This is a regional recipe you will not find anywhere outside of Northeast Wisconsin. It hails from Belgian settlers who traditionally cooked it in large quantities over an outdoor fire. Here is a much more manageable version for home use. Enjoy – slow and low are key to achieving the best flavor.
1 pound beef or pork stew meat, cubed in 1″ squares
2 large spanish onions, chopped
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tbs. garlic powder
1 large stewing chicken (6 lbs), cut up (you can also use rotisserie chicken)
5 ribs celery, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound cabbage, shredded
3 cups frozen or fresh green beans, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes (or fresh, if you’ve got ’em)
2 cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped with skins on
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs. soy sauce
2-4 chicken flavored bouillon cubes (optional)
Place beef in very large stock pot with some of the onion, a few bay leaves, the thyme, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and the salt and pepper. Add enough cold water to fill the pot 1/3 full. Bring to simmer, skim surface as needed and cook 1/2 hour. Add chicken parts, more water (to cover all the meat) and a little more salt. Continue to simmer 1-2 hours, partially covered.
Prep the vegetables.
When meats are tender, lift them out of the broth. While meat is cooling, add the prepared vegetables, including the remaining onion.
Remove bones and skin from cooled chicken and beef. Chop the meats and add back to the pot after all the veggies have been added. Simmer the soup at least two hours, partially covered. Best when simmered for at least six hours. If simmering this long, add the potatoes later so they don’t get too soft. Water may be added during the cooking process if necessary. Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve with oyster crackers.