The art of preparing good, wholesome, palatable soups, without great expense, which is so well understood in France, and in other countries where they form part of the daily food of all classes of the people, has hitherto been very much neglected in England; it is one, therefore, to which we would particularly direct the attention of the cook, who will find, we think, on a careful perusal of the present chapter, that it presents no difficulties which a common degree of care and skill will not easily overcome. Under the article Bouillon, a full explanation is given of the principles of this branch of cookery, which should be studied by every reader who may be desirous to excel in it.
The spices and other condiments used to give flavour to soups and gravies should be so nicely proportioned that none predominate nor overpower the rest; and this delicate blending of savours is perhaps the most difficult part of a cook’s task: it is an art, moreover, not easily acquired, except by long experience, unless great attention be combined with some natural refinement of the palate.
Onions, eschalots, and garlic are not only offensive to many persons, but so prejudicial sometimes in their effects, especially to invalids, that they should at all times be used in moderation, when no positive orders are received to the contrary.
A zealous servant will take all possible pains on her first entrance into a family, to ascertain the particular 2 tastes of the individuals she serves; and will be guided entirely by them in the preparation of her dishes, however much they may be opposed to her own ideas, or to her previous practice.
Exceeding cleanliness, both in her personal habits and appearance, and in every department of her work, is so essential in a cook, that no degree of skill, nor any other good qualities which she may possess, can ever atone for the want of it. The very idea of a dirty cook is so revolting, that few people will be induced to tolerate the reality; and we would therefore most strongly urge those who are anxious for their own success in life, and desirous to obtain the respect and approbation of their employers, strenuously to strive against any tendency to slovenliness of which they may be conscious, or which may be pointed out to them by others.
In whatever vessel soup is boiled, see that it be perfectly clean, and let the inside of the cover and the rim be equally so. Wash the meat, and prepare the vegetables with great nicety before they are laid into it; and be careful to keep it always closely shut when it is on the fire. Never, on any account, set the soup by in it, but strain it off at once into a clean pan; and 3 fill the stock-pot immediately with water: pursue the same plan with all your stewpans and saucepans directly they are emptied.
Skim the soup thoroughly when it first begins to boil, or it can never afterwards be rendered clear; throw in some salt, which will assist to bring the scum to the surface, and when it has all been taken off, add the herbs and vegetables; for if not long stewed in the soup, their flavour will prevail too strongly. Remember, that the trimmings, and especially the bones of fresh meat, the necks of poultry, the liquor in which a joint has been boiled, and the shank-bones of mutton, are all excellent additions to the stock-pot, and should be carefully reserved for it.
Let the soup heat gradually over a moderate fire, and after it has been well skimmed, draw it to the side of the stove and keep it simmering softly, but without ceasing, until it is done; for on this, as will hereafter be shown, its excellence principally depends. Every good cook understands perfectly the difference produced by the fast boiling, or the gentle stewing of soups and gravies, and will adhere strictly to the latter method.
Pour boiling water, in small quantities at first, to the meat and vegetables of which the soup is to be made when they have been fried or browned; but otherwise, add cold water to the meat.
A small proportion of sugar, about an ounce to the gallon, will very much improve the flavour of gravy-stock, and of all rich brown soups; it may be added also to some others with advantage; and for this, directions will be given in the proper places.
Two ounces of salt may be allowed for each gallon of soup or broth in which large quantities of vegetables are stewed; but an ounce and a half will be sufficient for such as contain few or none; it is always easy to add more if needful, but oversalting in the first instance is a fault for which there is no remedy but that of increasing the proportions of all the other ingredients, and stewing the whole afresh, which occasions needless 4 trouble and expense, even when time will admit of its being done.
As no particle of fat should be seen floating on your soups when they are sent to table, it is desirable that the stock should be made the day before it is wanted, that it may become quite cold, when the fat may be entirely cleared off without difficulty.
When cayenne pepper is not mixed with rice-flour, or with any other thickening, grind it down with the back of a spoon, and stir a little liquid to it before it is thrown into the stewpan, as it is apt to remain in lumps, and to occasion great irritation of the throat when swallowed so.
Serve, not only soups and sauces, but all your dishes as hot as possible.
We prefer, to all other ingredients generally used for this purpose, the finest and whitest rice-flour, which after being passed through a lawn-sieve, should be thoroughly blended with the salt, pounded spices, catsup, or wine, required to finish the flavouring of the soup. Sufficient liquid should be added to it very gradually to render it of the consistency of batter, and it should also be perfectly smooth; to keep it so, it should be moistened sparingly at first, and beaten with the back of a spoon until every lump has disappeared. The soup should boil quickly when the thickening is stirred into it, and be simmered for ten minutes afterwards. From an ounce and a half to two ounces of rice-flour will thicken sufficiently a quart of soup.
Either arrow root, potato starch, the French called roux, that is, butter mixed with flour (browned or otherwise), may be substituted for the rice-flour in the following proportions:
Two ounces and a half of arrow root or potato-starch* to four pints and a half of soup; to be mixed 5 gradually with a little cold stock or water, stirred into the boiling soup, and simmered a minute.
Six ounces of flour with as much butter, will be required to thicken a tureen of soup; as much as half a pound is sometimes used; these must be added by degrees and carefully stirred round in the soup till smoothly blended with it, or they will remain in lumps.
All the ingredients used for soups should be fresh, and of good quality, particularly Italian pastes of every kind (maccaroni, vermicelli, &c.), as they contract, by long keeping, a peculiarly unpleasant, musty flavour.
Onions, freed from the outer skin, dried gradually to a deep brown, in a slow oven, and flattened like Norfolk biffins, will keep for almost any length of time, and are extremely useful for heightening the colour and flavour of broths and gravies.†
* We find the condiment called Tous les Mois, when really genuine, a more delicate and suitable ingredient for this purpose even than arrow root, which it resembles in appearance, and in the effect which it produces: it should be used in about the same proportions and in exactly the same manner. When good it appears to us to be entirely flavourless. As it is now constantly advertised for sale, the reader will be at no loss to obtain it.
† The fourth part of one of these dried onions, (des oignons brúlés) of moderate size, is sufficient for a tureen of soup. They are sold very commonly in France, and may be procured, we should suppose, without difficulty in London, at the foreign warehouses.
Cut some slices a quarter-inch thick, from a stale loaf; pare off the crust, and divide the bread into dice, or cut it with a deep paste-cutter into any other form. For half a pound of bread put two ounces of the best butter into a frying-pan, and when it is quite melted, add the bread; keep it turned, over a gentle fire, until it is equally coloured to a very pale brown, then drain it from the butter, and dry it on a soft cloth, or a sheet of paper placed before a clear fire, upon a dish, or on a sieve reversed.6
Having cut the bread as for common sippets, spread it on a dish, and pour over it a few spoonsful of thin cream, or of good milk; let it soak an hour, then fry it in fresh butter of a delicate brown, drain, and serve the sippets hot.
Wet, with the yolks of four eggs, as much fine, dry, and sifted flour as will make them into a firm but very smooth paste. Roll it out as thin as possible, and cut it into bands of about an inch and a quarter in width. Dust them lightly with flour, and place four of them one upon the other. Cut them obliquely in the finest possible strips; separate them with the point of a knife, and spread them on writing paper, so that they may dry a little before they are used. Drop them gradually into the boiling soup, and in ten minutes they will be done.
Various other forms may be given to this paste at will. It may be divided into a sort of riband maccaroni; or stamped with small confectionary cutters into different shapes.
Cut the carrots into inch lengths, then pare them round and round in ribbons of equal thickness, till the inside is reached; next cut these ribands into straws, or very small strips; celery is prepared in the same way, and turnips also are first pared into ribands, then sliced into strips: these last require less boiling than the carrots, and attention must be paid to this, for if broken, the whole would have a bad appearance in soup. The safer plan is to boil each vegetable separately, till tolerably tender, in a little pale broth (in water, if this be not at hand), to drain them well, and put them into the soup, which should be clear, only a few minutes 7 before it is dished. For cutting them small, in other forms, the proper instruments will be found at the iron-mongers.
This soup, or broth, as we should perhaps designate it in England, is made once or twice in the week, in every family of respectability in France; and by the poorer classes as often as their means will enable them to substitute it for the vegetable or maigre soups, on which they are more commonly obliged to subsist. It is served usually on the first day, with slices of untoasted bread soaked in it; on the second, it is generally varied with vermicelli, rice, or semoulina. The ingredients are, of course, often otherwise proportioned than as we have given them, and more or less meat is allowed, according to the taste or circumstances of the persons for whom the bouillon is prepared; but the process of making it is always the same, and is thus described (rather learnedly) by one of the most skilful cooks in Europe: “The stock-pot of the French artizan,” says Monsieur Carême, “supplies his principal nourishment; and it is thus managed by his wife, who, without the slightest knowledge of chemistry, conducts the process in a truly scientific manner. She first lays the meat into her earthen stock-pot, and pours cold water to it in the proportion of about two quarts to three pounds of the beef;* she then places it by the side of the fire, where it 8 slowly becomes hot; and as it does so, the heat enlarges the fibre of the meat, dissolves the gelatinous substances which it contains, allows the albumen (or the muscular part which produces the scum) to disengage itself, and rise to the surface, and the OZMAZOME (which is the most savoury part of the meat) to be diffused through the broth. Thus, from the simple circumstance of boiling it in the gentlest manner, a relishing and nutritious soup will be obtained, and a dish of tender and palatable meat; but if the pot be placed and kept over a quick fire, the albumen will coagulate, harden the meat, prevent the water from penetrating it, and the osmazome from disengaging itself; the result will be a broth without flavour or goodness, and a tough, dry bit of meat.”
It must be observed in addition, that as the meat of which the bouillon is made, is almost invariably sent to table, a part of the rump, the mouse-buttock, or the leg-of-mutton piece of beef, should be selected for it; and the simmering should be continued only till this is perfectly tender. When the object is simply to make good, pure-flavoured beef broth, part of the shin, or leg, with a pound or two of the neck, will best answer the purpose. When the bouilli (that is to say, the beef which is boiled in the soup), is to be served, bind it into a good shape, add to it a calf’s foot, if easily procurable, as this much improves the quality of the bouillon, pour cold water to it in the proportion mentioned above, and proceed as Monsieur Carême directs, to heat the soup slowly by the side of the fire; remove carefully the head of scum, which will gather on the surface, before the boiling commences, and continue the skimming at intervals, for about twenty minutes longer, pouring in once or twice a little cold water. Next, add salt in the proportion of two ounces to the gallon; this will cause a little more scum to rise,—clear it quite off, and throw in three or four turnips, as many carrots, half a head of celery, four or five young leeks, an onion stuck with six or eight cloves, a large half-teaspoonful of pepper-corns, 9 and a bunch of savoury herbs. Let the whole stew VERY softly, without ceasing, from four hours and a half to six hours, according to the quantity: the beef in that time will be extremely tender, but not overdone. It will be excellent eating, if properly managed, and might often, we think, be substituted with great advantage for the hard, half-boiled, salted beef so often seen at an English table. It should be served with a couple of cabbages, which have been first boiled in the usual way, then pressed very dry, and stewed for about ten minutes in a little of the broth, and seasoned with pepper and salt. The other vegetables from the bouillon may be laid round it or not, at choice. The soup, if served on the same day, must be strained, well cleared from fat, and sent to table with fried or toasted bread, unless the continental mode of putting slices or crusts of untoasted bread into the tureen, and soaking them for ten minutes in a ladleful or two of the bouillon, be, from custom, preferred.
Beef, 8 to 9 lbs.; water, 6 quarts; salt, 3 ozs. (more if needed); carrots, 4 to 6; turnips, 4 or 5; celery, one small head; leeks, 4 to 6; one onion, stuck with 6 cloves; pepper-corns, one small teaspoonful: large bunch of savoury herbs: (calf’s foot if convenient) to simmer five to six hours.
Obs. 1.—This broth forms in France the foundation of all richer soups and gravies. Poured on fresh meat, (a portion of which should be veal,) instead of water, it makes at once an excellent consommée, or strong jellied stock. If properly managed, it is very clear and pale; and with an additional weight of beef, and some spoonsful of glaze, might easily be converted into an amber-coloured gravy-soup, suited to modern taste.
Obs. 2.—It is a common practice abroad to boil poultry, pigeons, and even game in the pot-au-feu, or soup-pot. They should be properly trussed, stewed in the broth just long enough to render them tender, and served immediately, when ready, with a good sauce. A small ham, if well soaked, washed exceedingly 10 clean, and freed entirely from any rusty, or blackened parts, laid with the beef when the water is first added to it, and boiled from three hours and a half to four hours, in the bouillon, is very superior in flavour to those cooked in water only, and infinitely improves the soup, which cannot, however, so well be eaten until the following day, when all the fat can easily be taken from it: it would, of course, require no salt.
* This is a large proportion of meat for the family of a French artizan; a pound to the quart would be nearer the reality; but it is not the refuse-meat which would be purchased by persons of the same rank in England for making broth.
Rub a deep stewpan or soup-pot with butter, and lay into it three quarters of a pound of ham freed entirely from fat, skin, and rust, four pounds of leg or neck of veal, and the same weight of lean beef all cut into thick slices; set it over a clear and rather brisk fire, until the meat is of a fine amber-colour: it must be often moved, and closely watched, that it may not stick to the pan, nor burn. When it is equally browned, lay the bones upon it, and pour in gradually four quarts of boiling water. Take off the scum carefully as it rises, and throw in a pint of cold water at intervals, to bring it quickly to the surface. When no more appears, add two ounces of salt, two onions, two large carrots, two turnips, one head of celery, a two-ounce faggot of savoury herbs, a dozen cloves, half a teaspoonful of whole white pepper, and two large blades of mace. Let the soup boil gently from five hours and a half, to six hours and a half; then strain it through a very clean, fine cloth, laid in a hair sieve. When it is perfectly cold, remove every particle of fat from the top; and, in taking out the soup, leave the sediment untouched; heat in a clean pan the quantity required for table, add salt to it if needed, and a few drops of chili or of cayenne vinegar. Harvey’s sauce, or very fine mushroom catsup, may be substituted for these. When thus prepared, the soup is ready to serve: it should be accompanied by pale sippets of fried bread, or sippets à la reine. Rice, maccaroni in lengths or rings, vermicelli, or nouilles, may in turn be used, to vary it; but 11 they must always be boiled apart till tender, in broth, or water, and well drained before they are slipped into it. The addition of young vegetables, too, and especially of asparagus, will convert it into an elegant spring-soup; but they, likewise, must be separately cooked.
Instead of browning the meat in its own juice, put it with the onions and carrots, into a deep stewpan, with a quarter-pint of bouillon; set it over a brisk fire at first, and when the broth is somewhat reduced, let it boil gently until it has taken a fine colour and forms a glaze (or jelly) at the bottom of the stewpan; then pour to it the proper quantity of water, and finish the soup by the preceding receipt.*
Obs.—An excellent English brown gravy-soup may be made with beef only. It should be cut from the bones, dredged with flour, seasoned with pepper and salt, and fried a clear brown; then stewed for six hours, if the quantity be large, with a pint of water to each pound of meat, and vegetables as above, except onions, of which four moderate-sized ones, also fried, are to be added to every three quarts of the soup, which, after it has been strained, and cleared from fat, may be thickened 12 with six ounces of fresh butter, worked up very smoothly with five of flour. In twenty minutes afterwards, a tablespoonful of the best soy, half a pint of sherry, and a little cayenne may be added to the soup, which will then be ready to serve.
* The juices of meat, drawn out with a small portion of liquid, as directed here, may easily be reduced to the consistency in which they form what is called glaze; for particulars of this, see Chapter III. The best method, though perhaps not the easiest, of making the clear, amber-coloured stock, is to pour a ladleful or two of pale, but strong beef-broth to the veal, and to boil it briskly until well reduced, thrusting a knife, when this is done, into the meat, to let the juices escape; then to proceed more slowly and cautiously as the liquid approaches the state in which it would burn. It must be allowed to take a fine amber-colour only, and the meat must be turned, and often moved in it. When the desired point is reached, pour in more boiling broth, and let the pan remain off the fire for a few minutes, to detach and melt the glaze; then shake it well round before the boiling is continued. A certain quantity of deeply coloured glaze, made apart, and stirred into strong, clear, pale stock, would produce the desired effect of this, with much less trouble.
Drop very lightly, and by degrees, six ounces of vermicelli, broken rather small, into three quarts of boiling bouillon, or clear gravy soup; let it simmer half an hour over a gentle fire, and stir it often. This is the common French mode of making vermicelli soup, and we can recommend it as a particularly good one for family use. In England it is customary to soak, or to blanch the vermicelli, then to drain it well, and to stew it for a shorter time in the soup: the quantity, also, must be reduced quite two ounces, to suit modern taste.
Bouillon, or gravy-soup, 3 quarts; vermicelli, 6 ozs.; 30 minutes. Or, soup, 3 quarts; vermicelli, 4 ozs.; blanched in boiling water 5 minutes; stewed in soup 10 to 15 minutes.
Semoulina is used in the same way as the vermicelli. It should be dropped very lightly and by degrees into the boiling soup, which should be stirred all the time it is being added, and very frequently afterwards; indeed, it should scarcely be quitted for a moment until it is ready for table. Skim it carefully, and let it simmer from twenty to five and twenty minutes. This, when the semoulina can be procured good and fresh,* is, to our taste, an excellent soup.13
Soup, 3 quarts; semoulina, 6 : nearly, or quite 25 minutes.
* We shall indicate to our readers, in another part of the volume, where this and various other ingredients can be obtained, of the best quality.
Throw four ounces of fine fresh* mellow maccaroni into a pan of fast-boiling water, with about an ounce of fresh butter, and a small onion stuck with three or four cloves.† When it has swelled to its full size, and become tender, drain it well, and slip it into a couple of quarts of clear gravy-soup; let it simmer for a few minutes, when it will be ready for table. Observe, that the maccaroni should be boiled quite tender; but it should by no means be allowed to burst, nor to become pulpy. Serve grated Parmesan cheese with it.
Maccaroni, 4 ozs.; butter, 1 oz.; 1 small onion; 5 cloves; three-quarters of an hour or more. In soup, 5 to 10 minutes.
Obs.—The maccaroni for soups should always be either broken into short lengths before it is boiled, or sliced quickly afterwards into small rings not more than the sixth of an inch thick, unless the cut maccaroni, which may be purchased at the Italian warehouses, be used; this requires but ten minutes’ boiling, and should be dropped into the soup in the same way as vermicelli. Four ounces of it will be sufficient for two quarts of stock. It may be added to white soup after having been previously boiled in water or veal-broth, and well drained from it.
* We must here repeat our warning against the use of long-kept maccaroni, vermicelli, or semoulina; as when stale, they will render any dish into which they are introduced, quite unfit for table.
† For White Soups omit the onion.
Make into nouille paste the yolks of four fresh eggs, and when ready cut, drop it gradually into five pints of boiling soup; keep this gently stirred for ten minutes, skim it well, and serve it quickly. This is a less common, and a more delicately flavoured soup than the vermicelli, provided always that the nouilles be made 14 with really fresh eggs. The same paste may be cut into very small diamond squares, stars, or any other form, then left to dry a little, and boiled in the soup till swelled to its full size, and tender.
Nouille paste of four eggs; soup, 5 pints: 10 minutes.
Wash in several waters, and float off the dirt from six ounces of sago; put it into three quarts of good cold gravy-stock, and let it stew gently from half to three quarters of an hour; stir it occasionally, that it may not burn nor stick to the stew-pan. A quarter-ounce more of sago to each pint of liquid, will thicken it to the consistency of peas-soup. It may be flavoured with half a wineglassful of Harvey’s sauce, as much cayenne as it may need, the juice of half a lemon, an ounce of sugar, and two glasses of sherry; or these may be omitted, and good beef-broth may be substituted for the gravy-soup, for a simple family dinner, or for an invalid.
Sago, 6 ozs.; soup, 3 quarts: 30 to 45 minutes.
This is made in the same manner, and with the same proportions as the preceding soup, but it must be simmered from fifty to sixty minutes.
In France this soup is served well thickened with the rice, which is stewed in it for upwards of an hour and a half, and makes thus, even with the common bouillon of the country, an excellent winter potage. Pick, and wipe in a dry cloth, eight ounces of the best rice; add it, in small portions, to four quarts of hot soup, of which the boiling should not be checked as it is thrown in. When a clear soup is wanted, wash the rice, give it five minutes’ boil in water, drain it well, throw it into as much boiling stock or well-flavoured broth as 15 will keep it covered till done, and simmer it very softly until the grains are tender, but still separate; drain it, slip it into the soup, and let it remain in it a few minutes before it is served, but without simmering. When stewed in the stock, it may be put at once, after being drained, into the tureen, and the clear gravy soup may be poured to it.
An easy English mode of making rice-soup is this: put the rice into plenty of cold water; when it boils throw in a small quantity of salt, let it simmer ten minutes, drain it well, throw it into the boiling soup, and simmer it gently from ten to fifteen minutes longer; some rice will be tender in half that time. An extra quantity of stock must be allowed for the reduction of this soup, which is always considerable.
Throw four ounces of well-washed rice into boiling water, and in five minutes after pour it into a sieve, drain it well, and put it into a couple of quarts of good white, boiling stock; let it stew till tender; season the soup with salt, cayenne, and powdered mace; stir to it three-quarters of a pint of very rich cream, give it one boil, and serve it quickly.
Rice, 4 ozs.: boiled 5 minutes. Soup, 2 quarts: three-quarters of an hour or more. Seasoning of salt, mace, and cayenne; cream three-quarters of a pint: 1 minute.
Mix with a little cold broth, eight ounces of fine rice-flour, and pour it into a couple of quarts of broth, or gravy-soup, when boiling fast. Add to it mace, and cayenne, with a little salt if needful. It will require but ten minutes’ boiling.
Soup, 2 quarts; rice-flour, 8 ozs.: 10 minutes.
Obs.—Two dessertspoonsful of currie-powder, and the strained juice of half a moderate-sized lemon will greatly improve this soup: it may also be converted into a good common white soup, (if it be made of veal 16 stock,) by the addition of three quarters of a pint of thick cream to the rice.
Though a knuckle of veal is usually preferred for this stock, part of the neck will, on an emergency, answer very well. Whichever joint be chosen, let it be thoroughly washed, once or twice divided, and laid into a delicately clean soup pot, or well-tinned large stout iron saucepan, upon a pound of lean ham, freed entirely from skin and fat, and cut into thick slices. Should very rich soup be wished for, pour in a pint only of cold water for each pound of meat, but otherwise a pint and a half may be allowed. When the soup has been thoroughly cleared from scum, which should be carefully taken off, from the time of its first beginning to boil, throw in an ounce of salt to the gallon, (more can be added afterwards if needed,) two mild onions, a moderate-sized head of celery, two carrots, a small teaspoonful of whole white pepper, and two blades of mace; and let the soup stew very softly from five to six hours if the quantity be large: it should simmer until the meat falls from the bones. The skin of a calf’s head, a calf’s foot, or an old fowl may always be added to this stock with good effect. Strain it into a clean deep pan, and keep it in a cool place till wanted for use.
Lean ham, 1 lb.; veal, 7 lbs.; water, 4 to 6 quarts; salt, 1½ oz. (more if needed); onions, 2; celery, 1 head; carrots, 2; pepper-corns, 1 teaspoonful; mace, 2 blades: five to six hours.
Equal parts of beef and mutton, with the addition of a small portion of ham, or very lean bacon, make excellent stock, especially for winter-soups. The necks of fowls, the bones of an undressed calf’s head, or of any uncooked joint may be added to it with advantage. According to the quality of soup desired, pour from a 17 pint to a pint and a half of cold water to each pound of meat; and after the liquor has been well skimmed on its beginning to boil, throw in an ounce and a half of salt to the gallon, two small heads of celery, three mild, middling-sized onions, three well-flavoured turnips, as many carrots, a faggot of thyme and parsley, half a teaspoonful of white pepper-corns, twelve cloves, and a large blade of mace. Draw the soup-pot to the side of the fire, and boil the stock as gently as possible for about six hours; then strain, and set it by for use. Be particularly careful to clear it entirely from fat before it is prepared for table. One third of beef or veal, with two of mutton, will make very good soup; or mutton only will answer the purpose quite well upon occasion.
Beef, 4 lbs.; mutton, 4 lbs.; (or, beef or veal from 2 to 3 lbs.; mutton, from 5 to 6 lbs.;) water, 1 gallon to 1½; salt, 1½ oz.; mild turnips, 1 lb.; onions, 6 ozs.; carrots, ¾ lb.; celery, 6 to 8 ozs.; 1 bunch of herbs; pepper-corns, ½ teaspoonful; cloves, 12; mace, 1 large blade: six hours.
Obs.—Salt should be used sparingly at first for stock in which any portion of ham is boiled; allowance should also be made for its reduction, in case of its being required for gravy.
Wash thoroughly two sets of moderate-sized pigs’ ears and feet, from which the hair has been carefully removed; add to them five quarts of cold water, and stew them very gently, with a faggot of savoury herbs, and one large onion stuck with a dozen cloves, for nearly four hours, when the ears may be lifted out; stew the feet for another hour, then take them up, strain the soup, and set it in a cool place that it may become cold enough for the fat to be quite cleared from it. Next, bone the ears and feet, cut the flesh down into dice, throw a clean folded cloth over it, and leave it so till the soup requires to be prepared for table; then strew upon it two tablespoonsful of savoury herbs minced 18 small, half a saltspoonful of cayenne, a little white pepper, and some salt. Put into a large saucepan half a pound of good butter, and when it begins to simmer thicken it gradually with as much flour as it will absorb; keep these stirred over a very gentle fire for ten minutes or more, but do not allow them to take the slightest colour; pour the soup to them by degrees, letting it boil up after each portion is added; put in the meat, and half a pint of sherry, simmer the whole from three to five minutes; dish the soup, and slip into it two or three dozens of delicately fried forcemeat-balls. (See Chapter VI.)
Pigs’ feet, 8; ears, 4; water, 5 quarts; bunch savoury-herbs; 1 large onion; cloves, 12: three and a half to four hours, feet, one hour more. Butter, ½ lb.; flour, 6 ozs.*: ten to twelve minutes. Minced herbs, 2 tablespoonsful; cayenne and common pepper, each, ½ saltspoonful; salt, ½ teaspoonful or more; sherry, ½ pint: three to five minutes. Forcemeat-balls, 2 to 3 dozens.
Obs.—We have given this receipt with the slightest possible variation from the original, which we derived from a neighbourhood where the soup made by it was extremely popular. We have better adapted it to our own taste by the following alterations.
Obs. 2.—This will become a very rich soup if good bouillon (See page 7.) or strong veal broth be used for it instead of water.
* The safer plan for an inexperienced cook, is to weigh the flour, and then to sprinkle it from a dredging-box into the butter.
We prefer to have this soup made, in part, the evening before it is wanted. Add the same proportion of water to the ears and feet as in the preceding directions; skim it thoroughly when it first boils, and throw in a tablespoonful of salt, two onions of moderate size, a small head of celery, a bunch of herbs, two whole 19 carrots, a small teaspoonful of white pepper-corns, and a blade of mace. Stew these softly until the ears and feet are perfectly tender, and after they are lifted out, let the be kept just simmering only, while they are being boned, that it may not be too much reduced. Put the bones back into it, and stew them as gently as possible for an hour; then strain the soup into a clean pan, and set it by till the morrow in a cool place. The flesh should be cut into dice while it is still warm, and covered with the cloth before it becomes quite cold. To prepare the soup for table, clear the stock from fat and sediment, put it into a very clean stewpan, or deep, well-tinned saucepan, and stir to it, when it boils, six ounces of the finest rice-flour smoothly mixed with a quarter-teaspoonful of cayenne, three times as much of mace, and salt, the strained juice of a lemon, three tablespoonsful of Harvey’s sauce, and half a pint of good sherry or Madeira. Simmer the whole for six or eight minutes, add more salt if needful, stir the soup often, and skim it thoroughly; put in the meat, and herbs, and after they have boiled gently for five minutes, dish the soup, add forcemeat and egg-balls or not, at pleasure, and send it to table quickly.
Moderate-sized pigs’ feet, 8; ears, 4; water, 5 qts.; salt, 1 tablespoonful; onions, 2; celery, 1 head; carrots, 2; bunch of herbs; pepper-corns, 1 small teaspoonful; mace, 1 blade: three and a half hours, to four and a half. Stock, 5 pints; rice-flour, 6 ozs.; cayenne, ¼ teaspoonful; mace and salt, each ¾ of a teaspoonful; juice of 1 lemon; Harvey’s sauce, 3 tablespoonsful; sherry or , ½ pint: 6 to 8 minutes. Savoury-herbs, 2 tablespoonsful, 5 minutes.
Obs.—Should the quantity of stock exceed five pints, an additional ounce or more of rice must be used, and the flavouring be altogether increased in proportion. Of the minced herbs, two thirds should be parsley, and the remainder equal parts of lemon-thyme and winter-savoury, unless sweet basil should be at hand, 20 when a teaspoonful of it should be substituted for half of the parsley. To some tastes a seasoning of sage would be acceptable; and a slice or two of lean ham will much improve the flavour of the soup.
Pare the dark rind from a very fresh cocoa-nut, and grate it fine on an exceedingly clean, bright grater; weigh it, and allow two ounces for each quart of soup. Simmer it gently for one hour in the stock, which should then be strained and thickened for table. This nut imparts a remarkably fine flavour to any kind of soup or broth, and it is considerably heightened by browning it with a morsel of fresh butter to a fine amber-colour, in a thick stewpan or saucepan, over a slow fire, before the soup is poured to it. It must be stirred constantly, and the greatest care should be taken that no single particle be burned. An ounce of butter will be sufficient for a quarter-pound of the nut, which should be added as soon as the butter is just dissolved.
Veal-stock, gravy-soup, or broth, 5 pints; grated cocoa-nut, 5 ozs.: one hour. Flour of rice, 5 ozs.: mace, ½ teaspoonful; little cayenne and salt; mixed with ¼ pint cream, if at hand: 10 minutes.
For brown soup: butter, 1¼ oz.; cocoa-nut, 5 ozs.; 5 to 10 minutes. Gravy-soup, or good beef broth, 5 pints: 1 hour. Rice flour, 5 ozs.; soy and lemon-juice, each 1 tablespoonful; sugar pounded fine, 1 oz.; cayenne, ¼ teaspoonful; sherry, 2 glasses.
Obs.—When either cream or wine is objected to for these soups, a half-pint of the stock should be reserved to mix the thickening with.
Strip the outer rind from some fine, sound Spanish chesnuts, throw them into a large pan of warm water, and as soon as it becomes too hot for the fingers to remain in it, take it from the fire, lift out the chesnuts, peel them quickly, and throw them into cold water as they are done; wipe, and weigh them; take three-quarters 21 of a pound for each quart of soup, cover them with good gravy-stock, and stew them gently for upwards of three quarters of an hour, or till they break when touched with a fork; drain, and pound them smoothly, or bruise them to a mash with a strong spoon, and press them through a fine sieve reversed; mix with them by slow degrees, the proper quantity of stock, add sufficient mace, cayenne, and salt, to season the soup, and stir it often till it boils. Three quarters of a pint of rich cream will greatly improve it. The stock in which the chesnuts are boiled, can be used for the soup, when its sweetness is not objected to; or it may in part be added to it.
Chesnuts, 1½ lb.: stewed from three quarters to one hour. Soup 2 quarts; seasoning of salt, mace, and cayenne: one to three minutes. Cream, ¾ pint (when used.)
Wash and pare quickly some freshly-dug artichokes, and to preserve their colour, throw them into spring-water as they are done, but do not let them remain in it after all are ready. Boil three pounds of them in water for ten minutes; lift them out, and slice them into three pints of boiling stock; when they have stewed gently in this from fifteen to twenty minutes, press them, with the soup, through a fine sieve, and put the whole into a clean saucepan with a pint and a half more of stock; add sufficient salt and cayenne to season it, skim it well, and after it has simmered two or three minutes, stir to it a pint of rich boiling cream. Serve it immediately.
Artichokes, 3 lbs. boiled in water: 10 minutes. Veal stock, 3 pints: 15 to 20 minutes. Additional stock, 1½ pint; little cayenne and salt: 2 to 3 minutes. Boiling cream 1 pint.
Obs.—The palest veal-stock, as for white soup, should be used for this; but for a family dinner, or where economy is a consideration, excellent mutton-broth, 22 made the day before, and perfectly cleared from fat, will answer very well as a substitute; milk, too, may in part take the place of cream, when this last is scarce: the proportion of artichokes should then be increased a little.
Vegetable-marrow, when young, makes a superior soup even to this, which is a most excellent one. It should be well pared, trimmed, and sliced into a small quantity of boiling veal-stock, or broth, and when perfectly tender, pressed through a fine sieve, and mixed with more stock, and some cream. In France the marrow is stewed first in butter, with a large mild onion or two, also sliced; and afterwards in a quart or more of water, which is poured gradually to it; it is next passed through a tammy,* seasoned with pepper and salt, and mixed with a pint or two of milk, and a little cream.
* Derived from the French tamis, which means a sieve or strainer.
The easiest way of making this soup is to boil some carrots very tender in water slightly salted; then to pound them extremely fine, and to mix gradually with them boiling gravy-soup, (or bouillon) in the proportion of a quart to twelve ounces of the carrot. The soup should then be passed through a strainer, seasoned with salt and cayenne, and served very hot, with fried bread in a separate dish. If only the red outsides of the carrot be used, the colour of the soup will be very bright: they should be weighed after they are pounded. Turnip soup may also be made in the same manner.
Soup, 2 quarts; pounded carrot, 1½ lb.; salt, cayenne: 5 minutes.
Scrape very clean and cut away any blemishes from some highly-flavoured red carrots; wash, and wipe them dry. Cut them in quarter-inch slices. Put into 23 a large stewpan three ounces of the best butter, and when it is melted, add two pounds of the sliced carrots, and let them stew gently for an hour without browning; pour to them then four pints and a half of brown gravy-soup, and when they have simmered from fifty minutes to an hour, they ought to be sufficiently tender. Press them through a sieve or strainer with the soup; add salt, and cayenne if required; boil the whole gently for five minutes, take off all the scum, and serve the soup as hot as possible. Send it to table with a dish of bread, cut in dice, and fried.
Butter 3 ozs.; carrots 2 lbs.: 1 hour. Soup 4½ pints: 50 to 60 minutes. Salt, cayenne: 5 minutes.
Obs.—Three ounces of Scotch, or of pearl barley, soaked for one night, and stewed slowly the next day for an hour and a half, in a quart of broth, then mixed with common carrot soup, will make what is considered, by many persons, an excellent potage.
A fashionable variety of this soup is also made by diminishing a little the quantity of carrots, and adding to it three ounces of rice previously swelled in broth till tender.
Wash and wipe the turnips, pare and weigh them; allow a pound and a half for every quart of soup. Cut them in slices about a quarter of an inch thick. Melt four ounces of butter in a clean stewpan, and put in the turnips before it begins to boil; stew them gently for three quarters of an hour, taking care that they shall not brown. Then have the proper quantity of soup ready boiling, pour it to them, and let them simmer in it for three quarters of an hour. Pulp the whole through a coarse sieve or soup-strainer, put it again on the fire, keep it stirred till it has boiled three minutes, take off the scum, add salt and pepper, if required, and serve it very hot.
Turnips 3 lbs.; butter 4 ozs.: ¾ hour. Soup 2 quarts: ¾ hour. Last time: 3 minutes.24
Pare and slice into three pints of veal or mutton stock, or of good broth, three pounds of young mild turnips; stew them gently from twenty-five to thirty minutes, or until they can be reduced quite to pulp; press the whole through a sieve, add to it another quart of stock, a seasoning of salt, white pepper, and one lump of sugar; simmer it a minute or two, skim and serve it. A large white onion, when the flavour is liked, may be sliced and stewed with the turnips. A little cream improves much the colour of this soup.
Turnips, 3 lbs; soup, 5 pints: 25 to 30 minutes.
Mash to a smooth paste three pounds of good mealy potatoes, that have been steamed, or boiled very dry; mix with them by degrees, two quarts of boiling broth, pass the soup through a strainer, set it again on the fire, add pepper and salt, and let it boil five minutes. Take off entirely the black scum that will rise upon it, and serve it very hot with fried or toasted bread. Where the flavour is approved, two ounces of onions, minced and fried a light brown, may be added to the above, and stewed in it for ten minutes before it is sent to table.
Potatoes, 3 lbs.; broth, 2 quarts; 5 minutes. (With onions, 2 oz., 10 minutes.)
Take the fat from five pints of good mutton-broth or bouillon, and strain it through a fine sieve. As soon as it boils, add to it a pound and a half of pudding-apples pared and cored. Let the soup stew gently from five and twenty minutes to half an hour, or more, if the apples be not boiled to a mash. Pulp the soup through a strainer; add to it a small teaspoonful of white powdered ginger, and plenty of pepper. Simmer it for two 25 minutes, skim, and serve it, with a dish of rice boiled as for curry.
Mutton-broth, 5 pints; apples, 1½ lb.: 25 to 30 minutes. Powdered ginger, 1 teaspoonful; ½ a teaspoonful of pepper: 2 minutes.
Dissolve, over a gentle fire, four ounces and a half of good butter, in a wide stewpan or saucepan, and slice in directly two pounds of sweet tender parsnips; let them stew very softly till all are tender, then pour in gradually sufficient veal stock, or good broth, to cover them, and boil the whole slowly from twenty minutes to half an hour; press it with a wooden spoon through a fine sieve, add as much stock as will make two quarts in all, season the soup with salt and white pepper, or cayenne, give it one boil, skim, and serve it very hot. Send pale fried sippets to table with it.
Butter, 4½ ozs.; parsnips, 2 lbs.: ¾ hour or more. Stock, 1 quart; 20 to 30 minutes; 1 full quart more of stock; pepper, salt: 1 minute.
Obs.—We can particularly recommend this soup to those who like the peculiar flavour of the vegetable.
Slice into five pints of boiling veal-stock or strong colourless broth, a couple of pounds of parsnips, and stew them as gently as possible from thirty minutes to an hour; when they are perfectly tender, press them through a sieve, strain the soup to them, season, boil, and serve it very hot. With the addition of cream, parsnip-soup made by this receipt resembles in appearance the Palestine-soup.
Veal-stock or broth, 5 pints; parsnips, 2 lbs.; 30 to 60 minutes. Salt and cayenne: 2 minutes.
Break the bone of a knuckle of veal in one or two places, and put it on to stew, with three quarts of cold 26 water to the five pounds of meat; when it has been quite cleared from scum, add to it an ounce and a half of salt, two ounces and a half of onions, twenty corns of white pepper, and two or three blades of mace, with a little cayenne pepper. When the soup is reduced one third by slow simmering, strain it off, and set it by till cold; then free it carefully from the fat and sediment, and heat it again in a very clean stewpan. Mix with it when it boils, a pint of thick cream smoothly blended with an ounce of good arrow-root, two ounces of very fresh vermicelli previously boiled tender in water slightly salted and well drained from it, and an ounce and a half of almonds blanched, and cut in strips;* give it one minute’s simmer, and serve it immediately, with a French roll in the tureen.
Veal, 5 lbs.; water, 3 quarts; 1½ oz. salt; onions, 2½ ozs.; 20 corns white pepper; 2 large blades of mace: 5 hours or more. Cream, 1 pint; almonds, 1½ oz.; vermicelli, 1 oz.: 1 minute. Little thickening if needed.
