|4.||Buttock, or Round.|
|10.||Fore Rib. (Five Ribs.)|
|11.||Middle Rib. (Four Ribs.)|
|12.||Chuck Rib. (Three Ribs.)|
|13.||Shoulder, or Leg of Mutton Piece.|
If young and freshly killed, the lean of ox-beef will be smoothly grained, and of a fine, healthy, carnation-red, the fat rather white than yellow, and the suet white and firm. Heifer-beef is more closely grained, and rather less bright of colour, the bones are considerably smaller, and the fat of a purer white.
Of bull-beef we only speak to warn our readers, that it is of all meat the coarsest and the most rank in flavour. It may be known by its dark hue, its close tough fibre, and the scanty proportion, bad appearance, and strong odour of its fat.
In choice and well-fed beef, the lean will be found intergrained with fat: very lean meat is always of an inferior kind.
The ribs, the sirloin, and the rump, are the proper joints for roasting. The round, or buttock, the edge-bone, the second round, or mouse-buttock, the shin, the brisket, the shoulder or leg of mutton piece, and the clod may be boiled or stewed. The neck is generally used for soup or gravy; and the thin flank for collaring. The best steaks are cut from the middle of the rump; the next best from the veiny-piece, or from the chuck-rib. The inside of the sirloin, commonly used for the purpose in France, makes by far the most delicate steaks; but though exceedingly tender, they are considered by English epicures to be wanting in flavour.
The finest part of the sirloin is the chump-end, which contains the larger portion of the fillet: of the ribs, the middle ones are those generally preferred by experienced housekeepers.
Let the joint hang as long as it can possibly be kept perfectly sweet. When it is first brought in, remove the pipe of marrow which runs along the backbone; and cut out the kernels from the fat. Be very careful in summer to guard it from flies; examine it frequently in 205 warm or damp weather; and scrape off with a knife, or wipe away with a dry cloth, any moisture that may appear on the surface: when this has been done, dust some powdered ginger (pepper, or flour if more convenient,) over it. Unless the joint should be very large, its appearance will be improved by taking off the ends of the bones, which may then be laid in salt for a few days, and afterwards boiled. Spit the beef firmly; keep it far back from the fire for a considerable time, that is to say, until it is well heated through; baste it constantly; and proceed as directed in the general rules for roasting (see page 187). Persons who object to meat being frothed for table, have it dredged with flower when it is first placed at the fire, and sprinkled with fine salt when it is nearly done. It is not necessary to paper the fat of beef, as many cooks direct, if proper attention be given to it while roasting.
As a general rule, it may be observed, that when the steam from the meat draws strongly towards the fire, it is nearly or quite ready to serve. The time required to roast it will depend on the state of the weather,* the size and strength of the fire, the thickness of the joint, the use or non-use of a meat-screen or reflector, the general temperature of the kitchen, and other contingencies. A quarter of hour for each pound of meat is commonly allowed for solid, heavy joints, and, if the directions we have given be attended to, this will not be found too much even for persons who prefer beef somewhat : it must be left longer at the fire if wished very thoroughly roasted, and quite double the usual time when the plan we have noticed at page 188, is adopted. When likely to be sent to table hashed, minced, or dressed a second time in any way, the juices of the meat should be dried up as little as possible when it is first cooked.
* The meat will be much sooner done in hot weather than in cold. If frozen, it must be thawed very gradually before it is put to the fire, as no length of time will roast it: this will be effected better by laying it into cold or just tepid water for some hours before it is wanted, than by any other means.206
As this joint is generally too large to serve whole, as much of it as will form a handsome dish should be cut from the chump-end to roast. It must be managed as the sirloin, to which it is commonly preferred by connoisseurs. When boned, and rolled into the form of a fillet of veal as it sometimes is, nearly or quite an additional hour should be allowed to dress it.
The natural division of the meat will show where the silver-side of the round is to be separated from the upper, or tongue side, which is the proper part for roasting, and which will be found equally good and profitable for the purpose, if allowed to hang as long as it can be kept sweet before it is dressed. Care should be taken in dividing the meat, not to pierce the inner skin. The silver side, with the udder, if there should be one to the joint, may be pickled, spiced, or simply salted, and will be excellent either way. The outside fat should be drawn tightly round the remainder of the beef, which must be firmly skewered, or bound with tape, to keep it in form. It will require long roasting at a strong steady fire, and should be kept constantly basted.
Beef, 14 lbs.; 4½ to 5 hours.
Obs.—We think that larding the beef quite through with large lardoons of firm fat, of udder, or of bacon, would be an improvement; and we ought also to observe, that unless it be young and of fine quality, it will not answer well for roasting.
Raise the fillet from the inside of the sirloin, or from part of it, with a sharp knife; leave the fat on, trim off the skin, lard it through, or all over; or roast it, quite plain; baste it with butter, and send it very hot to table, with tomata sauce, or sauce piquante, or 207 eschalot sauce, in a tureen. It is sometimes served with brown gravy and currant jelly: it should then be garnished with forcemeat-balls, made as for hare. If not very large, an hour and a quarter will roast it well with a brisk fire.
Obs.—The remainder of the joint may be boned, rolled, and roasted, or braised; or dressed à la Polonaise; or made into meat cakes; or be served as a miniature round of beef.
1 hour, 15 minutes.
If extremely tender, a large slice from the middle of the rump will make an excellent small dish of roast meat, when a joint is not easily to be procured. Let it be smoothly cut, from an inch to an inch and a half thick, flattened on a table, and the inside sprinkled with a little fine salt and cayenne, or common pepper; make a roll of forcemeat, as No. 1 (page 170), adding, at pleasure, a flavouring of minced onion or eschalot, and increasing the quantity of spices; place this on one end of the steak, and roll it up tightly in it; skewer and bind the meat so that the forcemeat cannot escape; fasten a buttered paper over it, and roast it an hour and a half, or more, according to its size. Twenty minutes before it is served, take off the paper, and flour the meat, which should be kept well basted with butter all the time it is roasting. Send brown gravy to table with it, and pour a little over the beef.
