NPR logo Recipes from 'Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook'

Recipes from 'Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook'

The following recipes, used courtesy of author Paula K. McKenna, are from Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook, a collection of more than 400 recipes from the galleys of the great ships that sail the Great Lakes. Some of these recipes will yield very large quantities.


Hungarian Beef Goulash

Freighter Ship: M.V. Canadian Progress, Upper Lakes Group
Steward: Tony Carter


5-6 lbs. stewing beef

4 cups onions, roughly chopped

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

6-8 cups beef stock, hot

4 green peppers, thin julienne cut

Flour, as needed

For Sauce:

10 ounces tomato sauce

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed

4-5 tablespoons Hungarian paprika

¾ cups Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Directions: Trim stewing beef, if necessary, of excess fat and gristle. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes; place in roasting pan and brown well in hot, 450-degree oven. Stir in onions and minced garlic.

Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and brown an additional 10 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer roasting pan to stovetop. Over medium-low heat, stir in enough flour to absorb fat and drippings. Cook and stir over low heat for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300-325 degrees. Place covered roaster back in oven and stew 2-1/2 hours, until beef is tender. Stir in julienned green peppers during the last half hour and recover pan.

Taste and adjust seasonings. If necessary, thicken juices on stovetop with a slurry of corn starch and cold water, until the desired consistency is reached. Serve on broad egg noodles cooked al dente and tossed with garlic powder and butter.

Yield: 24 Servings

Note: Hungarian-type paprika is essential for the right flavor. DO NOT substitute Spanish paprika.


Tourtiere (Tor-tee-air)
French Canadian (Quebec) Meat Pie

Freighter Ship: M.V. Canadian Progress, Upper Lakes Group
Steward: Tony Carter


5 lbs. ground pork

3 medium onions, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage or dried savory

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups water

1 1/2 to 2 cups fine, dry bread crumbs

For Pie Dough:

(Enough for four double-crust pies)

4 cups flour

1 lb. shortening

¾ to 1 cup ice water

1 teaspoon salt

Directions: To prepare pie dough, cut shortening into flour. Mix salt with cold water. Add water mixture to flour mixture, stirring in just enough to moisten. Roll out dough and place bottom shells in 4 (9-inch) pie plates. Roll out top crusts and set aside.

Place all filling ingredients, except bread crumbs, into stock pot; bring to low boil. Stir and cook 20 minutes, breaking up the meat until "pink" disappears. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup bread crumbs. Let stand and cool 20 minutes. If all fat and liquid is not absorbed, stir in remaining bread crumbs.

Cool mixture well and spoon into pie shells; level out well. Mixture should not be too moist or too dry. Cover filled pies with pastry, first brushing the rims with the white of an egg. Seal and flute edges. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

Yield: 4 (9-Inch) Pies

Variations: Beef stock can be used in place of water. Finely diced or grated, boiled and cooled potatoes can be substituted for some of the bread crumbs. Seasonings can be increased or decreased to taste.

Note: These meat pies freeze well. Thaw and then reheat.


Dump Cake

Freighter Ship: S.S. Courtney Burton, Oglebay Norton Company
Steward: Todd Stewart


1 can cherry pie filling

1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

1 box white or yellow cake mix

1 stick + 2 tablespoons margarine

½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter

Cool Whip

Directions: Dump pie filling and pineapple into 9x13-inch pan; mix together. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top. Cube margarine and butter; place over cake mix. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for 1 hour. Top cooled cake with Cool Whip.


Cranberry-Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice

Freighter Ship: M.V. Oglebay Norton, Oglebay Norton Company
Chief Cook: Calvin Statham Sr. (featured in our story)


1 box Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice, fast-cooking recipe

½ cup celery, sliced

1/3 cup slivered almonds (optional)

1 (8 oz.) can jellied cranberry sauce, divided

4 Cornish game hens

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare rice according to package directions. Stir in celery, almonds and ½ cranberry sauce; cool. Spoon approximately ¾ cup rice mixture into cavity of each hen. Tie drumsticks together with string and place on rack in roasting pan. Brush each hen with oil. Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, or until juices run clear, basting with oil occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining cranberry sauce in a small saucepan until melted. Remove hens from oven; remove and discard string. Spoon the warm cranberry sauce over hens.

Yield: 4 Servings


New England Seafood Chowder

Freighter Ship: M.V. Paul R. Tregurtha, Interlake Steamship Co.
Chief Cook: John R. Duning (featured in our story)

"I don't know of a recipe that better represents our area than chowder. I adapted this from my mom’s clam chowder recipe, and guests often request it. — Duning


1 lb. whitefish

1 cup celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cold water

2 (6-1/2 oz.) cans minced clams with liquid

1 (4 oz.) can tiny shrimp

1 can crab meat

2 teaspoons pepper

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

½ (1 oz.) jar pimiento, drained

Fresh parsley, chopped

Directions: Place fish in large Dutch oven with enough water to cover. Cook over medium heat until fish flakes with fork, approximately 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove fish and break into bite-sized pieces; set aside. Measure cooking liquid and add enough additional water to equal 4 cups.

Cook celery, onions and potatoes in the liquid until tender. Combine flour and water to make a paste; stir into chowder. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Add reserved fish, clams with liquid, shrimp, crab meat, salt, pepper, butter, milk and pimiento. Heat through, stirring occasionally. Garnish with parsley.

Yield: 3-1/2 Quarts

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