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Lima Stew and Biscuits

This hearty stew is a meal in itself, warming on these cold autumn nights. Add some fresh biscuits to dip in the rich broth, and you’ll be in heaven! We’ve also included a recipe for making your own lard, the key to lighter, fluffier biscuits!

Lima Stew

  • 1 cup large dry lima beans
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 8 ounces of canned tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

Rinse beans and place in Dutch oven. Add the 4 1/2 cups water and soak overnight. Do not drain. Combine the flour and cold water and then stir the mixture into the beans and cook until thickened. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and place into a 375-degree oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. While that is baking, combine the breadcrumbs, milk, and Worcestershire sauce, and then mix into ground beef. Roll into small meatballs. Add to the stew and bake an additional 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

My Grandmother’s Flaky Biscuits

  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup corn oil (I use lard for a lighter biscuit)

Mix all ingredients until dough forms. Lightly knead the dough on a floured board 15 to 20 times, then roll it out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into biscuit shapes. Makes about 12 biscuits. Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Lard

Hot lard

If you want to make your own lard for lighter biscuits, here’s how I do it. I ask my local butcher or meat manager for the trim from pork. I usually cook about six pounds at a time. It must be cooked slowly, so the crock-pot is perfect for this job.

Trim any meat from the fat. Freeze this for later seasoning of cooked greens. Cut fat into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Place in crock-pot with 1/2 cup water and turn on low. Cook eight to nine hours. At this point the cracklins (small pieces of fat that do not liquefy) will be crisp and sink to the bottom of the pot. Scoop the cracklins out of the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper.  These can be used to flavor biscuits or cornbread. Some folks like to eat them as is for a snack.

Cooled lard

The liquid lard can be strained through several layers of cheesecloth to separate from any sediment. Just be careful, as the liquid is very hot. I don’t do this step, as I don’t mind the sediment, and it will sink to the bottom of the jars leaving the “cleaner” lard at the top. Pour into hot sterilized jars, wipe lip of jar, and place lid on top. They will seal as they cool. Store in dark cool place. Liquid lard is golden in color and will cool to white.

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