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Pine Bark Stew


This recipe has been traced to Captain John A. Kelley, of Kingstree, South Carolina, who made it for fellow sportsmen of the Otranto Club. It was cooked in a big iron pot over a pine bark fire on the banks of the Pee Dee River.


  • 1/2 pound slab bacon
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thin
  • 4 cups fish stock
  • 2 pounds firm-fleshed 1-inch thick fish fillets or steaks
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Cut bacon crosswise into 1-inch pieces and fry until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  2. Fry the onions in the bacon fat until golden brown.
  3. Bring fish stock to boil and boil potatoes, covered, 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the potatoes, reserving the stock. Put a layer of half the onions in the bottom of a large casserole, cover with a layer of half the potatoes, then the fish fillets, a final layer of onions and a final layer of potatoes. Pour in the reserved stock barely to cover.
  5. Melt the butter and stir in the seasonings. Pour into the casserole. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently until potatoes and fish are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Serve from the pot, sprinkled with the crisped bacon.

Serves 4.


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