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Stewed Beef Rump

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

Most of us are used to stuffing a turkey or chicken, but stuffing a red meat is Old World. This version is stewed, as opposed to baked or roasted. Red wine and garlic give it depth.

18th Century

Take out as much of the bone as can be done that it will lie flat in a dish, stuff it with forcemeat made as before directed, lay it in a pot with two quarts of water, a pint of red wine, some carrots and turnips cut into small pieces and strewn over it, a head of celery cut up, a few cloves of garlic, some pounded cloves, pepper and salt, stew it gently until sufficiently done, skim the fat off, thicken the gravy, and serve it up; garnish with little bits of puff paste nicely baked and scraped horseradish.

— Randolph, Mary, “The Virginia Housewife”

21st Century


  • 5 lb. Rump of Beef
  • 2 quarts of water (or enough to cover meat)
  • 1 pt. Red Wine (Burgundy is fine)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 carrots (small)
  • 1 turnip (medium)
  • 1 stalk of celery (medium to large)
  • Butter and Flour for thickening
  • Horseradish

For the Forecemeat

  • 1 lb. Bread Crumb
  • 4 Slices of Bacon
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 oz. Beef Suet (butter can substitute)
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Egg Yolks

Prepare the Forcemeat

  1. In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, then add salt and pepper. Chop the onion finely and add to the crumbs.
  2. Cut the bacon pieces and the suet very fine and add into the mixture.
  3. Whip up the egg yolks and add them in, blending with your hands thoroughly until it packs together like a thick stuffing. If it’s too dry and doesn’t come together, add a whole whipped egg to the mixture.

Prepare the Beef

  1. Take the beef, and starting at one end with a knife, about an inch from the bottom, slowly cut (slice) from one end almost to the other end. Pulling the top over gently, cut as you go to “unroll” the beef, making it a long flat piece.
  2. Take your forcemeat and place it on the beef. Flatten it out with your hand to cover the exposed top of this long strip of meat.
  3. Gently roll the beef back up, reversing your cutting procedure. You should have a piece of meat that sort of looks like a pinwheel. Tie this altogether with string to hold it tight.
  4. Place beef in your stewing pot. Cover it over with the water and wine and add in your cut up garlic, carrots, turnip and celery. Stew this gently until sufficiently done, or when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees when taken with a meat thermometer (well done). Skim the fat that rises to the top of the water.
  5. To garnish, if you choose, roll out a puff pastry sheet (store bought), cut what shapes you please, and bake them on a cookie sheet. Now make sure your beef is done, plate it and surround it with the vegetables. If you choose, place scraped horseradish on the top and your baked puff pastry shapes over or around. You are ready to serve.

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Historic Foodways