Obs.—Cream should always be boiled for a few minutes before it is added to any soup. The yolks of two or three very fresh eggs beaten well, and mixed with half a pint of the boiling soup, may be stirred into the whole, after it is taken from the fire. Some persons put the eggs into the tureen, and add the soup to them by degrees; but this is not so well. If a superior white soup to this be wanted, put three quarts of water to seven pounds of veal, and half a pound of the lean part of a ham; or instead of water, use very clear, weak veal broth. Grated Parmesan cheese should be handed round the table when white or maccaroni soup is served.
* We have given this receipt without any variation from the original, as the soup made exactly by it was much approved by the guests of the hospitable country gentleman, at whose elegant table it was served often for many years; but we would rather recommend that the almonds should be pounded, or merely blanched, cut in spikes, stuck into the crumb of a French roll, and put into the tureen, simply to give flavour to the soup.27
Pound very fine indeed, six ounces of sweet almonds, then add to them six ounces of the breasts of roasted chickens or partridges, and three ounces of the whitest bread which has been soaked in a little veal broth, and squeezed very dry in a cloth. Beat these altogether to an extremely smooth paste; then pour to them boiling and by degrees, two quarts of rich veal-stock; strain the soup through a fine hair sieve, set it again over the fire, add to it a pint of thick cream, and serve it, as soon as it is at the point of boiling, with a French roll in the tureen. When cream is very scarce, or not easily to be procured, this soup may be thickened sufficiently without it by increasing the quantity of almonds to eight or ten ounces, and pouring to them, after they have been reduced to the finest paste, a pint of boiling stock, which must be again wrung from them through a coarse cloth with very strong pressure: the proportion of meat and bread also should then be nearly doubled. The stock should be well-seasoned with mace and cayenne before it is added to the other ingredients.
Almonds, 6 oz.; breasts of chicken or partridges, 6 oz.; soaked bread, 3 oz.; veal-stock, 2 quarts; cream, one pint.
Obs. 1.—Some persons pour the yolks of four or five hard-boiled eggs with the almonds, meat, and bread for this white soup; French cooks beat smoothly with them an ounce or two of whole rice, previously boiled from fifteen to twenty minutes.
Obs. 2.—A good plain white soup may be made simply by adding to a couple of quarts of pale veal-stock or strong well-flavoured veal broth, a thickening of arrow-root, and from half to three quarters of a pint of cream. Four ounces of maccaroni boiled tender and well drained may be slipped into it a minute or two before it is dished, but the thickening may then be diminished a little.28
To make a single tureen of this favourite English soup in the most economical manner, when there is no stock at hand, stew gently down in a gallon of water four pounds of the fleshy part of the shin of beef, or of the neck, if more convenient, with two or three carrots, one onion, a small head of celery, a bunch of savoury herbs, a blade of mace, a half teaspoonful of pepper-corns, and an ounce of salt. When the meat is quite in fragments, strain off the broth, and pour it when cold upon three pounds of the knuckle, or of the neck of veal; simmer this until the flesh has quite fallen from the bones, but be careful to stew it as softly as possible, or the quantity of stock will be so much reduced as to be insufficient for the soup. Next, take the half of a fine calf’s head with the skin on, remove the brains, and then bone it* entirely, or let the butcher be requested to do this, and to return the bones with it: these, when there is time, may be stewed with the veal, to enrich the stock, or boiled afterwards with the head and tongue. Strain the soup through a hair sieve into a clean pan, and let it drain closely from the meat. When it is nearly or quite cold, clear off all the fat from it; roll the head lightly round, leaving the tongue inside, or taking it out, as is most convenient, secure it with tape or twine, pour the soup over, and bring it gently to boil upon a moderate fire; keep it well skimmed, and simmer it from an hour to an hour and a quarter; then lift the head into a deep pan or tureen, add the soup to it, and let it remain in until two parts cold, as this will prevent the edges from becoming dark. Cut into quarter-inch slices, and then divide into dice from six to eight ounces of the lean of an undressed ham, and if possible, one of good flavour; 29 free it perfectly from fat, rind, and the smoked edges; peel and slice four moderate sized eschalots, or if these should not be at hand, one mild onion in lieu of them. Dissolve in a well-tinned stewpan, or thick iron saucepan which holds a gallon or more, four ounces of butter; put in the ham and eschalots, or onion, with half a dozen cloves, two middling sized blades of mace, a half-teaspoonful of pepper-corns, three or four very small sprigs of thyme, three teaspoonsful of minced parsley, one of lemon thyme and savoury mixed, and when the flavour is thought appropriate, the very thin rind of half a small fresh lemon. Stew these as softly as possible for nearly or quite an hour, and keep the pan frequently shaken; then put into a dredging box, two ounces of fine dry flour and sprinkle it to them by degrees; mix the whole well together, and after a few minutes more of gentle simmering, add very gradually five full pints of the stock taken free of fat and sediment, and made boiling before it is poured in; shake the pan strongly round as the first portions of it are added, and continue to do so until it contains from two to three pints, when the remainder may be poured in at once, and the pan placed by the side of the fire that it may boil in the gentlest manner for an hour. At the end of that time turn the whole into a hair sieve placed over a large pan, and if the liquid should not run through freely, knock the sides of the sieve, but do not force it through with a spoon, as that would spoil the appearance of the stock. The head in the mean while should have been cut up, ready to add to it. For the finest kind of mock turtle, only the skin, with the fat that adheres to it should be used; and this, with the tongue, should be cut down into one inch squares, or if preferred, into strips of an inch wide. For ordinary occasions, the lean part of the flesh may be added also, but as it is always sooner done than the skin, it is better to add it a little later to the stock. When it is quite ready, put it with the strained stock into a clean pan, and simmer it from three quarters of an hour to a full hour: it should be perfectly tender, 30 without being allowed to break. Cayenne, if needed, should be thrown into the stock before it is strained; salt should be used sparingly, on account of the ham, until the whole of the other ingredients have been mixed together, when a sufficient quantity must be stirred into the soup to season it properly. A couple of glasses of good sherry or Madeira, with a dessertspoonful of strained lemon juice are usually added two or three minutes only before the soup is dished, that the spirit and flavour of the wine may not have time to evaporate; but it is sometimes preferred mellowed down by longer boiling. The proportion of lemon juice may be doubled at will, but much acid is not generally liked. We can assure the reader of the excellence of the soup made by this receipt: it is equally palatable and delicate, and not heavy or cloying to the stomach, like many of the elaborate compositions which bear its name. The fat, through the whole process, should be carefully skimmed off. The ham gives far more savour, when used as we have directed, than when even in much larger proportions it is boiled down in the stock. Two dozens of forcemeat balls, prepared by the receipt No. 11, Chap. VI., should be slipped into the soup when it is ready for table. It is no longer customary to serve egg-balls in it.
First broth:—shin, or neck of beef, 4 lbs.; water, 4 quarts; carrots, 2 or 3; onion, 1 large mild; celery, small head; bunch savoury herbs; mace, 1 large blade; pepper-corns, ½ teaspoonful; cloves, 6; salt, 1 oz.: 5 hours or more, very gently. For stock: the broth and 3 lbs. neck or knuckle of veal (bones of head if ready): 4 to 5 hours. Boned half-head with skin on and tongue, 1 hour to 1¼. Lean of undressed ham, 6 to 8 ozs. (6 if very salt); shalots, 4, or onion, 1; fresh butter, 4 ozs.; cloves, 6; middling sized blades of mace, 2; pepper-corns, ½ teaspoonful; small sprigs of thyme, 3 or 4; minced parsley, 3 large teaspoonsful; minced savoury and lemon-thyme mixed, 1 small teaspoonful (thin rind ½ small lemon when liked): 1 hour. Flour, 31 2 ozs.: 5 minutes. Stock, full five pints; flesh of head and tongue, 1¾ lbs. to 2 lbs.: ¾ of an hour to 1 hour (salt, if needed, to be added in interim). Good sherry, or Madeira, 2 wineglassesful; lemon juice, 1 to 2 dessertspoonsful; forcemeat balls, 24.
Obs. 1.—The beef, veal, bones of the head, and vegetables may be stewed down together when more convenient: it is only necessary that a really good, well-flavoured, and rather deeply-coloured stock should be prepared. A calf’s foot is always an advantageous addition to it, and the skin of another calf’s head† a better one still.
Obs. 2.—A couple of dozen mushroom buttons, cleaned with salt and flannel, then wiped very dry, and sliced, and added to the ham and herbs, when they have been simmered together about half an hour, will be found a great improvement to the soup; but when they are not procurable, a pleasant flavour may be imparted to it by substituting two or three fresh bay-leaves.
Obs. 3.—Claret is sometimes added to this soup instead of sherry or Madeira, but we do not think it would in general suit English taste so well. From two to three tablespoonsful of Harvey’s sauce can be stirred in with the wine when it is liked, or when the colour requires deepening.
* This is so simple and easy a process, that the cook may readily accomplish it with very little attention. Let her only work the knife close to the bone always, so as to take the flesh clean from it, instead of leaving large fragments on. The jaw-bone may first be removed, and the flesh turned back from the edge of the other.
† Country butchers in preparing calf’s head for sale in the ordinary way take off the skin (or scalp), considered so essential to the excellence of this soup, and frequently throw it away; it may, therefore, often be procured from them at very slight cost, and is the best possible addition to the mock turtle. It is cleared from the head in detached portions with the hair on, but this may easily be removed after a few minutes’ scalding as from the head itself, or the feet, by the direction given in Chap. IX.
After having taken out the brain and washed and soaked the head well, pour to it nine quarts of cold water, bring it gently to boil, skim it very clean, boil it, if large, an hour and an half, lift it out, and put into the liquor eight pounds of neck of beef, lightly 32 browned in a little fresh butter, with three or four thick slices, or a knuckle of lean ham, four large onions sliced, three heads of celery, three large carrots, a large bunch of sweet herbs, the rind of a lemon pared very thin, a dessertspoonful of pepper-corns, two ounces of salt, and after the meat has been taken from the head, all the bones and fragments. Stew these gently from seven to eight hours, then strain off the stock, and set it into a very cold place, that the fat may become firm enough on the top to be cleared off easily. The skin and fat of the head should be taken off together and divided into strips of two or three inches in length and one in width; the tongue may be cut in the same manner, or into dice. Put the stock, of which there ought to be between four and five quarts, into a large soup or stewpot; thicken it when it boils with four ounces of fresh butter* mixed with an equal weight of fine dry flour, a half-teaspoonful of pounded mace, and a third as much of cayenne; (it is better to use these sparingly at first, and to add more should the soup require it, after it has boiled some little time); pour in half a pint of sherry, stir the whole together until it has simmered for a minute or two, then put in the head, and let it stew gently from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half: stir it often, and clear it perfectly from scum. Slip into it just before it is ready for table, three dozens of small forcemeat-balls; the brain cut into dice (after having been well soaked, scalded,† and freed from the film), dipped into beaten yolk of egg, then into the finest crumbs mixed with salt, white pepper, a little grated nutmeg, fine lemon-rind, and chopped parsley, 33 fried a fine brown, well drained and dried; and as many egg-balls, the size of a small marble, as four yolks of egg will supply. (See Chapter VI.) This quantity will be sufficient for two large tureens of soup: when the whole is not wanted for table at the same time, it is better to add wine only to so much as will be required for immediate consumption, or if it cannot conveniently be divided, to heat the wine in a small saucepan with a little of the soup, to turn it into the tureen, and then to mix it with the remainder by stirring the whole gently after the tureen is filled. Some persons simply put in the cold wine just before the soup is dished, but this is not so well.
Whole calf’s head with skin on, boiled 1½ hour. Stock: neck of beef, browned in butter, 8 lbs.; lean of ham, ½ to ¾ lb. (or a knuckle); onions, 4; carrots, large, 3; heads of celery, 3; large bunch sweet herbs; salt, 2 ozs. (as much more to be added when the soup is made as will season it sufficiently); thin rind, one lemon; pepper-corns, one dessertspoonful; bones and trimmings of head: eight hours. Soup: stock, 4 to 5 quarts; flour and butter for thickening of each, 4 ozs.; pounded mace, half-teaspoonful; cayenne, third as much (more of each as needed); sherry, half pint: two to three minutes. Flesh of head and tongue, nearly or quite, 2 lbs.: one hour and a quarter to one hour and a half. Forcemeat-balls, 36; the brain cut and fried; egg balls, 16 to 24.
Obs.—When the brain is not blanched it must be cut thinner in the form of small cakes, or it will not be done through by the time it has taken enough colour: it may be altogether omitted without much detriment to the soup, and will make an excellent corner dish, if gently stewed in white gravy for half an hour, and served with it thickened with cream and arrow-root, to the consistency of good white sauce, then rather highly seasoned, and mixed with plenty of chopped parsley, and some lemon-juice.
* When the butter is considered objectionable, the flour, without it, may be mixed to the smoothest batter possible, with a little cold stock or water, and stirred briskly into the boiling soup: the spices should be blended with it.
† The brain should be blanched, that is, thrown into boiling water with a little salt in it, and boiled from five to eight minutes; then lifted out, and laid into cold water for a quarter of an hour; it must be wiped very dry before it is fried.
Boil down from six to seven pounds of the thick part of a shin of beef with a little lean ham, or a slice of hung beef trimmed free from the smoky edges, should either of these last be at hand, in five quarts of water, till reduced nearly half, with the addition, when it first begins to stew, of an ounce of salt, a large bunch of savoury herbs, one large onion, a head of celery, three carrots, two or three turnips, two small blades of mace, eight or ten cloves, and a few white or black pepper-corns. Let it boil gently, that it may not be too much reduced, for six or seven hours, then strain it into a clean pan and set it by for use. Take out the bone from half a calf’s head with the skin on (the butcher will do this if desired), wash, salt, and bind it with a bit of tape or twine, and lay it into a stewpot, with the bones and tongue; cover the whole with the beef stock, and stew it for an hour and a half; then lift it into a deep earthen pan and let it cool in the liquor, as this will prevent the edges from being dry or discoloured. Take it out before it is quite cold; strain, and skim all the fat carefully from the stock; heat five pints in a large clean saucepan, with the head cut into small thick slices or into inch-squares. As quite the whole will not be needed, leave a portion of the fat, but add every morsel of the skin to the soup, and of the tongue also. Should the first of these not be perfectly tender, it must be simmered gently till it be so; then stir into the soup from six to eight ounces of fine rice-flour mixed with a quarter-teaspoonful of cayenne, twice as much freshly pounded mace, half a wineglassful of mushroom catsup, and sufficient cold broth or water to render it of the consistency of batter; boil the whole from eight to ten minutes; take off the scum, and throw in two glasses of sherry; dish the soup and slip into the tureen some delicately-fried, and well-dried forcemeat-balls made by the receipt No. 1, 2, or 3 of Chapter VI. A small quantity of lemon-juice or other acid can be added at pleasure. 35 The wine and forcemeat-balls may be omitted, and the other seasonings of the soup a little heightened. As much salt as may be required should be added to the stock when the head first begins to boil in it: the cook must regulate also by the taste the exact proportion of cayenne, mace, and catsup, which will flavour the soup agreeably. The fragments of the head, with the bones and the residue of the beef used for stock, if stewed down together with some water and a few fresh vegetables, will afford some excellent broth, such as would be highly acceptable, especially if well thickened with rice, to many a poor family during the winter months.
Stock: shin of beef, 6 to 7 lbs.; water, 5 quarts: stewed down (with vegetables, &c.) till reduced nearly half. Boned half-head with skin on, stewed in stock, one hour and a half. Soup: stock, 5 pints; tongue, skin of head and part of flesh: 15 to 40 minutes, or more if not quite tender. Rice-flour, 6 to 8 ozs.; cayenne, quarter-teaspoonful; mace, twice as much; mushroom catsup, half a wineglassful: 10 minutes. Sherry, 2 wineglassesful; forcemeat-balls, 20 to 30.
Should there be no strong veal-broth, nor any white stock in readiness, stew four pounds of the scrag or knuckle of veal, with a thick slice or two of lean ham, a faggot of sweet herbs, two moderate-sized carrots, and the same of onions, a large blade of mace and a half-teaspoonful of white pepper-corns, in four quarts of water until reduced to about five pints; then strain the liquor and set it by till the fat can be taken entirely from it. Skin, and wash thoroughly, a couple of fine fowls, or three young pullets, and take away the dark spongy substance that adheres to the insides; pour the veal-broth to them, and boil them gently from three-quarters of an hour to an hour; then lift them out, take off all the white flesh, mince it small, pound it to the finest paste, and cover it with a basin till wanted for use. In the mean time let the bodies of the fowls be 36 put again into the stock, and stewed gently for an hour and a half; add as much salt and cayenne as will season the soup properly, strain it off when sufficiently boiled, and let it cool; skim off every particle of fat; steep, in a small portion of it, which should be boiling, four ounces of the crumb of light stale bread, sliced thin, and when it has simmered a few minutes, drain or wring the moisture from it in a clean cloth, add it to the flesh of the chickens, and pound them together until they are perfectly blended; then pour the stock to them in very small quantities at first, and mix them smoothly with it; pass the whole through a sieve or tammy, heat it in a clean stewpan, stir to it from a pint to a pint and a half of boiling cream, and add, should it not be sufficiently thick, an ounce and a half of arrow-root, quite free from lumps, and moistened with a few spoonsful of cold milk or stock.
For stock: veal, 4 lbs.; ham, 6 ozs.; water, 4 quarts; bunch of herbs; carrots, 2; onions, 2; mace, large blade; pepper-corns, ½ teaspoonful; salt: 5 hours. Fowls, 2, or pullets, 3; ¾ hour to 1 hour; stewed afterwards 1 to 1½ hour. Crumb of bread, 4 ozs.; cream, 1 to 1½ pint; arrow-root (if needed), 1½ oz.
Obs.—Some cooks pound with the bread and chickens the yolks of three or four hard-boiled eggs, but these improve neither the colour nor the flavour of the soup.
When the oysters are small, from two to three dozens for each pint of soup should be prepared, but this number can, of course, be diminished or increased at pleasure. Let the fish (which should be finely-conditioned natives) be opened carefully; pour the liquor from them, and strain it; rinse them in it well, and beard them; strain the liquor a second time through a lawn-sieve or folded muslin, and pour it again over the oysters. Take a portion from two quarts of the palest veal-stock, and simmer the beards in it from twenty to thirty minutes. 37 Heat the soup, flavour it well with mace and cayenne, and strain the stock from the oyster-beards into it. Plump the fish in their own liquor, but do not let them boil; pour the liquor to the soup, and add to it a pint of boiling cream; put the oysters into the tureen, dish the soup, and send it to table quickly. Should any thickening be required, stir briskly to the stock an ounce and a half of arrow-root, ground very smooth in a mortar, and carefully mixed with a little milk or cream; or, in lieu of this, when a rich soup is liked, thicken it with four ounces of fresh butter well blended with three of flour.
Oysters, 8 to 12 dozens; pale veal-stock, 2 quarts; cream, 1 pint; thickening, 1½ oz. arrow-root, or butter, 4 ozs., flour, 3 ozs.
Wash and soak thoroughly three young rabbits, put them whole into the soup-pot, and pour on them seven pints of cold water, or of clear veal-broth; when they have stewed gently about three-quarters of an hour, lift them out, and take off the flesh of the backs, with a little from the legs should there not be half a pound of the former; strip off the skin, mince the meat very small, and pound it to the smoothest paste, cover it from the air, and set it by. Put back into the soup the bodies of the rabbits, with two mild onions of moderate size, a head of celery, three carrots, a faggot of savoury herbs, two blades of mace, a half-teaspoonful of pepper-corns, and an ounce of salt. Stew the whole softly about four hours, strain it off, let it stand to settle, pour it gently from the sediment, put from four to five pints into a clean stewpan, and mix it very gradually while hot, with the pounded rabbit-flesh: this must be done with care, for if the liquid be not added in very small portions at first, the meat will gather into lumps, and will not easily be worked smooth afterwards. Add as much pounded mace and cayenne as will season the soup pleasantly, and pass it through 38 a coarse but very clean sieve; wipe out the stewpan, put back the soup into it, and stir in when it boils, a pint and a quarter of good cream, mixed with a tablespoonful of the best arrow-root: salt, if needed, should be thrown in previously.
Young rabbits, 3; water, or clear veal-broth, 7 pints: three quarters of an hour. Remains of rabbits; onions, 2; celery, 1 head; carrots, 3; savoury herbs; mace, 2 blades; white pepper-corns, a half-teaspoonful; salt, 1 oz.: four hours. Soup 4 to 5 pints; pounded rabbit-flesh, 8 ozs.; salt, mace, and cayenne, if needed; cream, 1 pint and a quarter; arrow-root, 1 tablespoonful (or 1 oz. and a-half.)
Cut down into joints, flour, and fry lightly, two full grown, or three young rabbits; add to them three onions of moderate , also fried to a clear brown; on these pour gradually seven pints of boiling water, throw in a large teaspoonful of salt, clear off all the scum with care as it rises, and then put to the soup a faggot of parsley, four not very large carrots, and a small teaspoonful of pepper-corns; boil the whole very softly from five hours to five and a half; add more salt if needed, strain off the soup, let it cool sufficiently for the fat to be skimmed clean from it, heat it afresh, and send it to table with sippets of fried bread. Spice, with a thickening of rice-flour, or of wheaten flour browned in the oven, and mixed with a spoonful or two of very good mushroom catsup, or of Harvey’s sauce, can be added at pleasure to the above, with a few drops of eschalot, wine, or vinegar; but the simple receipt will be found extremely good without them.
Rabbits, 2 full grown, or 3 small; onions fried, 3, middling-sized; water, 7 pints; salt, one large teaspoonful or more; carrots, 4; faggot of parsley; pepper-corns, one small teaspoonful: 5 to 5½ hours.39
Cut down a hare into joints, and put it into a soup-pot or large stewpan, with about a pound of lean ham, in thick slices, from three to six moderate-sized onions, three blades of mace, a faggot of thyme, sweet marjoram, and parsley, and about three quarts of good beef-stock. Let it stew very gently for full two hours from the time of its first beginning to boil, and more, if the hare be old. Strain the soup and pound together very fine the slices of ham and all the flesh of the back, legs, and shoulders of the hare, and put this meat into a stewpan with the liquor in which it was boiled, the crumb of two French rolls, and half a pint of port-wine. Set it on the stove to simmer twenty minutes; then rub it through a sieve, place it again on the stove till very hot, but do not let it boil; season it with salt and cayenne, and send it to table directly.
Hare, one; ham, 12 to 16 ; onions, 3 to 6; mace, 3 blades; faggot of savoury herbs; beef-stock, 3 quarts: two hours. Crumb of 2 rolls; port-wine, half a pint; little salt and cayenne: 20 minutes.
Pour on two pounds of neck or shin of beef, and a hare well washed and carved into joints, one gallon of cold water, and when it boils and has been thoroughly skimmed, add an ounce and a half of salt, two onions, one large head of celery, three moderate-sized carrots, a teaspoonful of black pepper-corns, and six cloves.
Let these stew very gently for three hours, or longer, should the hare not be perfectly tender. Then take up the principal joints, cut the meat from them, mince, and pound it to a fine paste, with the crumb of two penny rolls (or two ounces of the crumb of household bread), that has been soaked in a little of the boiling soup, and then pressed very dry in a cloth; strain, and mix smoothly with it, the stock from the remainder of the hare; pass the soup through a strainer, season it 40 with cayenne, and serve it when at the point of boiling: if not sufficiently thick, add to it a tablespoonful of arrow-root, moistened with a little cold broth, and let the soup simmer for an instant afterwards. Two or three glasses of port-wine, and two dozens of small forcemeat balls, are sometimes added to this soup with very good effect.
Beef, 2 lbs.; hare, one; water, one gallon; salt, 1½ oz.; onions, two; celery, one head; carrots, 3; bunch savoury herbs; pepper-corns, one teaspoonful; cloves, 6: three hours, or more. Bread, 2 ozs.; cayenne; arrow-root (if needed), one tablespoonful.
Half roast a brace of well-kept pheasants, and flour them rather thickly when they are first laid to the fire. Let them cool; then take all the flesh from the breasts, put it aside, and keep it covered from the air; carve down the remainder of the birds into joints; bruise the bodies thoroughly, and stew the whole gently from two to three hours in five pints of strong beef-broth; then strain off the soup, and press as much of it as possible from the pheasants. Let it cool, and in the mean time strip the skin from the breasts, mince them small, and pound them to the finest paste, with half as much fresh butter, and half of dry crumbs of bread; season these well with cayenne, sufficiently with salt, and moderately with pounded mace, and grated nutmeg, and add, when their flavour is liked, three or four eschalots, previously boiled tender in a little of the soup, left till cold, and minced before they are put into the mortar; moisten the mixture with the yolks of two or three eggs, roll it into small balls of equal size, dust a little flour upon them, skim all the fat from the soup, heat it in a clean stewpan, and when it boils throw them in and poach them from ten to twelve minutes, but first ascertain that the soup is properly seasoned with salt and cayenne. Minced savoury herbs, and even grated lemon-rind, would perhaps to English 41 taste improve the forcemeat, as well as a small portion of lean ham, a thick slice of which might be stewed in the soup for the purpose. We have recommended that the birds should be partially roasted before they are put into the soup-pot, because their flavour is much finer when this is done than when they are simply stewed; they should be placed rather near to a brisk fire that they be quickly browned on the surface, without losing any of their juices, and the basting should be constant. A slight thickening of or arrow-root can be added to the soup at pleasure, and the forcemeat-balls may be fried and slipped into the tureen when they are preferred so. Half a dozen eschalots lightly browned in butter, and a small head of celery may also be thrown in after the birds begin to stew, but nothing should be allowed to prevail over the natural flavour of the game itself, and this should be observed equally with other kinds, as partridges, grouse, and venison.
Pheasants, 2; roasted 20 to 30 minutes. Strong beef broth, or stock, 5 pints: 2 to 3 hours. Forcemeat-balls; breasts of pheasants, half as much of dry bread crumbs and of butter, salt, mace, cayenne; yolks of 2 or 3 eggs (and at choice 3 or 4 boiled eschalots).
Obs.—The stock may be made of six pounds of shin of beef, and four quarts of water reduced to within a pint and a half. An onion, a large carrot, a bunch of savoury herbs, and some salt and spice should be added to it: one pound of neck of veal or of beef will improve it.
Boil down the half-roasted birds as directed in the foregoing receipt, and add to the soup, after it is strained and re-heated, the breasts pounded to the finest paste with nearly as much bread soaked in a little of the stock and pressed very dry; for the proper manner of mixing them, see Potage à la Reine, page 35. Half a pint of small mushrooms cleaned as for pickling, then sliced rather thickly, and stewed from ten to fifteen minutes, without browning, in an ounce or two of fresh butter, with a 42 slight seasoning of mace, cayenne, and salt, then turned into the mortar and pounded with the other ingredients, will be found an excellent addition to the soup, which must be passed through a strainer after the breasts are added to it; brought to the point of boiling; and served with sippets la Reine, or others simply fried of a delicate brown and well dried. We have occasionally had a small quantity of delicious soup made with the remains of birds that have been served at table; and where game is frequently dressed, the cook, by reserving all the fragments for the purpose, and combining different kinds, may often send up a good tureen of such, made at a very slight cost.
Pheasants, 2; stock, 5 pints; bread soaked in gravy, (see Panada, Chapter VI.,) nearly as much in bulk as the flesh of the breasts of the birds; mushrooms, ½ pint, stewed in 1 to 2 ozs. of butter 10 to 15 minutes, then pounded with flesh of pheasants. Salt, cayenne, and mace, to season properly.
This is, we think, superior in flavour to the pheasant-soup. It should be made in precisely the same manner, but three birds allowed for it instead of two. Grouse and partridges together will make a still finer one; the remains of roast grouse even, added to a brace of partridges, will produce a very good effect.
Slice, and fry gently in some good butter three or four large onions, and when they are of a fine equal amber-colour lift them out with a slice and put them into a deep stewpot, or large thick saucepan; throw a little more butter into the pan, and then brown lightly in it a young rabbit, or the prime joints of two, or a fowl cut down small, and floured. When the meat is sufficiently browned, lay it upon the onions, pour gradually to them a quart of good boiling stock, and stew it gently from three quarters of an hour to an hour; then take it out, 43 and press the stock and onions through a fine sieve or strainer. Add to them two pints and a half more of stock, pour the whole into a clean pan, and when it boils stir to it two heaped tablespoonsful of currie-powder mixed with nearly as much of browned flour, and a little cold water or broth; put it in the meat, and simmer it for twenty minutes or longer should it not be perfectly tender, add the juice of a small lemon just before it is dished, serve it very hot, and send boiled rice to table with it. Part of a pickled mango is sometimes stewed in this soup, and is much recommended by persons who have been long resident in India. We have given here the sort of receipt commonly used in England for mullagatawny, but a much finer soup may be made by departing from it in some respects. The onions, of which the proportion may be increased or diminished to the taste, after being fried slowly, and with care, that no part shall be overdone, may be stewed for an hour in the first quart of stock with three or four ounces of grated cocoa-nut, which will impart a rich mellow flavour to the whole. After all of this that can be rubbed through the sieve has been added to as much stock as will be required for the soup, and the currie-powder and thickening have boiled in it for twenty minutes, the flesh of part of a calf’s head previously stewed almost sufficiently, and cut as for mock turtle, with a sweetbread also stewed or boiled in broth tolerably tender, and divided into inch-squares, will make an admirable mullagatawny, if simmered in the stock until they have taken the flavour of the currie-seasoning. The flesh of a couple of calves’ feet, with a sweetbread or two, may, when more convenient, be substituted for the head. A large cupful of thick cream, first mixed and boiled with a teaspoonful of flour or arrow-root to prevent its curdling, and stirred into the soup before the lemon-juice, will enrich and improve it much.
Rabbit, 1, or the best joints of 2, or fowl, 1; large onions, 4 to 6; stock, 1 quart: ¾ to 1 hour. 2½ pints more of stock; currie-powder, 2 heaped tablespoonsful, 44 with 2 of browned flour; meat and all simmered together 20 minutes or more; juice of lemon, 1 small; or part of pickled mango stewed in the soup.
Or,—onions, 3 to 6; cocoa-nut, 3 to 4 ozs.; stock, one quart: stewed, one hour. Stock, 3 pints, (in addition to the first quart); currie-powder and thickening each, 2 large tablespoonsful: 20 minutes. Flesh of part of calf’s head and sweetbread, quarter of an hour or more. Thick cream, one cupful; flour, or arrow-root, one teaspoonful: boiled 2 minutes, and stirred to the soup. Chili vinegar, one tablespoonful, or lemon juice, 2 tablespoonsful.
Obs. 1.—The brain of the calf’s head stewed for twenty minutes in a little of the stock, then rubbed through a sieve, diluted gradually with more of the stock, and added as thickening to the soup, will be found an admirable substitute for part of the flour.
Obs. 2.—Three or four pounds of a breast of veal, or an equal weight of mutton, free from bone and fat, may take the place of rabbits or fowls in this soup, for a plain dinner. The veal should be cut into squares of an inch and a half, or into strips of an inch in width, and two in length; and the mutton should be trimmed down in the same way, or into very small cutlets.
Obs. 3.—For an elegant table, the joints of rabbit or of fowl should always be boned before they are added to the soup, for which, in this case, a couple of each will be needed for a single tureen, as all the inferior joints must be rejected.
The Patna, or small-grained rice, which is not so good as the Carolina for the general purposes of cookery, is the sort which ought to be served with currie. First take out the unhusked grains, then wash the rice in two or three different waters, and put it into a large quantity of cold; bring it gently to boil, keeping it uncovered, and boil it softly for fifteen minutes, when it 45 will be perfectly tender, and every grain will remain distinct. Throw it into a large cullender, and let it drain for ten minutes near the fire; should it not then appear quite dry, turn it into a dish, and set it for a short time into a gentle oven, or let it steam in a clean saucepan near the fire. It should neither be stirred, except just at first, to prevent its lumping, while it is still quite hard, nor touched with either fork or spoon; the stewpan may be shaken occasionally, should the rice seem to require it, and it should be thrown lightly from the cullender upon the dish. A couple of minutes before it is done, throw in some salt, and from the time of its beginning to boil, remove the scum as it rises.
Patna rice, ½ ; cold water, 2 quarts: boiled slowly, fifteen minutes. Salt, one large teaspoonful.
Obs.—This, of all the modes of boiling rice, which we have tried, and they have been very numerous, is indisputably the best. The Carolina rice even answers, well dressed, in this way. One or two minutes, more or less, will sometimes, from the varying quality of the grain, be requisite to render it tender.
Wash the rice thoroughly in several waters, and soak it for an hour; drain, and throw it into a large quantity of fast-boiling water. Leave it uncovered, take off the scum, and add salt when it is nearly done. When it has boiled from fifteen to eighteen minutes, drain it well, heap it lightly in a dish, and place it in a gentle oven to dry.
Obs.—Rice is of far better flavour when cooked in so much water only as it will absorb; but it cannot then so easily be rendered dry enough to serve with currie, or with curried soups. One pint of rice, washed and soaked for a few minutes, then wiped very dry, and dropped by degrees into five half pints of water, which should boil quickly, and continue to do so, while 46 the rice is being added, and for a minute afterwards, and then placed over the fire, that it may stew very softly for half an hour, or until it is tender, and as dry as it will become without being burned, will be found very good. The addition of a couple of ounces of fresh butter, when it is nearly done, will convert it into a very palatable dish of itself.
Dissolve in a large stewpan, or thick iron saucepan, four ounces of butter, and when it is on the point of browning, throw in four large mild onions sliced, three pounds weight of young vegetable marrow, cut in large dice, and cleared from the skin and seeds, four large, or six moderate-sized cucumbers, pared, split, and emptied likewise of their seeds, and from three to six large acid apples, according to the taste; shake the pan often, and stew these over a gentle fire until they are tolerably tender; then strew lightly over, and mix well amongst them, three heaped tablespoonsful of mild currie-powder, with nearly a third as much of salt, and let the vegetables stew from twenty to thirty minutes longer; then pour to them gradually sufficient boiling water (broth or stock if preferred), to just cover them, and when they are reduced almost to a pulp press the whole through a hair-sieve with a wooden spoon, and heat it in a clean stewpan with as much additional liquid as will make two quarts with that which was first added. Give any further flavouring that may be needed, whether of salt, cayenne, or acid, and serve the soup extremely hot. Should any butter appear on the surface, let it be carefully skimmed off, or stir in a small dessertspoonful of arrow-root, (smoothly mixed with a little cold broth or water) to absorb it. Rice may be served with this soup at pleasure, but as it is of the consistency of winter peas soup, it scarcely requires any addition. The currie-powder may be altogether omitted for variety, and the whole converted into a plain vegetable potage; or it may be rendered one of high savour, by browning all 47 the vegetables lightly, and adding to them rich brown stock. Tomatas, when in season, may be substituted for the apples, after being divided, and freed from their seeds.
Butter, 4 ozs.; vegetable marrow, pared and scooped, 3 lbs.; large mild onions, 4; large cucumbers, 4; or middling sized, 6; apples, or tomatas, 3 to 6: thirty to forty minutes. Mild currie-powder, 3 heaped tablespoonsful; salt, one small tablespoonful: twenty to thirty minutes. Water, broth, or good stock, 2 quarts.
Pare, split, and empty from eight to twenty* fine, well grown, but not old cucumbers,—those which have the fewest seeds are best for the purpose; throw a little salt over them, and leave them for an hour to drain, then put them with the white part only of a couple of mild onions, into a deep stewpan, or delicately clean saucepan, cover them nearly half an inch with pale, but good veal stock, and stew them gently until they are perfectly tender, which will be in from three quarters of an hour, to an hour and a quarter; press the whole through a hair-sieve, and add to it as much more stock as may be needed to make the quantity of soup required for table; and as the cucumbers, from their watery nature, will thicken it but little, stir to it when it boils, as much arrow-root, rice-flour, or tous les mois (see page 4), as will bring it to a good consistency; add from half to a whole pint of boiling cream, and serve the soup immediately. Salt and cayenne, sufficient to season it, should be thrown over the cucumbers when they are stewing. The yolks of six or eight eggs, mixed with a dessertspoonful of Chili vinegar, may be used for this soup instead of cream; three dessertspoonsful of minced parsley may then be strewed into it a couple of minutes 48 before they are added; it must not, of course, be allowed to boil after they are stirred in.
* This is a great disparity of numbers; but some regard must be had to expense, where the vegetable cannot be obtained with facility.
Take at their fullest size, but before they are of bad colour or worm-eaten, three pints of fine large peas, and boil them as for table (see Chapter XV.), with half a teaspoonful of carbonate of soda in the water, that they may be very green. When they are quite tender, drain them well, and put them into a couple of quarts of boiling, pale, but good beef or veal stock, and stew them in it gently for half an hour, then work the whole through a fine hair-sieve; put it into a clean pan and bring it to the point of boiling; add salt, should it be needed, and a small teaspoonful of pounded sugar, clear off the scum entirely, and serve the soup as hot as possible, with small pale sippets of fried bread. An elegant variety of it is made by adding a half pint more of stock to the peas, and about three quarters of a pint of asparagus points, boiled apart, and well drained before they are thrown into it, which should be done only the instant before it is sent to table: the fried bread will not then be needed.
Green peas, 3 pints: boiled twenty-five to thirty minutes, or more. Veal or beef stock, 2 quarts (with peas): half an hour. Sugar, one small teaspoonful; salt, if needed.
Obs.—When there is no stock at hand, four or five pounds of shin of beef, boiled slowly down with three quarts of water to two, and well seasoned with savoury herbs, young carrots, and onions, will serve instead quite well. A thick slice of lean, undressed ham would improve it.
Should a common English peas soup be wished for, make it somewhat thinner than the one above, and add to it, just before it is dished, from half to three quarters of a pint of young peas boiled tender, and well drained.49
Boil tender, in three quarts of water, with the proportions of salt and soda directed for them in Chapter XV., one quart of large, full grown peas; drain and pound them in a mortar, mix with them gradually five pints of the liquor in which they were boiled, put the whole again over the fire, and stew it gently for a quarter of an hour; then press it through a hair sieve. In the mean time, simmer, in from three to four ounces of butter,* three large, or four small cucumbers, pared and sliced, the hearts of three or four lettuces shred small, from one to four onions, according to the taste, cut thin, a few small sprigs of parsley, and, when the flavour is liked, a dozen leaves or more of mint, roughly chopped: keep these stirred over a gentle fire for nearly or quite an hour, and strew over them a half-teaspoonful of salt, and a good seasoning of white pepper or cayenne. When they are partially done, drain them from the butter, put them into the strained stock, and let the whole boil gently until all the butter has been thrown to the surface, and been entirely cleared from it; then throw in from half to three quarters of a pint of young peas, boiled as for eating, and serve the soup immediately.
When more convenient, the peas, with a portion of the liquor, may be pressed through a sieve, instead of being crushed in a mortar; and when the colour of the soup is not so much a consideration as the flavour, they may be slowly stewed till perfectly tender in four ounces of good butter, instead of being boiled: a few green onions, and some branches of parsley may then be added to them.
Green peas, one quart; water, 5 pints; cucumbers, 3 to 6; lettuces, 3 or 4; onions, 1 to 4; little parsley; mint (if liked), 12 to 20 leaves; butter, 3 to 4 ozs.; salt, half-teaspoonful; seasoning of white pepper or 50 cayenne: 50 to 60 minutes. Young peas, half to three quarters of a pint.
Obs.—We must repeat that the peas for these soups should not be old, as when they are so, their fine sweet flavour is entirely lost, and the dried ones would have almost as good an effect: nor should they be of inferior kinds. Freshly-gathered marrowfats, taken at nearly, or quite their full growth, will give the best quality of soup. We are credibly informed, but cannot assert it on our own authority, that it is often made for expensive tables in early spring, with the young, tender plants or halms of the peas, when they are about a foot in height. They are cut off close to the ground, like small salad, then boiled and pressed through a strainer, and mixed with the stock. The flavour is affirmed to be excellent.
