Real succotash is a whole lot more than what comes in a can of corn and beans at your local super market. It is a cross between chowder and a casserole and it has been around for eons of time. It is delicious and even better is good for you, filled with fiber and lots of good vitamins and minerals.
Succotash is a Native American word that means and dish contains both beans and corn and is originally a baked type of stew made in clay pots buried in the hot cooking coals or simmered in a pot over the campfire where it was left to stew and simmer all day long until time for the evening meal.
It is high in both protein and carbohydrates and loaded with the vitamins and minerals we need for a healthy diet. It is a wonderfully good for you Native American dish that was first shared with the early immigrants, those Pilgrims and Colonist who first came to America from Europe.
Succotash is simple to make and along with a green salad, a whole grain roll and some fresh fruit you have a wonderful meal that is made in a Dutch or deep dish casserole.
Real succotash is not the same as the canned corn and bean combination you can purchase from your grocer’s shelves or make by combining a can of kidney or lima beans to a can or corn, though that combination is a simple form of succotash.
Succotash is made in several different ways adding a variety of other vegetables including tomato, squash, turnip, carrots, yams but the recipe I have is from a Native American cookbook and it is the one I like best. It keeps well in the refrigerator for three or four days and it freezes well so you may want to make up a good batch of succotash and freeze some up in meal size containers for when you need a quick and easy meal, it works just fine. Reheated just enhances the flavor. Here is how to make real succotash the old fashion way.
4 cups precooked red kidney, soldier or yellow eye beans (or combine the beans and include lima beans as I often do…1 cup of each)
2 cups whole kernel corn
1 pound fowl meat cut into bite size chunks; I use chicken breast or turkey but you can substitute beef, ham, lamb or wild game if you so choose (If you are vegan just leave this out or add lightly browned tofu if you like.)
3-4 medium size potatoes scrubbed and cut into bite size pieces (do not peel)
1/2 cup chopped butternuts or walnuts
1 medium onion chopped coarsely
2 Tbsp. chopped celery
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1rounded Tbsp. sugar (maple or brown sugar is wonderful but regular granulated will work) I sometimes add a pinch of ginger and all spice for zip as well.
Salt and pepper to taste
Add just enough water, chicken broth or vegetable broth to cover. Cover and bake in medium oven about 40 min. or on top of stove until meat is done and tender about 15-20 min. from the time it starts to simmer. I usually cook mine in my crock pot on low and let it cook all day (about 4 to 6 hours) The slow baking or cooking in the crock pot I think works best as it gives it more time to season.
Serve it up in warm bowls with some crusty bread and a side salad of choice. It makes a wonderful and budget friendly meal. I’ll let you decide what you’ll have for dessert but I think I’ll make “Hasty Pudding,” keeping with that old fashion tradition for the entire meal.