Machine Shed Recipes To Try In Your Own Kitchen



Several years ago I Googled the words "recipe," "pork," "apples" and "pecans" and some weird thing called "The Machine Shed" popped up among the listings.

What on earth can a machine shed have to do with cooking I wondered? Curiosity got the better of me.

Well, their red logo looks like the top of a barn, I thought when I clicked into the site (

Turns out The Machine Shed is a "Restaurant Honoring the American Farmer." It opened in 1978 on the outskirts of Davenport, Ill. with just 100 seats. Their goal was to not only have a farm-themed restaurant, but one that farmers would be proud of, read founder and CEO Mike Whalen's welcome.

I started surfing their recipes and my mouth started watering.

Whether one prefers to dine on fish, fowl, beef or pork, there are recipes for each along with vegetable accompaniments and desserts.

The Machine Shed even sells some of its own meat, but I went to my local butcher and substituted a turkey breast and real bacon for the turkey filet mignon. I used seasoned salt I had in my cupboard for their chef's salt.

I have been happy with each recipe I have tried.

Today, there are seven Machine Sheds across the Midwest in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas and Minnesota. They are owned by Heart of America Restaurants and Inns.

Hmmm. I have relatives in Wisconsin. Maybe someday I will get to sit down in a Machine Shed and someone else can cook for a change.

In the meantime, give these a try:

Turkey Filet Mignon Wrapped in Turkey Bacon


1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 (6-ounce) bacon-wrapped turkey filet

Sprinkle black pepper


Combine molasses and softened butter.

Cover and hold for service.

Wrap each turkey medallion with one strip of bacon.

Lightly sprinkle with black pepper.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until food thermometer reaches 170 degrees.

Pipe molasses butter into a star on top of the turkey filet.

Serves one.

Pork with Jack Daniels Apple Butter


3 (2-ounce) pork cutlets

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon finely chopped onion

1/4 cup diced or sliced apples

1 ounce Jack Daniels whiskey

2 ounces butter

Pinch of chef's salt, to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons salt

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon onion salt


Cut pork cutlets from boneless pork loin.

Heat butter in 10-inch skillet; dredge pork cutlets in the 2 tablespoons flour and sauté about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Remove pork from skillet; set aside.

Add chopped onion, apples and sugar to pan; sauté.

Flame with Jack Daniels (being very careful with flame), and quickly shake in butter.

Serve over pork cutlets.

Seven Layer Supper


2 cups sliced raw potatoes

2 cups chopped celery

2 cups raw hamburger

1 cup sliced raw onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

2 cup canned tomatoes

1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Place ingredients in layers in the same order as listed in greased baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

Yield: Four to five servings.

Baked Walleye with Lemon Dill Beurre Blanc


4 (6- to 8-ounce) walleye fillets

1 cup cracker meal

1/4 cup flour

2 eggs

2 ounces minced shallots

1/4 cup white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 cup heavy cream

3/4 pound butter

1 tablespoon dill weed


Dredge the fillets in the flour, then egg and finish in the cracker meal.

Bake in a 350-degree oven approximately 15 minutes.

Beurre Blanc Sauce procedure:

Combine the shallots, wine, vinegar and lemon juice, and reduce by half.

Add the heavy cream and reduce by half again. Add the dill.

In a blender or food processor slowly add the butter to the heavy cream. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the fillets with the beurre blanc and serve immediately.

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