* Some persons prefer the vegetables slowly fried to a fine brown, then drained on a sieve, and well dried before the fire; but though more savoury so, they do not improve the colour of the soup.
Wash very clean, and throw into an equal quantity of boiling water, salted as for peas, three quarts of the shells, and in from twenty to thirty minutes, when they will be quite tender, turn the whole into a large strainer, and press the pods strongly with a wooden spoon. Measure the liquor, put two quarts of it into a clean, deep saucepan, and when it boils, add to it a quart of full grown peas, two, or even three large cucumbers, as many moderate-sized lettuces stripped of the coarser leaves, and cut small, one large onion (or more if liked), sliced extremely thin and stewed for half an hour in a morsel of butter before it is added to the soup, or gently fried without being allowed to brown; a branch or two of parsley, and, when the flavour is liked, a dozen leaves of mint. Stew these softly for an hour, with the addition of a small teaspoonful, or a larger quantity if required, of salt, and a good seasoning of fine white pepper, or of cayenne; then press the whole of the vegetables with the soup through a hair sieve, heat it afresh, and send it to table with a dish of small fried sippets. The colour will not be so bright as that of the more expensive soups which precede it, but it will be excellent in flavour.51
Peashells, 3 quarts; water, 3 quarts: 20 to 30 minutes. Liquor from these, 2 quarts; full-sized green peas, 1 quart; large cucumbers, 2 or 3; lettuces, 3; onion, 1 (or more); little parsley; mint, 12 leaves; seasoning of salt and pepper or cayenne: stewed 1 hour.
Obs.—The cucumbers should be pared, quartered, and freed from the seeds before they are added to the soup. The peas, as we have said already more than once, should not be old, but taken at their full growth, before they lose their colour: the youngest of the shells ought to be selected for the liquor.
Soak a quart of fine yellow split peas for a night, drain them well, and put them into a large soup-pot with five quarts of good brown gravy-stock; and when they have boiled gently for half an hour, add to the soup three onions, as many carrots, and a turnip or two, all sliced and fried carefully in butter; stew the whole softly till the peas are reduced to pulp, then add as much salt and cayenne as may be needed to season it well, give it two or three minutes’ boil, and pass it through a sieve, pressing the vegetables with it. Put into a clean saucepan as much as may be required for table, add a little fresh stock to it should it be too thick, and reduce it by quick boiling if too thin; throw in the white part of some fresh celery sliced a quarter of an inch thick, and when this is tender send the soup quickly to table with a dish of small fried sippets. A dessertspoonful or more of currie-powder greatly improves peas soup: it should be smoothly mixed with a few spoonsful of it, and poured to the remainder when this first begins to boil after having been strained.
Split peas, 1 quart: soaked one night. Good brown gravy-soup, 5 quarts: 30 minutes. Onions and carrots browned in butter, 3 of each; turnips, 2: two and a half to three and a half hours. Cayenne and salt as needed. Soup, 5 pints; celery sliced, 1 large or 2 small heads: 20 minutes.52
Obs.—When more convenient, six pounds of neck of beef well scored and equally but carefully browned, may be boiled gently with the peas and fried vegetables in a gallon of water (which should be poured to them boiling) for four or five hours.
Wash well a quart of good split peas, and float off such as remain on the surface of the water; soak them for one night, and boil them with a bit of soda the size of a filbert in just sufficient water to allow them to break to a mash. Put them into from three to four quarts of good beef broth, and stew them in it gently for an hour; then work the whole through a sieve, heat afresh as much as may be required for table, season it with salt and cayenne or common pepper, clear it perfectly from scum, and send it to table with fried or toasted bread. Celery sliced and stewed in it as directed for the rich peas soup, will be found a great improvement to this.
Peas, 1 quart: soaked one night; boiled in 2 quarts or rather more of water, two hours to two and a half. Beef broth, 3 to 4 quarts: 1 hour. Salt and cayenne or pepper as needed: 3 minutes.
To a pint of peas, freed from all that are worm-eaten, and well washed, put five pints of cold water, and boil them tolerably tender; then add a couple of onions, (more or less according to the taste), a couple of fine carrots grated, one large or two moderate-sized turnips sliced, all gently fried brown in butter; half a teaspoonful of black pepper, and three times as much of salt. Stew these softly, keeping them often stirred, until the vegetables are sufficiently tender to press through a sieve; then rub the whole through one, put it into a clean pan, and when it boils throw in a sliced head of celery, heighten the seasoning if needful, and in twenty minutes serve the soup as hot as possible, with a dish of fried or toasted bread cut into dice. A little Chili 53 vinegar can be added when liked: a larger proportion of vegetables also may be boiled down with the peas at pleasure. Weak broth, or the liquor in which a joint has been boiled, can, when at hand, be substituted for the water, but the soup is very palatable as we have given the receipt for it. Some persons like it flavoured with a little mushroom catsup.
Split peas, 1 pint; water, 5 pints: 2 hours or more. Onions, 2; carrots, 2; large turnip, 1; pepper, half teaspoonful; salt, 1 teaspoonful and a half: 1 hour to 1½. Celery, 1 head: 20 minutes.
An inexpensive and very nutritious soup may be made of ox-tails, but it will be insipid in flavour without the addition of a little ham, knuckle of bacon, or a pound or two of other meat. Wash and soak three tails, pour on them a gallon of cold water, let them be brought gradually to boil, throw in an ounce and a half of salt, and clear off the scum carefully as soon as it forms upon the surface; when it ceases to rise, add four moderate-sized carrots, from two to four onions, according to the taste, a large faggot of savoury herbs, a head of celery, a couple of turnips, six or eight cloves, and a half-teaspoonful of pepper-corns. Stew these gently from three hours to three and a half, if the tails be very large; lift them out, strain the liquor, and skim off all the fat; cut the meat from the tails (or serve them, if preferred, divided into joints), and put it into a couple of quarts or rather more of the stock; stir in, when these begin to boil, a thickening of arrow root or of rice-flour, (see page 4) mixed with as much cayenne and salt as may be required to flavour the soup well, and serve it very hot. If stewed down until the flesh falls away from the bones, the ox-tails will make stock which will be quite a firm jelly when cold; and this, strained, thickened, and well flavoured with spices, catsup, or a little wine, would, to many tastes, be a superior soup to the above. A richer one 54 still may be made by pouring good beef broth instead of water to the meat in the first instance.
Ox-tails, 3; water, 1 gallon; salt, 1 ounce and a half; carrots, 4; onions, 2 to 4; turnips, 2; celery, 1 head; 8 cloves; half-teaspoonful of pepper-corns; faggot of savoury herbs: three hours, to three and a half. For a richer soup, 5 to 6 hours. (Ham or gammon of bacon at pleasure, with other flavourings.)
Obs.—To increase the savour of this soup when the meat is not served in it, the onions, turnips, and carrots may be gently fried until of a fine light brown, before they are added to it.
Put from four to five pounds of the gristly part of the shin of beef into three quarts of cold water, and stew it very softly indeed, with the addition of the salt and vegetables directed for bouillon (see page 7), until the whole is very tender; lift out the meat, strain the liquor, put it into a large clean saucepan, add a thickening of rice-flour or arrow-root, pepper and salt if needed, and a tablespoonful of mushroom catsup. In the mean time, cut all the meat into small, thick slices, add it to the soup and serve it as soon as it is very hot. The thickening and catsup may be omitted, and all the vegetables, pressed through a strainer, may be stirred into the soup instead, before the meat is put back into it.
Chop tolerably fine a pound of lean beef, mutton, or veal, and when it is partly done, add to it a small carrot and one small turnip, cut in slices, half an ounce of celery, the white part of a moderate-sized leek, or a quarter-ounce of onion. Mince all these together and put the whole into a deep saucepan with three pints of cold water. When the soup boils take off the scum, and add a little salt and pepper. In half an hour it will be ready to serve with or without straining: it 55 may be flavoured at will, with cayenne, catsup, or aught else that is preferred. It may be converted into French spring-broth, by passing it through a sieve, and boiling it again for five or six minutes with a handful of young and nicely-picked sorrel.
Meat, 1 pound; carrot, 2 ozs.; turnip, 1 ounce and a half; celery, ½ oz.; onion, ¼ oz.; water, 3 pints: half an hour. Little pepper and salt.
Obs.—Three pounds of beef or mutton, with two or three slices of ham, and vegetables in proportion to the above receipt, all chopped fine, and boiled in three quarts of water for an hour and a half, will make an excellent family soup on an emergency: additional boiling will of course improve it, and a little spice should be added after it has been skimmed, and salted. It may easily be converted into carrot, turnip, or ground-rice soup after it is strained.
To each pound of meat add a quart of cold water, bring it gently to boil, skim it very clean, add salt in the same proportion as for bouillon (see page 7), with spices and vegetables also, unless unflavoured broth be required, when a few pepper-corns, a blade or two of mace, and a bunch of savoury herbs will be sufficient; though for some purposes even these, with the exception of the salt, are better omitted. Simmer the broth for about four hours unless the quantity be very small, when from two and a half, to three, will be sufficient. A little rice boiled down with the meat will both thicken the broth, and render it more nutritious. Strain it off when done, and let it stand till quite cold that the fat may be entirely cleared from it: this is especially needful when it is to be served to an invalid.
Veal or mutton, 4 lbs.; water, 4 quarts; salt. (For vegetables, &c., see page 7;) rice (if used), 4 ozs.; 4 hours or more.56
Throw into five pints of boiling milk a small quantity of salt, and then drop lightly into it five ounces of good fresh vermicelli; keep the milk stirred as this is added, to prevent its gathering into lumps, and continue to stir it very frequently from fifteen to twenty minutes, or until it is perfectly tender. The addition of a little pounded sugar and powdered cinnamon, renders this a very agreeable dish. In catholic countries milk soups of various kinds constantly supply the place of those made with meat, on maigre days; and with us they are sometimes very acceptable, as giving a change of diet for the nursery or sick room. Rice, semoulina, sago, cocoa-nut, and maccaroni may all in turn be used for them as directed for other soups in this chapter, but they will be required in rather smaller proportions with the milk.
Milk, 5 pints; vermicelli, 5 ozs.: 15 to 20 minutes.
The cook should be well acquainted with the signs of freshness and good condition in fish, as many of them are most unwholesome articles of food when stale, or out of season. The eyes should be 57 bright, the gills of a fine clear red, the body stiff, the flesh firm yet elastic to the touch, and the smell not disagreeable. When all these marks are reversed, and the eyes are sunken, the gills very dark in hue, the fish itself flabby, and of offensive odour, it is bad, and should be avoided. The chloride of soda will, it is true, restore it to a tolerably eatable state,* if it be not very much over-kept, but it will never resemble in quality fish that is fresh from the water.
A good turbot is thick, and full-fleshed, and the underside is of a pale cream-colour or yellowish white; when this is of a bluish tint, and the fish thin and soft, it should be rejected. The same observations apply equally to soles.
The best salmon and codfish are known by a small head, very thick shoulders, and a small tail; the scales of the former should be bright, and its flesh of a fine red colour: to be eaten in perfection it should be dressed as soon as it is caught, before the curd (or white substance which lies between the flakes of flesh) has melted and rendered the fish oily. In that state it is really crimp, but continues so only for a very few hours; and it bears therefore a much higher price in the London market then, than when mellowed by having been kept a day or two.
The flesh of cod-fish should be white and clear before it is boiled, whiter still after it is boiled, and firm though tender, sweet and mild in flavour, and separated easily into large flakes. Many persons consider it rather improved than otherwise by having a little salt rubbed along the inside of the back-bone and letting it 58 lie from twenty-four to forty-eight hours before it is dressed. It is sometimes served crimp like salmon, and must then be sliced as soon as it is dead, or within the shortest possible time afterwards.
Herrings, mackerel, and whitings, their freshness so rapidly, that unless newly caught they are quite uneatable. The herring may, it is said, be deprived of the strong rank smell which it emits when broiled or fried, by stripping off the skin, under which lies the oil that causes the disagreeable odour. The whiting is a peculiarly pure-flavoured and delicate fish, and acceptable generally to invalids from being very light of digestion.
Eels should be alive and brisk in movement when they are purchased, but the “horrid barbarity” as it is truly designated, of skinning and dividing them while they are so, is without excuse, as they are easily destroyed “by piercing the spinal marrow close to the back part of the skull with a sharp pointed knife, or skewer. If this be done in the right place all motion will instantly cease.” We quote Doctor Kitchener’s assertion on this subject; but we know that the mode of destruction which he recommends is commonly practised by the London fishmongers. Boiling water also will immediately cause vitality to cease, and is perhaps the more humane and ready method of destroying the fish.
Lobsters, prawns, and shrimps are very stiff when freshly-boiled, and the tails turn strongly inwards; when these relax, and the fish are soft and watery, they are stale; and the smell will detect their being so instantly even if no other symptoms of it be remarked. If bought alive, lobsters should be chosen by their weight and “liveliness.” The hen-lobster is preferred for sauce and soups, on account of the coral; but the flesh of the male is generally considered of finer flavour for eating. The vivacity of their leaps will show when prawns and shrimps are fresh from the sea.
Oysters should close forcibly on the knife when they 59 are opened: if the shells are apart ever so little they are losing their condition, and when they remain far open, the fish are dead, and fit only to be thrown away. Small plump natives are very preferable to the larger and coarser kinds.
* We have known this applied very successfully to salmon which from some hours keeping in sultry weather had acquired a slight degree of taint, of which no trace remained after it was dressed.
Let this be done always with the most scrupulous nicety, for nothing can more effectually destroy the appetite, or disgrace the cook than fish sent to table imperfectly cleaned. Handle it lightly, and never throw it roughly about, so as to bruise it; wash it well, but do not leave it longer in the water than is necessary, for fish, like meat, loses its flavour from being soaked. When the scales are to be removed, lay the fish flat upon its side, and hold it firmly with the left hand, while they are scraped off with the right; turn it, and when both sides are done, pour or pump sufficient water over to float off all the loose scales; then proceed to open and empty it. Be sure that not the slightest particle of offensive matter be left in the inside; wash out the blood entirely, and scrape or brush it away, if needful, from the back-bone. This may easily be accomplished, without opening the fish so much as to render it unsightly when it is sent to table. The red mullet is dressed without being emptied, and smelts are drawn at the gills. When the scales are left on, the outside of the fish should be well washed and wiped with a coarse cloth, drawn gently from the head to the tail. Eels, to be wholesome, should be skinned, but they are sometimes dressed without; boiling water should then be poured upon them, and they should be left in it from five to ten minutes, before they are cut up. The dark skin of the sole must be stripped off when it is fried, but it must be left on, like that of a turbot, when the fish is boiled, and it should be dished with the white side upwards. Whitings are skinned, and dipped usually into egg and bread crumbs, when they are to be fried; but for boiling or broiling, the skin must be left on.60
The application of the pyroligneous acid will effect this when the taint is but slight. A wineglassful, mixed with two of water, may be poured over the fish, and rubbed upon the parts more particularly requiring it; it must then be left for some minutes untouched, and afterwards washed in several waters, and soaked until the smell of the acid is no longer perceptible. The chloride of soda,* from its powerful anti-putrescent properties, will have more effect when the fish is in a worse state. It should be applied in the same manner, and will not at all injure the flavour of the fish, which is not fit for food when it cannot be perfectly purified by either of these means. The chloride may be diluted more or less, as occasion may require.
* The reader will be sure to obtain the best preparation of the chloride of soda, by ordering Beaufoy’s, which, with the directions for its use, may be procured at any Druggist’s, in sealed quart bottles, at three and sixpence each. It is better adapted to delicate purposes than the chloride of lime. We would also recommend the use of Beaufoy’s pyroligneous acid.
Fish is exceedingly insipid if sufficient salt be not mixed with the water in which it is boiled, but the precise quantity required for it will depend, in some measure, upon the kind of salt which is used. Fine common salt is that for which our directions are given; but when the Maldon salt, which is very superior in strength, as well as in its other qualities, is substituted for it, a smaller quantity must be allowed. About four ounces to the gallon of water will be sufficient for small fish in general; an additional ounce, or rather more, will not be too much for cod fish, lobsters, crabs, prawns and shrimps; and salmon will require eight ounces, as the brine for this fish should be strong: the water should always be perfectly well skimmed from the moment the scum begins to form upon the surface.
Mackerel, whiting, and other small fish, 4 ozs. of salt 61 to a gallon of water. Cod-fish, lobsters, crabs, prawns, shrimps, 5 to 6 ozs. Salmon, 8 ozs.
Put a small bit of saltpetre with the salt into the water in which it is boiled; a quarter-ounce will be sufficient for a gallon.
Never leave it in the water after it is done; but if it cannot be sent to table as soon as it is ready to serve, lift it out, lay the fish-plate into a large and very hot dish, and set it across the fish-kettle; just dip a clean cloth into the boiling water, and spread it upon the fish; place a tin cover over it, and let it remain so until two or three minutes before it is wanted, then remove the cloth, and put the fish back into the kettle for an instant that it may be as hot as possible; drain, dish, and serve it immediately: the water should be kept boiling the whole time.
A fine turbot, in full season, and well-served, is one of the most delicate and delicious fish that can be sent to table; but it is generally an expensive dish, and its excellence so much depends on the manner in which it is dressed, that great care should be taken to prepare it properly. After it is emptied, wash the inside until it is perfectly cleansed, and rub lightly a little fine salt over the outside, as this will render less washing and handling necessary, by at once taking off the slime; change the water several times, and when the fish is as clean as it is possible to render it, draw a sharp knife through the thickest part of the middle of the back nearly through to the bone. Never cut off the fins of a turbot when preparing it for table, and remember that it is the dark side of the fish in which the incision is to be made, to prevent the skin of the white side from cracking. Dissolve in a well cleaned turbot, or common fish-kettle, 62 in as much cold spring water as will cover the fish abundantly, salt, in the proportion of four ounces to the gallon, and a morsel of saltpetre; wipe the fish-plate with a clean cloth, lay the turbot upon it with the white side upwards, place it in the kettle, bring it slowly to boil, and clear off the scum thoroughly as it rises. Let the water only just simmer until the fish is done, then lift it out, drain, and slide it gently on to a very hot dish, with a hot napkin neatly arranged over the drainer. Send it immediately to table with rich lobster sauce, good plain melted butter, and a dish of dressed cucumber. For a simple dinner, anchovy, or shrimp-sauce is sometimes served with a small turbot. Should there be any cracks in the skin of the fish, branches of curled parsley may be laid lightly over them, or part of the inside coral of the lobster, rubbed through a fine hair-sieve, may be sprinkled over the fish; but it is better without either, when it is very white, and unbroken. When garnishings are in favour, a slice of lemon and a tuft of curled parsley, may be placed alternately round the edge of the dish. A border of fried smelts, or of fillets of soles, was formerly served, in general, round a turbot, and is always a very admissible addition, though no longer so fashionable as it was. From fifteen to twenty minutes will boil a moderate sized fish, and from twenty to thirty a large one; but as the same time will not always be sufficient for a fish of the same weight, the cook must watch it attentively, and lift it out as soon as its appearance denotes its being done.
Moderate sized turbot, 15 to 20 minutes. Large, 20 to 30 minutes. Longer, if of unusual size.
Obs.—A lemon gently squeezed, and rubbed over the fish, is thought to preserve its whiteness. Some good cooks still put turbot into boiling water, and to prevent its breaking, tie it with a cloth tightly to the fish-plate; but cold water seems better adapted to it, as it is desirable that it should be gradually heated through before it begins to boil.63
Raise carefully from the bones the flesh of a cold turbot, and clear it from the dark skin, cut it into small squares, and put it into an exceedingly clean stewpan or saucepan; then make and pour upon it the cream-sauce of Chapter IV., or make as much as may be required for the fish by the same receipt, with equal proportions of milk and cream, and a little additional flour. Heat the fish slowly in the sauce, but do not allow it to boil, and send it very hot to table. The white skin of the fish is not usually added to this dish, and it is of better appearance without it; but for a family dinner, it may be left on the flesh, when it is much liked. No acid must be stirred to the sauce until the whole is ready for table.
Prepare the cold turbot as for the preceding receipt, but leave no portion of the skin with it. Heat it in a rich bechamel sauce, and serve it in a vol-au-vent, or in a deep dish, with a border of fried bread cut in an elegant form, and made with one dark, and one light sippet, placed alternately. The surface may be covered with a half-inch layer of delicately fried bread crumbs, perfectly well drained and dried; or they may be spread over the fish without being fried, then moistened with clarified butter, and browned with a salamander.
Proceed exactly as for a turbot; sprinkle lobster coral passed through a fine sieve, over the brill after it is dished, and send lobster sauce and plain melted butter to table with it. This fish, in delicacy and excellence, is little inferior to turbot.
To preserve the fine colour of this fish, and to set the curd when it is quite freshly caught, it is usual to put 64 it into boiling, instead of into cold water. Scale, empty, and wash it with the greatest nicety, and be especially careful to cleanse all the blood from the inside. Stir into the fish-kettle eight ounces of common salt to the gallon of water; let it boil quickly for a minute or two, take off all the scum, put in the salmon and boil it moderately fast, if it be small, but more gently should it be very thick; and assure yourself that it is quite sufficiently done before it is sent to table, for nothing can be more distasteful, even to the eye, than fish which is under dressed.
From two to three pounds of the thick part of a fine salmon will require half an hour to boil it; but eight or ten pounds will be done enough in little more than double that time; less, in proportion to its weight, should be allowed for a small fish, or for the thin end of a large one. Do not allow the salmon to remain in the water after it is ready to serve, or both its flavour and appearance will be injured. Dish it on a hot napkin, and send dressed cucumber, and anchovy, shrimp, or lobster sauce, and a tureen of plain melted butter to table with it.
To each gallon water, 8 ozs. salt. Salmon, 2 to 3 lbs. (thick) ½ hour; 8 to 10 lbs., 1 hour and ¼; small, or thin fish, less time.
Cut in slices an inch and a half, or two inches thick, the body of a salmon quite newly caught; throw them into strong salt and water as they are done, but do not let them soak in it; wash them well, lay them on a fish-plate, and put them into fast-boiling water, salted, and well skimmed. In from ten to fifteen minutes they will be done. Dish them on a napkin, and send them very hot to table with lobster sauce, and plain melted butter; or with the caper fish-sauce of Chapter IV. The water should be salted as for salmon boiled in the ordinary way, and the scum should be cleared off with great care after the fish is in.
In boiling water, 10 to 15 minutes.65
Separate some cold boiled salmon into flakes, and free them entirely from the skin; break the bones, and boil them in a pint of water for half an hour. Strain off the liquor, put it into a clean saucepan and stir into it by degrees when it begins to boil quickly, two ounces of butter mixed with a large teaspoonful of flour, and when the whole has boiled for two or three minutes add a tablespoonful of essence of anchovies, one of good mushroom catsup, half as much lemon-juice or Chili vinegar, a half-saltspoonful of pounded mace, some cayenne, and a very little salt. Shell from half to a whole pint of shrimps, add them to the salmon, and heat the fish very slowly in the sauce by the side of the fire, but do not allow it to boil. When it is very hot, dish, and send it quickly to table. French cooks, when they re-dress fish or meats of any kind, prepare the flesh with great nicety, and then put it into a stewpan, and pour the sauce upon it; which is, we think, better than the more usual English mode of laying it into the boiling sauce. The cold salmon may also be re-heated in the cream sauce of Chapter IV. or in the Mâitre d’Hotel sauce which follows it; and will be found excellent with either. This receipt is for a moderate-sized dish.
When this fish is large the head and shoulders are sufficient for a handsome dish, and they contain all the choicer portion of it, though not so much substantial eating, as the middle of the body, which, in consequence, is generally preferred to them by the frugal housekeeper. Wash the fish, and cleanse the inside, and the backbone in particular, with the most scrupulous care; lay it into the fish-kettle and cover it well with cold water mixed with five ounces of salt to the gallon, and about a quarter ounce of saltpetre to the whole. Place it over a moderate fire, clear off the scum perfectly, and let the fish boil gently until it is done. Drain it well* 66 and dish it carefully upon a very hot napkin with the liver and the roe as a garnish. To these are usually added tufts of lightly scraped horseradish round the edge. Serve well-made oyster sauce and plain melted butter with it; or anchovy sauce when oysters cannot be procured. The cream sauce of Chapter IV. is also an appropriate one for this fish.
Moderate-sized 20 to 30 minutes. Large ½ to ¾ hour.
* This should be done by setting the fish-plate across the kettle for a minute or two.
Cut the middle or tail of the fish into slices nearly an inch thick, season them with salt and white pepper or cayenne, flour them well, and fry them of a clear equal brown on both sides; drain them on a sieve before the fire, and serve them on a well-heated napkin, with plenty of crisped parsley round them. Or: dip them into beaten egg, and then into fine crumbs mixed with a seasoning of salt and pepper (some cooks add one of minced herbs also), before they are fried. Send melted butter and anchovy sauce to table with them.
8 to 12 minutes.
Obs.—This is a much better way of dressing the thin part of the fish than boiling it, and as it is generally cheap, it makes thus an economical, as well as a very good dish.
Put into boiling water, salted as usual, about three pounds of fresh cod-fish cut into slices an inch and a half thick, and boil them gently for five minutes; heat in a wide stewpan nearly a pint of veal-gravy or of very good broth, lay in the fish, and stew it for five minutes, then add four tablespoonsful of extremely fine bread-crumbs, and simmer it for three minutes longer. Stir well into the sauce a large teaspoonful of arrow root quite free from lumps, a fourth part as much of mace, something less of cayenne, and a tablespoonful of essence of anchovies, mixed with a glass of white wine and a dessertspoonful of lemon-juice. Boil the whole 67 for a couple of minutes, lift out the fish carefully with a slice, pour the sauce over, and serve it quickly.
Cod fish, 3 lbs.: boiled 5 minutes. Gravy, or strong broth, nearly 1 pint: 5 minutes. Bread crumbs, 4 tablespoonsful: 3 minutes. Arrow-root, 1 large teaspoonful; mace, ¼ teaspoonful; less of cayenne; essence of anchovies, 1 tablespoonful; lemon-juice, 1 dessertspoonful; sherry or Madeira, 1 wineglassful: 2 minutes.
Obs.—A dozen or two of oysters, bearded, and added with their strained liquor to this dish two or three minutes before it is served, will, to many tastes, vary it very agreeably.
Slice the fish, take off the skin, flour it well, and fry it quickly a fine brown, lift it out and drain it on the back of a sieve, arrange it in a clean stew-pan, and pour in as much good brown gravy, boiling, as will nearly cover it; add from one to two glasses of port wine, or rather more of claret, a dessertspoonful of Chili vinegar, or the juice of half a lemon, and some cayenne, with as much salt as may be needed. Stew the fish very softly until it just begins to break, lift it carefully with a slice into a very hot dish, stir into the gravy an ounce and a half of butter, smoothly kneaded with a large teaspoonful of flour, and a little pounded mace, give the sauce a minute’s boil, pour it over the fish, and serve it immediately. The wine may be omitted, good shin of beef stock substituted for the gravy, and a teaspoonful of soy, one of essence of anchovies, and two tablespoonsful of Harvey’s sauce added to flavour it.
When very salt and dry, this must be long-soaked before it is boiled, but it is generally supplied by the fishmongers nearly or quite ready to dress. When it is not so, lay it for a night into a large quantity of cold water, then let it lie exposed to the air for some time, then again put it into water, and continue thus until it is well softened. Brush it very clean, wash it thoroughly, 68 and put it with abundance of cold water into the fish-kettle, place it near the fire and let it heat very slowly indeed. Keep it just on the point of simmering, without allowing it ever to boil (which would render it hard,) from three quarters of an hour to a full hour, according to its weight; should it be quite small and thin, less time will be sufficient for it; but by following these directions, the fish will be almost as good as if it were fresh. The scum should be cleared off with great care from the beginning. Egg sauce and boiled parsnips are the usual accompaniments to salt fish, which should be dished upon a hot napkin, and which is sometimes also thickly strewed with chopped eggs.
Boil the fish by the foregoing receipt, or take the remains of that which has been served at table, flake it off clear from the bones, and strip away every morsel of the skin; then lay it into a very clean saucepan or stewpan, and pour upon it the sharp Mâitre d’Hotel sauce of Chapter ; or, dissolve gently two or three ounces of butter with four or five spoonsful of water, and a half-teaspoonful of flour; add some pepper or cayenne, very little salt, and a dessertspoonful or more of minced parsley. Heat the fish slowly quite through in either of these sauces, and toss or stir it until the whole is well mixed; if the second be used, add the juice of half a lemon, or a small quantity of Chili vinegar, just before it is taken from the fire. The fish thus prepared may be served in a deep dish, with a border of mashed parsnips or potatoes.
Should they be highly salted, soak them for a night, and on the following day, rub off entirely the discoloured skin; wash them well, lay them into plenty of cold milk and water, and boil them gently from thirty to forty minutes, or longer, should they not be quite tender. 69 Clear off the scum as it rises with great care, or it will sink, and adhere to the sounds, of which the appearance will then be spoiled. Drain them well, dish them on a napkin, and send egg sauce and plain melted butter to table with them.
Boil them as directed above, until they are nearly done, then lift them out, lay them on to a drainer, and let them remain till they are cold; cut them across in strips of an inch deep, curl them round, dip them into a good French or English batter, fry them of a fine pale brown, drain and dry them well, dish them on a hot napkin, and garnish them with crisped parsley.
These, and all other fish, must be not only fresh, but quite free from moisture to fry well, particularly when they are dressed with bread crumbs, as these will not otherwise adhere to them. Empty, skin and wash the soles with great nicety from one to two hours before they are wanted for table; wipe them very dry; fold and press them gently in a soft clean cloth and leave them wrapped in it till it is time to fry them; then, cover them equally in every part, first with some beaten egg, and then with extremely fine dry crumbs of bread.* Melt in a large and perfectly clean frying pan, over a brisk and clear fire, as much good lard as will float the fish, (or substitute for this, when the expense is not objected to, fresh, pure-flavoured olive oil, which is far superior to any thing else for the purpose), and let it be sufficiently hot before they are laid in to brown them quickly; for if this be neglected it will be 70 impossible to render them crisp or dry. When the fat ceases to bubble, throw in a small bit of bread, and if it takes a good colour immediately the soles may be put in without delay. An experienced cook will know, without this test, when it is at the proper point; but the learner will do better to avail herself of it until practice and observation shall have rendered it unnecessary to her. Before the fish are laid into the pan, take them by the head and shake the loose crumbs from them. When they are firm, and of a fine amber-colour on one side, turn them with care, passing a slice under them and a fork through the heads, and brown them on the other. Lift them out, and either dry them well on a soft cloth before the fire, turning them often, or press them lightly in hot white blotting paper. Dish them on a drainer covered with a hot napkin and send them to table without delay with shrimp or anchovy sauce, and plain melted butter.
Very small soles will be done in six minutes, and large ones in about ten. They may be floured and fried, without being egged and crumbed, but this is not a very usual mode of serving them.
Small soles, 6 minutes; large, about 10 minutes.
* The crumbs should be of a stale loaf, finely grated and shaken through a cullender, then well dried in a very slack oven or at a distance from a clear fire, and allowed to become cold before they are used: they are still better when made of bread that has been rendered crisp quite through, and then beaten small, as directed in Chapter IV.
The flesh of a fine fresh sole, when boiled with care, is remarkably sweet and delicate: if very large it may be dressed and served as turbot, to which it will be found little inferior. Clean and wash it thoroughly, but do not skin it; cover it plentifully with cold water, throw in a handful of salt and a morsel of saltpetre, about half the size of a hazel nut. When the water boils skim it well, and let the fish simmer very softly from five to ten minutes. Soles of moderate size should be laid into warm water, and will be sufficiently done with five minutes’ simmering. Send shrimp, lobster or anchovy sauce and dressed cucumber to table with them.
Very large sole, 5 to 10 minutes; moderate sized, 4 to 6 minutes.71
The word fillet, whether applied to fish, poultry, game or butcher’s meat, means simply the flesh of either (or of certain portions of it), raised clear from the bones in a handsome form, and divided or not, as the manner in which it is to be served may require. It is an elegant mode of dressing various kinds of fish, and even those which are not the most highly esteemed, afford an excellent dish when thus prepared. Soles to be filletted with advantage should be large; the flesh then may be divided down the middle of the back, next, separated from the fins, and with a very sharp knife raised clean from the bones.* When thus prepared, the fillets may be divided, trimmed into a good form, egged, covered with fine crumbs, fried in the usual way, and served with the same sauces as the whole fish; or each fillet may be rolled up in its entire length, fastened with a small fine skewer, then covered with egg and bread crumbs, and fried in sufficient lard to almost cover it. When the fish are not very large, they are sometimes boned without being parted in the middle, and each side is rolled from the tail to the head, after being first spread with pounded shrimps mixed with a third of their volume of butter, a few bread crumbs, and a high seasoning of mace and cayenne; or with pounded lobster mixed with a large portion of the coral, and the same seasoning, and proportion of butter as the shrimps; then laid into a dish, with the ingredients directed as for the soles au plat, well covered with crumbs of bread and clarified butter, and baked from twelve to sixteen minutes, or until the crumbs are coloured to a fine brown in a moderate oven.
The fillets may likewise be cut into small strips or 72 squares of uniform size, lightly dredged with pepper or cayenne, salt and flour, and fried in butter over a brisk fire; then well drained, and sauced with a good bechamel, flavoured with a teaspoonful of minced parsley.
* A celebrated French cook gives the following instructions for raising these fillets: “Take them up by running your knife first between the bones and the flesh, then between the skin and the fillet; by leaning pretty hard on the table they will come off very neatly.”
Clarify three ounces of fresh butter, and pour it into the dish in which the fish are to be served; add to it a little salt, some cayenne, a teaspoonful of essence of anchovies, and from one to two glasses of sherry, or of any other dry white wine; lay in a couple of fine soles which have been well-cleaned and wiped very dry, strew over them a thick layer of fine bread-crumbs, moisten them with clarified butter, set the dish into a moderate oven, and bake the fish a quarter of an hour. A layer of shrimps placed between the soles is a great improvement; and we would also recommend a little lemon-juice to be mixed with the sauce.
Baked 15 minutes.
Obs.—In France, three or four minced eschalots and a dessertspoonsful or more of finely chopped parsley are sprinkled under and over the fish; grated nutmeg also is added to the seasoning.
Prepare some very fresh middling-sized soles with exceeding nicety, put them into boiling water slightly salted, and simmer them for two minutes only; lift them out, and let them drain; lay them into a wide stewpan with as much sweet rich cream as will nearly cover them, add a good seasoning of pounded mace, cayenne, and salt; stew the fish softly from six to ten minutes, or till the flesh parts readily from the bones; dish them, stir the juice of half a lemon to the sauce, pour it over the soles, and send them immediately to table. Some lemon-rind may be boiled in the cream, if approved; and a small teaspoonful of arrow-root, 73 very smoothly mixed with a little milk, may be stirred to the sauce (should it require thickening), before the lemon-juice is added. Turbot and brill may also be dressed by this receipt, time, proportioned to their size, being, of course, allowed for them.
Soles 3 or 4: boiled in water 2 minutes. Cream, ½ to whole pint; salt, mace, cayenne: fish stewed, 6 to 10 minutes. Juice of half a lemon.
Obs.—In Cornwall the fish is laid at once into thick clotted cream, and stewed entirely in it; but this method gives to the sauce, which ought to be extremely delicate, a coarse fishy flavour which the previous boil in water prevents.
At Penzance, mullet, after being scaled, are divided in the middle, just covered with cold water, and softly boiled, with the addition of branches of parsley, pepper, and salt, until the flesh of the back parts easily from the bone; clotted cream, minced parsley, and lemon-juice are then added to the sauce, and the mullet are dished with the heads and tails laid even to the thick parts of the back, where the fish were cut asunder. Hake, too, is there divided at every joint (having previously been scaled), dipped into egg, then thickly covered with fine bread-crumbs mixed with plenty of minced parsley, and fried a fine brown.
Clean, skin, and dry them thoroughly in a cloth, fasten their tails to their mouths, brush them equally over with beaten eggs, and cover them with the finest bread-crumbs, mixed with a little flour; fry them a clear golden brown in plenty of boiling lard, drain and dry them well, dish them on a hot napkin and serve them with good melted butter, and the sauce-cruets, as with well-made shrimp or anchovy sauce. A small half-teaspoonful of salt should be beaten up with the eggs used in preparing the whitings: two will be sufficient for half a dozen fish.
5 to 8 minutes, according to their size.74
Empty and wash thoroughly, but do not skin the fish. Take off the flesh on both sides close to the bones, passing the knife from the tail to the head; divide each side in two, trim the fillets into good shape; fold them in a cloth, that the moisture may be well absorbed from them; dip them into, or draw them through, some beaten egg, then dip them into fine crumbs mixed with a small portion of flour, and fry them a fine light brown, in lard or clarified butter; drain them well, press them in white blotting-paper, dish them one over the other in a circle, and send the usual sauce to table with them. The fillets may also be broiled after being dipped into eggs seasoned with salt and pepper, then into crumbs of bread, then next into clarified butter, and a second time into the bread-crumbs (or, to shorten the process, a portion of clarified butter may be mixed with the eggs at first), and served with good melted butter, or thickened veal-gravy, seasoned with cayenne, lemon-juice, and chopped parsley.
Five minutes will fry the fillets, even when very large: rather more time will be required to broil them.
Having scraped, cleaned, and wiped them, lay them on a fish-drainer, and put them into water at the point of boiling; throw in a handful of salt, two bay leaves, and plenty of parsley picked, washed, and tied together; let the fish just simmer from five to ten minutes, and watch them closely that they may not be over-done. Serve parsley and butter with them, and use in making it the liquor in which the whitings have been boiled.
Just simmered from 5 to 10 minutes.
Pour a little clarified butter into a deep dish, and strew it rather thickly with finely-minced mushrooms, 75 mixed with a teaspoonful of parsley, and (when the flavour is liked, and considered appropriate) with an eschalot or two, or the white part of a few green onions, also chopped very small. On these place the fish, after they have been scaled, emptied, thoroughly washed, and wiped dry; season them well with salt, and white pepper, or cayenne; sprinkle more of the herbs upon them; pour gently from one to two glasses of light white wine into the dish, cover the whitings with a thick layer of fine crumbs of bread, sprinkle these plentifully with clarified butter, and bake the fish from fifteen to twenty minutes. Send a cut lemon only to table with them. When the wine is not liked, a few spoonsful of pale veal gravy can be used instead; or a larger quantity of clarified butter, with a tablespoonful of water, a teaspoonful of lemon-pickle and of mushroom catsup, and a few drops of soy.
15 to 20 minutes.
Open the fish sufficiently to admit of the insides being perfectly cleansed, but not more than is necessary for this purpose; empty them with care, lay the roes apart, and wash both them and the mackerel delicately clean. It is customary now to lay these, and the greater number of other fish as well, into cold water when they are to be boiled; formerly all were plunged at once into fast-boiling water. For such as are small and delicate, it should be warm, but not scalding; they should be brought gently to a soft boil, and simmered until they are done; the scum should be cleared off as it rises, and the usual proportion of salt stirred into the water before the mackerel is put in. The roes are commonly replaced in the fish, but as they sometimes require more boiling than the mackerel themselves, it is better, when they are very large, to lay them upon the drainer by their sides. From fifteen to twenty minutes will generally be sufficient to boil a full-sized mackerel: some will be done in less time, but they must be watched, and lifted out as soon as the tails split, and eyes are starting.76
Dish them on a napkin, and send fennel or gooseberry sauce to table with them, and plain melted butter also.
Small mackerel, 10 to 15 minutes; large, 15 to 20 minutes.
