Friday, September 2, 2011

Traditional Newfoundland Fare: Part III

    You cannot speak of Traditional Newfoundland Fare without including my personal favourite, Pease Soup with Salt Beef and Steamed Dumplings.
    I always wondered why whenever I read the word "pea's" in it's singular form, it was spelled "pease". I just figured it to be colloquial, but I wasn't sure so I checked it out.
    For those of you who don't already know, "pease" is the archaic singular form of the word "pea". I found this to be a little odd. Evidently, the word "pea" began as an incorrect back formation, and it just stuck.
    I also discovered that Pea Soup, as well as Pease Pudding (another Traditional Newfoundland Dish), originated due to the fact that pea's were high-protein low-cost staples in sailor's diets. The dishes were easy to make and the pea's were easily stored for extended time periods aboard their vessels. Although pease were eventually replaced with potatoes aboard the fishing vessels during the nineteenth century, the food still remains popular in the homes of Newfoundlander's today.

Pease Soup with Salt Beef and Steamed Dumplings (Doughboys):

2 cups of yellow split peas
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup potato, diced
1 lb. salt beef (ham bone with meat attached makes a great substitute, but doesn't need to be soaked overnight)

(1) In separate bowls, soak the salt beef (to remove excess salt) and peas overnight in water. You will need to soak the peas in a about 5 cups of water or so. They absorb quite a bit of water.

(2) Once ready to make the soup, drain off the water. Add the salt beef (first trimming off as much fat as possible, and cutting into small cubes), yellow split peas, and 8 cups of water to a large heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, and lower heat to medium. Simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
(3) About 20 minutes before serving, add the vegetables. If at this point the soup seems to thick, add additional water to thin it out. Return to a gentle boil.

Steamed Dumplings (Doughboys):

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2-3/4 cup of milk and water combined (Start with a 1/2 cup, and add more if the mixture is too dry)

(1) Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
(2) Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (a butter knife will also work well). The flour and butter should appear crumbly.
(3) Add the milk and water mixture. Stir to combine using a wooden spoon. The mixture should appear light and fluffy, and pull away from the edges of the bowl creating a ball.
(4) Drop the dough mixture by teaspoonful's into the soup.

(5) Cover the pot tightly, and cook for 15 minutes without removing the lid.

(6) Once the 15 minutes have passed, remove the lid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the Dumplings to a large bowl.
(7) Stir the soup, and ladle it into serving dishes.

(8) Top with a Steamed Dumpling.

You may also like:
Salt Codfish Cakes (Traditional Newfoundland Dish)
Fish and Brewis (Traditional Newfoundland Dish)

No comments:

Post a Comment