1 hour and ½, or more.
The steaks should be from half to three quarters of an inch thick, equally sliced, and freshly cut from the middle of a well kept, finely grained, and tender rump of beef. They should be neatly trimmed, and once or twice divided, if very large. The fire, as we have already said in the general directions for broiling (page 193), must be strong and clear. The bars of the gridiron 208 should be thin, and not very close together. When they are thoroughly heated, without being sufficiently burning to scorch the meat, wipe and rub them with fresh mutton suet; next pepper the steaks slightly, but never season them with salt before they are dressed; lay them on the gridiron, and when done on one side, turn them on the other, being careful to catch, in the dish in which they are to be sent to table, any gravy that may threaten to drain from them when they are moved. Let them be served the instant they are taken from the fire; and have ready at the moment, dish, cover, and plates, as hot as they can be. From eight to ten minutes will be sufficient to broil steaks for the generality of eaters, and more than enough for those who like them but partially done.
Genuine amateurs seldom take prepared sauce or gravy with their steaks, as they consider the natural juices of the meat sufficient. When any accompaniment to them is desired, a small quantity of choice mushroom catsup may be warmed in the dish that is heated to receive them; and which, when the flavour is approved, may previously be rubbed with a raw eschalot, of which the large end has been taken off. A thin slice or two of fresh butter is sometimes laid under the steaks, where it soon melts and mingles with the gravy that flows from them. The appropriate tureen sauces for broiled beef steaks are onion, tomata, oyster, eschalot, hot horseradish, and brown cucumber, or mushroom sauce.
Obs. 1.—We have departed a little in this receipt from our previous instructions for broiling, by recommending that the steaks should be turned but once, instead of “often,” as all great authorities on the subject direct. By trying each method, our readers will be able to decide for themselves upon the preferable one: we can only say, that we have never eaten steaks so excellent as those which have been dressed exactly in accordance with the receipt we have just given, and we have taken infinite pains to ascertain the really best mode of preparing this very favourite English dish, 209 which so constantly makes its appearance both carelessly cooked and ill served, especially at private tables.
Obs. 2.—It is a good plan to throw a few bits of charcoal on the fire some minutes before the steaks are laid down, as they give forth a strong heat without any smoke.
The upright gridirons, by which meat is rather toasted than broiled, though used in many kitchens and generally pronounced exceedingly convenient, where they have been tried, do not appear to us so well adapted for dressing steaks as those of less modern fashion, which are placed over, instead of before the fire.
The inside of the sirloin freed from skin, and cut evenly into round quarter-inch slices, should properly be used for these; but when it cannot be obtained, part of the rump must be substituted for it. Season the steaks with fine salt and pepper, dip them into a little clarified butter, and broil them over a clear, brisk fire. Mix a teaspoonful of parsley, minced extremely fine, with a large slice of fresh butter, a little cayenne, and a small quantity of salt. When the steaks are done, put the mixture in the dish intended for them, and lay them upon it; garnish them plentifully with fried potatoes. It is an improvement to squeeze the juice of half a lemon on the butter, before the meat is heaped over it. The potatoes should be sliced rather thin, coloured of a fine brown, and placed evenly round the meat.
Cut the beef in small thin steaks as above, season them with fine salt and pepper, dredge them lightly with flour, and fry them in butter over a brisk fire. After they are dished, pour over them some stewed olives, or send a tureen of olive sauce (see page 148,) to table with them.210
This may be cut from one to two inches thick, and the time of stewing it must be proportioned to its size. Dissolve a slice of butter in a large saucepan or stewpan, and brown the steak on both sides, moving it often that it may not burn; then shake in a little flour, and when it is coloured pour in by degrees rather more than sufficient broth or water to cover the meat. When it boils, season it with salt, take off the scum, slice in one onion, a carrot or two, and half a turnip; add a small bunch of sweet herbs, and stew the steak very softly from two hours and a half to three hours. A quarter of an hour before it is served, stir well into the gravy three teaspoonsful of rice flour smoothly mixed with a little cayenne, half a wineglassful of mushroom catsup, and a slight seasoning of spice. A teaspoonful of currie-powder, in addition, will improve both the flavour and the appearance of the sauce. The onion is sometimes browned with the meat, and the quantity is considerably increased. Eschalots may be used instead, where their strong flavour is approved. A few button-mushrooms, stewed from twenty to thirty minutes with the meat, will render the catsup unnecessary. Wine, or any favourite store sauce, can be added at will.
2½, to 3 hours.
We have little to add here to the directions of page 195, which are sufficient to enable the cook to send a dish of fried steaks to table properly dressed. Currie sauce, highly onioned, is frequently served with them.
Trim all the fat and skin from a rump-steak of nearly an inch thick, and divide it once or twice; just dip it 211 into cold water, let it drain for an instant, sprinkle it on both sides with pepper, and then flour it rather thickly; lay it quite flat into a well-tinned iron saucepan or stewpan which has been rinsed with cold water, of which a single dessertspoonful should be left in it. Place it over (not upon) a very gentle fire, and keep it just simmering from an hour and a half to an hour and three-quarters, when, if the meat be good, it will have become perfectly tender. Add salt to it, when it first begins to boil, and turn it when rather more than half done. A couple of spoonsful of gravy, half as much catsup, and a slight seasoning of spice would, to many tastes, improve this dish, of which, however, the great recommendation is its wholesome simplicity, which renders it suitable to the most delicate stomach. A thick mutton cutlet from the middle of the leg is excellent dressed thus.
