“This is a recipe that I learned from my mother. Ah, and we call it ‘potato slop’ even though outside of our family it would probably be called shepard’s pie. But basically what you do is you take a sauce pan and you brown up some ground beef and drain out the oil. And then you dice some onions and add them in. And then once you have the onions and the meat you fill the pan with water – almost to the very brim. And then you put really really thinly sliced potatoes in it – and they have to be thinly sliced so they cook quickly. And then you just put a lid on it and simmer it until the potatoes are kinda squooshy and then you take the lid off and let the water boil off. And then you have this kind of uh, potato, onion, ground beef mush. It sounds really unappetizing but then you stir in this taco seasoning and sometimes peas or corn if you feel like you need vegetables.”
The informant is a 20-year-old Theatre student at the University of Southern California. She grew up in North Carolina.
It was a dish the informant would eat on a day when her mother didn’t have a lot of work as it takes some time to make it. She thinks this recipe is delicious and she is fairly good at making it. If she’s cooking with friends or is trying to impress someone with her cooking this is her go-to recipe, unless they’ve already had it.
I think the Mexican influence is interesting, as North Carolina is not all that close to Mexico and yet this recipe has taco seasoning. This seems to evidence that the Mexican culinary traditions are becoming a standard part of American cooking. I would note that this is contrary to what assimilation theory would predict as this evidences Americans – as natives of the host country – incorporating Mexican traditions into their own. I would not say that this necessarily evidences a holistic acceptance of Mexican immigrants, certainly this shows that Mexican food is becoming increasingly thought of as American.