Aleut Food Customs
Since the fur seal is the most common animal on the Pribilofs, many
ways have been developed for preparing its meat. During the summer
sealing season, any of the meat may be taken by those who want it.
Some is frozen to be used during the winter.
The meat is used for roasts, soups, stews, ground for hamburger,
meatballs, meatloaf. The liver and heart are also utilized. The liver
is especially good and tastes better than the finest calves liver.
Besides these ways of preparing meat, other methods of preserving it
without refrigeration have been devised through the years. the
flippers are salted in barrels and stored for several months. They are
also made into 'studen' (headcheese). The oil is relished by most of
the adult population. The meat is also pickled, similar to pig's feet.
Many years ago the intestines of the animals were cleaned and filled
with meat and used as sausage. The stomachs were prepared in this way
also. Present day Aleuts still use the meat for many of these dishes.
The hair seal is available for hunting during the year round as well
as the sea lion. These animals are used extensively and are prepared
similar to the fur seal meat.
The Aleuts as with other native peoples, are great meat eaters. They
have devised all sorts of stews and chowder making use of any type of
meat, or vegetables they have on hand.
Since the Aleut people on St. Paul Island were brought to the Island
from the Aleutians by the early Russian fur seekers, much of the Aleut
culture has been lost. It is hoped that through this page some of the
heritage of the Aleut People might be preserved.
American Indian Codfish Balls
1 1/2 pounds fresh codfish,
3 cups raw, peeled, diced potatoes,
2 teaspoons salt,
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper,
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill,
oil for deep frying
Directions: Place fis, potatos, salt, and pepper in water to cover in a
large sausepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Remove from
heat and drain well. Stir in dill and mash or puree. Shape into 2- to
3-inch balls. Roll in cornmeal if a crisper crust is desired. Heat oil to
375 degrees F. Fry codfish balls for about 1 minute, until golden brown.
Remove from oil, drain well, and serve.
Yield: serves 6
American Indian Corn Casserole
3 cups monterey jack; or similar grated cheese
6 slices whole wheat bread torn up,
1 lb canned creamed corn,
1/2 cup chopped celery,
1/4 cup chopped onion,
1 cup corn,
3 pcs eggs beaten with:
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce,
6 drops tabasco sauce,and
1/2 tsp dry yellow mustard
Fry the onion and celery together. Layer the bread (bottom) vegetables, and
cheese in an oiled casserole dish. Pour the creamed corn over the top.
Then pour the egg mixture over that. Let it stand 30 minutes, then bake in
a 350° oven for 1 hour, placed in a pan of hot water.
As a main dish, this supplies about 40% of a day's protein requirement. By
protein complementarity, the available amount can be increased to 55% by
adding 3/4 cup sunflower seeds, but some people don't like crunchies in it.
Yield: 4-5 as main dish
American Indian Corn Chowder
1 can corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms
6 cups meat stock or water
1 pc green pepper, chopped
1 pc potato, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon dill weed, chopped
Cook all ingredients together, except mushrooms and dill weed. Simmer 30
minutes. Add sliced mushrooms. Steam with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
Add dill. Serve while hot.
Yield: 8 servings
American Indian Cranberry Sauce
11/2 c sugar
1 pc navel orange
1/2 t grated ginger
4 c cranberries
1/2 c (2 oz.) toasted pecans
Grate the orange peel and add to a pot with the sugar and ginger.
Add the juice from the orange into the pot and simmer over
medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Add cranberries and cook until they pop - about 5 minutes.
Add pecans and cool sauce.
American Indian Fried Green Tomatoes
4 pcs large green tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
pinch black pepper
2 cups coarse ground yellow cornmeal
lard or vegetable shortening
Slice green tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle generously with
salt. Let stand for 10-15 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels, and sprinkle
Now dip the tomato slices into the cornmeal. In a large skillet heat the
lard until it begins to smoke, and fry the tomato slices until brown on
both sides. Serve immediately.
Yield: servings: 4
American Indian Green Chili Stew
2 pounds pork, mutton, lamb or beef; cut into small pieces
3 ears corn (scrape kernels from cob); Or about
3 cups frozen or canned corn
3 stalks celery; diced
3 pcs medium potatoespeeled and diced
2 pcs medium tomatoes; diced
5 pcs roasted green chiles; peeled, seeded and diced
Brown meat in large pot. Add remaining ingredients along with water to make
a stew consistency. Cover pot and simmer for approximately 1 hour
American Indian Hunters Potato Pie
1 cup vegetable oil,
2 lbs of sausage,
2 pcs large white onions,
4 lbs potatoes,
salt and pepper to taste
Peel, slice up potatoes and place in a large pan or Dutch oven.
Peel and slice up onions and place in with potatoes.
Add sausage and 1 cup of vegetable oil.
Fry every thing all up in the same pan.
When all is golden brown, add eggs, mix up into contents of pan.
Cook till done.
American Indian Mashed Squash
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp melted butter
Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds and fiber. Chunk in 2' pieces. Boil or
steam (steaming preserves its high amounts of vitamin C and A better) 20
minutes (boil) or 30 (steam) until tender. Cool slightly, and slip skin off
pieces. Spoon flesh into blender, add remaining ingredients and process
till smooth. Goes well with roast birds.
Yield: serves 4
American Indian Meat Pie
1 lb. ground buffalo or beef
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground garlic
1 tbsp. celery salt
2 tbsp. basil
4 c. biscuit dough*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first 7 ingredients. Roll dough. Cut in
2 inch round. Spoon meat mix on each. Fold in half. Seal edges. 1/2
inch apart on greased cookie sheet; bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
May be made up to 6 hours in advance. But bake just before serving. *If
using prepared biscuits, separate each biscuit into 2 biscuits. Instead of
biscuits, this can be cooked before and placed on party rye.