1½ to 1¾ hour.
Chop two pounds of lean and very tender beef or mutton, with three-quarters of a pound of beef-suet; mix them well, and season them with a dessertspoonful of salt, nearly as much pounded cloves, a teaspoonful of pounded mace, and half a teaspoonful of cayenne. Line a round baking-dish with thin slices of fat bacon, press the meat closely into it, smooth the top, and cover it with bacon, set a plate on it with a weight, and bake it two hours and a quarter. Take off the bacon, and serve the meat hot, with a little rich brown gravy, or set it by till cold, when it will be equally good. The fat of the meat that is used for this dish can be chopped up with it instead of suet, where it is liked as well; and onion, or eschalot, shred fine, minced savoury herbs, grated lemon-peel, rasped bacon, or mushrooms cut small, may in turn be added to vary it in flavour.
Lean beef or mutton, 2 lbs.; suet, ¾ lb.; salt and 212 cloves in powder, each a dessertspoonful; mace, 1 teaspoonful; half as much cayenne: 2¼ hours.
Obs.—Sausage-meat, highly seasoned, eats well, baked as above. A larger portion of suet or of fat will render these cakes lighter, but will not otherwise improve them: they may be made of veal or of venison, but one third of mutton-suet or fat bacon should be mixed with this last.
Cut into about three-inch squares, two pounds and a half of the leaner part of the veiny piece of beef, or of any joint that is likely to be tender, and set it on to stew, with a pint and three quarters of cold broth, or water, and one large onion sliced. When these begin to boil, add a teaspoonful of salt, and a third as much of pepper, and let them simmer gently for an hour and a half. Have ready some young white cabbages, parboiled; press the water well from them, and lay them in with the beef; and let the whole stew for another hour. More onions, and a seasoning of mixed spices, or a few bits of lean bacon, or of ham, can be added to this stew when a higher flavour is desired; but it is very good without.
Beef, 2½ lbs.; water, or broth, 1¾ pint; onion, 1; salt, 1 teaspoonful; third as much pepper: 1½ hour. Parboiled cabbages, 3 or 4: 1 hour.
Take the same proportions of beef, and broth or water, as for the German Stew. When they have simmered gently for an hour, add the white part of from twenty to thirty leeks, or two dozens of button onions, and five or six young mild turnips, cut in slices, a small lump of white sugar, nearly half a teaspoonful of white pepper, and more than twice as much salt. Stew the whole softly from an hour and a quarter, to an hour and a half, after the vegetables are added.
Beef and water as above: 1 hour. Leeks, 20 to 30; 213 or small onions, 24; young turnips, 6; small lump of sugar; white pepper, nearly ½ teaspoonful; salt, twice as much: 1¼ to 1½ hour.
On three pounds of tender rump of beef, freed from skin and fat, and cut down into about two-inch squares, pour rather more than a quart of cold broth or gravy. When it boils add salt if required, and a little cayenne, and keep it just simmering for a couple of hours; then put to it the grated rind of a large lemon, or of two small ones, and half an hour after, stir to it a tablespoonful of rice-flour, smoothly mixed with a wineglassful of mushroom-catsup, a dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, and a teaspoonful of soy: in fifteen minutes after it will be ready to serve. A glass and a half of port, or of white wine, will greatly improve this stew, which may likewise be flavoured with the store-sauce of page 160, or with another, which we find excellent for the purpose, made with half a pint of port-wine, the same of mushroom-catsup, a quarter pint of walnut-pickle, a tablespoonful of the best soy, and a dessertspoonful of cayenne-vinegar, all well shaken together and poured into a bottle containing the thin rind of a lemon and two fine mellow anchovies, of moderate size. A few delicate fried forcemeat balls may be slipped into it after it is dished.
Obs.—The limits of our work will not permit us to devote a further space to this class of dishes, but an intelligent cook will find it easy to vary them in numberless ways. Mushrooms, celery, carrots, sweet herbs, parboiled new potatoes, green peas, rice, and currie-powder may be advantageously used for that purpose. Oxtails, just blanched and cut into joints, will be found excellent substitutes for the beef: mutton and veal may also be dressed in the same way. The meat and vegetables can be browned before broth or water is poured to them; but though perhaps more savoury, the stew will then be much less delicate. Each kind of vegetable 214 should be allowed something more than sufficient time to render it perfectly tender, but not so much as would reduce it to pulp.
Wash, and set it on to stew in sufficient cold water to keep it just covered until it is done. When it boils, take off the scum, and put an ounce and a quarter of salt to the gallon of water. It is usual to add a few cloves, and some black pepper slightly bruised and tied up loosely in a fold of muslin; two or more onions, a root of celery, a bunch of savoury herbs, four or five carrots, and as many turnips, either whole or sliced: if to be served with the meat, these two last will require little more than the ordinary time of boiling, but otherwise they may be simmered with the meat from the beginning. Give the beef from four to five hours’ gentle stewing; and serve it with part of its own liquor thickened and flavoured, or quite plain. An excellent dish for a family may be made by stewing the thick fleshy part of the shin or leg, in stock made of the knuckle, with a few bits of lean ham or a slice of hung beef, from which the smoked edges have been carefully pared away, and some spice, salt, and vegetables: by frying these last before they are thrown into the soup-pot the savour of the stew will be greatly heightened; and a tureen of good soup may be made of its remains, after it has been served at table.
Ox-cheek, after having been soaked for four or five hours, and washed with great nicety, may be dressed like the shin; but as it has little flavour, the gravy should be strained, and quite cleared from fat, then put into a clean saucepan, and thickened as soon as it boils, with the following mixture:—three dessertspoonsful of rice-flour, nearly a wine-glassful of catsup, a teaspoonful of currie-powder, or a little powdered ginger and cayenne. When these have stewed ten minutes, dish the head, pour the sauce over, and serve it.