After they have been cleaned and well washed, wipe them very dry, fill the insides with the forcemeat, No. 1 of Chapter VI, sew them up, arrange them, with the roes, closely together in a coarse baking-dish, flour them lightly, strew a little fine salt over, and stick bits of butter upon them; or pour some equally over them, after having just dissolved it in a small saucepan. Half an hour in a moderate oven will bake them. Oyster forcemeat is always appropriate for any kind of fish which is in season, while the oysters are so; but the mackerel are commonly served, and are very good with that which we have named. Lift them carefully into a hot dish after they are taken from the oven, and send melted butter, and the sauce cruets to table with them.
Obs.—The dish in which they are baked, should be buttered before they are laid in.
After the fish have been emptied and washed extremely clean, cut off the heads and tails, split the bodies quite open, and take out the backbones; wipe the mackerel very dry, dust fine salt, and pepper (or cayenne), over them, flour them well, fry them a fine brown in boiling lard, drain them thoroughly, and serve them with the following sauce:—Dissolve in a small saucepan an ounce and a half of butter smoothly mixed with a teaspoonful of flour, some salt, pepper, and cayenne, shake these over a gentle fire until they are lightly coloured, then add by slow degrees nearly half a pint of good broth, or gravy, and the juice of one large 77 lemon: boil the sauce for a couple of minutes, and serve it very hot. Or, instead of this, add a large teaspoonful of strong made-mustard, and a dessertspoonful of Chili vinegar, to some thick melted butter, and serve it with the fish. A spoonful of Harvey’s sauce, or of mushroom catsup can be mixed with this last, at pleasure.
Take off the flesh quite whole on either side, from three fine mackerel, which have been opened and properly cleaned; let it be entirely free from bone, dry it well in a cloth, then divide each part in two, and dip them into the beaten yolks of a couple of eggs, seasoned with salt and white pepper or cayenne; cover them equally with fine dry crumbs of bread, and fry them like soles; or dip them into clarified butter, and then again into the crumbs, and broil them over a very clear fire of a fine brown. Dish them in a circle one over the other, and send them to table with the Mâitre d’Hotel sauce of Chapter IV, or with the one which follows it. The French pour the sauce into the centre of the dish; but for broiled fillets this is not so well, we think, as serving it in a tureen. The roes of the fish, after being well washed and soaked, may be dressed with them, or they may be made into patties. Minced parsley can be mixed with the bread-crumbs when it is liked.
Empty, wash it clean, and dry it well; split the back open without removing the bone; or make an incision on either side of it the whole length of the fish; lay it on a hot gridiron over a moderate fire, loosen it gently, should it stick, and when it is equally done on both sides, turn the back towards the fire: about half an hour will broil it. If a feather dipped in salad-oil or clarified butter, be passed over the skin, before the mackerel is laid on the gridiron, it will be less dry, and 78 less liable to stick: a yet better plan is, to wrap the fish in a well-buttered sheet of writing paper, which should be just twisted or tied at the ends. This we would especially recommend for whitings also, which are excellent, if nicely broiled, but require a quicker fire, and rather less time than the mackerel. The latter, if very large, will need a few additional minutes’ broiling. When the backbone parts easily from the flesh, it is ready for table: put a cold Mâitre d’Hotel sauce into the back before it is served.
30 to 40 minutes. Whitings, 20 to 30.
Work very smoothly together a large teaspoonful of flour with two ounces of butter, put them into a stewpan, and stir or shake them round over the fire until the butter is dissolved; add a quarter-teaspoonful of mace, twice as much salt, and some cayenne; pour in by slow degrees three glasses of claret, and when the sauce boils, lay in a couple of fine mackerel, well cleaned, and wiped quite dry; stew them very softly from fifteen to twenty minutes, and turn them when half done; lift them out, and dish them carefully; stir a teaspoonful of made-mustard to the sauce, give it a boil, and pour it over the fish. When more convenient, substitute port-wine and a little lemon-juice, for the claret.
Mackerel, 2; flour, 1 teaspoonful; butter, 2 ozs.; seasoning of salt, mace, and cayenne; claret, 3 glassesful; made-mustard, 1 teaspoonful: 15 to 20 minutes.
Raise the flesh entire from the bones on either side of the mackerel, and divide it once if the fish be small, but cut the whole into six parts of equal size should they be large. Mix with flour, and dissolve the butter as in the preceding receipt, and when it has simmered for a 79 minute throw in the spice, a little salt, and the thinly pared rind of half a small fresh lemon; lay in the fillets of fish, shake them over a gentle fire from four to five minutes, and turn them once in the time; then pour to them in small portions a couple of large glassesful of port wine, a tablespoonful of Harvey’s sauce, should it be at hand, a teaspoonful of soy, and one of lemon-juice; stew the mackerel very softly until the thinner parts begin to break, lift them out with care, dish and serve them in their sauce as hot as possible. We can recommend the dish to our readers as a very excellent one. A garnish of fried sippets can be placed round the fish at will. A teaspoonful of made-mustard should be stirred to the sauce before it is poured over the fish.
Mackerel, 2; butter, 2 ozs.; flour, 1 teaspoonful; rind of ½ lemon; salt, cayenne, pounded mace: 2 minutes. Fish, 4 to 5 minutes. Port wine, 2 large glassesful; Harvey’s sauce, 1 tablespoonful; soy and lemon-juice each, 1 teaspoonful: 4 to 6 minutes. Mustard, 1 teaspoonful.
Obs.—Trout may be dressed by this receipt.
Scrape the outsides very clean, open the fish, empty them, wash the insides thoroughly, take out the gills, and lay the haddocks into warm water salted as for mackerel, with a very small bit of saltpetre to render them firm. Skim the water and simmer them from seven to ten minutes, according to their size. Send them very hot to table, with a tureen of melted butter, and one of anchovy sauce.
7 to 10 minutes.
Obs.—In Scotland haddocks are skinned before they are boiled, and the heads are taken off, but we see no advantage in this mode of dressing them.
After they have been cleaned, dry them thoroughly, 80 then bake them as directed in the common receipt for pike, or fill them with oyster-forcemeat, or with No. 1 of Chapter IV, if more convenient, and proceed as for baked mackerel.
20 to 30 minutes; longer if very large.
Follow the directions given for fillets of whitings, or, should a more simple method be preferred, clean and dry the fish well, cut off the heads and tails, take out the backbones, cut each fish in three, egg and crumb them, fry them in boiling lard a fine golden brown, and serve them, well drained and dried, with the same sauces as boiled haddocks.
Scale and clean the fish with the utmost nicety, split them quite open, and wash the insides with particular care; dry them well in a cloth, take off the heads and tails and remove the backbones; rub the insides with pepper, salt, and a little pounded mace; stick small bits of butter on them and skewer two of the fish together as flat as possible, with the skin of both outside; flour, and broil or fry them of a fine brown, and serve them with melted butter mixed with a teaspoonful or more of mustard, some salt and a little vinegar or lemon juice.
To broil 20 to 25 minutes; to fry about 10 minutes.
After having emptied and well cleaned the fish, make an incision in the back as directed for turbot; lay them into cold spring water; add salt, and saltpetre in the same proportion as for cod fish, and let them just simmer for four or five minutes after the water first begins to boil, or longer, should their size require it, but guard against their being broken. Serve them with plain melted butter.
4 to 5 minutes; longer if needful.81
Sprinkle them with salt, and let them lie for two or three hours before they are dressed. Wash and clean them thoroughly, wipe them very dry, flour them well, and wipe them again with a clean cloth; dip them into egg, and fine bread crumbs, and fry them in plenty of lard. If the fish be large, raise the flesh in handsome fillets from the bones, and finish them as directed for fillets of soles.
Obs.—Plaice is said to be rendered less watery by beating it gently with a paste-roller before it is cooked. It is very sweet and pleasant in flavour while it is in full season, which is only for three or four months of the year.
First wash, and then dry the fish thoroughly in a cloth, but neither scale nor open it; wrap it closely in a sheet of thickly buttered paper, tie this securely at the ends, and over the mullet with packthread, and roast it in a Dutch oven, or broil it over a clear and gentle fire, or bake it in a moderate oven: from twenty to thirty minutes will be sufficient generally to dress it in either way, if it be only of moderate size. For sauce, put into a little good melted butter the liquor that has flowed from the fish, a small dessertspoonful of essence of anchovies, some cayenne, a glass of port wine, or claret, and a little lemon-juice. Remove the packthread, and send the mullet to table in the paper case. This is the usual mode of serving it; but it is dished without the paper, for dinners of high taste.
20 to 30 minutes: more, if large.
This fish varies so much in size and quality, that it is difficult to give exact directions for the time of cooking it. When quite young and small, it may be boiled by the receipt for whitings, haddocks, and other fish of 82 about their size; but at its finest growth it must be laid into cold water, and managed like larger fish. We have ourselves partaken of one which was caught upon our eastern coast, that weighed ten pounds, of which the flesh was quite equal to that of salmon; but its weight was, we believe, an unusual one. Anchovy, or caper fish sauce, with melted butter, may be sent to table with grey mullet.
When quite fresh, these delicate little fish have a perfume resembling that of a cucumber. Draw them at the gills, as they must not be opened, wash and dry them thoroughly, dip them into beaten egg-yolk, and then into the finest bread crumbs, mixed with a small quantity of flour. Fry them of a clear golden brown, and serve them very crisp and dry, with good melted butter in a tureen.
Obs.—Smelts are sometimes dipped into batter and then fried; when this is done, we would recommend for them the French batter of Chapter IV.
3 to 4 minutes.
Prepare them as for frying; pour some clarified butter into the dish in which they are to be sent to table, arrange them neatly in it, with the tails meeting in the centre; strew over them as much salt, mace, and cayenne, mixed, as will season them agreeably; cover them smoothly with a rather thick layer of very fine bread crumbs, moisten them equally with clarified butter poured through a small strainer, and bake the fish in a moderately quick oven, till the crumbs are of a fine light brown. A glass of sherry, a half-teaspoonful of essence of anchovies, and a dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, are sometimes poured into the dish before the smelts are laid in.
About 10 minutes.83
This delicate little fish requires great care to dress it well. Do not touch it with the hands, but throw it from your dish or basket into a cloth, with three or four handsful of flour, and shake it well; then put it into a bait sieve, to separate it from the superfluous flour. Have ready a very deep frying-pan, nearly full of boiling fat, throw in the fish, which will be done in an instant: they must not be allowed to take any colour, for if browned, they are spoiled. Lift them out, and dish them upon a silver or earthenware drainer, without a napkin, piling them very high in the centre. Send them to table with a cut lemon, and slices of brown bread and butter on a plate.
Empty and wash the fish with care, but do not open it more than is needful; fill it either with the forcemeat No. 1, or No. 2 of Chapter VI., and its own roe; then sew it up, or fasten it securely with very fine skewers, wrap it in a thickly buttered paper, and broil it gently for an hour over a charcoal fire. Serve it with caper sauce, or with Chili vinegar and melted butter.
We are indebted for this receipt to a friend who has been long resident in Touraine, and at whose table the fish is constantly served, thus dressed, and is considered excellent. It is likewise often gently stewed in the light white wine of the country, and served covered with a rich bechamel. Many fish more common with us than the shad might be advantageously prepared in the same manner. The charcoal fire is not indispensable: any that is entirely free from smoke will answer. We would suggest as an improvement, that oyster forcemeat should be substituted for that which we have indicated.
Broiled gently, 1 hour, more or less, according to its size.84
Melt three ounces of butter in a broad stew-pan, or well tinned iron saucepan, stir to it a tablespoonful of flour, some mace, cayenne, and nutmeg; lay in the fish after it has been emptied, washed very clean, and wiped perfectly dry; shake it in the pan, that it may not stick, and when lightly browned on both sides, pour in three quarters of a pint of good veal stock, add a small bunch of parsley, one bay leaf, a roll of lemon-peel, and a little salt: stew the fish very gently from half to three quarters of an hour, or more, should it be unusually fine. Dish the trout, skim the fat from the gravy, and pass it through a hot strainer over the fish, which should be served immediately. A little acid can be added to the sauce at pleasure, and a glass of wine when it is considered an improvement. This receipt is for one large, or for two middling-sized fish. We can recommend it as a good one, from our own experience.
Butter, 3 ozs.; flour, 1 tablespoonful; seasoning of mace, cayenne, and nutmeg; trout, 1 large, or 2 moderate sized; veal stock, ¾ pint; parsley, small faggot; 1 bay-leaf; roll of lemon-rind; little salt: ½ to ¾ hour.
Take out the gills, empty and clean the fish very thoroughly, and soak it for half an hour with a cup of vinegar thrown into as much water as will cover it well, should there be any danger of its having a muddy taste. Wipe the inside dry, and fill it with oyster forcemeat, or with common veal forcemeat, made either with butter or with suet (for which, see Chapter VI.); curl the fish round, and fasten it with the tail in the mouth, lay it on to the drainer, cover it well with cold water, throw in some salt as soon as it boils, skim it well, and boil the fish gently from half to a whole hour, according to its size. Some persons prefer the scales taken off the pike 85 when it is prepared for this mode of dressing; and many cooks still put the fish into boiling water, well salted and skimmed. Serve it with plain melted butter, the sauce-cruets, and a lemon; or with Dutch, brown caper, or anchovy sauce.
Moderate sized, ½ hour; large, 1 hour.
Obs.—We must repeat that it is impossible to give for fish which varies so much in quality as well as in size, directions for the exact time which is required to cook it; a few minutes, more or less, must often be allowed; and it should always be watched attentively, and lifted from the water as soon as it is done.
Pour warm water over the outside of the fish, and wipe it very clean with a coarse cloth drawn from the head downwards, that the scales may not be disturbed; then wash it well in cold water, empty, and clean the inside with the greatest nicety, fill it either with the common forcemeat, No. 1, or with No. 4, of Chapter VI, sew it up, fasten the tail to the mouth, give it a slight dredging of flour, stick small bits of butter thickly over it, and bake it from half to three quarters of an hour, should it be of moderate size, and upwards of an hour, if it be large. Should there not be sufficient sauce with it in the dish, plain melted butter, and a lemon, or anchovy sauce may be sent to table with it. When more convenient, the forcemeat may be omitted, and a little fine salt and cayenne, with some bits of butter, put into the inside of the fish, which will then require rather less baking. A buttered paper should always be laid over it in the oven, should the outside appear likely to become too highly coloured, or too dry, before the fish is done; and it is better to wrap quite small pike in buttered paper at once, before they are sent to the oven.
Moderate sized pike, 30 to 45 minutes; large pike, 1 hour to 1¼.86
Scale, and wash the fish, take out the gills, then open it just sufficiently to allow the inside to be emptied, and perfectly cleansed, but not more than is necessary for that purpose. Wipe it as dry as possible in every part, then hang it for an hour or two on a hook in a cool larder, or wrap it in a soft cloth. Fill the body with the forcemeat No. 1 or 3, or with the oyster forcemeat of Chapter VI.; sew it up very securely, curl it round, and fasten the tail into the mouth with a thin skewer, then dip it into the beaten yolks of two or more eggs, seasoned with nearly a half-teaspoonful of salt and a little pepper or cayenne; cover it equally with the finest breadcrumbs; dip it a second time into the egg and crumbs, then pour some clarified butter gently over it, through a small strainer, and send it to a well heated oven for an hour and a quarter or more, should it be very large, but for less time if it be only of moderate size. As it is naturally a very dry fish, it should not be left in the oven after it is thoroughly done, but it should never be sent to table until it is so. The crumbs of bread are sometimes mixed with a sufficient quantity of minced parsley to give the surface of the fish a green hue. Send plain melted butter, and brown caper or Dutch sauce to table with it.
First wipe or wash off the slime, then scrape off the scales, which adhere rather tenaciously to this fish; empty, and clean the insides perfectly, take out the gills, cut off the fins, and lay the perch into equal parts of cold and of boiling water salted as for mackerel: from eight to ten minutes will boil them unless they are very large. Dish them on a napkin, garnish them with curled parsley, and serve melted butter with them or Mâitre d’ Hotel sauce maigre.
Very good French cooks put them at once into boiling 87 water, and keep them over a brisk fire for about fifteen minutes. They dress them also without taking off the scales or fins until they are ready to serve, when they strip the whole of the skin off carefully, and stick the red fins into the middle of the backs; the fish are then covered with the Steward’s sauce, thickened with eggs.
In warm water, 8 to 10 minutes; in boiling, 12 to 15.
Scale, and clean them perfectly; dry them well, flour and fry them brown in boiling lard. Serve plenty of fried parsley round them.
First kill, then skin, empty, and wash them as clean as possible; cut them into four-inch lengths, and dry them well in a soft cloth. Season them with fine salt, and white pepper, or cayenne, flour them thickly, and fry them a fine brown in boiling lard; drain and dry them as directed for soles, and send them to table with plain melted butter and a lemon, or the sauce-cruets. Eels are sometimes dipped into batter, and then fried; or into egg and fine breadcrumbs (mixed with minced parsley or not at pleasure), and served with plenty of crisped parsley round, and on them.
It is an improvement for these modes of dressing the fish to open them entirely and remove the bones: the smaller parts should be thrown into the pan a minute or two later than the thicker portions of the bodies or they will not be equally done.
Pare a fine lemon, and strip from it entirely the white inner rind, slice it, and remove the pips with care, it, with a blade of mace, a small half-teaspoonful of white pepper-corns, nearly twice as much of salt, and a 88 moderate-sized bunch of parsley, into three pints of cold water, bring them gently to boil, and simmer them for twenty minutes; let them become quite cold, then put in three pounds of eels skinned, and cleaned with great nicety, and cut into lengths of three or four inches; simmer them very softly from ten to fifteen minutes, lift them with a slice into a very hot dish, and serve them with a good Dutch sauce, or with parsley and butter acidulated with lemon-juice or with Chili vinegar.
Skin, empty, and wash as clean as possible, two or three fine eels, cut them into short lengths, and just cover them with cold water; add sufficient salt and cayenne to season them, and stew them very softly indeed from fifteen to twenty minutes, or longer should they require it. When they are nearly done, strew over them a tablespoonful of minced parsley, thicken the sauce with a teaspoonful of flour mixed with a slice of butter, and add a quarter-pint or more of clotted cream. Give the whole a boil, lift the fish into a hot dish, and stir briskly the juice of half a lemon into the sauce; pour it upon the eels, and serve them immediately. Very sweet thick cream is, we think, preferable to clotted cream for this dish. The sauce should be of a good consistence, and a dessertspoonful of flour will be needed for a large dish of the stew, and from one and a half to two ounces of butter. The size of the fish must determine the precise quantity of liquid and of seasoning which they will require.
By substituting pale veal-gravy for water, and thin strips of lemon-rind for the parsley, this may be converted into a white fricassee of eels: a flavouring of mace must then be added to it, and the beaten yolks of two or three eggs mixed with a couple of spoonsful of cream, must be stirred into the sauce before the lemon juice, but it must on no account be allowed to boil afterwards. Rich brown gravy and port wine highly 89 spiced, with acid as above, will give another variety of stewed eels. For this dish the fish are sometimes fried before they are laid into the sauce.
Choose them by the directions which we have already given at the commencement of this chapter; tie the claws together with twine, and throw them into plenty of fast-boiling salt and water, that life may be destroyed in an instant. A moderate sized lobster will be done in from twenty to thirty minutes; a very large one in three quarters of an hour, or more. After the fish are lifted out, wipe them with a damp cloth, rub a morsel of cold butter over them, and wipe them again. Before they are sent to table, the large claws should be taken off, and the shells cracked across the joints without disfiguring them; the tail should be separated from the body and split quite through the middle; the whole neatly dished upon a napkin, and garnished with curled parsley or not, at choice. A good remoulade, or any other sauce of the kind that may be preferred, should be sent to table with it; or oil and Chili vinegar, when better liked.
To 1 gallon water 5 ozs. salt. Moderate sized lobster, 20 to 30 minutes. Large lobster, ¾ hour or more.
Pick out all the meat of a boiled crab, clear the shell from the head, and clean it well; cut the flesh small, season it highly with cayenne, add salt, nutmeg, and an ounce or two of butter cut small; stir these over the fire till they are very hot, then mix with them a spoonful of made-mustard, and the juice of half a lemon, or a spoonful or two of lemon-pickle, or vinegar. Put the meat of the crab back into the shell, cover it thickly with bread-crumbs, pour over a little clarified butter, and brown them with a salamander, or, in default of this, with a kitchen fire-shovel made red hot. Some cooks mix 90 crumbs of bread with the fish, others season it with Chili vinegar, and add a morsel of veal jelly.
Crabs are boiled like lobsters.
Throw them into water salted as for lobsters, and when they have boiled a quarter of an hour, take them up, and drain them well.
Let them have plenty of water salted as for shrimps, put them in when it is boiling fast, clear off all the scum as it rises, and in from six to eight minutes turn them into a cullender or sieve, and drain them well. Spread them on a large dish or on a soft cloth to cool, and when they are quite cold, dress them upon a very white napkin neatly arranged upon a saucer or small basin reversed in a dish. Garnish the base with curled parsley, and send the prawns to table. They should always be kept in a very cool place until they are served.
6 to 8 minutes.
Pick out the large ones, and let the smaller be thrown back into the sea. Have ready-boiling plenty of water, add salt in the proportion of from five to six ounces to the gallon, take off the scum, put in the shrimps, and in four or five minutes they will be done. Pour them into a cullender to drain, then spread them on a soft cloth to cool; or, dish them directly on a napkin, and send them hot to table.
4 to 5 minutes.
Obs.—Ready-dressed shrimps or prawns may be preserved fit for eating at least twelve hours longer than they would otherwise keep, by throwing them for an instant into boiling salt and water when they first 91 begin to lose their freshness, and then draining them as above.
Shell two quarts of fine fresh shrimps, bruise the heads, and boil them in a pint and a half of water for half an hour; then strain the liquor through a muslin, or very fine sieve. Set two ounces of butter over the fire in a saucepan, and when it begins to simmer, stir in a teaspoonful of flour, a quarter-spoonful of mace in powder, some cayenne, and a little grated nutmeg, and shake the whole often until the flour begins to brown; then pour in by degrees the liquor in which the heads were stewed, and when the sauce boils, add the shrimps; as soon as they are quite hot through, pour them into a toast made of the bottom crust of a loaf cut more than an inch thick, slightly hollowed in the inside, and fried in fresh butter a light brown. Veal-broth is a good substitute for the liquor made of the heads, which has rather a peculiar flavour. A few drops of essence of anchovy are considered by many persons an improvement to it. A glass of sherry, and a little lemon-juice, are also sometimes added to the above: the beaten yolks of two or three eggs stirred in just as it is taken from the fire, will be found a good addition to it.
Substitute three quarters of a pint of veal-gravy for the shrimp-liquor of the preceding receipt; boil in it for ten minutes the rind of a very small lemon cut extremely thin, put the same proportion of butter, flour, and spice, as for the Croute aux Crevettes, but pour the gravy to them before the roux begins to brown. Have ready-boiling, a quarter-pint of rich cream, mix it with the other ingredients, put in the shrimps, add a squeeze of lemon-juice, stirring the sauce at the same time. Soak the crust before it is fried, in a little cold cream; or toast, and butter it, and then moisten it well with boiling cream.92
Veal-gravy, ¾ pint; rind of small lemon: 10 minutes. Butter, 2 oz.; flour, 1 teaspoonful; mace, ¼ spoonful; little cayenne, and nutmeg: 5 to 7 minutes. Cream, ½ pint; shrimps, 2 quarts: 1 minute. Squeeze of lemon-juice.
The old-fashioned plan of feeding oysters with a sprinkling of oatmeal or flour, in addition to the salt and water to which they were committed, has long been rejected by all genuine amateurs of these nutritious and excellent fish, who consider the plumpness which the oysters are supposed to gain from the process but poor compensation for the flavour which they are sure to lose. To cleanse them when they first come up from the beds, and to keep them in good condition, they only require to be covered with cold water, mixed with salt (about seven ounces to the gallon); this should be changed every twelve hours. To preserve barrelled oysters, remove the first hoop of the barrel, that the top may be pressed down close to the fish, by means of a heavy weight placed upon it. Oysters should be eaten the instant they are opened.
A pint of small plump oysters will be sufficient for quite a moderate-sized dish, but twice as many will be required for a large one. Let them be very carefully opened, and not mangled in the slightest degree; wash them free from grit in their own strained liquor, lay them into a very clean stewpan or well-tinned saucepan, strain the liquor a second time, pour it on them, and heat them slowly in it. When they are just beginning to simmer, lift them out with a slice or a bored wooden spoon, and take off the beards; add to the liquor a quarter-pint of good cream, a seasoning of pounded mace and cayenne, and a little salt, and when it boils, stir in from one to two ounces of good butter, smoothly mixed with a large teaspoonful of flour; continue to 93 stir the sauce until these are perfectly blended with it, then put in the oysters, and let them remain by the side of the fire until they are very hot: they require so little cooking, that if kept for four or five minutes nearly simmering, they will be ready for table, and they are quickly hardened by being allowed to boil, or by too much stewing. Serve them garnished with pale fried sippets.
Small plump oysters, 1 pint; their own liquor: brought slowly to the point of simmering. Cream, ¼ pint; seasoning of pounded mace and cayenne; salt as needed; butter, 1 to 2 ozs.; flour 1 large teaspoonful.
Obs.—A little lemon-juice should be stirred quickly into the stew just as it is taken from the fire. Another mode of preparing this dish is to add the strained liquor of the oysters to about an equal quantity of rich bechamel, with a little additional thickening; then to heat them in it, after having prepared and plumped them properly. Or: the beards of the fish may be stewed for half an hour in a little pale veal gravy, and this, when strained and mixed with the oyster-liquor, may be brought to the consistency of cream with the French thickening of Chapter VI. flour and butter, then seasoned with spice as above: the process should be quite the same in all of these receipts, though the composition of the sauce is varied. Essence of anchovies, cavice, Chili vinegar, or yolks of eggs can be added to the taste.
Large coarse oysters should never be dressed in this way. Select small plump ones for the purpose, let them be opened carefully, give them a scald in their own liquor, wash them in it free from grit, and beard them neatly. Butter the scallop shells and shake some fine bread crumbs over them; fill them with alternate layers of oysters, crumbs of bread, and fresh butter cut into small bits; pour in the oyster-liquor, after it has been strained, put a thick smooth layer of bread crumbs 94 on the top, moisten them with clarified butter, place the shells in a Dutch oven before a clear fire, and turn them often till the tops are equally and lightly browned: send them immediately to table.
Some persons like a little white pepper or cayenne, and a flavouring of nutmeg added to the oysters; others prefer pounded mace. French cooks recommend with them a mixture of minced mushrooms stewed in butter till quite tender, and sweet herbs finely chopped. The fish is sometimes laid into the shells after having been bearded only.
Plump and beard the oysters, after having rinced them well in their own strained liquor; add to this about an equal quantity of very rich white sauce, and thicken it, if needful, with a half-teaspoonful of flour, mixed with a small slice of butter, or with as much arrow-root only; put in the oysters, and keep them at the point of simmering for three or four minutes; lay them into the shells, and cover the tops thickly with crumbs fried a delicate brown and well dried; or heap over them instead, a layer of fine crumbs; pour clarified butter on it, and brown it with a salamander.
Beard, rince well in their strained liquor, and mince, but not finely, three dozens and a half of plump native oysters, and mix them with ten ounces of fine bread-crumbs, and ten of beef suet chopped extremely small; add a saltspoonful of salt, and one of pepper, or less than half the quantity of cayenne, twice as much pounded mace, and the third of a small nutmeg grated; moisten the whole with two unbeaten eggs, or with the yolks only of three, and a dessertspoonful of the whites. When these ingredients have been well worked together, and are perfectly blended, set the mixture in a cool place for two or three hours before it is used; make it into the form of small sausages or sausage-cakes, flour and 95 fry them in butter of a fine light brown; or throw them into boiling water for three minutes, drain, and let them become cold, dip them into egg and bread crumbs, and broil them gently till they are lightly coloured. A small bit should be cooked and tasted before the whole is put aside, that the seasoning may be heightened if required. The sausages thus made are very good.
Small plump oysters, 3 dozens and ½; bread crumbs, 10 ozs.; beef-suet, 10 ozs.; seasoning of salt, cayenne, pounded mace, and nutmeg; 2 unbeaten eggs, or yolks of 3.
Obs.—The fingers should be well floured for making up these sausages.
They should be large for this purpose. Simmer them for a couple of minutes in their own liquor, beard and dry them in a cloth, dredge them lightly with flour, dip them in egg and fine bread-crumbs, and fry them a delicate brown in boiling lard; or make a thick batter with eggs and flour, season it with plenty of mace, and white pepper, dip the oysters in and then fry them.
Take off the heads, open the backs of the fish, and remove the back-bone; soak the herrings, should they be very dry, for two or three hours in warm milk and water, drain and wipe them. Dissolve a large slice of fresh butter, and mix it with the beaten yolks of a couple of eggs, and some savoury herbs minced small; dip the fish into these, and spread them thickly with fine bread crumbs; broil them of a clear brown, over a moderate fire, and serve them on hot buttered toasts, sprinkled with a little cayenne.
This fish is rendered infinitely more delicate by pouring boiling water on it, before it is dressed, and 96 leaving it to soak for half an hour, or more, should it be highly dried. The fresh Yarmouth bloaters do not require this. Cut off the heads and tails, open the herrings at the back, and warm them through before the fire, or upon the gridiron. They may be rubbed with a bit of cold butter, and seasoned with a slight sprinkling of pepper, or cayenne, when these are liked, or served quite plain.
Scrape very clean a dozen or more of fine anchovies, and soak them in plenty of spring water from two to six hours: then wipe them dry, open them, and take out the back-bones, without dividing the fish. Season the insides highly with cayenne, close the anchovies, dip them into the French batter of Chapter VI, or into a light English batter, and fry them a pale amber-colour: in from four to five minutes they will be quite sufficiently done.
Gravies are not often required either in great variety, or in abundant quantities, when only a moderate table is kept, and a clever cook will manage to supply, at a trifling cost, all that is generally needed for plain family dinners; while an unskilful or extravagantt one will render them sources of unbounded expense.* But however small the proportions 97 in which they are made, their quality should be particularly attended to, and they should be well adapted in flavour to the dishes they are to accompany. For some, a high degree of savour is desirable; but for fricassees, and other preparations of delicate white meats, this should be avoided, and a soft, smooth sauce of refined flavour be used in preference to any of more piquant relish.
Instead of frying the ingredients for brown gravies, which is usually done in common English kitchens, French cooks pour to them at first a small quantity of liquid, which is reduced by rapid boiling to what is technically called glaze; which means very strong, thick jelly, of a high amber-colour, or of a deep red brown. This process requires great care, as the liquid must be almost entirely evaporated, and yet every precaution taken to prevent its burning. When the glaze has acquired the proper colour, boiling broth should be added in small portions, and well shaken round the stewpan to detach it entirely; the meat may then be stewed gently for three or four hours with a few mushrooms, should they be at hand, a bunch of parsley, and some green onions, or with a Portugal onion instead.
A thick slice or two of an unboiled ham, is an almost indispensable addition to rich soup or gravy; and to supply it in the most economical manner, a large, highly-cured one, or more, not over fatted, should be kept for the purpose, and cut as required. The bones of undressed meat will supply almost, or quite as good gravy stock as the meat itself, if well boiled down, particularly those of the loin, or neck of veal; and as the flesh of these may be dressed in many ways advantageously without them, the whole joint may be turned to excellent account by so dividing it.
The necks of poultry, with the feet properly skinned, a few herbs, a morsel or two of ham or lean bacon, and such slight flavourings besides as the spice-box can supply, with a few drops of good mushroom catsup, will of themselves, if well managed, produce sufficient gravy 98 to serve with the birds from which they are taken; and if not wanted for the purpose, they should always be stewed down, or thrown into the stock-pot, for which the shank-bones of legs of mutton, and all trimmings of meat should likewise be reserved. Excellent broth for the sick or for the needy, may also be made of them at little cost, when they are not required for other uses.
To deepen the colour of gravies, the thick mushroom pressings of Chapter V., or a little soy (when its flavour is admissible), or cavice, or Harvey’s sauce, may be added to it; and for some dishes, a glass of claret, or of port wine.
Vermicelli, or rasped cocoa-nut, lightly, and very gently browned in a small quantity of butter, will both thicken and enrich them, if about an ounce of either to the pint of gravy be stewed gently in it from half an hour to an hour, and then strained out.
All the ingredients indicated at page 4, for giving consistency to soups, will answer equally for gravies, which should not, however, be too much thickened, particularly with the unwholesome mixture of flour and butter, so commonly used for the purpose. Arrow-root or rice-flour, or common flour gradually browned in a slow oven, are much better suited to a delicate stomach. No particle of fat should ever be perceptible upon them when they are sent to table; and when it cannot be removed by skimming, they should be allowed to become sufficiently cold for it to congeal, and be taken off at once without trouble. It may be cleared from such as have not been thickened, by passing them through a closely-woven cloth, which has previously been laid into, and well wrung from, some cold water.
* We know an instance of a cook who stewed down two or three pounds of beef to make gravy for a single brace of partridges; and who complained of the meanness of her employers (who were by no means affluent), because this was objected to.
This is best done by the directions given for making Espagnole. An ounce or two of the lean of unboiled ham, cut into dice and coloured slowly in a small stewpan, or smoothly tinned iron saucepan, with less 99 than an ounce of butter, a blade of mace, two or three cloves, a bay-leaf, a few small sprigs of savoury herbs, and an eschalot or two, or about a teaspoonful of minced onion and a little young parsley root, when it can be had, will convert common shin of beef stock, or even strong broth, into an excellent gravy, if it be gradually added to them after they have stewed slowly for quite half an hour, and then boiled with them for twenty minutes or more. The liquid should not be mixed with the other ingredients until the side of the stewpan is coloured of a reddish brown; and should any thickening be required, a teaspoonful of flour should be stirred in well, and simmered for three or four minutes before the stock is added: the pan should be strongly shaken round afterwards to detach the browning from it, and this must be done often while the ham is stewing.
Obs.—The cook who is not acquainted with this mode of preparing or enriching gravies, will do well to make herself acquainted with it; as it presents no difficulties, and is exceedingly convenient and advantageous when they are wanted in small quantities, very highly flavoured and well coloured. An unboiled ham, kept in cut, will be found, as we have already said, a great economy for this, and other purposes, saving much of the expense commonly incurred for gravy-meats. As eschalots, when sparingly used, impart a much finer savour than onions, though they are not commonly so much used in England, we would recommend that a small store of them should always be kept.
There is no better foundation for strong gravies than shin of beef stewed down to a jelly (which it easily becomes), with the addition only of some spice, a bunch of savoury herbs, and a moderate proportion of salt; this, if kept in a cool larder, boiled softly for two or three minutes every second or third day, and each time put into a clean, well-scalded pan, will remain good for 100 many days, and may easily be converted into excellent soup or gravy. Let the bone be broken in one or two places, take out the marrow, which, if not wanted for immediate use, should be clarified, and stored for future occasions; put a pint and a half of cold water to the pound of beef, and stew it very gently indeed for six or seven hours, or even longer should the meat not then be quite in fragments. The bones of calf’s feet which have been boiled down for jelly, the liquor in which the head has been cooked, and any remains of ham quite freed from the smoky parts, from rust, and fat, will be serviceable additions to this stock. A couple of pounds of the neck of beef may be added to six of the shin with very good effect; but for white soup or sauces this is better avoided.
Shin of beef, 6 lbs.; water, 9 pints; salt, 1 oz.; large bunch savoury herbs; pepper-corns, 1 teaspoonful; mace, 2 blades.
The French, who have always at hand their stock-pot of good bouillon (beef-soup, or broth), make great use of it in preparing their gravies. It is added instead of water to the fresh meat, and when this, in somewhat large proportions, is boiled down in it, with the addition only of a bunch of parsley and a few green onions, and a moderate seasoning of salt, a strong and very pure-flavoured pale gravy is produced. When the best joints of fowls, or of partridges have been taken for fricassees or cutlets, the remainder may be stewed with a pound or two of veal into a consommée, which then takes the name of chicken or of game-gravy. For a large dinner it is always desirable to have in readiness such stock as can easily and quickly be converted into white, and other sauces. To make this, arrange a slice or two of lean ham in a stewpan or saucepan with three pounds of the neck of veal once or twice divided (unless the thick fleshy part of the knuckle can be had), and pour to them three full pints 101 of strong beef, or veal broth; or if this cannot conveniently be done, increase the proportion of meat or diminish that of the liquid, substituting water for the broth, throw in some salt after the boiling has commenced, and the gravy has been well skimmed, with one mild onion, a bunch of savoury herbs, a little celery, if in season, a carrot, a blade of mace, and a half saltspoonful of pepper-corns; stew these very gently for four hours; then, should the meat be quite in fragments, strain off the gravy, and let it become sufficiently cold to allow the fat to be entirely cleared from it. A handful of nicely prepared mushroom-buttons will much improve its flavour; and the bones of boiled calf’s feet, or the fresh ones of fowls will be found excellent additions to it. A better method of making it, when time and trouble are not regarded, is to heat the meat, which ought then to be free of bones, quite through, with from a quarter to half a pint of broth only, and when on probing it with the point of a knife no blood issues from it, and it has been turned and equally done, to moisten it with the remainder of the broth, which should be boiling.
Lean of ham, 6 to 8 ozs.; neck or knuckle of veal, 3 lbs.; strong broth, 3 pints, (or veal, 4 lbs., and water, 3 pints); salt; bunch of savoury herbs; mild onion, 1; carrot, 1 large or 2 small; celery, ½ small head; mace, 1 large blade; pepper-corns, ½ saltspoonful: 4 hours or more. Or: ham, ½ lb.; veal, 4 lbs.; broth, third of pint: nearly 1 hour. Additional broth, 3 pints: 3½ hours, to 4½.
Lay into a large thick stewpan or saucepan, from half to three quarters of a pound of undressed ham, freed entirely from fat, and from the smoked edges, and sliced half an inch thick; on this place about four pounds of lean veal, cut from the best part of the knuckle or from the neck (part of the fillet, which in France is often used for it instead, not being generally 102 purchasable here; the butchers seldom dividing the joint); pour to them about half a plot of good broth,* and place the pan over a brisk fire until it is well reduced, then thrust a knife into the meat, and continue the stewing more gently until a glaze is formed as we have described at page 97. The latter part of the process must be very slow; the stewpan must be frequently shaken, and the gravy closely watched that it may not burn; when it is of a fine deep amber colour, pour in sufficient boiling broth to cover the meat, add a bunch of parsley, and a few mushrooms and green onions. A blade or two of mace, a few white pepper-corns, and a head of celery, would, we think, be very admissible additions to this gravy, but it is extremely good without. Half the quantity can be made, but it will be rather more troublesome to manage.
Undressed ham, 8 to 12 ozs.; lean veal, 4 lbs.; broth, ½ pint: 1 to 2 hours. Broth, 3 to 4 pints; bunch of parsley and green onions, or 1 Portugal onion; mushrooms, ¼ to ½ pint: 1 hour and ½, to 2 hours.
Flour and fry lightly in a bit of good butter a couple of pounds of either beef or veal; drain the meat well from the fat, and lay it into a small thick stewpan or iron saucepan; pour to it a quart of boiling water, add, after it has been well skimmed and salted, a large mild onion sliced, very delicately fried, and laid on a sieve to drain, a carrot also sliced, a small bunch of thyme and parsley, a blade of mace, and a few pepper-corns; stew these gently for three hours or more, pass the gravy through a sieve into a clean pan, and when it is quite cold clear it entirely from fat, heat as much as is wanted for table, and if not sufficiently thick, stir into it from half 103 to a whole teaspoonful of arrow-root mixed with a little mushroom catsup.
