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Classic Colonial Recipes That Will Be Loved Forever

Colonial times have impacted our food and lifestyle, especially the modern cuisine. American cuisine is based on the colonial food style. There is nothing such as traditional colonial recipes or colonial cooking as the cooking differs depending on the class. Upper class people had lavish meals and had a special cook, whereas as the lower class people often had one-pot meals, except for occasions like Thanksgiving. Whether it was upper class or lower class, cooking was equally difficult as there were not many facilities available like today. But this fact also added in the flavor; for example, if chicken or sniper was to be made for lunch, the cooks had to hunt it themselves! This ensured the quality of the food. Delicacies like apple pie were commonly found in every class.

Classic Colonial Recipes

Shepherd’s Pie

shepherd's pie
Colonial Shepherd’s Pie


  • Turnips, peeled and diced, ½ pound
  • Unsalted butter, 4 tbs.
  • Beef stock or water, 2 cups
  • Tomato paste, ⅓ cup
  • Carrots, peeled and diced, ½ pound
  • Celery stalks. trimmed and sliced, 3
  • Onion, peeled and diced, 1 medium
  • Fresh thyme leaves, 1 tsp.
  • Lean boneless leg of lamb, cut into ½-inch cubes, 2 pounds
  • All-purpose flour, ½ cup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Unsalted butter, ¼ pound 1 stick
  • White or red boiled potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, 2 pounds
  • Yolk, 1 egg
  • Egg, 1
  • Freshly ground white pepper, ½ tsp.
  • Salt (to taste) or 1 tsp.


First we will make the stew. To make stew, melt butter in a saucepan or a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add lamb to it and cook until brown on both sides. Transfer the lamb to a bowl, set aside. Add carrots, turnips, onions and celery to the same saucepan and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lamb to the pan again along with thyme. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and then cook for about 3 minutes, on low heat. Next add stock or water, increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in tomato paste, pepper and salt. Let the lamb cook for about 40-55 minutes over low heat, covered.

Meanwhile we will make the potato topping. To make potato topping, place the potatoes in salted cold water and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let boil further for about 15 minutes. Drain and mash the potatoes, along with salt, pepper, yolk, egg white and butter. Place the potato topping in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Preheat an oven broiler. Place lamb on a large baking dish, pipe the potato topping on it, and then place the dish 6 inches from the heat, brown the potatoes. Serve immediately.

Yankee Pot Roast

yankee pot roast
Colonial Yankee Pot Roast


  • Boneless chuck roast, trimmed, 1 4-pound
  • Chopped plum tomato, 1 cup
  • Low-salt beef broth, 2 cups
  • Small red potatoes, 1¼ pounds
  • Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, 1 pound
  • Kosher salt, 1 tbs.
  • Cracked black pepper, 1 tbs.
  • Coarsely chopped onion, 2 cups
  • Olive oil, 2 tsp.
  • Ketchup, ¼ cup
  • Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbs.
  • Fresh lemon juice, 2 tbs.
  • Chopped fresh parsley


To make this recipe, preheat the oven to 300 °F. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Season roast with salt and pepper then add it to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, or until browned from all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, or until browned. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, roast, tomato and broth to the pan, bring to a boil over low heat. Cover the mixture and bake in the preheated oven for about 2½ hours. When done, add carrots and potatoes to the pan and bake further for about 30 minutes. Add in lemon juice and garnish with parsley.

Apple Pie

apple pie
Colonial Apple Pie


  • Green apples, 24
  • Sugar, 2 cups
  • Flour, 2 tbs.
  • Butter, 2 sticks – 8 tbs.
  • Sugar, ¾ – 1 cup (depending on apples)
  • Lemons, 4
  • Nutmeg, 1 tsp.
  • Deep dish pie crusts, 4
  • Pastry crusts, 2
  • Cinnamon , 4 tsp.
  • Cinnamon, 1 tsp.
  • Pinch salt


To make this recipe, firstly peel and core the apples, sprinkle them with lemon juice. Take a big bowl and combine nutmeg, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in it. Place the apple slices in the bowl and toss until the apples are coated. Place the coated apples into the pie crust, apply them with butter. Place the top crust over the pie, seal and flute. Cut very lightly on top of the pie and then bake it in preheated oven at 425 °F, for about 30-40 minutes.

Avoid making changes in any of the above recipes if you want to maintain the colonial taste. However, you can add your favorite ingredients to any of the above recipes, if you want a blend of traditional and modern in your cuisine. Bon appétit!

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