Shin of beef, 4 to 5 hours. Ox-cheek, 2 to 3 hours.215
Take seven or eight pounds of a rump of beef (or of any other tender joint), free from bone, and skewer it firmly into a good shape. Put two ounces of butter into a thick saucepan or stewpan, and when it boils, stir to it a tablespoonful of flour; keep these well shaken over a gentle fire until they are of a fine amber colour; then lay in the beef, and brown it on both sides, taking care that it shall not stick to the pan. Pour to it by slow degrees, letting each portion boil before the next is added, or the butter will float upon the surface and be difficult to clear off afterwards, three quarters of a pint of hot water, or gravy; add a bunch of savoury herbs, one large, or two small carrots cut in thick slices, two or three moderate-sized onions, two bay-leaves, and sufficient pepper and salt to season the gravy. Let the meat simmer gently from four to five hours, and turn it when it is half done. When ready to serve, lift the beef into a hot dish, lay the vegetables round, and pour the gravy over it, after having taken out the herbs, and skimmed away the fat. In France, half or the whole of a calf’s foot is stewed with the beef, which is there generally larded through with thick strips of fat bacon. (For larding see page 200.) Veal dressed in this way is even better than beef. The stewpan used for either, should be as nearly the size of the meat as possible.
Beef, 7 to 8 lbs.: 4 to 5 hours.
As a matter of convenience we have occasionally had this joint stewed instead of roasted, and have found it excellent. Cut out the inside or fillet as entire as possible, and reserve it for a separate dish; then remove the bones with care, or let the butcher do this for you; spread the meat flat on a table and cover the inside with thin slices of striped bacon, after having first strewed over it a mixed seasoning of a small teaspoonful of salt, 216 half as much mace or nutmeg, and a moderate quantity of pepper or cayenne. Roll and bind the meat firmly, lay it into a stewpan or thick iron saucepan nearly of its size, and add the bones and as much good beef broth as will nearly cover the joint. Should this not be at hand, put a few slices of lean ham or bacon under the beef, and lay round it three pounds of neck or knuckle of veal, or of stewing-beef, divided into several parts, then pour to it cold water instead of broth. In either case, so soon as it has boiled a few minutes and been well cleaned from scum, throw in a large faggot of savoury herbs, three or four carrots, as many leeks, or a large onion, stuck with a dozen cloves, and, an hour later, two blades of mace, and half a teaspoonful of pepper-corns. Stew the beef very gently indeed from four to five hours, and longer, should the joint be large: serve it with a good Espagnole, sauce-piquante, or brown caper sauce. Add what salt may be needed before the vegetables are thrown in; and, after the meat is lifted out, boil down to soup or gravy the liquor in which it has been stewed. To many tastes it would be an improvement to flour and brown the outside of the beef in butter before the broth or water is poured to it: it may also be stewed (but somewhat longer) half-covered with rich gravy, and turned when partially done. Minced eschalots may be strewed over the inside before it is rolled, when their strong savour is relished, or veal forcemeat may supply their place.
This joint is more easily carved, and is of better appearance when the bones are removed before it is dressed. Roll and bind it firmly, cover it with strong cold beef-broth or gravy, and stew it very gently indeed from six hours to between seven and eight; add to it after the scum has been well cleared off, one large or two moderate-sized onions stuck with thirty cloves, a head of celery, two carrots, two turnips, and a large faggot of savoury herbs. When the beef is perfectly 217 tender quite through, which may be known by probing it with a sharp thin skewer, remove the fillets of tape, dish it neatly, and serve it with a rich Espagnole, and a garnish of forced tomatas, or with a highly-flavoured brown English gravy, and stewed carrots in the dish: for these last the mild preparation of garlic or eschalots, of page 146, may be substituted with good effect: they should be well drained, laid round the meat, and a little brown gravy poured over the whole.
This is the most simple and economical manner of stewing the beef; but should a richer one be desired, half roast the joint, and stew it afterwards in strong gravy, to which a pint of mushrooms, and a pint of sherry or Madeira, should be added an hour before it is ready for table. Keep it hot while a portion of the gravy is thickened with a well-made brown roux (see Chapter IV. page 114.), and seasoned with salt, cayenne, and any other spice it may require. Garnish it with large balls of forcemeat, highly seasoned with minced eschalots, rolled in egg and bread-crumbs, and fried a fine golden brown.
Plainly stewed from 6 to 7 or 8 hours. Or: half roasted, then stewed from 4 to 5 hours.
Obs.—Grated horse-radish, mixed with some well-thickened brown gravy, a teaspoonful of mustard, and a little lemon-juice or vinegar, is a good sauce for stewed beef.
First rub them well with salt, to take off the slime; then wash them thoroughly in several waters, and leave them to soak for half an hour before they are dressed. Set them over the fire in cold water, and boil them gently until the skin will peel off, and the palates are tolerably tender. It is difficult to state the exact time required for this, as some will be done enough in two hours and a half, and others in not less than from four to five hours. When thus prepared, the palates may be cut into various forms, and simmered till fit to 218 serve, in rich brown gravy, highly flavoured with ham, cayenne, wine, and lemon-peel; or they will make an excellent currie. As they are very insipid of themselves, they require a sauce of some piquancy, in which, after they have been peeled and trimmed, they should be stewed from twenty to thirty minutes, or until they are perfectly tender. The black parts of them must be cut away, when the skin is taken off. An onion, stuck with a few cloves, a carrot sliced, a teaspoonful of whole white pepper, a slice of butter, and a teaspoonful of salt, may be boiled with the palates in the first instance; and they will be found very good, if sent to table in the curried gravy of Chapter XIV., or in the Soubise, or onion-sauce à la Royale, of Chapter IV., made thinner than the receipts direct.