Beef or veal, 2 lbs.; water, 2 pints; fried onion, 1 large; carrot, 1; small bunch of herbs; salt, 1 small teaspoonful or more; mace, 1 blade; pepper-corns, 20: 3 hours to 3½.
Brown lightly and carefully from four to six ounces of lean ham thickly sliced and cut into large dice; lift these out, and put them into the pan in which the gravy is to be made; next, fry lightly also, a couple of pounds of neck of beef, dredged moderately with flour, and slightly with pepper; put this when it is done over the ham; and then brown gently, and add to them two or three eschalots, or a Portugal onion: should neither of these be at hand, one not large common onion must be used instead; pour over these ingredients a quart of boiling water, or of weak but well-flavoured broth, bring the whole slowly to a boil, clear off the scum with great care, throw in a saltspoonful of salt, four cloves, a blade of mace, twenty corns of pepper, a bunch of savoury herbs, a carrot, and a few slices of celery: these two last may be fried or not as is most convenient. Boil the gravy very softly until it is reduced to little more than a pint, strain, and set it by until the fat can be taken from it. Heat it anew, add more salt if needed, and a little mushroom catsup, cayenne-vinegar, or whatever flavouring it may require for the dish with which it is to be served: it will seldom require any thickening. A dozen small mushrooms prepared as for pickling, or two or three morels, previously well washed and soaked, may be added to it at first with advantage. Half this quantity of gravy will be sufficient for a single tureen, and the economist can diminish a little the proportion of meat when it is thought too much.
If possible, let this be made with a little of the neck, 104 or any odd trimmings of the venison itself. Cut down the meat small, and let it stand over a slow fire until the juices are well drawn out; then to each pound of it add a pint and a quarter of boiling water; throw in a small half-teaspoonful of salt, and eight or ten corns of pepper; skim it thoroughly, and let it boil two hours and a half; then strain it, let it cool, take off every particle of fat, heat it anew, and send it very hot to table.
Neck, or other trimmings of venison, 1 ; water, 1 pint and ¼; salt, small ½ teaspoonful; pepper-corns, 8 or 10: 2½ hours.
Cut small a pound and a quarter of the trimmings of the venison, pour over them a pint and a half of unflavoured cold mutton-broth, and stew them slowly for a couple of hours: add a little salt to the gravy before it is served.
Venison, 1¼ lb.; mutton broth, 1½ pint: 2 hours.
Obs.—When venison cannot be had, gravy must be made of lean mutton, thus:—Trim away the fat from some cutlets, and lay them into a stewpan; set them over a clear fire, and let them brown a little in their own gravy; then add a pint of boiling water to each pound of meat. Take off the scum, throw in a little salt, and boil the gravy till reduced one half. Some cooks broil the cutlets lightly, boil the gravy one hour, and then reduce it after it is strained. We have known an eschalot or two ordered for this gravy occasionally, but it should only be added when it is especially desired.
There are few eaters to whom this would be acceptable, the generality of them preferring infinitely the flavour of the venison itself to any which the richest gravy made of other meats can afford; but when the savour of a well-made Espagnole is likely to be relished, prepare it by the receipt of the following page, substituting plain strong mutton stock for the veal gravy.105
Add to a quarter-pint of common venison gravy, a couple of glasses of port wine or claret, and half an ounce of sugar in lumps. Christopher North’s sauce, mixed with three times its measure of gravy, would be an excellent substitute for this.
Dissolve a couple of ounces of good butter in a thick stewpan or saucepan, throw in from four to six sliced eschalots, four ounces of the lean of an undressed ham, three ounces of carrot, cut in small dice, one bay-leaf, two or three branches of parsley, and one or two of thyme, but these last must be small; three cloves, a blade of mace, and a dozen corns of pepper; add part of a root of parsley, if it be at hand, and keep the whole stirred or shaken over a moderate fire for twenty minutes, then add by degrees one pint of very strong veal stock or gravy, and stew the whole gently from thirty to forty minutes; strain it, skim off the fat, and it will be ready to serve.
Butter, 2 ozs.; eschalots, 4 to 6; lean of undressed ham, 4 ozs.; carrots, 3 ozs.; bay-leaf, 1; little thyme and parsley, in branches; cloves, 3; mace, 1 blade; pepper-corns, 12; little parsley root: fried gently, 20 minutes. Strong veal stock, or gravy, 1 pint: stewed very softly, 30 to 40 minutes.
Take the same proportion of ingredients as for the preceding Espagnole, with the addition, if they should be at hand, of a dozen small mushrooms, prepared as for stewing; when these have fried gently in the stewpan until it appears of a reddish colour all round, stir in a tablespoonful of flour, and when it is lightly browned, add in small portions, letting each one boil up before the next is poured in, and shaking the pan well round, three 106 quarters of a pint of hot and good veal gravy, and nearly half a pint of Madeira or sherry. When the sauce has boiled gently for half an hour, add to it a small quantity of cayenne, and some salt, if this last be needed; then strain it, skim off the fat entirely, should any appear upon the surface, and serve it very hot. A smaller proportion of wine, added a few minutes before the sauce is ready for table, would perhaps better suit with English taste, as with longer boiling, its flavour passes off almost entirely. Either of these Espagnoles, poured over the well-bruised remains of pheasants, partridges, or moor-fowl, and boiled with them for an hour, will become a most admirable game gravy, and would generally be considered a superlative addition to other roast birds of their kind, as well as to the hash, or salmi, for which see Chapter XIII.
Ingredients as in preceding receipt, with mushrooms, 12 to 18; Madeira, or good sherry, ¼ to ½ pint.
Strip the skin and take the fat from three fresh mutton kidneys, slice and flour them; melt two ounces of butter in a deep saucepan, and put in the kidneys, with an onion cut small, and a teaspoonful of fine herbs stripped from the stalks. Keep these well shaken over a clear fire until nearly all the moisture is dried up; then pour in a pint of boiling water, add half a teaspoonful of salt, and a little cayenne or common pepper, and let the gravy boil gently for an hour and a half, or longer if it be not thick and rich. Strain it through a fine sieve, and take off the fat. Spice or catsup may be added at pleasure.
Mutton kidneys 3; butter 2 ozs.; onion 1; fine herbs 1 teaspoonful: ½ hour. Water 1 pint; salt ½ teaspoonful; little cayenne, or black pepper; 1½ hour.
Obs.—This is an excellent gravy for haricots, curries, or hashes of mutton: it may be much improved by 107 the addition of two or three eschalots, and a small bit or two of lean meat.
Chop fine a few bits of lean meat, a small onion, a few slices of carrot and turnip, and a little thyme and parsley; put these with half an ounce of butter into a thick saucepan, and keep them stirred till they are slightly browned; add a little spice, and water in the proportion of a pint to a pound of meat; clear the gravy from scum, let it boil half an hour, then strain it for use.
Meat, 1 lb.; 1 small onion; little carrot, turnip, thyme, and parsley; butter ½ oz.; cloves 6; corns of pepper 12; water 1 pint: ½ hour.
When there is neither broth nor gravy to be had, nor meat of which either can be made, boil the neck of the fowl after having cut it small, in half a pint of water with any slight seasonings of spice or herbs, or with a little salt and pepper only; it should stew very softly for an hour or more, or the quantity will be too much reduced. When the bird is just ready for table, take the gravy from the dripping-pan, and drain off the fat from it as closely as possible; strain the liquor from the neck to it, mixing them smoothly, pass the gravy again through the strainer, heat it, add salt and pepper or cayenne, if needed, and serve it extremely hot. When this is done, the fowl should be basted with good butter only, and well floured when it is first laid to the fire. Many cooks always mix the gravy from the pan when game is roasted with that which they send to table with it, as they think that this enriches the flavour; but it is not always considered an improvement by the eaters.
Neck of fowl; water ½ pint; pepper, salt (little vegetable and spice at choice): stewed gently, 1 hour; strained, stirred to the gravy of the roast, well cleared from fat.108
A little good broth added to half a dozen dice of lean ham, lightly browned in a morsel of butter, with half a dozen corns of pepper and a small branch or two of parsley, and stewed for half an hour, will make excellent gravy of a common kind. When there is no broth, the neck of the chicken must be stewed down to supply its place.
Cut a sheep’s melt into slices half an inch thick, flour them lightly, and either fry them a pale brown, or dissolve a small slice of butter in a thick saucepan, lay them in and shake them over a moderate fire until they have taken sufficient colour; then pour gradually to them between half and three quarters of a pint of boiling water; add a not very full seasoning of salt and pepper, and stew the gravy very gently for upwards of an hour and a half. Strain, and skim off the fat, and it will be ready for table. When it is to accompany ducks or geese, brown a minced onion with the melt, and add a sprig of lemon thyme. This, though a very cheap, is a rich gravy in flavour; but it would be infinitely improved by using for it equal parts of neck of beef (or of beef steak) and sheep’s melt; or the bone and the lean only of a thick mutton cutlet. A little catsup, or a very small quantity of spice, will likewise be good additions to it; and a slice or two of a root of celery, and of a carrot, might be boiled down with the meat. A bit or two of lean ham will heighten greatly the flavour of all brown gravies.
1 sheep’s melt; butter, ½ to 1 oz.; parsley, 1 or 2 small branches: gently browned. Boiling water, ½ to ¾ pint; pepper, salt: 1 hour and ½ or more. Slowly stewed. (Onion, carrot, celery, mushroom catsup, little spice, or bit or two of lean ham at choice.)
Obs.—Part of an ox’s melt is sometimes used for gravy in common cookery, but it is, we should say, too 109 coarse for the purpose, and the flavour is peculiarly, and we think disagreeably, sweet; but a skilful cook, may perhaps, by artificial means, render it more palatable.
Obs. 2.—The best gravies possible, may be made with the bones of all uncooked meat except pork.
Mince, and brown in a small saucepan, with a slice of butter, two ounces of mild onion. When it begins to brown, stir to it a teaspoonful of flour, and in five or six minutes afterwards, pour in by degrees the third of a pint of good brown gravy; let this simmer fifteen minutes; strain it; bring it again to the point of boiling, and add to it a teaspoonful of made-mustard mixed well with a glass of port wine. Season it with cayenne pepper, and salt, if this last be needed. Do not let the sauce boil after the wine is added, but serve it very hot.
Onions, 2 ozs.; butter, 1½ oz.: 10 to 15 minutes. Flour, 1 teaspoonful: 5 to 6 minutes. Gravy, ⅓ pint: 15 minutes. Mustard, 1 teaspoonful; port wine, 1 glassful; cayenne pepper; salt. See also Christopher North’s own sauce.
Boil for about ten minutes, in half a pint of rich and highly-flavoured brown gravy, or Espagnole, half the rind of a Seville orange, pared as thin as possible, and a small strip of lemon-rind, with a bit of sugar the size of a hazel-nut. Strain it off, add to it a quarter-pint of port or claret, the juice of half a lemon, and a tablespoonful of Seville orange-juice; season it with cayenne, and serve it as hot as possible.
Gravy, ½ pint; ½ the rind of a Seville orange; lemon-peel, 1 small strip; sugar, size of hazel-nut: 10 minutes. Juice of ½ a lemon: Seville orange-juice, 1 tablespoonful; cayenne. See also Christopher North’s own sauce.
A very firm meat jelly is easily made by stewing 110 slowly down equal parts of shin of beef, and knuckle or neck of veal, with a pint of cold water to each pound of meat; but to give it flavour, some thick slices of lean unboiled ham should be added to it, two or three carrots, some spice, a bunch of parsley, one mild onion, or more, and a moderate quantity of salt; or part of the meat may be omitted, and a calf’s head, or the scalp of one, very advantageously substituted for it, though the flavouring must then be heightened, because, though very gelatinous, these are in themselves exceedingly insipid to the taste. If rapidly boiled, the jelly will not be clear, and it will be difficult to render it so without clarifying it with the whites of eggs, which it ought never to require; if very gently stewed, on the contrary, it will only need to be passed through a fine sieve, or cloth. The fat must be carefully removed, after it is quite cold. The shin of beef recommended for this and other receipts, should be from the middle of the leg of young heifer beef, not of that which is large and coarse.
Middle of small shin of beef, 3 lbs.; knuckle or neck of veal, 3 lbs.; lean of ham, ½ lb.; water, 3 quarts; carrots, 2 large, or three small; bunch of parsley; 1 mild onion, stuck with eight cloves; 2 small bay-leaves; 1 large blade of mace; small saltspoonful of pepper-corns; salt, ¾ oz. (more if needed): 5 to 6 hours’ very gentle stewing.
Obs.—A finer jelly may be made by using a larger proportion of veal than of beef, and by adding clear beef or veal broth to it instead of water, in a small proportion at first, as directed in the receipt for consommée, see page 100, and by pouring in the remainder when the meat is heated through. The necks of poultry, any inferior joints of them omitted from a fricassee, or other dish, or an old fowl, will further improve it much; an eschalot or two may at choice be boiled down in it, instead of the onion, but the flavour should be scarcely perceptible.111
One calf’s foot, a pound and a half or two pounds of neck of veal or beef, a small onion, a carrot, a bunch of parsley, a little spice, a bit or two of quite lean ham, dressed or undressed, and five half pints of water boiled very slowly for five or six hours will give a strong, though not a highly flavoured jelly. More ham, any bones of unboiled meat, poultry, or game, will, in this respect, improve it; and the liquor in which fowls or veal have been boiled for table should, when at hand, be used for it instead of water. These jellies keep much better and longer when no vegetables are stewed down in them.
This is merely strong, clear, gravy or jelly boiled quickly down to the consistency of thin cream; but this reduction must be carefully managed that the glaze may be brought to the proper point without being burned; it must be attentively watched, and stirred without being quitted for a moment from the time of its beginning to thicken: when it has reached the proper degree of boiling it will jelly in dropping from the spoon, like preserve, and should then be poured out immediately, or it will burn. When wanted for use melt it gently by placing the vessel which contains it (see article Glazing, Chapter VII.,) in a pan of boiling water, and with a paste-brush lay it on to the meat; on which it will form a sort of clear varnish. In consequence of the very great reduction which it undergoes, salt should be added to it sparingly when it is made. Almost any kind of stock which contains veal may be boiled down to glaze; but unless it be strong, a pint will afford but a spoonful or two; a small quantity of it however is generally sufficient, unless a large repast is to be served. Two or three layers must be given to each joint. The jellies which precede this will answer for it extremely well.112
Boil a couple of calf’s feet, with three or four pounds of knuckle of veal, three quarters of a pound of lean ham, two large onions, three whole carrots, and a large bunch of herbs, in a gallon of water till it is reduced more than half. Strain it off; when perfectly cold remove every particle of fat and sediment, and put the jelly into a very clean stewpan, with four whites of eggs well beaten; keep it stirred until it is nearly boiling; then place it by the side of the fire to simmer for a quarter of an hour. Let it settle, and pour it through a jelly bag till it is quite clear. Add, when it first begins to boil, three blades of mace, a teaspoonful of white pepper-corns, and sufficient salt to flavour it properly, allowing for the ham, and the reduction. French cooks flavour this jelly with tarragon vinegar when it is clarified: cold poultry, game, and fish are served in, or garnished with it; when it is to be moulded, with slices of boiled tongue laid in the middle in a chain, or carved fowl or aught else, it will be well to throw in a pinch of isinglass; and hams are often placed on a thick layer of it roughed, and then covered entirely with more for large breakfasts, or cold repasts. It is also used as gravy for meat-pies.
Calf’s feet, 2; veal, 4 lbs.; ham, ¾ lb.; onions, 2; carrots, 3; herbs, large bunch; mace, 3 blades; white whole pepper, 1 teaspoonful; water, 1 gallon: 5 to 6 hours. Whites of eggs, 4: 15 minutes.113
The difference between good and bad cookery can scarcely be more strikingly shown than in the manner in which sauces are prepared and served. If well-made, appropriate to the dishes they accompany, and sent to table with them as hot as possible, they not only give a heightened relish to a dinner, but they prove that both skill and taste have been exerted in its arrangements. When coarsely or carelessly prepared, on the contrary, as they too often are, they greatly discredit the cook, and are any thing but acceptable to the eaters. Melted butter, the most common of all,—the “one sauce” of England, which excites the raillery of foreigners,—is frequently found to be such an intolerable compound, either oiled, or lumpy, or composed principally of flour and water, that it says little for the state of cookery amongst us. We trust that the receipts in the present chapter are so clearly given that if strictly followed, they will materially assist the learner in preparing tolerably palatable sauces at the least. The cut at the commencement of the chapter exhibits the vessel called a bain marie, in which saucepans are placed when it is necessary to keep their contents hot without allowing them to boil; it is extremely useful when dinners are delayed after they are ready to serve.114
When this is done with the yolks of eggs, they should first be well beaten, and then mixed with a spoonful of cold stock, should it be at hand, and with one or two of the boiling sauce, which should be stirred very quickly to them, and they must in turn be stirred briskly to the sauce, which may be held over the fire, and well shaken for an instant afterwards, but never placed upon it, nor allowed to boil.
To the roux or French thickening (which follows), the gravy or other liquid which is to be mixed with it should be poured boiling, and in small quantities, the saucepan being often well shaken round, and the sauce made to boil up after each portion is added. If this precaution be observed, the butter will never float upon the surface, but the whole will be well and smoothly blended: it will otherwise be difficult to clear the sauce from it perfectly.
For invalids, or persons who object to butter in their soups or sauces, flour only, mixed to a smooth batter and stirred into the boiling liquid, may be substituted for other thickening: arrow-root also will answer the same purpose.
For ordinary purposes this may be made as it is wanted for use; but when it is required for various dishes at the same time, or for cookery on a large scale, it can be prepared at once in sufficient quantity to last several days, and it will remain good for some time. Dissolve with a very gentle degree of heat, half a pound of good butter, then draw it from the fire, skim it well, give time for it to settle, pour it gently from the sediment into a very clean frying-pan, and place it over a slow but clear fire. Put into a dredging box about seven ounces of fine dry flour; add it gradually to the butter, and shake the pan often as it is thrown in: keep the thickening constantly stirred until it has 115 acquired a clear light brown colour. It should be very slowly and equally done, or its flavour will be unpleasant. Pour it into a jar, and stir a spoonful or two as it is needed into boiling soup or gravy. When the butter is not clarified it will absorb an additional ounce of flour, the whole of which ought to be fine and dry. This thickening may be made in a well-tinned stewpan even better than in a frying-pan, and if simmered over a coal fire it should be placed high above it, and well guarded from smoke.
Proceed exactly as for the preceding receipt, but dredge in the flour as soon as the butter is in full simmer, and be careful not to allow the thickening to take the slightest colour: this is used for white gravies or sauces.
This is nothing more than rich pale gravy made with veal or poultry (see Consommée, page 100) and thickened with delicate white roux. The French give it a flavouring of mushrooms and green onions, by boiling some of each in it for about half an hour before the sauce is served; it must then be strained, previously to being dished. Either first dissolve an ounce of butter, and then dredge gradually to it three quarters of an ounce of flour, and proceed as for the preceding receipt; or blend the flour and butter perfectly with a knife, before they are thrown into the stewpan, and keep them stirred without ceasing over a clear and gentle fire until they have simmered for some minutes, then place the stewpan high over the fire, and shake it constantly until the roux has lost the raw taste of the flour; next, stir very gradually to it a pint of the gravy, which should be boiling: set it by the side of the stove for a few minutes, and skim it thoroughly.116
Butter, 1 oz.; flour, ¾ oz.; strong, pale gravy, seasoned with mushrooms and green onions, 1 pint.
Obs.—With the addition of three or four yolks of very fresh eggs, mixed with a seasoning of mace, cayenne, and lemon-juice, this becomes German sauce, now much used for fricassees, and other dishes; and minced parsley (boiled) and Chili vinegar, each in sufficient quantity to flavour it agreeably, convert it into a good fish sauce.
This is a fine French white sauce, now very much served at good English tables. It may be made in various ways, and more or less expensively; but it should always be thick, smooth, and rich, though delicate in flavour. The most ready mode of preparing it is to take an equal proportion of very strong, pale veal gravy, and of good cream (a pint of each, for example), and then by rapid boiling over a very clear fire, to reduce the gravy nearly half; next, to mix with part of the cream a tablespoonful of fine dry flour, to pour it to the remainder, when it boils, and to keep the whole stirred for five minutes or more over a slow fire, for if placed upon a fierce one, it would be liable to burn; then to add the gravy, to stir and mix the sauce perfectly, and to simmer it for a few minutes longer. All the flavour should be given by the gravy, in which French cooks boil a handful of mushrooms, a few green onions, and some branches of parsley before it is reduced: but a good béchamel may be made without them, with a strong consommée (See pale veal gravy, page 100,) well reduced.
Strong pale veal gravy (flavoured with mushrooms or not), 1 pint: reduced half. Rich cream, 1 pint; flour, 1 tablespoonful: 5 minutes. With gravy, four or five minutes.
Obs.—Velouté, which is a rather thinner sauce or gravy, is made by simply well-reducing the cream and stock separately, and then mixing them together without any thickening.117
This may be made very good without any meat. Slice a large carrot, and a couple of small onions into a stewpan, and set them over a slow fire, with three ounces of butter, and a large handful of mushroom-buttons, nicely cleaned, when they can be procured, for with us they do not abound so commonly as in France. When these have stewed for half an hour, or until the butter is nearly dried up, stir in two tablespoonsful of flour, and pour in a pint of new milk, a little at a time, shaking the stewpan well round, that the sauce may be smooth. Boil the béchamel gently for half an hour; add a little salt, and cayenne; strain, and reduce it, if not quite thick, or pour it boiling to the yolks of two fresh eggs.
Cut half a pound of veal, and a slice of lean ham into small bits, and stew them in butter, with vegetables, as directed in the foregoing receipt: stir in the same proportion of flour, then add the milk, and let the sauce boil very gently for an hour. It should not be allowed to thicken too much before it is strained.
Obs.—Common béchamel, with the addition of a spoonful of made-mustard, is an excellent sauce for boiled mutton.
This is more particularly required in general for lobster sauce, when it is to be served with turbot or brill, and for good oyster sauce as well. Salmon is itself so rich, that less butter is needed for it than for sauce which is to accompany a drier fish. Mix to a very smooth batter a dessertspoonful of flour, a half saltspoonful of salt, and half a pint of cold water; put these into a delicately clean saucepan, with from four to six ounces of well flavoured butter, cut into small bits, and shake the sauce strongly round, almost without cessation, 118 until the ingredients are perfectly blended, and it is on the point of boiling; let it simmer for two or three minutes, and it will be ready for use. The best French cooks recommend its not being allowed to boil, as they say it tastes less of flour if served when it is just at the point of simmering.
Cold water, ½ pint; salt, ½ saltspoonful; flour, 1 dessertspoonful: 3 to 4 minutes.
Put into a basin a large teaspoonful of flour, and a little salt, then mix with them very gradually and very smoothly a quarter-pint of cold water; turn these into a small clean saucepan, and shake or stir them constantly over a clear fire till they have boiled a couple of minutes, then add an ounce and a half of butter cut small, keep the sauce stirred until this is entirely dissolved, then give the whole a minute’s boil, and serve it quickly. The more usual mode is to put the butter in at first with the flour and water; but for inexperienced or unskilful cooks the safer plan is to follow the present receipt.
Water, ¼ pint; flour, 1 teaspoonful: 2 minutes. Butter, 1½ oz.: 1 minute.
Obs.—To render this a rich sauce, increase, or even double the proportion of butter.
Pour half a pint of good, but not very thick melted butter, boiling, to the well beaten yolks of two very fresh eggs, and stir them briskly as it is added; put the sauce again into the saucepan, and shake it high over the fire for an instant, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle. Add a little lemon-juice or vinegar, and serve it immediately.
Put three tablespoonsful of water into a small saucepan, 119 and when it boils add four ounces of fresh butter; as soon as this is quite dissolved, take the saucepan from the fire and shake it round until the sauce looks thick and smooth. It must not be allowed to boil after the butter is added.
Water, 3 tablespoonsful; butter, 4 ozs.
Thicken half a pint of new milk with rather less flour than is directed for the common melted butter, or with a little arrow-root, and stir into it by degrees after it has boiled, a couple of ounces of fresh butter cut small; do not cease to stir the sauce until this is entirely dissolved, or it may become oiled, and float on the top. Thin cream, substituted for the milk, and flavoured with a few strips of lemon rind cut extremely thin, some salt, and a small quantity of pounded mace, if mixed with rather less flour, and the same proportion of butter, will make an excellent sauce to serve with fowls or other dishes, when no gravy is at hand to make white sauce in the usual way.
Melt in a frying pan three ounces of fresh butter, and keep it stirred slowly over a gentle fire until it is of a dark brown colour; then pour to it two tablespoonsful of good hot vinegar; season it with black pepper, and a little salt.—In France, this is a favourite sauce with boiled skate, which is served with plenty of crisped parsley, in addition, strewed over it.
Butter, 3 ozs.; vinegar, 2 tablespoonsful; pepper; salt.
Put the butter into a very clean and well-tinned saucepan or enamelled stewpan, and melt it gently over a clear fire; when it just begins to simmer, skim it thoroughly, draw it from the fire, and let it stand a few minutes that the butter-milk may sink to the 120 bottom; then pour it clear of the sediment through a muslin strainer or a fine hair sieve; put it into jars, and store them in a cool place. Butter, thus prepared, will answer for all the ordinary purposes of cookery, and remain good for a great length of time. In France, large quantities are melted down in autumn for winter-use. The clarified butter ordered for the various receipts in this volume, is merely dissolved with a gentle degree of heat in a small saucepan, skimmed, and poured out for use, leaving the thick sediment behind.
Boil four fresh eggs for quite fifteen minutes, then lay them into plenty of fresh water, and let them remain until they are perfectly cold. Break the shells by rolling them on a table, take them off, separate the whites from the yolks, and divide all of the latter into quarter-inch dice; mince two of the whites only, tolerably small, mix them lightly, and stir them into the third of a pint of rich melted butter, or of white sauce: serve the whole as hot as possible.
Eggs, 4: boiled 15 minutes, left till cold. The yolks of all, whites of 2; third of pint of good melted butter or white sauce. Salt as needed.
Boil a couple of eggs hard, and when they are quite cold cut the whites and yolks separately; mix them well, put them into a very hot tureen, and pour boiling to them a quarter-pint of melted butter: stir, and serve the sauce immediately.
Whole eggs, 2; melted butter, ¼ pint.
This is a provincial sauce, served sometimes with fish, and with calf’s head also. Thicken to the proper consistency with flour and butter, some good pale veal gravy, throw into it when it boils from one to two 121 large teaspoonsful of minced parsley, add a slight squeeze of lemon-juice, a little cayenne, and then the eggs.
Veal gravy, ½ pint; flour, 1 oz. and ½; butter, 2 ozs.; minced parsley, 1 dessertspoonful; lemon-juice, 1 teaspoonful; little cayenne; eggs, 3 to 4.
Boil softly in half a pint of well-flavoured pale veal gravy a few very thin strips of fresh lemon-rind, for just sufficient time to give their flavour to it; stir in a thickening of arrow-root, or flour and butter; add salt if needed, and mix with the gravy a quarter pint of boiling cream.
Good pale veal gravy, ½ pint; third of lemon-rind: 15 to 20 minutes. Freshly pounded mace, third of saltspoonful; butter, 1 to 2 ozs.; flour, 1 teaspoonful (or arrow-root an equal quantity); cream, ¼ pint.
Obs.—For the best kind of white sauce see béchamel.
The neck and the feet of a fowl, nicely cleaned, and stewed down in half a pint of water, until it is reduced to less than a quarter-pint, with a thin strip or two of lemon-rind, a small blade of mace, a small branch or two of parsley, a little salt, and half a dozen corns of pepper, then strained, thickened, and flavoured by the preceding receipt, and mixed with something more than half the quantity of cream, will answer for this sauce extremely well; and if it be added, when made, to the liver of the chicken, previously boiled for six minutes in the gravy, then bruised to a smooth paste, and passed through a sieve, it will become an excellent liver sauce. A little strained lemon-juice is generally added to it when it is ready to serve: it should be stirred very briskly in.
Put into a small saucepan the yolks of three fresh eggs, the juice of a large lemon, three ounces of butter, a 122 little salt and nutmeg, and a wineglassful of water. Hold the saucepan over a clear fire, and keep the sauce stirred until it nearly boils: a little cayenne may be added. The safest way of making all sauces that will curdle by being allowed to boil, is to put them into a jar, and to set the jar over the fire, in a saucepan of boiling water, and then to stir the ingredients constantly until the sauce is thickened sufficiently to serve.
Yolks of eggs, 3; juice 1 lemon; butter, 3 ozs.; little salt and nutmeg; water, 1 wineglassful; cayenne at pleasure.
Obs.—A small cup of veal gravy, mixed with plenty of blanched and chopped parsley, may be used instead of water for this sauce, when it is to be served with boiled veal, or with calf’s head.
Stir briskly, but by degrees, to the well-beaten yolks of two large, or of three small fresh eggs, half a pint of common English white sauce, put it again into the saucepan, give it a shake over the fire, but be extremely careful not to allow it to boil; and just before it is served, stir in a dessertspoonful of strained lemon-juice. When meat or chickens are fricasseed, they should be lifted from the saucepan with a slice, drained on it from the sauce, and laid into a very hot dish before the eggs are added, and when these are just set, the sauce should be poured on them.
Pour quite-boiling on half a pint of the finest bread-crumbs, an equal measure of new milk; cover them closely with a plate, and let the sauce remain for twenty or thirty minutes; put it then into a delicately clean saucepan, with a small saltspoonful of salt, half as much pounded mace, a little cayenne, and about an ounce of fresh butter; keep it stirred constantly over a clear fire for a few minutes, then mix with it a couple of spoonsful of good cream, 123 give it a boil, and serve it immediately. When cream is not to be had, an additional spoonful or two of milk must be used; and as the sauce ought to be perfectly smooth, it is better to shake the crumbs through a cullender before the milk is poured to them; they should be of stale bread, and very lightly grated. As some will absorb more liquid than others, the cook must increase a little the above proportion, should it be needed. Equal parts of milk and of thin cream make an excellent bread sauce: more butter can be used to enrich it when it is liked.
Bread crumbs and new milk, each ½ pint (or any other measure); soaked, 20 to 30 minutes, or more. Salt, small saltspoonful; mace, half as much; little cayenne; butter, 1 oz.: boiled 4 to 5 minutes. 2 to 4 spoonsful of good cream, (or milk): 1 minute. Or: bread crumbs, ½ pint; milk and cream, each ¼ pint; and from 2 to 4 spoonsful of either in addition.
Obs.—Very pale, strong veal gravy is sometimes poured on the bread, instead of milk; and these, after being soaked, are boiled extremely dry, and then brought to the proper consistency with rich cream. The gravy may be highly flavoured with mushrooms when this is done.
Put into a very clean saucepan nearly half a pint of fine bread-crumbs, and the white part of a large mild onion, cut into quarters; pour to these three quarters of a pint of new milk, and boil them very gently, keeping them often stirred, until the onion is perfectly tender, which will be in from forty minutes to an hour. Press the whole through a hair sieve, which should be as clean as possible, reduce the sauce by quick boiling, should it be too thin, add a seasoning of salt and grated nutmeg, an ounce of butter, and four spoonsful of cream, and when it is of the proper thickness, pour out the sauce, and send it quickly to table.
Breadcrumbs nearly ½ pint; white part of 1 large 124 mild onion; new milk, ¾ pint: to 60 minutes. Seasoning of salt and grated nutmeg; butter, 1 oz.; cream, 4 tablespoonsful: to be boiled till of a proper consistency.
Obs.—This is an excellent sauce for those who like a subdued flavour of onion in it; but as many persons object to any, the cook should ascertain whether it be liked before she follows this receipt.
Add to half a pint of good melted butter, a tablespoonful of essence of anchovies, a small half-saltspoonful of freshly pounded mace, and less than a quarter one of cayenne. If a couple of spoonsful of cream are at hand, stir them to the sauce when it boils; then put in the flesh of the tail and claws of a small lobster cut into dice, (or any other form) of equal size. Keep the saucepan by the side of the fire until the fish is quite heated through, but do not let the sauce boil again: serve it very hot. A small quantity can be made on occasion, with the remains of a lobster that has been served at table.
Melted butter, ½ pint; essence of anchovies, 1 tablespoonful; pounded mace, small ½ saltspoonful; less than ¼ one of cayenne; cream (if added), 2 tablespoonsful; flesh of small lobster.
Select for this a perfectly fresh hen lobster; split the tail carefully, and take out the inside coral; pound half of it in a mortar very smoothly with less than an ounce of butter, rub it through a hair sieve, and put it aside. Cut the firm flesh of the fish into dice of not less than half an inch in size; and when these are ready, make as much good melted butter as will supply the quantity of sauce required for table, and if to be served with a turbot, or other large fish, to a numerous company, let it be plentifully provided. Season it slightly with essence of anchovies, and well with cayenne, mace, and salt; add 125 to it a few spoonsful of rich cream, and then mix a small portion of it very gradually with the pounded coral; when this is sufficiently liquified, pour it into the sauce, and stir the whole well together; put in immediately the flesh of the fish, and heat the sauce thoroughly by the side of the fire, without allowing it to boil, for if it should do so, its fine colour would be destroyed. The whole of the coral may be used for the sauce when no portion of it is wanted for other purposes.
At the moment they are wanted for use, open three dozens of fine plump native oysters; save carefully and strain their liquor, rince them separately in it, put them into a very clean saucepan, strain the liquor again, and pour it to them; heat them slowly, and keep them from one to two minutes at the simmering point, without allowing them to boil, as that will render them hard. Lift them out and beard them neatly; add to the liquor three ounces of butter, smoothly mixed with a large dessertspoonful of flour; stir these without ceasing until they boil, and are perfectly mixed; then add to them gradually a quarter-pint, or rather more, of new milk, or of thin cream (or equal parts of both), and continue the stirring until the sauce boils again; add a little salt, should it be needed, and a small quantity of cayenne in the finest powder; put in the oysters, and keep the saucepan by the side of the fire, until the whole is thoroughly hot, and begins to simmer, then turn the sauce into a well-heated tureen, and send it immediately to table.
Small plump oysters, 3 dozens; butter, 3 ozs.; flour, 1 large dessertspoonful; the oyster liquor; milk or cream, full ¼ pint; little salt and cayenne.
Prepare and plump two dozens of oysters as directed in the receipt above; add their strained liquor to a quarter-pint of thick melted butter made with milk, or 126 with half milk and half water; stir the whole till it boils, put in the oysters, and when they are quite heated through, send the sauce to table without delay. Some persons like a little cayenne and anchovy-essence added to it when it is served with fish: others prefer the unmixed flavour of the oysters.
Oysters, 2 dozens; their liquor; melted butter, ¼ pint. (Little cayenne and 1 dessertspoonful of essence of anchovies when liked.)
The fish for this sauce should be very fresh. Shell quickly one pint of shrimps, and mix them with half a pint of melted butter, to which a few drops of essence of anchovies, and a little mace and cayenne, have been added. As soon as the shrimps are heated through, dish, and serve the sauce, which ought not to boil after they are put in. Many persons add a few spoonsful of rich cream to all shell-fish sauces.
Shrimps, 1 pint; melted butter, ½ pint; essence of anchovies, 1 teaspoonful; mace, ¼ teaspoonful; cayenne, very little.
To half a pint of good melted butter add three dessertspoonsful of essence of anchovies, a quarter-teaspoonful of mace, and a rather high seasoning of cayenne; or pound the flesh of two or three fine mellow anchovies very smooth, mix it with the boiling butter, simmer these for a minute or two, strain the sauce if needful, add the spices, give it a boil, and serve it.
Melted butter, ½ pint; essence of anchovies, 3 dessertspoonsful; mace, ¼ teaspoonful; cayenne to taste. Or, 3 large anchovies finely pounded, and the same proportions of butter and spice.
Knead very smoothly together with a strong bladed knife, a large teaspoonful of flour with three ounces of good butter; stir them in a very clean saucepan or stewpan, over a gentle fire till the butter is dissolved, 127 then throw in a little salt, and some cayenne, give the whole one minute’s simmer, and add, very gradually, half a pint of good cream; keep the sauce constantly stirred until it boils, then mix with it a dessertspoonful of essence of anchovies, and half as much Chili vinegar or lemon-juice. The addition of shelled shrimps, or lobster cut in dice, will convert this at once into a most excellent sauce of either. Pounded mace may be added to it with the cayenne; and it may be thinned with a few spoonsful of milk should it be too thick. Omit the essence of anchovies, and mix with it some parsley boiled very green, and minced, and it becomes a good sauce for boiled poultry.
Butter, 3 ozs.; flour, 1 large teaspoonful: 2 to 3 minutes. Cream, ½ pint; essence of anchovies, 1 large dessertspoonful (more if liked); Chili vinegar or lemon-juice, 1 teaspoonful; salt, ¼ saltspoonful.
For a rich sauce of this kind, mix a dessertspoonful of flour with four ounces of good butter, but with from two to three ounces only for common occasions; knead them together until they resemble a smooth paste, then proceed exactly as for the sauce above, but substitute good pale veal gravy, or strong pure-flavoured veal broth, or shin of beef stock (which, if well made, has little colour), for the cream; and when these have boiled for two or three minutes, stir in a tablespoonful of common vinegar, and one of Chili vinegar, with as much cayenne as will flavour the sauce well, and salt, should it be needed; throw in from two to three dessertspoonsful of finely-minced parsley, give the whole a boil, and it will be ready to serve. A tablespoonful of mushroom catsup or of Harvey’s sauce may be added with the vinegar when the colour of the sauce is immaterial. It may be served with boiled calf’s head, or with boiled eels with good effect; and, as we have directed in another part of this volume, various kinds of cold meat and fish may be 128 re-warmed for table in it. With a little more flour, and a flavouring of essence of anchovies, it will make, without the parsley, an excellent sauce for these last, when they are first dressed.
Butter, 2 to 4 ozs.; flour, 1 dessertspoonful; pale veal gravy, or strong broth, or shin of beef stock, ½ pint; cayenne; salt, if needed; common vinegar, 1 tablespoonful; Chili vinegar, 1 tablespoonful. (Catsup or Harvey’s sauce, according to circumstances.)
Add to half a pint of rich, pale veal gravy, well thickened with the white roux of page 115, a good seasoning of pepper, salt, minced parsley, and lemon-juice; or make the thickening with a small tablespoonful of flour, and a couple of ounces of butter; keep these stirred constantly over a very gentle fire from ten to fifteen minutes, then pour to them the gravy, boiling, in small portions, mixing the whole well as it is added, and letting it boil up between each, for unless this be done, the butter will be likely to float on the surface. Simmer the sauce for a few minutes, and skim it well, then add salt should it be needed, a tolerable seasoning of pepper or of cayenne, in fine powder, from two to three teaspoonsful of minced parsley, and the strained juice of a small lemon. For some dishes, this sauce is thickened with the yolks of eggs; about four to the pint. The French work into their sauces generally a small bit of fresh butter, just before they are taken from the fire, to give them mellowness; this is done usually for the Mâitre d’Hotel.
* The Mâitre d’Hotel is, properly, the House Steward.
Substitute half a pint of good melted butter for the gravy, and add to it the same seasonings as above. A double quantity of these sauces will be needed when they 129 are required to cover large fish; in that case they should be thick enough to adhere to it well.
Melted butter, ½ pint; seasoning of salt, and pepper, or cayenne; minced parsley, 2 to 3 teaspoonsful; juice 1 small lemon.
* Maigre, made without meat.
Work well together two or three ounces of fresh butter, with some pepper, salt, minced parsley, and the juice of a lemon. This is frequently put into broiled fish, or laid in the dish under beef steaks, broiled kidneys, and various other meats.
