tomatoes.
Let’s get started on this awesome recipe for Amish stew.
- 4 small-medium potatoes
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp chives
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1lb frozen ground beef
- Dutch oven
- Pressure cooker/ Canner
1. Turn the stove (the Amish use gas but I have an electric stove) to medium heat. We’re now going to brown our beef in the Dutch oven to create some fond on the bottom of the pot.
Fond is the caramelization that happens at the bottom of the pot when browning meat or vegetables. After it’s browned we’re going to drain out as much grease as we can.
2. Here we’re going to add our vegetables: carrots, potatoes, onion and diced tomatoes. These veggies contain key nutrients to our diet like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and folate.
3. We’re gonna mix our 2 beef bouillon cubes with 3 cups of hot water until they are dissolved and add it in the Dutch oven with our garlic powder, chives, and parsley.
4. Pull out a deck of cards to play solitaire because we’re going to turn the heat down to low and cook for 3 hours with the Dutch oven lid on to retain moisture.
5. Our Amish stew is ready to eat so serve it up with some cornbread to make sure it’s to your liking. Add salt or pepper then let’s move on to canning.
How To Can Amish Stew
We’re going to use the pressure canning method to preserve our Amish stew.
Pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving low-acid foods. Low-acid foods include vegetables, meats, fish, and poultry.
Pressurized steam creates the needed temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit or higher that will destroy the bacteria present in the food.
1. Fill your pressure canner with 3 inches of hot water. Unlike the water bath method the jars don’t have to be fully covered. It is imperative to have adequate water level or risk damaging your pressure canner.
2. Put a rack at the bottom of the pressure canner and add your jars. The stew will be hot so I recommend using jar tongs to avoid burning yourself or dropping the jars.
3. Turn on the heat to high on your stove. Pop the lid of the pressure canner and tighten the seal. Once the vent starts steaming, set the timer to 10 minutes.
4. When the venting period is complete, use an oven mitt to place the weighted gauge on the canner.
5. Turn the stove to low heat. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 1 hour and 15 minutes for pints and 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts.
6. Release pressure from the pressure canner. Remove the jars carefully with jar tongs and allow the jars to cool. Check for the seal.
I canned only two jars from this recipe. My children smelled it and decided they needed to taste test the Amish Stew for control purposes. They ate most of the stew only leaving me with enough to can only two jars when this recipe makes about 6-8 quarts.
This recipe is definitely being added to our dinner menu! I plan on making a large batch since with pressure canning the stew will last up to two years if kept in a cool dark place.
Whether it’s from their preservation techniques or a delicious recipe, we can learn so much from the Amish community. Their lifestyle is one many preppers can relate to.
The Amish don’t rely on the world so when S.H.T.F. it won’t make too much difference in their everyday lives. Which is the goal of any prepper, that no matter what happens we will be okay and ready.
Comment below what other skills you would like to learn from the Amish community and lifestyle.
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