Boiled from 2½ to 4 or 5 hours. Stewed from 20 to 30 minutes.
Obs.—A French cook of some celebrity, orders the palates to be laid on the gridiron until the skin will peel or scrape off: the plan seems a good one, but we have not tried it.
Boil the palates until the skin can be easily removed, then stew them very tender in good veal broth, lay them on a drain and let them cool; cut them across obliquely into strips of about a quarter inch in width, and finish them by either of the receipts for dressing maccaroni, which will be found in Chapters XIV. and XVIII.
They should be sent from the butcher ready jointed. Soak and wash them well, cut them into joints, or into lengths of two or three joints, and cover them with cold broth or water. As soon as they boil, remove the scum, and add a half teaspoonful of salt, or as much more as may be needed, and a little common pepper, or cayenne, an onion stuck with half a dozen cloves, two or three 219 small carrots, and a bunch or two of parsley. When these have simmered for two hours and a quarter, try the meat with a fork, and should it not be perfectly tender, let it remain over the fire till it is so. Ox-tails sometimes require nearly or quite three hours’ stewing: they may be served with the vegetables, or with the gravy strained from them, and thickened like the English stew, (see page 213.)
Ox-tails, 2; water or broth to cover them; salt, ½ teaspoonful or more; little pepper or cayenne; onion, 1; cloves, 6; carrots, 2 or 3; parsley, 2 or 3 branches: 2¼ to 3 hours.
When the ox-tail is ready for the stewpan, throw it into plenty of boiling water, slightly salted, and simmer it for fifteen minutes, then take it up, and put it into fresh water to cool; wipe it, and lay it round in a small stewpan without dividing it; just cover it with good beef gravy, and stew it gently till very tender; drain it a little, sprinkle over it a small quantity of salt and cayenne, dip it into clarified butter, then into some fine bread-crumbs, with which it should be thickly covered; lay it on the gridiron, and when equally browned all over, serve it immediately. If more convenient, the ox-tail may be set into the oven, or before the fire, till properly coloured: it may likewise be sent to table without broiling, dished upon stewed cabbage, or in its own gravy, thickened, and with tomata sauce, in a tureen.
Let the meat hang a couple of days in mild weather, and four or five in winter, before it is salted or pickled. During the heat of summer it is better to immerse it entirely in brine, that it may be alike secured from the flies, and from the danger of becoming putrid. Trim it, and take out the kernels from the fat; then 220 rub a little fine dry salt over it, and leave it until the following day; drain it well from the blood which will be found to have flowed from it, and it will be ready for any of the following modes of curing, which are all excellent of their kind, and have been well proved.
In very cold weather, the salt may be applied quite warm to the meat: it should always be perfectly dry, and reduced to powder.
Saltpetre hardens and renders meat indigestible; sugar, on the contrary, mellows and improves it much; and it is more tender when cured with bay-salt than when common salt is used for it.
Mix an ounce of saltpetre, finely powdered, with half a pound of very coarse sugar, and rub the beef thoroughly with them; in two days, add three quarters of a pound of common salt, well dried and beaten; turn and rub the meat well in every part with the pickle for three weeks, when it will be fit to dress. Just wash off the salt, and skewer the beef as round and as even as possible; bind it tightly with broad tape, cover it with cold water, and let it simmer gently for at least five hours. Carrots, mashed turnips, or cabbages are usually served with boiled beef; and horse-radish stewed for ten minutes in equal parts of vinegar and water, then pressed well from them, and mixed with some rich melted butter is a good sauce for it.
Beef, 20 lbs.; coarse sugar, ½ lb.; saltpetre, 1 oz.: 2 days. Salt, ¾ lb.: 21 days. Boil 5 hours or more.
Obs.—Beef cured by this receipt, if properly boiled, is tender, of a good colour and flavour, and not over salt. The rump, edge-bone, and brisket may be salted, or pickled in the same way as the round.
Boil together, for twenty minutes, two gallons of water, three pounds of bay-salt, two pounds of coarse sugar, two ounces of saltpetre, and two of black pepper, 221 bruised, and tied in a bit of muslin; clear off the scum thoroughly, as it rises, pour the pickle into a deep earthen pan, and when it is quite cold lay in the meat, of which every part must be perfectly covered with it. A moderate-sized round of beef will be ready for table in a fortnight: it should be turned occasionally in the brine. Five pounds of common salt may be substituted for the quantity of bay-salt given above; but the meat will not be so finely flavoured.
Water, 2 gallons; bay-salt, 3 lbs.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.; black pepper, 2 ozs.: 20 minutes.
To three gallons of spring-water, add six pounds of common salt, two pounds of bay-salt, two pounds of common loaf-sugar, and two ounces of saltpetre. Boil the whole over a gentle fire; and whilst boiling, skim it carefully: when quite cold it will be fit for use. Rub the meat to be cured with fine salt, and let it drain for a day or two, in order to free it from the blood; then immerse it in the above brine, taking care that every part of it shall be covered. Young pork should not remain more than from three to five days in the pickle; but hams for drying may be left in it for a fortnight at least: tongues will be ready in rather less time. Beef may remain from one week to two, according to its size, and the degree of saltness desired for it. A little experience will soon teach the exact time required for the different kinds of meat. When the pickle has been in use about three months, boil it up again gently, and take the scum carefully off. Add to it three pounds of common salt, four ounces of sugar, and one of saltpetre: it will remain good for a year or more.
Water, 3 gallons; common salt, 6 lbs.; bay-salt, 2 lbs.; loaf sugar, 2 lbs.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.: boil 20 to 30 minutes.