Pound to a very smooth paste the inside coral of a lobster with a small slice of butter, and some cayenne; rub it through a hair sieve, gather it together, and mix it very smoothly with from half to three quarters of a pint of sauce tournée, or cream fish sauce, previously well-seasoned with cayenne and salt, and moderately with pounded mace; bring it to the point of boiling only, stir in quickly, but gradually, a tablespoonful of strained lemon-juice, and serve the sauce very hot. When neither cream nor gravy is at hand, substitute rich melted butter, mixed with a dessertspoonful or two of essence of anchovies, and well seasoned. The fine colour of the coral will be destroyed by boiling. This sauce, which the French call Sauce à l’Aurore, may be served with brill, boiled soles, grey mullet, and some few other kinds of fish; it is quickly made when the lobster butter of Chapter XIV. is in the house.
Coral of lobster, pounded; cream-sauce, or sauce tournée (thickened pale veal gravy), ½ to ¾ pint; lemon-juice, 1 tablespoonful; salt, cayenne, and mace, as needed. Or: rich melted butter, instead of other sauce; essence of anchovies, 2 dessertspoonsful; other seasoning, as above.
Obs.—The proportion of spices here must, of course, 130 depend on the flavouring which the gravy or sauce may already have received.
Cut in small dice, four or five large onions, and brown them in a stewpan with three ounces of butter, and a dessertspoonful of flour. When of a deep amber colour, pour to them half a pint of beef or of veal gravy, and let them simmer for fifteen minutes; skim the sauce, add salt and pepper, and, at the moment of serving, mix in a dessertspoonful of made mustard.
Large onions, 4 or 5; butter, 3 oz.; flour, dessertspoonful: 10 to 15 minutes. Gravy, ½ pint: 15 minutes. Mustard, dessertspoonful.
Brown lightly, in an ounce and a half of butter, a tablespoonful of minced eschalots, or three of onions; add a teaspoonful of flour when they are partly done, pour to them half a pint of gravy or of good broth, and when it boils, add three chilies, a bay-leaf, and a very small bunch of thyme. Let these simmer for twenty minutes, take out the thyme and bay-leaf, add a high seasoning of black pepper, and half a wineglassful of the best vinegar. A quarter-teaspoonful of cayenne may be substituted for the chilies.
Eschalots, 1 tablespoonful, or 3 of onions; flour, 1 teaspoonful; butter, 1½ oz.: 10 to 15 minutes. Gravy or broth, ½ pint; chilies, 3; bay-leaf; thyme, small bunch: 20 minutes. Pepper, plenty; vinegar, ½ wineglassful.
Wash, and wipe a stick of young horseradish, grate it as small as possible on a fine grater, then with two ounces (or a couple of large tablespoonsful) of it, mix a small teaspoonful of salt, and four tablespoonsful of good cream; then stir in briskly and by degrees, three dessertspoonsful 131 of vinegar: one of these should be Chili vinegar when the horseradish is mild. To heat the sauce, put it into a small and delicately clean saucepan, hold it over, but do not place it upon the fire, and stir it without interruption until it is near the point of simmering, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle instantly.
Horseradish pulp, 2 ozs. (or, 2 large tablespoonsful); salt, 1 teaspoonful; good cream, 4 tablespoonsful; vinegar, 3 dessertspoonsful (of which one should be Chili when the root is mild).
Obs.—Common English salad-mixture is often added to the grated horseradish when the sauce is to be served cold.
Mix three ounces of young tender grated horseradish with half a pint of good brown gravy, and let it stand by the side of the fire till it is on the point of boiling; add salt if required, a teaspoonful of made-mustard, and a dessertspoonful of garlic or of eschalot vinegar, if at hand; if not, substitute Chili vinegar, or twice as much common vinegar for it.
Some cooks stew the horseradish in vinegar for ten minutes, and after having drained it from this, mix it with nearly half a pint of thick melted butter.
Horseradish, grated, 3 ozs.; brown gravy, ½ pint; made-mustard, 1 teaspoonful; eschalot or garlic vinegar, 1 dessertspoonful (or, Chili vinegar, same quantity, or common vinegar, twice as much).
Throw into a small basin, a heaped saltspoonful of good cayenne pepper, in very fine powder, and half the quantity of salt;* add to these a small dessertspoonful 132 of well-refined, pounded, and sifted sugar; mix them thoroughly, then pour in a tablespoonful of the strained juice of a fresh lemon, two of Harvey’s sauce, a teaspoonful of the very best mushroom catsup (or of cavice), and three tablespoonsful, or a small wineglassful, of port wine. Heat the sauce by placing the basin in a saucepan of boiling water; or turn it into a jar, and place this in the water. Serve it directly it is ready with geese or ducks, tame or wild; roast pork, venison, fawn, a grilled blade-bone, or any other broil. A slight flavour of garlic or eschalot vinegar may be given to it at pleasure. Many persons use it with fish. It is good cold; and, if bottled directly it is made, may be stored for several days. It is the better for being mixed some hours before it is served. The proportion of cayenne may be doubled when a very pungent sauce is desired.
Good cayenne pepper in fine powder, 1 heaped saltspoonful; salt, half as much; pounded sugar, 1 small dessertspoonful; strained lemon-juice, 1 tablespoonful; Harvey’s sauce, 2 tablespoonsful; best mushroom catsup (or cavice), 1 teaspoonful; port wine, 3 tablespoonsful, or small wineglassful. (Little eschalot, or garlic-vinegar at pleasure.)
Obs.—This sauce is exceedingly good when mixed with the brown-gravy of a hash or stew, or with that which is served with game or other dishes.
* Characteristically, the salt of this sauce ought, perhaps, to prevail more strongly over the sugar; but it will be found for most tastes sufficiently piquante as it is.
Mix with four tablespoonsful of minced eschalots, half a teaspoonful of salt, nearly as much pepper, two tablespoonsful of water, and three of good sharp vinegar. Boil the sauce for a few minutes, and serve it hot; or send it to table cold, when it is liked so. Vinegar may entirely supply the place of the water in this case, and a spoonful or two of oil be mixed with it. A small dessertspoonful of minced parsley, tarragon, or chervil, is likewise sometimes mixed with the eschalots. Their strong flavour may be in some measure weakened by 133 steeping them for an hour or more in a pint of cold water after they are minced.
For a salad of moderate size pound very smoothly the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs with a small teaspoonful of unmade mustard, half as much sugar in fine powder, and a saltspoonful of salt. Mix gradually with these a small cup of cream, or the same quantity of very pure oil, and two tablespoonsful of vinegar. More salt and acid can be added at pleasure; but the latter usually predominates too much in English salads. A few drops of Chili or of cayenne vinegar will improve this receipt.
Hard yolks of eggs, 2; unmade mustard, 1 small teaspoonful; sugar, half as much; salt, 1 saltspoonful; cream or oil, small cupful; vinegar, 2 tablespoonsful.
Obs.—To some tastes a teaspoonful or more of eschalot vinegar would be an acceptable addition to this sauce, which may be otherwise varied in numberless ways. Cucumber, or tarragon-vinegar may be substituted for other, and small quantities of soy, cavice, essence of anchovies, or catsup may in turn be used to flavour the compound. The salad-bowl too may be rubbed with a cut clove of garlic, to give the whole composition a very slight flavour of it.* The eggs should be boiled fifteen minutes, and allowed to become quite cold always before they are pounded, or the mixture will not be smooth: if it should curdle, which it will sometimes do, if not carefully made, add to it the yolk of a very fresh unboiled egg.
* As we have before had occasion to remark, garlic, when very sparingly and judiciously used, imparts a remarkably fine savour to a sauce or gravy, and neither a strong nor a coarse one, as it does when used in larger quantities. The veriest morsel (or, as the French call it, a mere soupçon) of the root, is sufficient to give this agreeable piquancy, but unless the proportion be extremely small, the effect will be quite different. The Italians dress their salads upon a round of delicately toasted bread, which is rubbed with garlic, saturated with oil, and sprinkled with cayenne, before it is laid into the bowl: they also eat the bread thus prepared, but with less of oil, and untoasted often, before their meals, as a digestor.134
Stir a saltspoonful of salt and half as much pepper into a large spoonful of oil, and when the salt is dissolved, mix with them four additional spoonsful of oil, and pour the whole over the salad; let it be well turned, and then add a couple of spoonsful of tarragon vinegar, mix the whole thoroughly, and serve it without delay. The salad should not be dressed in this way until the instant before it is wanted for table: the proportions of salt and pepper can be increased at pleasure, and common, or cucumber-vinegar may be substituted for the tarragon, which, however, is more frequently than any other used in France.
Salt, 1 spoonful; pepper, ½ as much; oil, 5 saladspoonsful; tarragon, or other vinegar, 2 spoonsful.
Mix with the yolks of two very fresh unboiled eggs a half saltspoonful of salt, a third as much of cayenne, and a slight grating of nutmeg; then stir very gradually to them three tablespoonsful of oil of the finest quality, working the sauce like the Mayonnaise; and when it is perfectly smooth, add three spoonsful of good meat-jelly, and two of cucumber vinegar. The shin of beef stock for gravies, which will be strongly jellied when cold, will answer very well for this sauce when no richer is at hand; a little Chili vinegar is a good addition to it.
Put into a large basin the yolks only of two fine and very fresh eggs, carefully freed from the germs, with a little salt and cayenne; stir these well together, then add about a teaspoonful of the purest salad oil, and work the mixture round with a wooden spoon until it appears like cream. Pour in by slow degrees nearly 135 half a pint of oil, continuing at each interval to work the sauce as at first until it resumes the smoothness of a custard, and not a particle of the oil is visible; then add a couple of tablespoonsful of plain or of tarragon vinegar, and one of cold water to whiten the sauce. A bit of clear veal-jelly the size of an egg will improve it greatly; and a morsel of garlic not larger than a pea, bruised as fine as possible, will give it a very agreeable relish, even to persons to whom garlic generally is distasteful. In lieu of this, a few drops of eschalot vinegar may be stirred in; and the flavour may be varied with lemon-juice, and cucumber, or Chili vinegar at choice. The reader who may have a prejudice against the unboiled eggs which enter into the composition of the Mayonnaise, will find that the most fastidious taste would not detect their being raw, if the sauce be well made; and persons who dislike oil may partake of it in this form, without being aware of its presence, provided always that it be perfectly fresh, and pure in flavour, for otherwise it is easily perceptible.
Yolks of fresh unboiled eggs, 2; salt, ½ saltspoonful or rather more; cayenne; oil, full third of pint; common, or tarragon-vinegar, 2 tablespoonsful; cold water, 1 tablespoonful; garlic, morsel size of a pea (or few drops of eschalot vinegar). Meat-jelly (if at hand), size of an egg.
Obs.—When a much larger proportion of vinegar is liked, a third yolk of egg should be used, or the sauce will be too thin. It is sometimes coloured green, with the juice of parsley, and other herbs. A spoonful or two of cold béchamel, or of good white sauce, is always an improvement to it.
This differs little from an ordinary salad dressing. Pound very smoothly indeed the yolks of two or three hard boiled eggs with a teaspoonful of mustard, half as much salt, and some cayenne or white pepper. Mix gradually with these, working the whole well together, 136 two or three tablespoonsful of oil and two of vinegar. Should the sauce be curdled, pour it by degrees to the yolk of a raw egg, stirring it well round as directed for the Mayonnaise. A spoonful of tarragon, cucumber, or eschalot-vinegar may be added with very good effect; and to give it increased relish, a teaspoonful of cavice, or a little of Harvey’s sauce, and a dessertspoonful of Chili vinegar may be thrown into it. This last is an excellent addition to all cold sauces, or salad dressings: the Rajah’s sauce, when good, is of finer flavour, and more pungent.
Hard yolks of 2 eggs or 3; mustard, 1 teaspoonful (more when liked); salt, ½ teaspoonful; pepper or cayenne; oil, 3 tablespoonsful; vinegar, 2. If curdled, yolk of 1 raw egg. Good additions: tarragon or eschalot, or cucumber-vinegar, 1 tablespoonful; Chili vinegar, 1 dessertspoonful, or Rajah’s sauce, half as much. Cavice or Harvey’s sauce at pleasure.
Obs.—A dessertspoonful of eschalots very finely minced are sometimes pounded with the yolks of eggs for this sauce: a morsel of garlic, not larger than a hazel-nut, may be substituted for them advantageously.
Strip from the stems, wash very clean, and boil quickly in salt and water till it is quite tender, a handful of young fennel; press the water well from it, mince it very fine, and mix it gradually with the quantity of melted butter required for table.
Fennel, small handful; 10 minutes, or till quite tender. Melted butter, ¼ to ½ pint; little salt.
Obs.—The French use good pale veal gravy thickened with flour and butter for this sauce.
Proceed exactly as for the fennel, but boil the parsley four or five minutes less; and be careful to press the water from it thoroughly. For an improved sauce, substitute béchamel or white melted butter for the 137 common melted butter. Chervil is boiled, chopped and mixed with gravy or butter in the same way.
Melted butter, or thickened veal-gravy, third of pint; parsley, boiled and minced, 1 dessertspoonful.
Cut the stalks and tops from half to a whole pint of quite young gooseberries, wash them well, just cover them with cold water and boil them very gently indeed until they are tender; drain them well, and mix with them a small quantity of melted butter made with rather less flour than usual. Some eaters prefer the mashed gooseberries without any addition; others like that of a little ginger. The best way of making this sauce is to turn the gooseberries into a hair sieve to drain, then to press them through it with a wooden spoon, and to stir them in a clean stewpan or saucepan over the fire with from half to a whole teaspoonful of sugar, just to soften their extreme acidity, and a bit of fresh butter about the size of a walnut. When the fruit is not passed through the sieve it is an improvement to seed it.
Strip from the stalks and the large fibres, from one to a couple of quarts of freshly-gathered sorrel, wash it very clean, and put it into a well-tinned stewpan or saucepan (or into a German enamelled one, which would be far better), without any water; add to it a small slice of good butter, some pepper and salt, and stew it gently, keeping it well-stirred, until it is exceedingly tender, that it may not burn; then drain it on a sieve, or press the liquid well from it, chop it as fine as possible, and boil it again for a few minutes with a spoonful or two of gravy, or the same quantity of cream or milk, mixed with a half-teaspoonful of flour, or with only a fresh slice of good butter. The beaten yolk of an egg or two stirred in just as the sorrel is taken from the fire will soften the sauce greatly, and a saltspoonful of pounded sugar will also be an improvement.138
Cut the green tender points of some young asparagus into half-inch lengths, wash them well, drain and throw them into plenty of boiling salt and water. When they are quite tender, which may be in from ten to fifteen minutes, turn them into a hot strainer and drain the water thoroughly from them; put them at the instant of serving into half a pint of thickened veal gravy (see Sauce Tournée), mixed with the yolks of a couple of eggs, and well seasoned with salt and cayenne, or white pepper; or, into an equal quantity of good melted butter: add to this last a squeeze of lemon-juice. The asparagus will become yellow if re-boiled, or if left long in the sauce before it is boiled.
Asparagus points, ½ pint: boiled 10 to 15 minutes, longer if not quite tender. Thickened veal-gravy, ½ pint; yolks of eggs, 2. Or: good melted butter, ½ pint; lemon-juice, small dessertspoonful, seasoning of salt and white pepper.
The mint for this sauce should be fresh and young, for the leaves when old are tough. Strip them from the stems, wash them with great nicety, and drain them on a sieve or dry them in a cloth. Chop them very fine, put them into a sauce-tureen, and to three heaped tablespoonsful of the mint add two of pounded sugar, mix them well, and then add gradually six tablespoonsful of good vinegar. The sauce made thus is excellent, but Lisbon sugar can be used for it when preferred, and all the proportions can be varied to the taste. It is commonly served too liquid, and not sufficiently sweetened; and it will be found much more wholesome, and generally far more palatable made by this receipt.
Young mint minced, 3 heaped tablespoonsful; pounded sugar, 2 tablespoonsful; vinegar, 6 tablespoonsful.139
Stir into the third of a pint of good melted butter from three to four dessertspoonsful of capers, add a little of the vinegar and dish the sauce as soon as it boils. Keep it stirred after the berries are added: part of them may be minced and a little Chili vinegar substituted for their own. Pickled nasturtiums make a very good sauce, and their flavour is sometimes preferred to that of the capers. For a large joint, increase the quantity of butter to half a pint.
Melted butter, third of pint; capers, 3 to 4 dessertspoonsful.
Thicken half a pint of good veal, or beef-gravy as directed for Sauce Tournée, and add to it two tablespoonsful of capers, and a dessertspoonful of the pickle liquor, or of Chili vinegar, with some cayenne if the former be used, and a proper seasoning of salt.
Thickened veal or beef gravy, ½ pint; capers, 2 tablespoonsful; caper-liquor or Chili vinegar, 1 dessertspoonful.
To nearly half a pint of very rich melted butter add six spoonsful of strong veal-gravy or jelly, a tablespoonful of essence of anchovies, and some Chili vinegar or cayenne. When there is no gravy at hand substitute a half-wineglassful of mushroom catsup, or of Harvey’s sauce; though these deepen the colour more than is desirable.
Pare, slice, dust slightly with pepper, and with flour, two or three young cucumbers, and fry them a fine brown, in a little butter, or dissolve an ounce and a half in a small stewpan, or iron saucepan, and shake them in it over a brisk fire from twelve to fifteen minutes; pour to them, by degrees, nearly half a pint of strong beef 140 broth, or of brown gravy; add salt, and more pepper if required, stew the whole for five minutes, and send the sauce very hot to table. A minced onion may be browned with the cucumbers when it is liked, and a spoonful of vinegar added to them before they are served.
Cucumbers, 2 or 3; butter, 1 oz. and ½; broth or gravy, nearly ½ pint; salt, pepper.
Cucumbers which have the fewest seeds are best for this sauce. Pare and slice a couple, or three, should they be small, and put them into a saucepan, in which two ounces, or rather more, of butter have been dissolved, and are beginning to boil; place them high over the fire, that they may stew as softly as possible without taking colour, for three quarters of an hour, or longer should they require it; add to them a good seasoning of white pepper, and some salt, when they are half done, and just before they are served stir to them half a teaspoonful of flour, mixed with a morsel of butter; strew in some minced parsley, give it a boil, and finish with a spoonful of good vinegar.
Quarter some young quickly grown cucumbers, without many seeds in them; empty them of these and take off the rinds. Cut them into inch-lengths, and boil them from fifteen to eighteen minutes in salt and water; squeeze, and work them through a sieve; mix them with a few spoonsful of bechamel, or thick white sauce, do not let them boil again, but serve them very hot. A sauce of better flavour is made by boiling the cucumbers in veal gravy well seasoned, and stirring in the beaten yolks of two or three eggs, and a little Chili vinegar or lemon-juice, at the instant of serving. Another also of cucumbers sliced, and stewed in butter, but without being at all browned, and then boiled in pale veal gravy, which must be thickened with rich cream, is excellent. A morsel of sugar improves this sauce.141
Cucumbers, 3: 15 to 18 minutes. White sauce, ¼ pint.
Cut off the stems closely from half a pint of small button mushrooms; clean them with a little salt and a bit of flannel, and throw them into cold water, slightly salted, as they are done; drain them well, and throw them into half a pint of boiling béchamel (see page 116), or of white sauce made with very fresh milk, or thin cream, thickened with a tablespoonful of flour, and two ounces of butter. Simmer the mushrooms from ten to twenty minutes, or till they are quite tender, and dish the sauce, which should be properly seasoned with salt, mace and cayenne.
Mushrooms, ½ pint; white sauce, ½ pint; seasoning of salt, mace, and cayenne: 10 minutes.
Prepare from half to a whole pint of very small mushroom-buttons with great nicety, and throw them into as much sauce tournée; when they are tender add a few spoonsful of rich cream, give the whole a boil, and serve it. Either of these sauces may be served with boiled poultry, breast of veal, or veal-cutlets: the sauce tournée should be thickened rather more than usual when it is to be used in this receipt.
Mushrooms and sauce tournée, each ½ to whole pint: stewed till tender. Cream, 4 to 8 tablespoonsful.
Very small flaps, peeled and freed entirely from the fur, will answer for this sauce. Leave them whole, or quarter them, and stew them tender in some rich brown gravy; give a full seasoning of mace and cayenne, add thickening, and salt if needed, and a tablespoonful of good mushroom catsup.
Tomatas are so juicy when ripe, that they require but 142 little liquid to reduce them to a proper consistency for sauce; and they vary so exceedingly in size and quality that it is difficult to give precise directions for the exact quantity which is needed for them. Take off the stalks, halve the tomatas, and gently squeeze out the seeds and watery pulp; then stew them softly with a few spoonsful of gravy or strong broth until they are quite melted. Press the whole through a hair sieve, and heat it afresh with a little additional gravy should it be too thick, and some cayenne, and salt. Serve it very hot.
Fine ripe tomatas, 6 or 8; gravy or strong broth, 4 tablespoonsful: ½ to ¾ hour, or longer if needed. Salt and cayenne sufficient to season the sauce, and two or three spoonsful more of gravy if required.
Obs.—For a large tureen of this sauce, increase the proportions: should it at first be too liquid, reduce it by quick boiling. When neither gravy nor broth is at hand, the tomatas may be stewed perfectly tender, but very gently, in a couple of ounces of butter, with some cayenne and salt only, or with the addition of a very little finely minced onion, then rubbed through a sieve, and heated, and served without any addition, or with only that of a teaspoonful of Chili vinegar; or, when the colour is not a principal consideration, with a few spoonsful of rich cream, smoothly mixed with a little flour to prevent its curdling. The sauce must be stirred without interruption should the last be added, and boiled for four or five minutes.
Stew very gently a dozen fine red tomatas, prepared as for the preceding receipt, with two or three sliced eschalots, four or five chilies, or a capsicumb or two, or in lieu of either, with a quarter teaspoonful of cayenne pepper, a few small dice of lean ham, and half a cupful of rich gravy. Stir these often, and when the tomatas are reduced quite to a smooth pulp, press them through a sieve; put them into a clean saucepan, with a few spoonsful more of rich gravy, or Espagnole, add salt, if 143 needed, boil the sauce, stirring it well, for ten minutes, and serve it very hot. When the gravy is exceedingly good, and highly flavoured, the ham may be omitted: a dozen small mushrooms, nicely cleaned, may also be sliced, and stewed with the tomatas, instead of the eschalots, when their flavour is preferred, or they may be added with them. The exact proportion of liquid used is immaterial, for should the sauce be too thin, it may be reduced by rapid boiling, and diluted with more gravy if too thick.
Put a tablespoonful of water into a quart basin, and fill it with good boiling apples, pared, quartered, and carefully cored; put a plate over, and set them into a moderate oven for about an hour, or until they are reduced quite to a pulp; beat them smooth with a clean wooden spoon, adding to them a little sugar, and a morsel of fresh butter, when these are liked, though they will scarcely be required.
The sauce made thus is far superior to that which is boiled. When no other oven is at hand, a Dutch or an American one would probably answer for it; but we cannot assert this on our own experience.
Good boiling apples, 1 quart: baked one hour (more or less, according to the quality of the fruit, and temperature of the oven); sugar, 1 oz.; butter, ½ oz.
Stew gently down to a thick and perfectly smooth marmalade, a pound of pearmains, or of any other well-flavoured boiling apples, in about the third of a pint of rich brown gravy: season the sauce rather highly with black pepper or cayenne, and serve it very hot. Currie-sauce will make an excellent substitute for the gravy when a very piquante accompaniment is wanted for pork, or other rich meats.
Apples pared and cored, 1 lb.; good brown gravy, 144 third of pint: ¾ hour to 1 hour and ¼. Pepper or cayenne as needed.
Strip the skin from some large white onions, and after having taken off the tops and roots, cut them in two, throw them into cold water as they are done, cover them plentifully with more, and boil them very tender; lift them out, drain, and then press the water thoroughly from them; chop them small, rub them through a sieve or strainer, put them into a little rich melted butter, mixed with a spoonful or two of cream or milk, add a seasoning of salt, give the sauce a boil, and serve it very hot. Portugal onions, when they can be obtained, are superior to any others, both for this and most other purposes in cookery.
For the finest kind of onion sauce, see Soubise, below.
Cut off both ends of the onions, and slice them into a saucepan in which two ounces of butter have been dissolved; keep them stewing over a clear fire until they are lightly coloured; then pour to them half a pint of brown gravy; and when they have boiled till they are perfectly tender, work the sauce altogether through a strainer, season it with a little cayenne, and serve it very hot.
Mince the onions, stew them in butter till well coloured, stir in a dessertspoonful of flour, shake the stewpan over the fire for three or four minutes, pour in only as much broth or gravy as will leave the sauce tolerably thick, season, and serve it.
Slice, skin, and mince quickly two pounds’ weight of the white part only of some fine mild onions, and stew 145 them in from two to three ounces of good butter, over a very gentle fire, until they are reduced to a pulp, then pour to them three quarters of a pint of rich veal gravy; add a seasoning of salt and cayenne, if needed, skim off the fat entirely, press the sauce through a sieve, heat it in a clean stewpan, mix it with a quarter pint of rich boiling cream, and serve it directly.
Onions, 2 lbs.; butter, 2 to 3 ozs.: 30 minutes to 1 hour. Veal gravy, ¾ pint; salt, cayenne: 5 minutes. Cream, ¼ pint.
Peel some fine white onions, and trim away all tough and discoloured parts; mince them small, and throw them into plenty of boiling water; when they have boiled quickly for five minutes, drain them well in a sieve, then stew them very softly indeed in an ounce or two of fresh butter, until they are dry and perfectly tender; stir to them as much béchamel as will bring them to the consistency of very thick peas soup, pass the whole through a strainer, pressing the onion strongly that none may remain behind, and heat the sauce afresh, without allowing it to boil. A small half-teaspoonful of pounded sugar is sometimes added to this soubise.
White part of onions, 2 lbs.: blanched 5 minutes. Butter, 2 ozs.: 30 to 50 minutes. Béchamel, ¾ to 1 pint, or more.
Obs.—These sauces are served more particularly with lamb, or mutton cutlets, than with any other meats; but they would probably find many approvers if sent to table with roast mutton, or boiled veal. Half the quantity given above will be sufficient for a moderate-sized dish.
Divide some fine cloves of garlic, strip off the skin, and when all are ready, throw them into plenty of 146 boiling water slightly salted; in five minutes drain this from them, and pour in as much more, which should also be quite boiling; continue to change it every five or six minutes until the garlic is quite tender; throw in a moderate proportion of salt the last time to give it the proper flavour. Drain it thoroughly, and serve it in the dish with roast mutton, or put it into good brown gravy, or white sauce for table. By changing very frequently the water in which it is boiled, the root will be deprived of its naturally pungent flavour and smell, and rendered extremely mild; when it is not wished to be quite so much so, change the water every ten minutes only.
Garlic, 1 pint; 15 to 25 minutes or more. Water to be changed every 5 or 6 minutes; or every 10 minutes when not wished so very mild. Gravy or sauce, 1 pint.
Prepare and boil from half to a whole pint of eschalots by the preceding receipt; unless very fine, they will be tender in about fifteen minutes, sometimes in less, in which case the water must be poured from them shortly after it has been changed for the second time. When grown in a suitable soil, and cultivated with care, the eschalots are sometimes treble the size that they are under other circumstances; and this difference must be allowed for in boiling them. Drain them well, and mix them with white sauce or gravy, or with good melted butter, and serve them very hot.
Pare one or two half grown marrows and cut out all the seeds; take a pound of the vegetable, and slice it with one ounce of mild onion, into a pint of strong veal broth or of pale gravy; stew them very softly for nearly or quite an hour; add salt, and cayenne, or white pepper when they are nearly done; press the whole through a fine and delicately clean hair sieve, 147 heat it afresh, and stir to it when it boils, about the third of a pint of rich cream. Serve it with boiled chickens, stewed or boiled veal, lamb chops, or any other delicate meat. When to be served as a purée, an additional half pound of the vegetable must be used; and it should be dished with small fried sippets round it. For a maigre dish, stew the marrow and onion quite tender in butter, and dilute them with half and half cream.
Vegetable marrow, 1 lb.; mild onion, 1 oz.; strong broth or pale gravy, 1 pint: nearly or quite 1 hour. Pepper or cayenne, and salt as needed; good cream from ¼ to third of pint. For purée, ½ lb. more of marrow.
Pare, slice, and boil quite tender, some finely-grained mild turnips; press the water from them thoroughly, and pass them through a sieve. Dissolve a slice of butter in a clean saucepan, and stir to it a large teaspoonful of flour, or mix them smoothly together before they are put in, and shake the saucepan round until they boil; pour to them very gradually, nearly a pint of thin cream (or of good milk mixed with a portion of cream), add the turnips with a half-teaspoonful or more of salt, and when the whole is well mixed and very hot, pour it over boiled mutton, veal, lamb, or poultry. There should be sufficient of the sauce to cover the meat entirely, and when properly made it improves greatly the appearance of a joint. A little cayenne tied in a muslin may be boiled in the milk before it is mixed with the turnips. Jerusalem artichokes make a more delicate sauce of this kind, even than turnips: the weight of both vegetables must be taken after they are pared.
Pared turnips or artichokes, 1 lb.; fresh butter, 1 oz. and ½; flour, 1 large teaspoonful (twice as much if all milk be used); salt, ½ teaspoonful or more; cream, or cream and milk mixed, from ¾ to 1 pint.148
Remove the stones from some fine French or Italian olives by paring the fruit close to them, round and round in the form of a corkscrew: they will then resume their original shape when done. Weigh six ounces thus prepared, throw them into boiling water, let them blanch for five minutes, drain, and throw them into cold water, and leave them in it from half an hour to an hour, proportioning the time to their saltness; drain them well, and stew them gently from fifteen to twenty-five minutes in a pint of very rich brown gravy: add the juice of half a lemon, and serve the sauce very hot. Half this quantity will be enough for a small party.
Olives, stoned, 6 ozs.; rich gravy, 1 pint: 15 to 25 minutes. Juice, ½ lemon.
Obs.—In France this sauce is served very commonly with ducks, and sometimes with beefsteaks, and stewed fowl.
Slice the white part of from three to five heads of young tender celery; peel it if not very young, and boil it in salt and water for twenty minutes. If for white sauce, put the celery, after it has been well drained, into half a pint of veal broth or gravy, and let it stew until it is quite soft; then add an ounce and a half of butter, mixed with a dessertspoonful of flour, and a quarter-pint of thick cream, or the yolks of three eggs. The French, after boiling the celery, which they cut very small, for about twenty minutes, drain, and chop it; then put it with a slice of butter into a stewpan, and season it with pepper, salt, and nutmeg; they keep these stirred over the fire for two or three minutes, and then dredge in a dessertspoonful of flour; when this has lost its raw taste, they pour in a sufficiency of white gravy to moisten the celery, and to allow for twenty minutes’ longer boiling. A very good common 149 celery sauce is made by simply stewing the celery, cut into inch-lengths, in butter, until it begins to be tender; and then adding a spoonful of flour, which must be allowed to brown a little, and half a pint of good broth or beef gravy, with a seasoning of pepper or cayenne.
Celery, 3 to 5 heads: 20 minutes. Veal broth, or gravy, ½ pint: 20 to 40 minutes. Butter, 1½ oz.; flour, 1 dessertspoonful; cream, ¼ pint, or 3 yolks of eggs.
Strip the outer skin from six ounces of sound, sweet chesnuts, then throw them into boiling water, and let them simmer for two or three minutes, when the second skin will easily peel off. Add to them three quarters of a pint of good cold veal-gravy, and a few strips of lemon peel, and let them stew gently for an hour and a quarter. Press them with the gravy through a hair-sieve reversed, and placed over a deep dish or pan, as they are much more easily rubbed through thus than in the usual way: a wooden spoon should be used in preference to any other for the process. Add a little cayenne, and mace, some salt if needed, and about six tablespoonsful of rich cream. Keep the sauce stirred until it boils, and serve it immediately.
Chesnuts without their rinds, 6 ozs.; veal gravy, ¾ pint; rind of ½ lemon: 1¼ hour. Salt; spice; cream, 6 tablespoonsful.
Obs.—This sauce may be served with turkey, with fowls, or with veal cutlets stewed.
Substitute rich brown gravy for the veal-stock, omit the lemon-rind and cream; heighten the seasonings and mix the chesnuts with a few spoonsful of Espagnole or highly-flavoured gravy after they are passed through the sieve.150
Boil together for fifteen minutes the thin rind of half a small lemon, an ounce and a half of fine sugar, and a wineglassful of water; then take out the lemon-peel, and mix very smoothly an ounce of butter with rather more than a half-teaspoonful of flour, stir them round in the sauce until it has boiled one minute; next add a wineglassful and a half of sherry or Madeira, or two-thirds of that quantity and a quarter-glass of brandy: when quite hot, serve the sauce.
Port-wine sauce is made in the same way, with the addition of a dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, some grated nutmeg, and a little more sugar: orange-rind and juice may be used to give it flavour when preferred to lemon.
Rind ½ lemon; sugar, 1 oz. and ½; water, 1 wineglassful: 15 minutes. Butter, 1 oz.; flour, large ½ teaspoonful: 1 minute. Wine, 1 wineglassful and ½; or, 1 of wine, and ¼ glass of brandy.
This is a favourite sauce with custard, plain bread, and plum-puddings. With two ounces of sugar and a quarter-pint of water, boil very gently the rind of half a small lemon, and somewhat less of orange-peel, from fifteen to twenty minutes; strain out the rinds, thicken the sauce with an ounce and a half of butter and nearly a teaspoonful of flour, add a half-glass of brandy, the same of white wine, two thirds of a glass of rum, with the juice of half an orange, and rather less of lemon-juice: serve the sauce very hot, but do not allow it to boil after the spirit is stirred in.
Sugar, 2 oz.; water, ¼ pint; lemon and orange-rind: 14 to 20 minutes. Butter, 1½ oz.; flour, 1 teaspoonful; brandy and white wine each ½ wineglassful; rum, two thirds of glassful; ½ orange and lemon-juice.151
Sweeten a quarter-pint of good melted butter with an ounce and a half of sugar, and add to it gradually a couple of glasses of wine; stir it until it is on the point of boiling. Lemon-grate, or nutmeg, can be added at pleasure.
Dissolve in half a pint of Sherry or Madeira, from three to four ounces of fine sugar, but do not allow the wine to boil; pour it hot to the well-beaten yolks of six fresh eggs, and mill the sauce over a gentle fire until it is well thickened, and highly frothed; pour it over a plum, or any other kind of sweet boiled pudding, of which it much improves the appearance. Half the quantity will be sufficient for one of moderate size. A small machine, resembling a chocolate mill, is used in Germany for frothing this sauce; but a couple of silver forks, fastened together at the handles, will serve for the purpose, on an emergency. We recommend the addition of a dessertspoonful of strained lemon-juice, to the wane.
For large pudding, Sherry or Madeira, ½ pint; fine sugar, 3 to 4 ozs.; yolks of eggs, 6; lemon juice (if added), 1 dessertspoonful.
Obs.—The safer plan with sauces liable to curdle, is to thicken them always in a jar, placed in a saucepan of water; when this is not done, they should be held over the fire, but never placed upon it.
Gather a quantity of young parsley, strip it from the stalks, wash it very clean, shake it as dry as possible in a cloth, pound it in a mortar, press all the juice closely from it through a hair sieve reversed, and put it into a clean jar; set it into a pan of boiling water, and in about three minutes, if gently simmered, the juice will be poached sufficiently; lay it then upon a clean sieve to drain, and it will be ready for use.152
Pick some brandies of young parsley, wash them well, drain them from the water, and swing them in a clean cloth until they are quite dry; place them on a sheet of writing-paper in a Dutch-oven, before a brisk fire, and keep them frequently turned until they are quite crisp. They will be done in from six to eight minutes.
When the parsley has been prepared as for crisping, and is quite dry, throw it into plenty of lard or butter, that is on the point of boiling; take it up with a skimmer the instant it is crisp, drain it on a cloth spread upon a sieve reversed and placed before the fire.
Scrape the skin quite clean from a dozen fine mellow anchovies, free the flesh entirely from the bones, and pound it as smooth as possible in a mortar; rub it through the back of a hair-sieve with a wooden spoon; wipe out the mortar, and put back the anchovies with three quarters of a pound of very fresh butter, a small half-saltspoonful of cayenne, and more than twice as much of finely grated nutmeg, and freshly pounded mace; and beat these together until they are thoroughly blended. If to serve cold at table, mould the butter in small shapes, and turn it out. A little rose-pink (which is sold at the chemists’) is sometimes used to give it a fine colour, but it must be sparingly used, or it will impart an unpleasant flavour: it should be well-pounded, and very equally mixed with it. For kitchen use, press the butter down into jars or pattypans, and keep it in a cool place.
Fine anchovies, 12; butter, ¾ lb.; cayenne, small ½ saltspoonful; nutmeg and mace, each more than twice as much; rose-pink (if used), ½ teaspoonful.153
Obs.—This proportion differs from potted anchovies, only in the larger proportion of butter mixed with the fish, and the milder seasoning of spice. It will assist to form an elegant dish if made into pats, and stamped with a tasteful impression, then placed alternately with pats of lobster butter, and decorated with light foliage. It is generally eaten with much relish when carefully compounded, and makes excellent sandwiches. To convert it into a good fish sauce, mix two or three ounces of it with a teaspoonful of flour and a few spoonsful of cold water, or pale veal stock, and keep them constantly stirred until they boil. The butter should not be moulded directly it is taken from the mortar, as it is then very soft from the beating. It should be placed until it is firm in a very cool place; or over ice, when it can be done conveniently.
Rub four ounces of the best Durham mustard very smooth with a full teaspoonful of salt, and wet it by degrees with strong horseradish vinegar; add a dessertspoonful of cayenne, or of Chili vinegar, and one or two of tarragon vinegar, when its flavour is not disliked. A quarter-pint of vinegar poured boiling upon an ounce of scraped horse-radish, and left for one night, closely covered, will be ready to use for this mustard, but it will be better for standing two or three days.
Durham mustard, 4 ozs.; salt, large teaspoonful; cayenne, or Chili vinegar, 1 dessertspoonful; horse-radish vinegar, enough to mix it.
Obs.—This is an exceedingly pungent compound, but has many admirers.
Mix the salt and mustard smoothly, with equal parts of horseradish vinegar, and of Chili vinegar. Mustard made by these receipts will keep long, if put into jars or bottles, and closely stopped. Cucumber, eschalot, or any other of the flavoured vinegars for which we have given 154 receipts, may in turn be used for it, and mushroom, gherkin, or India pickle-liquor, likewise.
Mustard for instant use should be mixed with milk, to which a spoonful or two of very thin cream may be added.
The great art of mixing mustard, is to have it perfectly smooth, and of a proper consistency. The liquid with which it is moistened should be added to it in small quantities, and the mustard should be well rubbed, and beaten with a spoon. Mix a half-teaspoonful of salt with two ounces of the flour of mustard, and stir to them by degrees, sufficient boiling water to reduce it to the appearance of a thick batter; do not put it into the mustard-glass till cold. Some persons like a half-teaspoonful of sugar, in the finest powder, mixed with it. It ought to be sufficiently diluted always to drop easily from the spoon.
Cut a couple of ounces of good butter into small bits, pour on it less than a quarter-pint of boiling water, and when it is dissolved, add three quarters of a pint of cold water, so that the whole shall not be quite milk warm; mix it then by degrees, and very smoothly, with twelve ounces of fine dry flour, and a small pinch of salt, if the batter be for fruit-fritters, but with more if for meat or vegetables. Just before it is used, stir into it the whites of two eggs beaten to a solid froth; but previously to this, add a little water should it appear too thick, as some flour requires more liquid than other, to bring it to the proper consistency.
