Steak and potatoes is, to many, the standard American meal. However, the journey of steak from cow to table has a long history. This dish has since been used as a peace offering, sustained communities, and has been the symbol of America’s heartland for decades. While the simple core ingredients have remained the same, steak and potatoes have taken on many variations throughout the ages.
Humans began domesticating cattle and similar animals around this time for the use of food and cultivation. In fact, some of the oldest cave drawings depict the hunting of cattle. One could even say that hunter-gatherers started the “farm to table” trend.
Columbus sailed the ocean blue and with bovine below deck. Spanish explorers brought cattle from Europe to the New World on what must have been an uncomfortable journey. This trend continued with many European explorers and traders traveling to the Americas thereafter.
Amongst the tea and taxes that the British brought to the colonies, they brought cattle. They were an essential import during the development of the colonies, as they were used for milk, butter and hide. Essentially, some colonist reenactors probably wouldn’t have a job churning butter for tour groups if it weren’t for cattle.
Steak didn’t become an American staple until after the Civil War. As industrialization took hold in America, the transportation of cattle for beef processing became widespread. Chicago was a central point of that industry, and remind of the largest producers of beef for decades. Steak and potato recipes might be one Midwestern stereotype that holds true.
Beef, and cattle, have sustained humans throughout the timeline of human history. It made its way from butcher to common grocery stores to meal kits within the century. To this day, nothing says home on the range more than a steak dinner.
You can bring this American classic to the dinner table with Home Chef.