For fourteen pounds weight of the round, the rump, 222 or the thick flank of beef, mix two ounces of saltpetre with the same quantity of coarse sugar; rub the meat with them in every part, and let it remain two days, then add one pound of bay-salt, four ounces of common salt, and one ounce of ground black pepper. Rub these ingredients thoroughly into the beef, and in four days pour over it a pound of treacle; rub and turn it daily for a fortnight; drain, and send it to be smoked. When wanted for table, lay it in plenty of cold water, boil it very slowly, and press it under a heavy weight while hot. A slice of this beef, from which the edges have been carefully trimmed, will serve to flavour soups or gravies as well as ham.
Beef, 14 lbs.; saltpetre and coarse sugar, each 2 ozs.: 2 days. Bay-salt, 1 lb.; common salt, 4 ozs.; pepper, 1 oz.: 4 days. Treacle, 1 lb.: 14 days.
Obs.—Three quarters of a pound of coarse sugar may be rubbed into the meat at first, and the treacle may be altogether omitted; cloves and mace, too, may be added in the same proportion as for spiced beef.
Only the thinnest part of the flank, or the ribs, which are not so generally used for it, will serve conveniently for collaring. The first of these should be hung in a damp place for a day or two, to soften the outer skin; then rubbed with coarse sugar, and left a couple of days; when, for eight pounds of the meat, one ounce of saltpetre, and half a pound of salt should be added. In ten days it will be fit to dress. The bones and tough inner skin must be removed, and the beef sprinkled thickly on the under side with parsley and other savoury herbs shred small, before it is rolled, which should be done very tightly: it must then be secured with a cloth, and bound as closely as possible with broad tape. It will require nearly or quite five hours’ gentle boiling, and should be placed while hot under a weight, or in a press, without having the tape and cloth223
Beef, 8 lbs.; sugar, 3 ozs.; salt, 8 ozs.: 10 days. Boil 5 hours.
Mix half an ounce of saltpetre with the same quantity of pepper, four ounces of bay-salt, and four of common salt; with these rub well from six to seven pounds of the thin flank, and in four days add seven ounces of treacle; turn the beef daily in the pickle for a week or more; dip it into water, bone it and skin the inside; roll and bind it up very tightly, lay it into cold water, and boil it three hours and a half. We have found beef dressed by this receipt extremely good: herbs can, of course, be added to it as usual. Spices and juniper berries would to many tastes improve it, but we give the receipt simply as we have been accustomed to have it used.
Thin flank, 6 to 7 lbs.; bay-salt, and common salt, each 4 ozs.; saltpetre, ½ oz.; pepper, ½ oz.: 4 days. Treacle, 7 ozs.: 8 to 10 days. Boiled 3½ hours.
One ounce of saltpetre, and a pound of common salt, will be sufficient for sixteen pounds of beef. Both should be well dried, and finely powdered; the saltpetre rubbed first equally over the meat, and the salt next applied in every part. It should be rubbed thoroughly with the pickle and turned daily, from a week to ten days. An ounce or two of sugar mixed with the saltpetre will render the beef more tender and palatable.
Beef, 16 lbs.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; salt, 1 lb.: 7 to 10 days.
Rub the beef well in every part with half a pound of coarse brown sugar, and let it remain two days; then reduce to powder, and mix thoroughly before they are applied to the meat, two ounces of saltpetre, three-quarters 224 of a pound of common salt, a quarter pound of black pepper, three ounces of allspice, and four of bruised juniper-berries. Rub these ingredients strongly and equally over the joint, and do so daily for three weeks, turning it at the same time. Just wash off the spice, and put the beef into a tin, or covered earthen pan as nearly of its size as possible, with a cup of water or gravy; cover the top thickly with chopped beef-suet, and lay a coarse thick crust over the pan; place the cover on it, and bake the meat from five to six hours in a well-heated oven, which should not, however, be sufficiently fierce to harden the outside of the joint, which, if properly managed, will be exceedingly tender. Let it cool in the pan; and clear off the suet before it is dished. It is to be served cold, and will remain good for a fortnight.
Beef, 20 to 25 lbs. weight; sugar, 3 ozs.: 2 days. Saltpetre, 2 ozs.; common salt, ¾ lb.; black pepper, 4 ozs.; allspice, 3 ozs.; juniper-berries, 4 ozs.: 21 days. Baked 5 to 6 hours.
Obs.—We have not ourselves tested this receipt, but the meat cured by it has received such high commendations from several of our friends who have partaken of it frequently, that we think we may safely insert it without. The proportion of allspice appears to us more than would be agreeable to many tastes, and we would rather recommend that part of it should be omitted, and that a portion of nutmeg, mace, and cloves should be substituted for it; as we have found these spices to answer well in the following receipt.
For twelve pounds of the round, rump, or thick flank of beef, take a large teaspoonful of freshly-pounded mace, the same of ground black pepper, twice as much of cloves, one small nutmeg, and a quarter teaspoonful of cayenne, all in the finest powder. Mix them well with seven ounces of brown sugar, rub the beef with them 225 and let it lie three days; add to it then half a pound of fine salt, rub and turn it once in twenty-four hours for twelve days; just wash, but do not soak it; skewer, or bind it into good form, put it into a stewpan or saucepan nearly of its size, pour to it a pint and a half of good beef broth, and when it begins to boil, take off the scum, and throw in one small onion, a moderate sized faggot of thyme and parsley, and two large, or four small carrots. Let it simmer quite softly for four hours and a half, and if not wanted to serve hot, leave it in its own liquor until it is nearly cold. This is an excellent and far more wholesome dish than the hard, bright-coloured beef which is cured with large quantities of salt and saltpetre: two or three ounces of juniper-berries may be added to it with the spice, to heighten its flavour.