Butter, 2 ozs.; water, from ¾ pint to nearly 1 pint; 155 little salt; flour, ¾ lb.; whites of two eggs, beaten to snow.
Cut thick slices from the middle of a loaf of light bread, pare the crust entirely from them, and dry them gradually in a cool oven until they are crisp quite through; let them become cold, then roll or beat them into fine crumbs, and keep them in a dry place for use. To strew over hams or cheeks of bacon, the bread should be left all night in the oven, which should be sufficiently heated to brown, as well as to harden it: it ought indeed to be entirely converted into equally-coloured crust. It may be sifted through a dredging-box on to the hams, after it has been reduced almost to powder.
Spread it on a tin or dish, and colour it, without burning, in a gentle oven, or before the fire in a Dutch or American oven: turn it often, or the edges will be too much browned before the middle is enough so. This, blended with butter, makes a convenient thickening for soups or gravies, of which it is desirable to deepen the colour; and it requires less time and attention than the French roux of page 114.
Grate lightly into very fine crumbs four ounces of stale bread, and shake them through a cullender, without rubbing or touching them with the hands. Dissolve two ounces of fresh butter in a frying-pan, throw in the crumbs, and stir them constantly over a moderate fire, until they are all of a clear gold-colour; lift them out with a skimmer, spread them on a soft cloth laid upon a sieve reversed, and dry them before the fire. They may be more delicately prepared by browning them in a gentle oven without the addition of butter.
Bread, 4 ozs.; butter, 2 ozs.156
Cut the crumb of a stale loaf in slices a quarter-inch thick; form them into diamonds, half-diamonds, or shape them with a paste-cutter in any other way; fry them in fresh butter, some of a very pale brown, and others a deeper colour: when nicely dressed and dried, place these alternately round the dish that is to be garnished.—They may be made to adhere to the edge of the dish, when they are required for ornament only, by means of a little flour and white of egg brushed over the side that is placed on it: this must be allowed to dry before the dish is served.
A well selected stock of these wall always prove a convenient resource for giving colour and flavour to 157 soups, gravies, and made dishes; but unless the consumption be considerable, they should not be over-abundantly provided, as few of them are improved by age, and many are altogether spoiled by long keeping, especially if they be not perfectly secured from the air by sound corking, or if stored where there is the slightest degree of damp. To prevent loss, they should be examined at short intervals, and at the first appearance of mould or fermentation, such as will bear the process should be re-boiled, and put into clean bottles. This is often especially needful for mushroom catsup when it has been made in a wet season. This, with essence of anchovies, walnut catsup, Harvey’s sauce, cavice, lemon-pickle, Chili, cucumber, and eschalot vinegar, will be all that is commonly needed for family use; but there is at the present day an extensive choice of these stores on sale, some of which are excellent.
Stone four ounces of good raisins, and chop them fine, with half a pound of crabs, sour apples, unripe bullaces, or of any other hard acid fruit. Take four ounces of coarse brown sugar, two of powdered ginger, and the same quantity of salt and cayenne pepper; grind these ingredients separately in a mortar, as fine as possible; then pound the fruits well, and mix the spices with them, one by one; beat them together till they are perfectly blended, and add gradually as much vinegar as will make the sauce of the consistency of thick cream. Put it into a bottle with an ounce of garlic, divided into cloves, and cork it tightly.
Stoned raisins, 4 ozs.; crabs, or other acid fruit, ½ lb.; coarse sugar, 4 ozs.; powdered 158 ginger, 2 ozs.; salt, 2 ozs.; cayenne-pepper, 2 ozs.; garlic, 1 oz.; vinegar, enough to dilute it properly.
Obs.—This favourite oriental sauce is compounded in a great variety of ways; but some kind of acid fruit is essential to it. The mango is used in India; here the bullaces in an unripe state answer very well. Gooseberries also, while still hard and green, are sometimes used for it; and ripe red chilies and tomatas are mixed with the other ingredients. The sauce keeps better if it be exposed to a gentle degree of heat for a week or two, either by the side of the fire, or in a full southern aspect in the sun. In this case it must be put into a jar or bottles, and well secured from the air. Half a pound of gooseberries, or of these and tamarinds from the shell, and green apples mixed, and the same weight of salt, raisins, brown sugar, powdered ginger, chilies, and garlic, with a pint and a half of vinegar, and the juice of three large lemons, will make another genuine Bengal chetney.
Cut the ends of the stalks from two gallons of freshly-gathered mushrooms (the large flaps are best for this purpose, but they should not be worm-eaten); break them into a deep earthen pan, and strew amongst them three quarters of a pound of salt, reserving the larger portion of it for the top. Let them stand for three, or even four days, and stir them gently once every four and twenty hours; then drain off the liquor without pressing the mushrooms; strain and measure it; put it into a very clean stew-pan, and boil it quickly till reduced nearly or quite half. For every quart, allow half an ounce of whole black pepper, and a drachm of mace; or, instead of the pepper, a quarter teaspoonful (ten grains) of good cayenne; pour the catsup into a clean jug or jar, lay a folded cloth over it, and keep it in a cool place until the following day; pour it gently 159 from the sediment; put it into small bottles, cork them well, and rosin them down. A teaspoonful of salad-oil may be poured into each bottle before it is corked, the better to exclude the air from the catsup: it must be kept in a dry cool place.
Mushrooms, 2 gallons; salt, ¾ lb.; to macerate three or four days. To each quart of liquor, ½ oz. black pepper, or quarter-teaspoonful cayenne; and 1 drachm mace: to be reduced half.
Obs. 1.—Catsup made thus will not be too salt, nor will the flavour of the mushrooms be overpowered by that of the spices; of which a larger quantity, and a greater variety, can be used at will.
Obs. 2.—After the mushrooms have stood for three or four days, as we have directed, the whole may be turned into a large stewpan, and brought slowly to a boil, and simmered for a few minutes before the liquor is strained off. We think the catsup keeps rather better when this is done, but we recommend only just sufficient simmering to preserve the catsup well. When the mushrooms are crushed, or mashed, as some authors direct, the liquor will necessarily be very thick; it is better to proceed as above, and then to boil the squeezings of the mushrooms with the sediment of the catsup, and sufficient cloves, pepper, allspice, and ginger, to flavour it highly: this second catsup will be found very useful to mix with common thickened sauces, hashes, and stews. In some seasons it is necessary to boil the catsup with the spice a second time after it has been kept three or four months: this, by way of precaution, can always be done, but it had better then be put into large bottles in the first instance, and stored in the small ones afterwards.
Break a peck of large mushrooms into a deep earthen-pan; 160 strew three quarters of a pound of salt amongst them, and set them into a very cool oven for one night, with a fold of cloth or paper over them. The following day strain off the liquor, measure, and boil it fifteen minutes; then, for each quart, add an ounce of black pepper, a quarter-ounce of allspice, half an ounce of ginger, and two large blades of mace: let it boil fast for twenty minutes longer. When perfectly cold put it into bottles, cork them well, and dip the necks into melted rosin.
Mushrooms, 1 peck; salt, ¾ lb. Liquor to boil 15 minutes. To each quart, ½ oz. black pepper; ¼ oz. allspice; ½ oz. ginger; 2 blades mace: 20 minutes.
On a gallon of fresh mushrooms strew three ounces of salt, and pour to them a quart of ready-made catsup (that which is a year old will do if it be perfectly good); keep these stirred occasionally for four days, then drain the liquor very dry from the mushrooms, and boil it for fifteen minutes, with an ounce of whole black pepper, a drachm and a half of mace, an ounce of ginger, and three or four grains only of cayenne.
Mushrooms, 1 gallon; salt, 3 ozs.; mushroom catsup, 1 quart; pepper-corns, 1 oz.; mace, 1½ drachm; ginger, 1 oz.; cayenne, 3 to 4 grains: 15 minutes.
Take a pint and a half of mushroom catsup when it is first made, and ready boiled (the double is best for the purpose), simmer in it for five minutes, an ounce of small eschalots nicely peeled; add to these half a pint of walnut catsup, and a wineglassful of cayenne* or Chili vinegar; give the whole one boil, pour it out, and when cold, bottle it with the eschalots.161
Mushroom catsup, 1½ pint; eschalots, 1 oz.; walnut catsup or pickle, ½ pint; cayenne or Chili vinegar, 1 wineglassful.
* We have always had the cayenne-vinegar used in this receipt, but the Chili, would, without doubt, answer as well or better.
The vinegar in which walnuts have been pickled, when they have remained in it a year, will generally answer all the purposes for which this catsup is required, particularly if it be drained from them and boiled a few minutes, with a little additional spice, and a few eschalots; but where the vinegar is objected to, it may be made either by boiling the expressed juice of young walnuts for an hour with six ounces of fine anchovies, four ounces of eschalots, half an ounce of black pepper, a quarter-ounce of cloves, and a drachm of mace, to every quart; or, as follows:—
Pound in a mortar a hundred young walnuts, strewing amongst them as they are done half a pound of salt; then pour to them a quart of strong vinegar, and let them stand until they have become quite black, keeping them stirred three or four times a day; next add a quart of strong old beer, and boil the whole together for ten minutes; strain it, and let it remain until the next day; then pour it off clear from the sediment, add to it half a pound of anchovies, one large head of garlic bruised, half an ounce of nutmegs bruised, the same quantity of cloves and black pepper, and two drachms of mace: boil these together for half an hour, and the following day bottle and cork the catsup well. It will keep for a dozen years. Many persons add to it, before it is boiled, a bottle of port-wine; and others recommend a large bunch of sweet herbs to be put in with the spice.
Recipe. Expressed juice of walnuts, 1 quart; anchovies, 6 ozs.; eschalots, 4 ozs.; black pepper, ½ oz.; cloves, ¼ oz.; mace, 1 drachm: 1 hour.
2nd. Walnuts, 100; salt, ½ lb.; vinegar, 1 quart: to stand till black. Strong beer, 1 quart; anchovies, ½ lb.; 1 head garlic; nutmegs, ½ oz.; cloves, ½ oz.; black pepper, ½ oz.; mace, 2 drachms: ½ hour.162
Either divide six small lemons into quarters, remove all the pips that are in sight, and strew three ounces of salt upon them, and keep them turned in it for a week; or, merely make deep incisions in them, and proceed as directed for pickled lemons. When they have stood in a warm place for eight days, put into a stone jar two ounces and a half of finely scraped horseradish, and two ounces of eschalots, or one and a half of garlic; to these add the lemons with all their liquor, and pour on them a pint and a half of boiling vinegar in which half an ounce of bruised ginger, a quarter-ounce of whole white pepper, and two blades of mace have been simmered for two or three minutes. The pickle will be fit for use in two or three months, but may stand four or five before it is strained off.
Small lemons, 6; salt, 3 ozs.: 8 days. Horseradish, 2½ ozs.; eschalots, 2 ozs., or garlic 1½ oz.; vinegar, 1 pint and ½; ginger, ½ oz.; whole white pepper, ¼ oz.; mace, 2 blades: 3 to 6 months.
On one pint of ripe elderberries stripped from the stalks pour three-quarters of a pint of boiling vinegar, and let it stand in a cool oven all night; the next day strain off the liquid without pressure, and boil it for five minutes with a half-teaspoonful of salt, a small race of ginger, a blade of mace, forty corns of pepper, twelve cloves, and four eschalots. Bottle it with the spice when it is quite cold.
Cut half a peck of ripe tomatas into quarters; lay them on dishes, and sprinkle over them half a pound of salt. The next day drain the juice from them through a hair-sieve into a stewpan, and boil it half an hour with three dozens of small capsicums, and half a pound of eschalots; then add the tomatas, which should be 163 ready pulped through a strainer. Boil the whole for thirty minutes longer; have some clean bottles, kept warm by the fire, fill them with the catsup while it is quite hot; cork, and rosin them down directly.
Tomatas, ½ peck; salt, ½ lb.; capsicums, 3 doz.; eschalots, ½ lb.: ½ hour. After pulp is added, ½ hour.
Obs.—This receipt has been kindly contributed by a person who makes by it every year large quantities of the catsup, which is considered excellent: for sauce, it must be mixed with gravy, or melted butter. We have not ourselves been able to make trial of it.
Mix well together, by shaking them in about a quarter pint of Indian soy, half a pint of Chili vinegar, half a pint of walnut catsup, and a pint and a half of the best mushroom catsup. These proportions make an excellent sauce, either to mix with melted butter, and to serve with fish, or to add to different kinds of gravy; but they can be varied, or added to, at pleasure.
Indian soy, ¼ pint; Chili vinegar, ½ pint; walnut catsup, ½ pint; mushroom catsup, 1½ pint.
Obs.—A pint of port wine, a few eschalots, and some thin strips of lemon-rind will convert this into an admirable store-sauce. Less soy would adapt it better to some tastes.
Gather the tarragon just before it blossoms, which will be late in July, or early in August; strip it from the larger stalks, and put it into small stone jars or wide-necked bottles, and in doing this twist some of the branches so as to bruise the leaves and wring them asunder; then pour in sufficient distilled vinegar to cover the tarragon; let it infuse for two months, or more: it will take no harm even by standing all the winter. When it is poured off strain it very clear, put it into small dry bottles, and cork them well. Sweet 164 basil vinegar is made in exactly the same way, but it should not be left on the leaves more than three weeks. The jars or bottles should be filled to the neck with the tarragon before the vinegar is added: we prefer for this, as well as for many other preparations, good pale white wine vinegar to the distilled. The flavour of the tarragon is strong and peculiar, but to many tastes very agreeable: it imparts quite a foreign character to the dishes for which it is used.
Pick and slightly chop, or bruise, freshly-gathered mint, and put it into bottles; fill them nearly to the necks, and add vinegar as for tarragon: in forty days, strain it off, and bottle it for use.
The mint itself, ready minced for sauce, will keep well in vinegar, though the colour will not be very good.
First wipe, and then, without paring, slice into a jar some young and quickly-grown cucumbers; pour on them as much boiling vinegar as will cover them well, with a teaspoonful of salt, and two-thirds as much of pepper-corns to the pint and a half of vinegar: it may remain on the cucumbers for a month. Some persons like a mild onion or two sliced in with them.
Put into a wide-necked bottle or pickle-jar eight ounces of the white part of the root and stalks of fine fresh celery cut in slices, and pour on it a pint of boiling vinegar; when a little cool, cork it down, and in three weeks it will be ready to strain, and bottle for keeping. Half an ounce of bruised celery-seed will answer the same purpose, when the root cannot be obtained. This is an agreeable addition to a salad, when its flavour is much liked; a half-teaspoonful of salt should be boiled in it.165
On from four to six ounces of eschalots, or on two of garlic, peeled, and bruised, pour a quart of the best vinegar; stop the jar or bottle close; and in a fortnight or three weeks the vinegar may be strained off for use: a few drops will give a sufficient flavour to a sauce, or a tureen of gravy.
Eschalots, 4 to 6 ozs.; or, garlic, 2 to 4 ozs.; vinegar, 1 quart: 15 to 21 days.
Obs.—These roots may be used in smaller or in larger proportion, as a slighter or a stronger flavour of them is desired: and may remain longer in the vinegar without any detriment to it.
This is a far more useful preparation even than the preceding one, since it can be used to impart the flavour of the eschalot to dishes for which acid is not required. Peel, and slice, or bruise, four ounces of eschalots, put them into a bottle, and add to them a pint of sherry; in a fortnight pour off the wine, and should it not be strongly flavoured with the eschalot, steep in it two ounces more, for another fortnight: a half-teaspoonful of cayenne may be added at first. The bottle should be shaken occasionally, while the eschalots are infusing, but should remain undisturbed for the last two or three days, that the wine may be clear when it is poured off to bottle for keeping. Sweet-basil wine is made by steeping the fresh leaves of the herb in wine, from ten to fifteen days.
Eschalots, 4 ozs.; sherry, 1 pint: 15 days, or more.
On four ounces of scraped horseradish pour a quart of boiling vinegar, and cover it down closely: it will be ready for use in three or four days, but may remain for weeks, or months, before the vinegar is poured off. An ounce of minced eschalot may be substituted for one of the horseradish, if the flavour be liked.166
Put from a quarter to half an ounce of the best cayenne pepper into a bottle, and pour on it a pint of pale vinegar. Cork it closely, and shake it well every two or three days. It may remain any length of time before it is poured off, but will very soon be ready for use. From being so extremely pungent, it is, for some purposes, preferable to Chili vinegar, as the cayenne seasoning can be given with less of acid. It may be made of any degree of strength. We warn the young housekeeper against using essence of cayenne (or cayenne steeped in brandy) for flavouring any dishes, as the brandy is very perceptible always, and gives an exceedingly coarse taste.
Good cayenne pepper, ¼ to ½ oz.; vinegar, 1 pint: infuse from 2 weeks to 12 months.
Fill any sized wide-necked bottle lightly with the very thin rinds of fresh lemons, and cover them with good brandy; let them remain three weeks, then strain off the spirit and keep it well corked for use: a few apricot-kernels blanched and infused with the lemon-rind will give an agreeable flavour.
Rasp on from two to four ounces of sugar the rinds of a couple of fine lemons, reduce the lumps to powder, and add it gradually to, and pound it with, an ounce of bitter almonds, blanched and wiped very dry. When these have been beaten to a fine paste, and the whole is well blended, press the mixture into a small pan, tie a paper over, and keep it for use. The proportions can be varied at pleasure, and the quantities increased: from a teaspoonful to three times as much can be mixed with the ingredients for a pudding. Cakes require more in proportion to their bulk.167
Rinds large lemons, 2; sugar, 2 to 4 ozs.; bitter almonds, 1 oz.
Peel small, sound, freshly-gathered flaps, cut off the stems, and scrape out the fur entirely; then arrange the mushrooms singly on tins or dishes, and dry them as gradually as possible in a gentle oven. Put them, when they are done, into tin canisters, and store them where they will be secure from damp. French cooks give them a single boil in water, from which they then are well drained, and dried, as usual. When wanted for table, they should be put into cold gravy, slowly heated, and gently simmered, until they are tender.
When the mushrooms have been prepared with great nicety, and dried, as in the foregoing receipt, pound them to a very fine powder, sift it, and put it immediately into small and perfectly dry bottles; cork and seal them without delay, for if the powder be long exposed to the air, so as to imbibe any humidity, or if it be not well secured from it in the bottles, it will be likely to become putrid: much of that which is purchased, even at the best Italian warehouses, is found to be so, and, as it is sold at a very high price, it is a great economy, as well as a surer plan, to have it carefully prepared at home. It is an exceedingly useful store, and an elegant addition to many dishes and sauces. To insure its being good, the mushrooms should be gathered in dry weather, and, if any addition of spices be made to the powder (some persons mix with it a seasoning of mace and cayenne), they should be put into the oven for a while before they are used: but even these precautions will not be sufficient, unless the powder be stored in a very dry place after it is bottled. A teaspoonful of it, with a quarter-pint of strong veal-gravy, and as much cream, and a small dessertspoonful of flour, will make an excellent béchamel or white sauce.168
Grate into a large vessel full of cold water, six pounds of sound mealy potatoes, and stir them well together. In six hours pour off the water, and add fresh, stirring the mixture well; repeat this process every three or four hours during the day, change the water at night, and the next morning pour it off; put two or three quarts more to the potatoes, and turn them directly into a hair-sieve, set over a pan to receive the flour, which may then be washed through the sieve, by pouring water to it. Let it settle in the pan, drain off the water, spread the potatoe-sediment on dishes, dry it in a slow oven, sift it, and put it, into bottles or jars, and cork or cover them closely. The flour thus made will be beautifully white, and perfectly tasteless. It will remain good for years.
Take any quantity of whole rice, wash it thoroughly, changing the water several times; drain and press it in a cloth, then spread it on a dish, and dry it perfectly; beat it in a mortar to a smooth powder, and sift it through a fine sieve. When used to thicken soup or sauces, mix it with a small quantity of cold water or broth, and pour it to them while they are boiling.
This flour when newly made, is of much purer flavour than any usually prepared for sale.
All herbs that are to be dried for storing should be gathered in fine weather; cleared from dirt and decayed leaves; and dried quickly, but without scorching, in a Dutch-oven before the fire, or in any other that is not too much heated. The leaves should then be stripped from the stalks, pounded, sifted, and closely corked in separate bottles; or several kinds may be mixed and pounded together for the convenience of seasoning in an instant gravies, soups, forcemeats, and made dishes: appropriate spices, celery-seed, and dried lemon-peel, all in fine powder, can be added to these herbs.169
Pound to the finest powder, separately, eight ounces of basket salt, a quarter-ounce of cayenne, a drachm of mace, and of nutmeg; of cloves and pimento, a drachm and a half each; then add the other ingredients, one by one, to the salt, and pound them together till they are perfectly well blended. Put the zest into wide-mouthed phials, and cork them tightly. Half an ounce of mushroom-powder, and a drachm of dried lemon-peel greatly improves this mixture.
The coarse and unpalatable compounds so constantly met with under the denomination of forcemeat, even at tables otherwise tolerably well served, show with how little attention they are commonly prepared.
Many very indifferent cooks pique themselves on never doing any thing by rule, and the consequence of their throwing together at random (or “by guess” as they call it) the ingredients which ought to be proportioned with exceeding delicacy and exactness is, repeated failure in all they attempt to do. Long experience, and a very correct eye may, it is true, enable a person to dispense occasionally with weights and measures, without hazarding 170 the success of their operations; but it is an experiment which the learner will do better to avoid.
A large marble or Wedgwood mortar is indispensable in making all the finer kinds of forcemeat; and equally so indeed for many other purposes in cookery; no kitchen, therefore, should be without one; and for whatever preparation it may be used, the pounding should be continued with patience and perseverance until not a single lump nor fibre be perceptible in the mass of the articles beaten together. This particularly applies to potted meats, which should resemble the smoothest paste; as well as to several varieties of forcemeat. Of these last it should be observed, that such as are made by the French method (see quenelles) are the most appropriate for an elegant dinner, either to serve in soups or to fill boned poultry of any kind; but when their exceeding lightness, which to foreigners constitutes one of their great excellences, is objected to, it may be remedied by substituting dry crumbs of bread for the panada, and pounding a small quantity of the lean of a boiled ham, with the other ingredients; but this should be done only for the balls.
No particular herb or spice should be allowed to predominate powerfully in these compositions; but the whole of the seasonings should be taken in such quantity only as will produce an agreeable savour when they are blended together.
Grate very lightly into exceedingly fine crumbs, four ounces of the inside of a stale loaf, and mix thoroughly with it, a quarter-ounce of lemon-rind pared as thin as possible, and minced extremely small; the same quantity of savoury herbs, of which two-thirds should be parsley, and one-third thyme,—likewise finely minced, a little grated nutmeg, a half-teaspoonful of salt, and as much common pepper or cayenne as will season the forcemeat sufficiently. Break into these, two ounces of 171 good butter in very small bits, add the unbeaten yolk of one egg, and with the fingers work the whole well together until it is smoothly mixed. It is usual to chop the lemon-rind, but we prefer it lightly grated on a fine grater. It should always be fresh for the purpose, or it will be likely to impart a very unpleasant flavour to the forcemeat. Half the rind of a moderate-sized lemon will be sufficient for this quantity; which for a large turkey must be increased one-half.
Bread-crumbs, 4 ozs.; lemon-rind, ¼ oz. (or grated rind of ½ lemon); mixed savoury herbs, minced, ¼ oz.; salt, ½ teaspoonful; pepper, ¼ to ⅓ of teaspoonful; butter, 2 ozs.; yolk 1 egg.
Obs.—This, to our taste, is a much nicer and more delicate forcemeat than that which is made with chopped suet, and we would recommend it for trial in preference. Any variety of herb or spice may be used to give it flavour, and a little minced onion or eschalot can be added to it also; but these last do not appear to us suited to the meats for which the forcemeat is more particularly intended. Half an ounce of the butter may be omitted on ordinary occasions; and a portion of marjoram or of sweet basil may take the place of part of the thyme and parsley when preferred to them.
Add to four ounces of bread-crumbs two of the lean of a boiled ham, quite free from sinew, and very finely minced; two of good butter, a dessertspoonful of herbs, chopped small, some lemon-grate, nutmeg, a little salt, a good seasoning of pepper or cayenne, and one whole egg, or the yolks of two. This may be fried in balls of moderate size, for five minutes, to serve with roast veal, or it may be put into the joint in the usual way.
Bread-crumbs, 4 ozs.; lean of ham, 2 ozs.; butter, 2 ozs.; minced herbs, 1 dessertspoonful; lemon-grate, 1 teaspoonful; nutmeg, mace, and cayenne, together, 1 small teaspoonful; little salt; 1 whole egg, or yolks of 2.172
Mix well together six ounces of fine stale crumbs, with an equal weight of beef-kidney suet, chopped extremely small, a large dessertspoonful of parsley, mixed with a little lemon-thyme, a teaspoonful of salt, a quarter one of cayenne, and a saltspoonful or rather more of mace and nutmeg together; work these up with three unbeaten egg-yolks, and three teaspoonsful of milk; then put the forcemeat into a large mortar, and pound it perfectly smooth. Take it out, and let it remain in a cool place for half an hour at least before it is used, then roll it into balls, if it be wanted to serve in that form, flour and fry them gently from seven to eight minutes, and dry them well before they are dished.
Beef-suet finely minced, 6 ozs.; bread-crumbs, 6 ozs.; parsley, mixed with little thyme, 1 large dessertspoonful; salt, 1 teaspoonful; mace, large saltspoonful, and one-fourth as much cayenne; unbeaten egg-yolks, 3; milk, 3 teaspoonsful: well pounded. Fried in balls, 7 to 8 minutes, or poached, 6 to 7.
Obs.—The finely grated rind of half a lemon can be added to this forcemeat at pleasure; and for some purposes, a morsel of garlic, or three or four minced eschalots may be mixed with it before it is put into the mortar.
Beef-suet is commonly used in the composition of this kind of forcemeat, but we think that veal kidney-suet, when it could be obtained, would have a better effect; though the reader will easily comprehend that it is scarcely possible for us to have every variety of every receipt which we insert put to the test; in some cases we are compelled merely to suggest what appear to us likely to be improvements. Strip carefully every morsel of skin from the suet, and mince it small; to six ounces, add eight of bread-crumbs, with the same 173 proportion of herbs, spice, salt, herbs, and lemon-peel, as in the foregoing receipt, and a couple of whole eggs, which should be very slightly beaten, after the specks have been taken out with the point of a small fork. Should more liquid be required, the yolk of another egg, or a spoonful or two of milk, may be used. Half this quantity will be sufficient for a small joint of veal, or for a dozen balls, which, when it is more convenient to serve it in that form, may be fried or browned beneath the roast, and then dished round it, though this last is not a very refined mode of dressing them. From eight to ten minutes will fry them well.
Open carefully a dozen fine plump natives, take off the beards, strain their liquor, and rince the oysters in it. Grate four ounces of the crumb of a stale loaf into fine light crumbs, mince the oysters, but not too small, and mix them with the bread; add an ounce and a half of good butter, broken into minute bits, the grated rind of half a small lemon, a small saltspoonful of pounded mace, some cayenne, a little salt, and a large teaspoonful of parsley: mix these ingredients well, and work them together with the unbeaten yolk of one egg, and a little of the oyster liquor, the remainder of which can be added to the sauce which usually accompanies this forcemeat.
Oysters, 1 dozen; bread crumbs, 4 ; butter, 1½ oz.; rind ½ small lemon; mace, 1 saltspoonful; some cayenne and salt; minced parsley, 1 large teaspoonful; yolk 1 egg; oyster-liquor, 1 dessertspoonful: rolled into balls, and fried from 7 to 10 minutes, or poached from 5 to 6 minutes.
Obs.—In this forcemeat the flavour of the oysters should prevail entirely over that of all the other ingredients which are mixed with them.
Pound the preceding forcemeat to the smoothest paste, with the addition only of half an ounce of fresh butter, 174 should it be sufficiently dry to allow of it. It is remarkably good when thus prepared, and may be poached or fried in balls for soups or made dishes, or used to fill boned fowls, or the breasts of boiled turkeys with equally good effect.
Cut closely off the stems of some small, just-opened mushrooms, peel them, and take out the fur. Dissolve an ounce and a half of good butter in a saucepan, throw them into it with a little cayenne, and a slight sprinkling of mace, and stew them softly, keeping them well shaken, from five to seven minutes; then turn them into a dish, spread them over it, and raise one end, that the liquid may drain from them. When they are quite cold, mince, and then mix them with four ounces of fine bread-crumbs, an ounce and a half of good butter, and part of that in which they were stewed, should the forcemeat appear too moist to admit of the whole, as the yolk of one egg, at the least, must be added, to bind the ingredients together: strew in a saltspoonful of salt, a third as much of cayenne, and about the same quantity of mace and nutmeg, with a teaspoonful of grated lemon-peel. The seasonings must be rather sparingly used, that the flavour of the mushrooms may not be overpowered by them. Mix the whole thoroughly with the unbeaten yolk of one egg, or of two, and use the forcemeat poached in small balls for soup, or fried and served in the dish with roast fowls, or round minced veal; or to fill boiled fowls, partridges, or turkeys.
Small mushrooms, peeled and trimmed, 4 ozs.; butter, 1½ oz.; slight sprinkling mace and cayenne: 5 to 7 minutes. Mushrooms, minced; bread-crumbs, 4 ozs.; butter, 1½ oz. (with part of that used in the stewing); salt, 1 saltspoonful; third as much of cayenne, of mace, and of nutmeg; grated lemon-rind, 1 teaspoonful; yolk of 1 egg or 2. In balls, poached, 5 to 6 minutes; fried, 6 to 8 minutes.
Obs.—This, like most other forcemeats, is improved 175 by being well beaten in a large mortar after it is entirely mixed.
The first receipt of this chapter will be found very good for hare, without any variation; but the liver boiled for five minutes, and finely minced, may be added to it, when it is thought an improvement: another half ounce of butter and a small portion more of egg will then be required. A couple of ounces of rasped bacon, and a glass of port-wine are sometimes recommended for this forcemeat, but we think it is better without them, especially when slices of bacon are used to line the hare. A flavouring of minced onion, or eschalot can be added, when the taste is in its favour; or the forcemeat No. 3 may be substituted for this altogether.
Boil three large onions from ten to fifteen minutes, chop them small, and mix with them an equal quantity of bread-crumbs, a heaped tablespoonful of minced sage, an ounce of butter, a half saltspoonful of pepper, and twice as much of salt, and put them into the body of the goose; part of the liver, boiled for two or three minutes, and shred fine, is sometimes added to these, and the whole is bound together with an egg yolk or two; but they are quite as frequently served without. The onions can be used raw, when their very strong flavour is not objected to, but the odour of the whole dish will then be somewhat overpowering.
Large onions, 3; boiled 20 to 30 minutes. Sage, 2 to 3 dessertspoonsful (or ½ to ¾ oz.); butter, 1 oz.; pepper, ½ teaspoonful; salt, 3 teaspoonful.
Two parts of chopped onion, two parts of bread-crumbs, three of butter, one of pounded sage, and a seasoning of pepper and salt.
This receipt we have not proved.176
The French forcemeat, No. 17 of the present chapter, is the most elegant and appropriate forcemeat to serve in mock turtle, but a more solid and highly seasoned one is usually added to it in this country. In very common cookery the ingredients are merely chopped small and mixed together with a moistening of eggs; but when the trouble of pounding and blending them properly is objected to, we would recommend the common veal forcemeat, No. 1, in preference, as the undressed veal and suet, when merely minced, do not produce a good effect. Four ounces each of these, with an ounce or so of the lean of a boiled ham, and three ounces of bread crumbs, a large dessertspoonful of minced parsley, a small portion of thyme, or marjoram, a saltspoonful of white pepper, twice as much salt, or more, a little cayenne, half a small nutmeg, and a couple of eggs, well mixed with a fork first, to separate the meat, and after the moistening is added, with the fingers, then rolled into balls, and boiled in a little soup for twelve minutes, is the manner in which it is prepared; but the reader will find the following receipt very superior to it:—Rasp, that is to say, scrape with a knife, clear from the fibre, four ounces of veal, which should be cut into thick slices, and taken quite free from skin and fat; chop it fine, and then pound it as smoothly as possible in a large mortar, with three ounces of the rasped fat of an unboiled ham, of good flavour, or of the finest bacon, and one of butter, two ounces of bread-crumbs, a tablespoonful of the lean of a boiled ham, should it be at hand, a good seasoning of cayenne, nutmeg, and mace, mixed together, a heaped dessertspoonful of minced herbs, and the yolks of two eggs; poach a small bit when it is mixed, and add any further seasoning it may require; and when it is of good flavour, roll it into balls of moderate size, and boil them twelve minutes; then drain and slip them into the soup. No forcemeat should be boiled in the soup itself, on account of the fat which 177 would escape from it in the process: a little stock should be reserved for the purpose.
Very common:—Lean of neck of veal, 4 ozs.; beef-kidney suet, 4 ozs., both finely chopped; bread-crumbs, 3 ozs.; minced parsley, large dessertspoonful; thyme or marjoram, small teaspoonful; lean of boiled ham, 1 to 2 ozs.; white pepper, 1 saltspoonful; salt, twice as much; ½ small nutmeg; eggs, 2: in balls 12 minutes.
Better forcemeat:—Lean veal rasped, 4 ozs.; fat of unboiled ham, or finest bacon, 3 ozs.; butter, 1 oz.; bread-crumbs, 2 ozs.; lean of boiled ham, minced, 1 large tablespoonful; minced herbs, 1 heaped dessertspoonful: full seasoning of mace, nutmeg, and cayenne, mixed; yolks of eggs, 2: 12 minutes.
Boil four or five new-laid eggs for ten or twelve minutes, and lay them into fresh water till they are cold. Take out the yolks, and pound them smoothly with the beaten yolk of one raw egg, or more, if required; add a little salt and cayenne, roll the mixture into very small balls, and boil them for two minutes. Half a teaspoonful of flour is sometimes worked up with the eggs.
Hard yolks of eggs, 4; 1 raw; little salt, cayenne: 2 minutes.
Wash and soak the brains well in cold water, and afterwards in hot; then remove the skin and large fibres, and boil them in water, salted, from two to three minutes; beat them up with a teaspoonful of sage, very finely chopped, or with equal parts of sage and parsley, half a teaspoonful or rather more of salt, half as much mace, a little white pepper or cayenne, and one egg; drop them in small cakes, and fry them a fine light brown: two yolks of egg will make the cakes 178 more delicate than the white and yolk of one. A teaspoonful of flour and a little lemon-grate are sometimes added.
Boil the brains in a little good veal-gravy very gently for ten minutes; drain them on a sieve, and when cold, cut them into thick dice; dip them into beaten yolk of egg, and then into very fine bread-crumbs, mixed with salt, pounded spices, and fine herbs, minced extremely small: fry them of a light brown, drain and dry them well, and slip them into the soup or hash after it is dished. When broth or gravy is not at hand, the brains may be boiled in water.
Strip the outer skin from some fine sound chestnuts, then throw them into a saucepan of hot water, and set them over the fire for a minute or two, when they may easily be blanched like almonds. Put them into cold water as they are peeled. Dry them in a cloth, and weigh them. Stew six ounces of them very gently from fifteen to twenty minutes, in just sufficient strong veal-gravy to cover them. Take them up, drain them on a sieve, and when cold pound them perfectly smooth with half their weight of the nicest bacon rasped clear from all rust, or fibre, or with an equal quantity of fresh butter, two ounces of dry bread-crumbs, a small teaspoonful of grated lemon-peel, one of salt, half as much mace or nutmeg, a moderate quantity of cayenne, and the unbeaten yolks of two eggs, or of three. This mixture makes most excellent forcemeat cakes, which must be moulded with a knife, a spoon, or the fingers, dipped in flour; more should be dredged over, and pressed on to them, and they should be fried slowly from ten to fifteen minutes.
Chestnuts, 6 ozs.; veal-gravy, ⅓ of a pint: 15 to 20 179 minutes. Bacon or butter, 3 ozs.; bread-crumbs, 2 ozs.; lemon-peel and salt, 1 teaspoonful each.
Take six ounces of veal free from fat and skin, cut it into dice and put it into a saucepan with two ounces of butter, a large teaspoonful of parsley finely minced, half as much thyme, salt, and grated lemon-rind, and a sufficient seasoning of nutmeg, cayenne, and mace, to flavour it pleasantly. Stew these very gently from twelve to fifteen minutes, then lift out the veal and put into the saucepan two ounces of bread-crumbs; let them simmer till they have absorbed the gravy yielded by the meat, then keep them stirred till they are as dry as possible; beat the yolk of an egg to them while they are hot, and set them aside to cool. Chop and pound the veal, add the bread to it as soon as it is cold, beat them well together, with an ounce and a half of fresh butter, and two of the finest bacon, scraped quite clear from rust, skin, and fibre; put to them the yolks of two small eggs, and mix them well; then take the forcemeat from the mortar, and set it in a very cool place till it is wanted for use.
Veal, 6 ozs.; butter, 2 ozs.; minced parsley, 1 teaspoonful; thyme, salt, and lemon-peel, each ½ teaspoonful; little nutmeg, cayenne, and mace: 12 to 15 minutes. Bread-crumbs, 2 ozs.; butter, 1½ oz.; rasped bacon, 2 ozs.; yolks of egg, 2 to 3.
Obs. 1.—When this forcemeat is intended to fill boned fowls, the livers of two or three, boiled for four minutes, or stewed with the veal for the same length of time, then minced and pounded with the other ingredients, will be found a great improvement; and, if mushrooms can be procured, two tablespoonsful of them chopped small, should be stewed and beaten with it also. A small portion of the best end of the neck will afford the quantity of lean required for this receipt, and the remains of it will make excellent gravy.180
This is a peculiarly light and delicate kind of forcemeat, which by good French cooks is compounded with exceeding care. It is served abroad in a variety of forms, and is made of very finely-grained white veal, or of the undressed flesh of poultry, or of rabbits, rasped quite free from sinew, then chopped and pounded to the finest paste, first by itself, and afterwards with an equal quantity of boiled calf’s udder or of butter, and of panada, which is but another name for bread soaked in cream or gravy and then dried over the fire till it forms a sort of paste. As the three ingredients should be equal in volume, not in weight, they are each rolled into a separate ball before they are mixed, that their size may be determined by the eye. When the fat of the fillet of veal (which in England is not often divided for sale, as it is in France) is not to be procured, a rather less proportion of butter will serve in its stead. The following will be found a very good, and not a troublesome receipt for veal forcemeat of this kind.
Rasp quite clear from sinew, after the fat and skin have been entirely cleared from it, four ounces of the finest veal; chop, and pound it well: if it be carefully prepared, there will be no necessity for passing it through a sieve, but this should otherwise be done. Soak in a small saucepan two ounces of the crumb of a stale loaf in a little rich but pale veal-gravy, or white sauce; then press and drain as much as possible of the moisture from it, and stir it over a gentle fire until it is as dry as it will become without burning: it will adhere in a ball to the spoon, and leave the saucepan quite dry when it is sufficiently done. Mix with it, while it is still hot, the yolk of one egg, and when it is quite cold, add it to the veal with three ounces of very fresh butter, a quarter teaspoonful of mace, half as much cayenne, a little nutmeg, and a saltspoonful of salt. When these are perfectly beaten, and well blended together, add 181 another whole egg, after having merely taken out the germs; the mixture will then be ready for use, and may be moulded into balls, or small thick oval shapes, a little flattened, and poached in soup or gravy from ten to fifteen minutes. These quenelles may be served by themselves in a rich sauce, as a corner dish, or in conjunction with other things. They may likewise be first poached for three or four minutes, then left on a drainer to become cold, dipped into egg and the finest bread-crumbs, fried, and served as croquettes.
