- 2½ pounds meaty shank of beef
- 3 pounds chicken
- bacon fat
- salt to taste
- ½ quart canned or fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 2 cups potatoes, diced
- 2 cups carrots, diced
- 2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob
- 1 cup green beans, cut
- 1 cup peas
- 1 package frozen lima beans
- 1 small can white soup beans
- ½ cup okra, sliced
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more, to taste)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 can unseasoned chicken broth or water for thinning
- ½ cup flour, mixed with a cup of cream for thickening
The day before serving: Brown beef in bacon fat. Add cold water to cover and add chicken and salt. Simmer, loosely covered, until meats are tender. Chicken will get done first; remove it and refrigerate, covered. Continue cooking the beef until very tender; remove and refrigerate, covered. Strain broth and refrigerate.
The day of serving: Skim fat from broth; remove chicken and beef from bones. Set aside. Measure the broth into a large kettle, at least 8-quart size, and add water to total 3 quarts. Add vegetables and seasonings and simmer, loosely covered, for at least 2 hours— the slower and longer, the better. Stir often from the bottom. If the stew seems to be getting too thick, add water or chicken broth.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut the meat in bite-size pieces and place in an oven-going container. Toss well to mix the meats and place in oven, covered, to heat for at least 1 hour. By this time the soup should be very thick but still “soupy.” If it seems thin, add flour mixed with cream; cook, stirring until well thickened. Season to taste.
To serve, place squares of egg cornbread in bottoms of large soup bowls and ladle the soup onto the bread. Spoon the hot meat on top of each serving.
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