Beef, 12 lbs.; sugar, 7 ozs.; mace and black pepper, each, 1 large teaspoonful; cloves, in powder, 1 large dessertspoonful; nutmeg, 1; cayenne, ¼ teaspoonful: 3 days. Fine salt, ½ lb.: 12 days. Beef broth (or bouillon), 1½ pint; onion, 1 small; bunch of herbs; carrots, 2 large, or 4 small: stewed 4½ hours.
Obs.—We give this receipt exactly as we have often had it used, but celery and turnips might be added to the gravy; and when the appearance of the meat is much considered, three-quarters of an ounce of saltpetre may be mixed with the spices; the beef may also be plainly boiled in water only, with a few vegetables, or baked in a deep pan with a little gravy. No meat must ever be left to cool in the stewpan or saucepan in which it is cooked; it must be lifted into a pan of its own depth, and the liquor poured upon it.
“Select a fine rib of beef, and have it cut small or large in width, according to your taste; it may thus be made to weigh from five to twelve pounds, or more. Take out the bone, and wrap the meat round like a fillet of veal, securing it with two or three wooden skewers; place it in a strong pickle for four or five days, and then 226 cook it, taking care that it does not boil, but only simmers from forty minutes, or more, according to its size. It is best to put it on in hot water, as it will not draw the gravy so much as cold. Many persons adjust a rib of beef in this way for roasting: let them try it salted, and they need not envy the possessor of the finest round of beef.” We give the receipt to our readers in its original form, and we can assure them, from our own experience, that it is a good one; but we would recommend that, in dressing the meat, quite the usual time for each pound of it should be allowed. When boned and rolled at the butchers, the skewers should be removed when it is first brought in; it should be well wiped with a dry cloth, or washed with a little fresh brine, and a small quantity of salt and saltpetre should be rubbed over the inside; it may then be firmly bound with tape, and will be quite ready to boil when taken from the pickle. The sirloin, after the inside fillet is removed, may be cured and dressed in the same way, and will be found super-excellent, if the beef be well fatted and properly kept. The Hamburg pickle (see page 220,) is perhaps the best for these joints. Part of the rump, taken clear of bone, answers admirably when prepared by this receipt.
“Take about six pounds of the silver side of the round, and make several deep incisions in the inside, nearly through to the skin; stuff these with all kinds of savoury herbs, a good slice of lean ham, and half a small clove of garlic, all finely minced, and well mingled together; then bind and tie the meat closely round, so that the stuffing may not escape. Put four pounds of butter into a stewpan sufficiently large to contain something more than that quantity, and the beef in addition; so soon as it boils, lay in the meat, it just simmer for five or six hours, and turn it every half hour at least, that it may be equally done. Boil for twenty-five minutes three pounds of pipe maccaroni, drain it perfectly 227 dry, and mix it with the gravy of the beef, without the butter, half a pint of very pure salad oil, and a pot of paste tomatas; mix these to amalgamation, without breaking the maccaroni; before serving up, sprinkle Parmesan cheese thickly on the maccaroni.”
We insert this receipt exactly as it was given to us by a friend, at whose table the dish was served with great success to some Italian diplomatists. From our own slight experience of it, we should suppose that the excellence of the beef is quite a secondary consideration, as all its juices are drawn out by the mode of cooking, and appropriated to the maccaroni, of which we must observe that three pounds would make too gigantic a dish to enter well, on ordinary occasions, into an English service.
We have somewhere seen directions for making the stufato with the upper part of the sirloin, thickly larded with large, well-seasoned lardoons of bacon, and then stewed in equal parts of rich gravy, and of red or of white wine.
Chop and mix thoroughly two pounds of lean and very tender beef, with one pound of slightly striped bacon; season them with a large teaspoonful of pepper, a little salt, a small nutmeg, or two-thirds as much of mace, the grated rind of a lemon, or a teaspoonful of thyme and parsley finely minced. Form the whole into a thick rouleau, wrap a buttered paper round it, enclose it in a paste made of flour and water, and send it to a moderate oven for a couple of hours. Remove the paper and crust, and serve the meat with a little brown gravy. Lamb and veal are excellent dressed in this way, particularly when mixed with plenty of mushrooms. Brown cucumber-sauce should be served with the lamb; and currie, or oyster sauce, when there are no mushrooms, with the veal. A flavouring of onion or of eschalot, where it is liked, can be added at 228 pleasure to either of the above: suet, or the fat of the meat may be substituted for the bacon.
Beef, 2 lbs.; bacon, 1 lb.; pepper, ¼ oz.; little salt; small nutmeg; rind of 1 lemon, or fine herbs, 1 tablespoonful: baked 2 hours.
Mince finely a pound of very tender undressed beef, free from fat or skin; season it with a moderate quantity of pepper and salt, set it over a gentle fire, and keep it stirred with a fork until it is quite hot, that it may not gather into lumps. Simmer it very slowly in its own gravy from ten to twelve minutes, and then, should it be too dry, add a little boiling water, broth, or gravy; stew it two minutes longer, and serve it directly.
These collops are particularly suited to persons in delicate health, or of weak digestion; and when an extra dish is required at a short notice, from the expedition with which they may be dressed, they are a convenient resource.
10 to 12 minutes.