The very finest sausage-meat, highly seasoned, and made with an equal proportion of fat and lean, is an exceedingly good forcemeat for veal, chicken, rabbit, and some few other pies; savoury herbs minced small, may be added to heighten its flavour, if it be intended for immediate eating; but it will not then remain good quite so long, unless they should have been previously dried. To prevent its being too dry, two or three spoonsful of cold water should be mixed with it before it is put into the pie. One pound of lean veal to one and a quarter of the pork-fat is sometimes used, and smoothly pounded with a high seasoning of spices, herbs, and eschalots, or garlic, but we cannot recommend the introduction of these last into pies unless they are especially ordered; mushrooms may be mixed with any kind of forcemeat with far better effect. Equal parts of veal and fat bacon, will also make a good forcemeat for pies, chopped finely, and well spiced.
Sausage-meat, well seasoned. Or: veal, 1 lb.; pork-fat, 1½ lb.; salt, 1 oz.; pepper, ¼ to ½ oz.; fine herbs, spice, &c., as in forcemeat No. 1, or sausage meat. Or: veal and bacon, equal weight, seasoned in the same way.
This is the name given to the soaked bread which is 182 mixed with the French forcemeats, and which renders them so peculiarly delicate. Pour on the crumb of two or three rolls, or on that of any other very light bread, as much good boiling broth, milk, or cream, as will cover and moisten it well; put a plate over to keep in the steam, and let it remain for half an hour, or more, then drain off the superfluous liquid, and squeeze the panada dry by wringing it round in a thin cloth into a ball; put it into a small stewpan, or well-tinned saucepan, and pour to it as much only of rich white sauce or of gravy, as it can easily , and stir it constantly with a wooden spoon, over a clear and gentle fire, until it forms a very dry paste, and adheres in a mass to the spoon; when it is in this state, mix with it, thoroughly, the unbeaten yolk of two fresh eggs, which will give it firmness, and set it aside to become quite cold before it is put into the mortar. The best French cooks give the highest degree of savour that they can to this panada, and add no other seasoning to the forcemeats of which it forms a part: it is used in an equal proportion with the meat, and calf’s udder or butter of which they are composed, as we have shown in the preceding receipt for quenelles. They stew slowly for the purpose, a small bit of lean ham, two or three minced eschalots, a bayleaf, a few mushrooms, a little parsley, a clove or two, and a small blade of mace, in a little good butter, and when they are sufficiently browned, pour to them as much broth or gravy as will be needed for the panada; and when this has simmered from twenty to thirty minutes, so as to have acquired the proper flavour, without being much reduced, they strain it over, and boil it into the bread. The common course of cookery in an English kitchen does not often require the practice of the greater niceties and refinements of the art: and trouble (of which the French appear to be perfectly regardless when the excellence of their preparations is concerned) is there in general so much thought of, and exclaimed against, that a more summary process would probably meet with a better chance of success.183
A quicker and rougher mode of making the panada, and indeed the forcemeat altogether, is to pour strong veal broth or gravy upon it, and after it has soaked, to boil it dry, without any addition except that of a little fine spice, lemon-grate, or any other favourite English seasoning. Minced herbs, salt, cayenne, and mace may be beaten with the meat, to which a small portion of well-pounded ham, may likewise be added at pleasure.
Large joints of meat should be neatly trimmed, washed extremely clean, and skewered or bound firmly into good shape, when they are of a nature to require it; then well covered with cold water, brought to boil over a moderate fire, and simmered until they are done, the scum being carefully and entirely cleared from the surface of the water, as it gathers there, which will be principally from within a few minutes of its beginning to boil, and during a few minutes afterwards. If not thoroughly skimmed off at the proper time, it will sink, and adhere to the joint, giving it a very uninviting appearance.
We cannot too strongly again impress upon the cook 184 the advantages of gentle simmering over the usual fast-boiling of meat, by which, as has been already forcibly shown (see article Bouillon, Chapter I.), the outside is hardened and deprived of its juices, before the inside is half done, while the starting of the flesh from the bones, which it occasions, and the altogether ragged aspect which it gives, are most unsightly. Pickled or salted meat requires longer boiling than fresh; and that which is smoked and dried, longer still. This last should always be slowly heated, and if, from any circumstances, time cannot have been allowed for soaking it properly, and there is a probability of its being too salt when served, it should be brought very softly to boil in a large quantity of water, which should in part be changed as soon as it becomes quite briny, for as much more that is ready boiling.
It is customary to lay large joints upon a fish-plate, or to throw some wooden skewers under them, to prevent their sticking to the vessel in which they are cooked; and it is as well to take the precaution, though unless they be placed over a very fierce fire, they cannot be in danger of this. The time allowed for them is about the same as for roasting, from fifteen to twenty minutes to the pound. For cooking rounds of beef, and other ponderous joints, a pan of this form is very convenient.
By means of two almost equally expensive preparations, called a poêlée, and a blanc, the insipidity which results from boiling meat or vegetables in water only 185 may be removed, and the whiteness of either will be better preserved. Turkeys, fowls, sweetbreads, calf’s brains, cauliflowers, and artichoke bottoms, are the articles for which the poêlée and the blanc are more especially used in refined foreign cookery; the reader will judge by the following receipts, how far they are admissible into that of the economist.
* The most suitable, and the most usual form of stockpot for making soup in large quantities is the deep one, which will be found at page 2; but the handles should be at the sides, as in that shown above, with others on the cover to correspond (or with one in the centre of it), which, from some inadvertence, have been omitted in the present engraving.
Cut into large dice two pounds of lean veal, and two pounds of fat bacon, cured without saltpetre, two large carrots, and two onions; to these add half a pound of fresh butter, put the whole into a stewpan, and stir it with a wooden spoon over a gentle fire, until the veal is very white, and the bacon is partially melted; then pour to them three pints of clear boiling broth or water, throw in four cloves, a small bunch or two of thyme and parsley, a bay-leaf, and a few corns of white pepper; boil these gently for an hour and a half, then strain the poêlée through a fine sieve, and set it by in a cool place. Use instead of water for boiling, the various articles we have already named; it will answer for several in succession, and will remain good for many days. Some cooks order a pound of butter in addition to the bacon, and others substitute beef-suet in part for this last.
Put into a stewpan one pound of fat bacon, rasped, one pound of beef-suet cut small, and one pound of butter, the strained juice of two lemons, a couple of bay-leaves, three cloves, three carrots, and three onions divided into dice, and less than half a pint of water. Simmer these gently, keeping them often stirred, until the fat is well melted, and the water has evaporated; then pour in rather more than will be required for the dish which is to be cooked in the blanc; boil it softly until all the ingredients have given out their full flavour, skim it well, add salt if needed, and strain it off for use. A calf’s head is often boiled in this.186
Roasting, which is quite the favourite mode of dressing meat in this country, and one in which the English are thought to excel, requires unremitting attention on the part of the cook, rather than any great exertion of skill. Large kitchens are usually fitted with a smoke-jack, by means of which, several spits, if needful, can be kept turning at the same time; but in small establishments, a roaster which allows of some economy in point of fuel, is more commonly used. That shown in the print is of very advantageous construction in this respect, as a joint may be cooked in it with a comparatively small fire, the heat being strongly reflected from the screen upon the meat; in consequence of this, it should never be placed very close to the grate, as the surface of the joint would then become dry and hard.
A more convenient form of roaster, with a spit placed in it horizontally, and turned by means of a wheel and chain, of which the movement is regulated by a spring contained in a box at the top, is of the same economical order as the one above.187
For roasting without either of these, make up a fire proportioned in width and height to the joint which is to be roasted, and which it should surpass in dimension every way, by two or three inches. Place some moderate-sized lumps of coal on the top; let it be free from smoke and ashes in front; and so compactly arranged that it will neither require to be disturbed, nor supplied with fresh fuel for some considerable time after the meat is laid down. Spit the joint and place it very far from the fire at first, keep it constantly basted, and when it is two parts done, move it nearer to the fire that it may be properly browned, but guard carefully against it being burned. A few minutes before it is taken from the spit, sprinkle a little fine salt over it, baste it thoroughly with its own dripping, or with butter, and dredge it with flour; as soon as the froth is well risen, dish, and serve the meat. Or, to avoid the necessity of the frothing which is often greatly objected to on account of the raw taste retained by the flour, dredge the roast liberally soon after it is first laid to the fire: the flour will then form a savoury incrustation upon it, and assist to prevent the escape of its juices. When meat or poultry is wrapped in buttered paper it must not be floured until this is removed, which should be fifteen or twenty minutes before either is served.
Remember always to draw back the dripping-pan when the fire has to be stirred, or when fresh coals are thrown on, that the cinders and ashes may not fall into it.
When meat is very lean, a slice of butter, or a small quantity of clarified dripping should be melted in the pan to baste it with at first; though the use of the latter should be scrupulously avoided for poultry, or any delicate meats, as the flavour it imparts is, to many persons, peculiarly objectionable. Let the spit be kept bright and clean, and wipe it before the meat is put on; balance the joint well upon it, that it may turn steadily, and if needful secure it with screw skewers. A cradle spit, which is so constructed that it contains the meat 188 in a sort of frame-work, instead of passing through it, may be often very advantageously used instead of an ordinary one, as the perforation of the meat by this last must always occasion some escape of the juices; and it is, moreover, particularly to be objected to in roasting joints or poultry, which have been boned, and filled with forcemeat. The cradle spit† is much better suited to these, as well as to a sucking pig, sturgeon, salmon, and other large fish; but it is not very commonly to be found in our kitchens, many of which exhibit a singular scantiness of the conveniences which facilitate the labours of the cook.
For heavy and substantial joints a quarter of an hour is generally allowed for every pound of meat; and with a sound fire and frequent basting, will be found sufficient when the process is conducted in the usual manner; but by the slow method, as we shall designate it, almost double the time will be required. Pork, veal, and lamb, should always be well roasted; but many eaters prefer mutton and beef rather under-dressed, though some persons have a strong objection to the sight even of any meat that is not thoroughly cooked.
Joints which are thin in proportion to their weight, require less of the fire than thick and solid ones: ribs of beef for example, will be sooner ready to serve than an equal weight of the rump, round, or sirloin; and the neck or shoulder of mutton, or spare rib of pork, than the leg.
When to preserve the succulence of the meat is more an object than to economize fuel, beef and mutton should be laid at twice the usual distance from the fire and allowed to remain so until they are perfectly heated through; the roasting, so managed, will of course be slow; and from three hours and a half to four hours will be necessary to cook by this method a leg of mutton of ordinary size, for which two hours would amply suffice in a common way; but the flesh will be remarkably tender, and the flow of gravy from it most abundant. 189 It should not be drawn near the fire until within the last hour, and should then be placed only so close as to brown it properly. No kind of roast indeed should at any time be allowed to take colour too quickly; it should be heated gradually, and kept at least at a moderate distance from the fire until it is nearly done, or the outside will be dry and hard, if not burned, while the inside will be only half cooked.
* The bottle-jack, without the screen, is used in many families very successfully; it is wound up like a watch, by means of a key, and turns very regularly until it has run down.
The application of steam to culinary purposes is becoming very general in our kitchens at the present day, especially in those of large establishments, many of which are furnished with apparatus for its use, so admirably constructed, and so complete, that the process may be conducted on an extensive scale, with very slight trouble to the cook; and with the further advantage of being at a distance from the fire, the steam being conveyed by pipes to the vessels intended to receive it. Fish, butcher-meat, poultry, vegetables, puddings, maccaroni, and rice, are all subjected to its action, instead of being immersed in water, as in simple boiling; and the result is to many persons perfectly satisfactory; though, as there is a difference of opinion amongst first-rate cooks, with regard to the comparative merits of the two modes of dressing meat and fish, a trial should be given to the steaming, on a small scale, before any great expenses are incurred for it, which may be done easily with a common saucepan or boiler, fitted like the one shown above, with a simple tin steamer. Servants not accustomed to the use of these, should be warned against boiling in the vessel itself anything of coarse or strong flavour, when the article steamed is of a delicate nature. The vapour from soup containing onions, for example, would have a very bad effect on a sweet pudding especially, and on many 190 other dishes. Care and discretion, therefore, must be exercised on this point. By means of a kettle fixed over it, the steam of the boiler in the kitchen range, may be made available for cooking, in the way shown by the engraving, which exhibits fish, potatoes, and their sauces, all in progress of steaming at the same time.* The limits of our work do not permit us to enter at much length upon this subject, but the reader who may wish to understand the nature of steam, and the various modes in which its agency may be applied to domestic purposes, will do well to consult Mr. Webster’s excellent work,† of which we have more particularly spoken in another chapter. The quite inexperienced cook may require to be told, that any article of food which is to be cooked by steam in a saucepan of the form exhibited in the first of the engravings of this section, must be prepared exactly as for boiling, and laid into the sort of strainer affixed to the top of the saucepan; and that water, or some other kind of liquid, must be put into the saucepan itself, and kept boiling in it, the lid being first closely fixed into the steamer.
* Invented and sold by Mr. Evans, Fish-street hill.
† Encyclopædia of Domestic Economy. Longman & Co.
This very wholesome, convenient, and economical mode of cookery is by no means so well understood nor profited by in England as on the continent, where its advantages are fully appreciated. So very small a quantity of fuel is necessary 191 to sustain the gentle degree of ebullition which it requires, that this alone would recommend it to the careful housekeeper; but if the process be skilfully conducted, meat softly stoved or stewed, in close-shutting, or luted vessels, is in every respect equal, if not superior, to that which is roasted; but it must be simmered only, and in the gentlest possible manner, or, instead of being tender, nutritious, and highly palatable, it will be dry, hard, and indigestible. The common cooking stoves in this country, as they have hitherto been constructed, have rendered the exact regulation of heat which stewing requires rather difficult; and the smoke and blaze of a large coal fire are very unfavourable to many other modes of cookery as well. The French have generally the advantage of the embers and ashes of the wood which is their ordinary fuel; and they have always in addition a stove of this construction in which charcoal or braise (for explanation of this word, see remarks on preserving, Chapter XXI.) only is burned; and upon which their stewpans can, when there is occasion, be left uncovered, without the danger of their contents being spoiled, which there generally is with us. It is true that of late great improvements have been made in our own stoves; and the hot plates, or hearths with which the kitchens of good houses are always furnished, are admirably adapted to the simmering system; but when the cook has not the convenience of one, the stewpans must be laid on trevets high above the fire, and be constantly watched, and moved, as occasion may require, nearer to or further from the flame.
No copper vessels from which the inner tinning is in the slightest degree worn away should be used ever, for this or for any other kind of cookery; or not health only, but life itself, may be endangered by them.* We 192 have ourselves seen a dish of acid fruit which had been boiled without sugar, in a copper pan from which the tin lining was half worn away, coated with verdigris after it had become cold; and from the careless habits of the person who had prepared it, the chances were greatly in favour of its being served to a family afterwards, if it had not been accidently discovered. Salt acts upon the copper in the same manner as acids; vegetables, too, from the portion of the latter which they contain, have the same injurious effect; and the greatest danger results from allowing preparations containing any of these to become cold (or cool) in the stewpan, in contact with the exposed part of the copper in the inside. Thick, well-tinned iron saucepans will answer for all the ordinary purposes of common English cookery, even for stewing, provided they have tightly-fitting lids to prevent the escape of the steam; but the copper ones are of more convenient form, and better adapted to a superior order of cookery.
We shall have occasion to speak more particularly in another part of this work, of the German enamelled stewpans, so safe, and so well suited, from the extreme nicety of the composition, resembling earthenware or china, with which they are lined, to all delicate compounds. The cook should be warned however, that they retain the heat so long, that the contents will boil for several minutes after they are removed from the fire, and this must be guarded against when they have reached the exact point, at which further boiling would have a bad effect, as would be the case with some preserves, and other sweets.
* Sugar, being an antidote to the poisonous effects of verdigris, should be plentifully taken, dissolved in water, so as to form quite a syrup, by persons who may unfortunately have partaken of any dish into which this dangerous ingredient has entered.
Broiling is the best possible mode of cooking and of preserving the flavour of several kinds of fish, amongst 193 which we may specify mackerel and whitings;* it is also incomparably superior to frying for steaks and cutlets, especially of beef and mutton; and it is far better adapted, also, to the preparation of food for invalids; but it should be carefully done; for if the heat be too fierce, the outside of the meat will be scorched and hardened so as to render it uneatable; and if, on the contrary, it be too gentle, the gravy will be drawn out, and yet the flesh will remain so entirely without firmness, as to be unpleasant eating. A brisk fire perfectly free from smoke, a very clean gridiron, tender meat, a dish and plates as hot as they can be, and great despatch in sending it to table when done, are all essential to the serving of a good broil. The gridiron should be well heated, and rubbed with mutton suet before the meat is laid on, and it should be placed slopingly over the fire, that the fat may run off to the back of the grate, instead of falling on the live coals, and smoking the meat: if this precaution should not prevent its making an occasional blaze, lift the gridiron quickly beyond the reach of the smoke, and hold it away until the fire is clear again. Steaks and chops should be turned often, that the juices may be 194 kept in, and that they may be equally done in every part. If, for this purpose, it should be necessary, for want of steak-tongs, to use a fork, pass it through the outer skin, or fat of the steak, but never stick it into the lean, as by that means much of the gravy will escape. Most eaters prefer broiled beef or mutton, rather under-dressed; but pork chops should always be thoroughly cooked. When a fowl or any other bird is cut asunder before it is broiled, the inside should first be laid to the fire: this should be done with kidneys also. Fish should be wrapped in a sheet of buttered writing paper, which will prevent their sticking to the gridiron, and will also preserve the skin in a better state than when it is exposed to the fire. Cutlets, or meat in any other form, when egged and crumbed for broiling, should afterwards be dipped into clarified butter, or sprinkled with it plentifully, as the egg-yolk and bread will otherwise form too dry a crust upon it. French cooks season their cutlets both with salt and pepper, and brush a little oil or butter over them to keep them moist; but unless this be done, no seasoning of salt should be given them until they are just ready to be dished: the French method is a very good one.
Steaks or cutlets may be quickly cooked with a sheet or two of lighted paper only, in the apparatus shown above and called a conjurer. Lift off the cover and lay in the meat properly seasoned, with a small slice of butter under it, and insert the lighted paper in the aperture shown in the plate; in from eight to ten minutes the meat will be done, and found to be remarkably tender, and very palatable. This is an especially convenient mode of cooking for persons whose hours of dining are rendered uncertain by the nature of their avocations. For medical men engaged 195 in extensive country practice it has been often proved so. The conjurer costs but a few shillings. Another form of this economical apparatus, with which a pint of water may be made to boil by means of only a sheet of paper wrapped round a cone, in the inside, is shown in the second plate.
* Salmon broiled in slices, is a favourite dish with eaters who like the full rich flavour of the fish preserved, as it is much more luscious (but less delicate) dressed thus, than when it is boiled. The slices should be cut from an inch to an inch and a half thick, and taken from the middle of a very fresh salmon; they may be seasoned with cayenne only, and slowly broiled over a very clear fire; or, folded in buttered paper before they are laid on the gridiron; or, lightly brushed with oil, and highly seasoned; or, dipped into egg-yolks and then into the finest crumbs mixed with salt, spice, and plenty of minced herbs, then sprinkled with clarified butter; but in whichever way they are prepared they will require to be gently broiled, with every precaution against their being smoked. From half to three quarters of an hour will cook them. Dried salmon cut into thin slices, is merely warmed through over a slow fire.
This is an operation, which, though apparently very simple, requires to be more carefully and skilfully conducted than it commonly is. Its success depends principally on allowing the fat to attain the exact degree of heat which shall give firmness, without too quick browning or scorching, before anything is laid into the pan; for if this be neglected the article fried will be saturated with the fat, and remain pale and flaccid. When the requisite degree of colour is acquired before the cooking is complete, the pan should be placed high above the fire, that it may be continued slowly to the proper point. Steaks and cutlets should be seasoned with salt and pepper, and dredged on both sides lightly with flour before they are laid into the pan, in which they should be often moved and turned, that they may be equally done, and that they may not stick nor burn to it. From ten to fifteen minutes will fry them. They should be evenly sliced, about the same thickness as for broiling, and neatly trimmed and divided in the first instance. Lift them into a hot dish when done; pour the fat from the pan, and throw in a small slice of butter, stir to this a large of flour, brown it gently, and pour in by degrees a quarter pint of hot broth or water; shake the pan well round, add pepper, salt, and a little good catsup, or any other store sauce which may be preferred to it, and pour the gravy over the steaks: this is the most common mode of saucing and serving them.
Minute directions for fish, and others for omlets, and for different preparations of batter, are given in 196 their proper places; but we must again observe, that a very small frying-pan (scarcely larger than a dinner-plate) is necessary for many of these; and, indeed, the large and thick one suited to meat and fish, and used commonly for them, is altogether unfit for nicer purposes.
The sauté-pan above, is much used by French cooks instead of a frying-pan; it is more particularly convenient for tossing quickly over the fire small collops, or aught else that requires little cooking.
All fried dishes, which are not sauced, should be served extremely dry, upon a neatly-folded damask cloth: they are best drained, upon a sieve reversed, placed before the fire.
A wire basket of this form is convenient for frying parsley and other herbs: it must be placed in a pan well filled with fat, and lifted out quickly when the herbs are done: they may likewise be crisped in it over a clear fire, without being fried.
The oven may be used with advantage for many purposes of cookery, for which it is not commonly put into requisition. Calves’ feet, covered with a proper proportion of water, may be reduced to a strong jelly if left in it for some hours; the half-head, boned and salted, will be found excellent 197 eating if laid, with the bones, into a deep pan and baked quite tender in sufficient broth, or water, to keep it covered in every part till done; good soup also may be made in the same way, the usual ingredients being at once added to the meat, with the exception of the vegetables, which will not become tender if put into cold liquor, and should therefore be thrown in after it begins to simmer. Baking is also the best mode of dressing various kinds of fish: pike and red mullet amongst others. Salmon cut into thick slices, freed from the skin, well seasoned with spice, mixed with salt (and with minced herbs, at pleasure), then arranged evenly in a dish, and covered thickly with crumbs of bread, moistened with clarified butter, as directed in Chapter II., for baked soles, and placed in the oven for about half an hour, will be found very rich and highly flavoured. Part of the middle of the salmon left entire, well-cleaned, and thoroughly dried, then seasoned, and securely wrapped in two or three folds of thickly buttered paper, will also prove excellent eating, if gently baked. (This may likewise be roasted in a Dutch oven, either folded in the paper, or left without it, and basted with butter.)
Hams, when freshly cured, and not over-salted, if neatly trimmed, and closely wrapped in a coarse paste, are both more juicy, and of finer flavour baked than boiled. Savoury or pickled beef also put into a deep pan, with a little gravy, and plenty of butter, or chopped suet on the top, to prevent the outside from becoming dry; then covered with paste, or with several folds of thick paper, and set into a moderate oven for four or five hours, or even longer, if it be of large weight, is an excellent dish. A goose, a leg of pork, and a sucking pig, if properly attended to while in the oven, are said to be nearly, or quite as good as if roasted; but baking is both an unpalatable and an unprofitable mode of cooking joints of meat in general, though its great convenience to many persons who have but few other facilities 198 for obtaining the luxury of a hot dinner, renders it a very common one.
It is usual to raise meat from the dish in which it is sent to the oven by placing it, properly skewered, on a stand, so as to allow potatoes, or a batter pudding to be baked under it. A few button onions, freed from the outer skin, or three or four larger , cut in halves, are sometimes put beneath a shoulder of mutton. Two sheets of paper spread separately with a thick layer of butter, clarified marrow, or any other fat, and fastened securely over the outside of a joint, will prevent its being too much dried by the fierce heat of the oven. A few spoonsful of water or gravy should be poured into the dish with potatoes, and a little salt sprinkled over them.
A celebrated French cook recommends braising in the oven: that is to say, after the meat has been arranged in the usual manner, and just brought to boil over the fire, that the braising pan, closely stopped, should be put into a moderate oven, for the same length of time as would be required to stew the meat perfectly tender.
* By means of this oven, which, from its construction, reflects the heat very strongly, bread, cakes, and pies, can be perfectly well baked before a large clear fire; but, as we have stated in another part of our work, the consumption of fuel necessary to the process renders it far from economical.
Braising is but a more expensive mode of stewing meat. The following French recipe will explain the process. We would observe, however, that the layers of beef or veal, in which the joint to be braised is embedded, can afterwards be converted into excellent soup, gravy, or glaze; and that there need, in consequence, be no waste, nor any unreasonable degree of expense attending it; but it is a troublesome process, and quite as good a result may be obtained by simmering the meat in very strong gravy. Should the flavour 199 of the bacon be considered an advantage, slices of it can be laid over the article braised, and secured to it with a fillet of tape.
“To braise the inside (or small fillet, as it is called in France) of a sirloin of beef: Raise the fillet clean from the joint; and with a sharp knife strip off all the skin, leaving the surface of the meat as smooth as possible; have ready some strips of unsmoked bacon, half as thick as your little finger, roll them in a mixture of thyme finely minced, spices in powder, and a little pepper and salt. Lard the fillet quite through with these, and tie it round with tape in any shape you choose. Line the bottom of a stewpan (or braising-pan) with slices of bacon; next put in a layer of beef, or veal, four onions, two bay-leaves, two carrots, and a bunch of sweet herbs, and place the fillet on them. Cover it with slices of bacon, put some trimmings of meat all round it, and pour on to it half a pint of good bouillon or gravy. Let it stew as gently as possible for two hours and a half; take it up, and keep it very hot; strain, and reduce the gravy by quick boiling till it is thick enough to glaze with; brush the meat over with it; put the rest in the dish with the fillet, after the tape has been removed from it, and send it directly to table.”
Equal parts of Madeira and gravy are sometimes used to moisten the meat.
No attempt should be made to braise a joint in any vessel that is not very nearly of its own size.
A round of buttered paper is generally put over the more delicate kinds of braised meat, to prevent their being browned by the fire, which, in France, is put round the lid of the braising-pan, in a groove made on purpose to contain it. The embers of a wood fire mixed with the hot ashes, are best adapted to sustain the regular, but gentle degree of heat required for this mode of cooking.
The pan shown at the head of this section, with a closely fitting copper tray, serving for the cover, is used 200 commonly in England for braising; but a stewpan of modern form, or any other vessel which will admit of embers being placed upon the lid, will answer for the purpose as well.
Common cooks sometimes stew meat in a mixture of butter and water, and call it braising.
Cut into slices, of the same length and thickness, some bacon of the finest quality; trim away the outsides, place the slices evenly upon each other, and with a sharp knife divide them obliquely into small strips of equal size. For pheasants, partridges, hares, fowls, and fricandeaux, the bacon should be about the eighth of an inch square, and two inches in length; but for meats that are to be larded quite through, instead of on the outside merely, the bits of bacon (properly called lardoons) must be at least the third of an inch square.
In general, the breasts only of birds are larded, the backs and thighs of hares, and the whole of the upper surface of a fricandeau: these should be thickly covered with small lardoons, placed at regular intervals, and in lines which intersect each other, so as to form rather minute diamonds.
The following directions for larding a pheasant will serve equally for poultry, or for other kinds of game:—
Secure one end of the bacon in a slight larding-pin, and on the point of this take up sufficient of the flesh of the bird to hold the lardoon firmly; draw the pin through it, and part of the bacon, of which the two ends should be left of equal length. Proceed thus, until the 201 breast of the pheasant is entirely garnished with lardoons, when it ought to resemble in appearance a cake thickly stuck with slips of almonds.
The larger strips of bacon, after being rolled in a high seasoning of minced herbs and spices, are used to lard the inside of meat, and they should be proportioned to its thickness, as they must be passed quite through it. For example: a four-inch slice from a rump of beef will require lardoons of very nearly that length, which must be drawn through with a large larding-pin, and left in it, with the ends just out of sight on either side.
In France, truffles, anchovies, slices of tongue, and of fat, all trimmed into proper shape, are occasionally used for larding. The bacon employed there for the purpose is cured without any saltpetre (as this would redden the white meats), and it is never smoked: the receipt for it will be found in Chapter XI.
A turkey is sometimes larded with alternate lardoons of fat bacon and of bullock’s tongue, which has been pickled but not dried: we apprehend that the lean of a half-boiled ham, of good colour, could answer the purpose quite as well, or better.
Larding the surface of meat, poultry, or game, gives it a good appearance, but it is a more positive improvement to meat of a dry nature to interlard the inside with large lardoons of well-seasoned, delicate, striped English bacon.
Very minute directions being given in other parts of our volume for this, we confine ourselves here to the following rules:—in disengaging the flesh from it, work the knife always close to the bone, and take every care not to pierce the outer skin.
This is merely to throw either into a pan of boiling water for a few minutes, which gives firmness to the first, and is necessary for some modes of preparing vegetables.202
The breast only of a bird is sometimes held in the water while it boils, to render it firm for larding. To preserve the whiteness of meat, and the bright green of vegetables, they are lifted from the water after they have boiled a few minutes, and are thrown immediately into spring water, and left till cold.
5 to 10 minutes.
This process we have explained at the article Glaze, Chapter III. The surface of the meat should be covered evenly, and with two or three separate layers of the glaze, which, if properly made, soon becomes firm. A ham should be well dried in the oven before it is laid on. Cutlets of all kinds may be glazed before they are sent to table, with very good effect. The figure above represents a glaze-pot and brush, used for heating and applying the preparation; a jar placed in a pan of boiling water may be substituted for the first, when it is not at hand.
A very cheap apparatus, by which chops can be dressed before a clear fire, is shown by the first of these 203 figures; and the second is peculiarly convenient when bread or muffins are required to be toasted expeditiously and in large quantities, without much time and attention being bestowed upon them.
This is done with a salamander, as it is called, formed like the engraving below; it is heated in the fire, and held over the dish sufficiently near to give it colour. It is very much used in a superior order of cookery. A kitchen shovel is sometimes substituted for it on an emergency.
TO THICKEN SOUPS ... Either arrow root, potato starch, the French thickening called roux
text has thicken-/ening at line break
SEMOULINA SOUP ... semoulina, 6 ozs.:
THE LORD MAYOR’S SOUP (Author’s Receipt.) ... let the liquor be kept just simmering only
text has liqour
... sherry or Madeira
text has Maderia
A FINER CARROT SOUP ... Three ounces of Scotch, or of pearl barley . . . will make what is considered, by many persons, an excellent potage.
[Sadly, this means Scotch barley, also known as pot barley. I would have preferred three ounces of Scotch, full stop.]
A RICHER WHITE SOUP ... Almonds, 6 oz.; breasts of chicken or partridges, 6 oz.
[Paragraph break added by transcriber for consistency.]
GOOD CALF’S HEAD SOUP ... some excellent broth, such as would be highly acceptable, especially if well thickened with rice, to many a poor family during the winter months
[Eliza Acton, unlike Isabella Beeton, doesn’t have the gall to say that poor families’ failure to eat soup is because they don’t know any better.]
BROWN RABBIT SOUP ... three onions of moderate size
text has moderate side
SUPERLATIVE HARE SOUP ... ham, 12 to 16 ozs.;
. in “ozs.” missing
PHEASANT SOUP ... thickening of rice-flower
[Text unchanged, although “flower” for “flour” is decidedly archaic.]
ANOTHER PHEASANT SOUP ... and served with sippets à la Reine
text has a la
TO BOIL RICE FOR MULLAGATAWNY SOUPS, OR FOR CURRIES ... Patna rice, ½ lb.
final . missing
TO CHOOSE FISH ... Herrings, mackerel, and whitings, lose their freshness so rapidly
text has loose
... We quote Doctor Kitchener’s assertion
[It’s really Kitchiner. I was prepared to forgive Eliza Acton for this common (and understandable) misspelling—except that she’s quoting him, meaning that she must have his book in front of her.]
TO SWEETEN TAINTED FISH ... The reader will be sure to obtain the best . . . by ordering Beaufoy’s
[Did the author—or perhaps her publisher—get paid for this recommendation?]
BRINE FOR BOILING FISH
[The given quantities of salt yield a salinity roughly equal to seawater. Some modern sources suggest cooking fish in clean seawater—without, however, explaining where the reader is to lay hands on it. I have not yet had the nerve to try aquarium salt, which is much more readily obtainable than clean seawater.]
TO BOIL A TURBOT ... Dissolve in a well cleaned turbot, or common fish-kettle, in as much cold spring water as will cover the fish abundantly, salt . . . and a morsel of saltpetre
[Eliza, you’re not writing poetry now. In English prose: In a well cleaned turbot-kettle or common fish-kettle, dissolve salt . . . and a morsel of saltpetre in as much cold spring water as will cover the fish abundantly]
SALT FISH. (A la Mâitre d’Hotel.) ... pour upon it the sharp Mâitre d’Hotel sauce of Chapter IV.
final . invisible
TO BOIL SOLES ... Very large sole, 5 to 10 minutes
[Paragraph break added for consistency. (The typesetter may have intentionally fudged it in order to avoid an orphan line at the page break.)]
TO BOIL PERCH ... the fish are then covered with the Steward’s sauce
[Otherwise known as maître d’hôtel sauce. This is the only time she uses the English term by itself.]
... In warm water, 8 to 10 minutes; in boiling, 12 to 15.
[This only makes sense if the 8-to-10 minute version is timed from after the water comes to a boil.]
TO FRY PLAICE OR FLOUNDERS.
BOILED EELS ... put it, with a blade of mace
text has pur it
TO STEW OYSTERS ... a slice or a bored wooden spoon
[This creates an odd mental picture: when did you last meet an excited wooden spoon? Conjecture: It means a spoon with a round hole in the bowl. I’ve got one in my own kitchen.]
... the French thickening of Chapter VI., or with flour and butter
text has VI. or, with
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ... [Footnote] We know an instance of a cook who stewed down two or three pounds of beef to make gravy for a single brace of partridges
[Pah, that’s nothing. Brillat-Savarin tells the story of a cook who requested fifty hams for a single meal’s sauces and gravies.]
GRAVY FOR VENISON ... Neck, or other trimmings of venison, 1 lb.;
. in “lb.” missing
QUITE COMMON BROWN GRAVY ... Cut a sheep’s melt into slices
[The word “melt” certainly sounds more appetizing than spleen.]
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ... the “one sauce” of England, which excites the raillery of foreigners
[Il y a en Angleterre soixante sectes religieuses différentes, et une seule sauce: le melted butter! quel pays! (“In England there are sixty different religious sects, and only one sauce: melted butter! What a country!”) Widely attributed to Voltaire, but actually said by Domenico Caracciolo (1715–89), Marchese di Villamaina. That’s the Caracciolo who was Neapolitan ambassador in London from 1764 to 1771, not to be confused with any of the other Neapolitan Caracciolos—notably Admiral Francesco Caracciolo, who got on the wrong side of Horatio Nelson and was hanged in 1799. A later humorist expanded the “only one sauce” plaint to “In France there is one church and 200 sauces; in America there are 200 churches and one sauce”. Surprisingly, this variant seems to predate the invention of tomato ketchup as we now know it.]
RICH MELTED BUTTER
[Amusingly, the list of ingredients forgets the butter: “four to six ounces” according to the prose.]
BREAD SAUCE WITH ONION ... new milk, ¾ pint: 40 to 60 minutes
text has 43 to 60
... Characteristically, the salt of this sauce . . . . The proportion of cayenne may be doubled when a very pungent sauce is desired
[Both passages italicized as shown. The 3rd edition italicizes the whole first sentence, but the footnote is the same.]
SAUCE PIQUANTE ... add three chilies
[Whole chilies make their first appearance. They only show up in half a dozen or so recipes, scattered through the book. It is a little unnerving that the author instructs the cook to remove the thyme and bay leaf after the sauce has finished simmering—but says nothing about the chilies, which would be equally surprising to bite into.]
CHRISTOPHER NORTH’S OWN SAUCE
[That would be John Wilson (1785–1854) who wrote for Blackwood’s as Christopher North. His Recreations collection, published a few years before Modern Cookery, has various things to say about food.]
... three tablespoonsful, or a small wineglassful
[Reminder: A “wineglass”, as a unit of measure, is two fluid ounces, ¼ cup or 4 Tbsp.]
SALAD DRESSING ... [Footnote] As we have before had occasion to remark, garlic
[I don’t think she has remarked on this before. I think she will remark on it two pages further along, when discussing Mayonnaise.]
CAPER SAUCE FOR FISH.
[Yes, but . . . where are the capers? Is this another of those linguistic oddities, like “cheesecake”?]
A FINER TOMATA SAUCE ... four or five chilies, or a capsicumb or two
[The author never does explain the difference between a chili and a capsicum(b). I would prefer to have it made crystal-clear before deciding whether to use one or five.]
A FINE SAUCE, OR PUREE OF VEGETABLE MARROW ... half boiling-water and half cream
[Text unchanged. The hyphen (at line break) may be intentional, to avoid a misreading of “half-boiling water”.]
PUNCH SAUCE FOR SWEET PUDDINGS ... lemon and orange-rind: 14 to 20 minutes
[The body text says “fifteen to twenty minutes”.]
CHETNEY SAUCE ... an ounce of garlic, divided into cloves
[I have never had occasion to weigh garlic. A full head turns out to be pretty exactly 2 ounces.]
... the same weight of salt, stoned raisins, brown sugar
text has stored raisins
MUSHROOM CATSUP ... Break a peck of large mushrooms into a deep earthen-pan
[Anomalous hyphen (at page break) unchanged. Everywhere else, “earthen pan” is two words.]
WALNUT CATSUP ... 1st Recipe.
text has 1st. with superfluous . (full stop)
BOTTLED TOMATAS, OR TOMATA CATSUP ... half a peck of ripe tomatas
[A few recipes back, mushrooms were measured in gallons (2 gallons = 1 peck). So why are tomatoes restricted to dry measure?]
Several times in this chapter, the prose and the list of ingredients seem to disagree—giving different times, or different quantities—although the author started out by stressing the importance of measuring everything. See in particular Nos. 3 and 9. Proceed at your own risk.
NO. 3. SUPERIOR SUET FORCEMEAT ... a teaspoonful of salt, a quarter one of cayenne, and a saltspoonful or rather more of mace and nutmeg together . . . salt, 1 teaspoonful; mace, large saltspoonful, and one-fourth as much cayenne
[The first is from the prose, the second from the list of ingredients.]
NO. 4. COMMON SUET FORCEMEAT ... the same proportion of herbs, spice, salt, herbs, and lemon-peel
[Text unchanged. The 3rd edition omits the second “herbs”.]
NO. 5. OYSTER FORCEMEAT ... bread crumbs, 4 ozs.;
. in “ozs.” missing
NO. 9. ONION AND SAGE STUFFING ... Boil three large onions from ten to fifteen minutes . . . Large onions, 3; boiled 20 to 30 minutes.
[Again, the prose and the list of ingredients seem to say different things.]
... a half saltspoonful of pepper . . . pepper, ½ teaspoonful
NO. 13 BRAIN CAKES ... boil them in water, slightly salted
text has slighted salted
[In both the Table of Contents and the alphabetical Index, Panada is identified as Forcemeat No. 19.]
... as much only of rich white sauce or of gravy, as it can easily absorb
text has aborb
[Reading between the lines: either Isabella Beeton never got the hang of steaming, or Samuel didn’t care for steamed food. The subject is barely mentioned in the BOHM, which otherwise borrows liberally from both Acton and Webster.]
... Mr. Webster’s excellent work, of which we have more particularly spoken in another chapter.
[That would be Chapter XXVII, “Coffee, Chocolate &c.”, some 450 pages in the future. The footnote to that chapter’s Webster reference does make it sound as if it was originally intended to come earlier in the book.]
FRYING ... stir to this a large teaspoonful of flour
text has teasponsful
BAKING ... or three or four larger ones, cut in halves
text has larger ons
The original of this text is in the public domain—at least in the U.S.
My notes are copyright, as are all under-the-hood elements.
If in doubt, ask.