Make a little brown thickening (see page 114.) with about an ounce and a half of butter, and a dessertspoonful of flour; when it begins to be coloured, shake lightly into it a large teaspoonful of finely-shred parsley or mixed savoury herbs, two-thirds as much of salt, and half the quantity of pepper. Keep these stirred over a gentle fire until the thickening is of a deep amber colour; then add a pound of rump-steak, finely minced, and keep it well separated with a fork until it is quite hot; next pour to it gradually half a cupful of boiling water, and stew the collops very gently for ten minutes. Before they are served, stir to them a little catsup, Chili vinegar, or lemon-juice, a small quantity of minced onion, eschalot, or a particle of garlic, may be added at first to the thickening when their flavour is desired.229
Omit the minced herbs from the thickening, and season it with cayenne and a small quarter-teaspoonful of pounded mace. Substitute beef-gravy for the boiling water, and when the collops are nearly done, fill a wineglass with one-fourth of mushroom catsup, and three of port wine, and stir these to the meat. Serve the collops very hot, and garnish them with alternate forcemeat balls (see No. 1, page 170,) and fried sippets. If flavoured with a little gravy made from the bones of a roast hare, and served with currant-jelly, these collops would scarcely be distinguished from game.
“Chop the beef small, season it with salt and pepper, and put it, in its raw state, into small jars, and pour on the top some clarified butter. When wanted for use put the clarified butter into a frying-pan, and slice some onions into the pan and fry them. Add a little water to them, and then put in the minced meat. Stew it well, and in a few minutes it will be fit to serve.”
These may be cured by any of the receipts which we have already given for pickling beef, or for those which will be found further on for hams and bacon. Some persons prefer them cured with salt and saltpetre only, and dried naturally in a cool and airy room. For such of our readers as like them highly and richly flavoured we give our own method of having them prepared, which is this:—Rub the tongue over with a handful of fine salt, and let it drain until the following day; then, should it weigh from seven to eight pounds, mix thoroughly an ounce of saltpetre, two ounces of the coarsest sugar, and half an ounce of black pepper; when the tongue has been well rubbed with these, add three ounces of bruised juniper-berries; and when it has laid two days, eight ounces of bay-salt, dried and pounded; 230 at the end of three days more, pour on it half a pound of treacle, and let it remain in the pickle a fortnight after this; then hang it to drain, fold it in brown paper, and send it to be smoked over a wood fire for two or three weeks. Should the peculiar flavour of the juniper-berries prevail too much, or be disapproved, they may be in part, or altogether, omitted; and six ounces of sugar may be rubbed into the tongue in the first instance when it is liked better than treacle.
Tongue, 7 to 8 lbs.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; black pepper, ½ oz.; sugar, 2 ozs.; juniper-berries, 3 ozs.: 2 days. Bay-salt, 8 ozs.: 3 days. Treacle, ½ lb.: 14 days.
Obs.—Before the tongue is salted, the gullet, which has an unsightly appearance, should be trimmed away: it is indeed usual to take the root off entirely, but some families prefer it left on for the sake of the fat.
For each very large tongue, mix with half a pound of salt two ounces of saltpetre and three-quarters of a pound of the coarsest sugar; rub the tongues daily, and turn them in the pickle for five weeks, when they will be fit to be dressed, or to be smoked.
1 large tongue; salt, ½ lb.; sugar, ¾ lb.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.: 5 weeks.
When taken fresh from the pickle they require no soaking, unless they should have remained in it much beyond the usual time, or have been cured with a more than common proportion of salt; but when they have been smoked and hung for some time, they should be laid for two or three hours in cold, and as much longer in tepid water, before they are dressed: if extremely dry, ten or twelve hours must be allowed to soften them, and they should always be brought very slowly to boil. Two or three carrots and a large bunch of savoury herbs, added after the scum is cleared off, will improve them. 231 They should be simmered until they are extremely tender, when the skin will peel from them easily. A highly-dried tongue will usually require from three and a half to four boiling; an unsmoked one about an hour less; and for one that has not been salted at all a shorter time will suffice.
After the tongue has been soaked, trimmed, and washed with extreme nicety, lay it into a vessel of fitting size, and place round it three or four pounds of the neck, or of any other lean cuttings of beef, with some bones of undressed veal, and pour in sufficient cold water to keep it covered until it is done; or, instead of this, use strong unseasoned beef broth made with the shin, and any odd bits or bones of veal that may be at hand. Let the tongue be brought to boil very gradually, that it may be plump and tender. Remove the scum when it first rises, and when it is quite cleared off add a large faggot of parsley, thyme, and winter savory, three carrots, a small onion, and one mild turnip. After three hours and a half of gentle simmering, probe the tongue, and if sufficiently done peel off the skin and serve it quickly. If not wanted hot for table, lay it on a very clean board or trencher, and fasten it down to it by passing a carving fork through the root, and a smaller one through the tip, drawing the tongue straight with the latter before it is fixed in the board: let it remain thus till quite cold. It is much the fashion at present to glaze hams and tongues, but this should never be attempted by a cook not well acquainted with the manner of doing it, and the proper flavour and appearance of the glaze. For directions to make it, see page 111. Where expense is not regarded, three or four pounds of veal may be added to the beef in this receipt, or the tongue may be stewed in a prepared gravy made with equal parts of beef and veal, and vegetables as above, but without salt: this may afterwards be converted into excellent soup. A fresh or an unsmoked tongue may 232 be dressed in this way, but will require less time: for the former salt must be added to the gravy.
Wash and soak the heart very thoroughly, cut away the lobes, fill the cavities with a veal forcemeat (No. 1, page 170), secure it well with a needle and twine, or very coarse thread, and roast the heart at a good fire for an hour and a half, keeping it basted plentifully with butter. Pour melted butter over it, after it is dished, and send it to table as hot as possible. Many persons boil the heart for three-quarters of an hour before it is put to the fire, and this is said to render it more delicate eating: the time of roasting must of course be proportionately diminished. Good brown gravy may be substituted for the melted butter, and currant jelly also served with it.
1½ hour, or more.
Slice the kidney rather thin, after having stripped off the skin and removed the fat; season it with pepper, salt, and grated nutmeg, and sprinkle over it plenty of minced parsley, or equal parts of parsley and eschalots chopped very small. Fry the slices over a brisk fire, and when nicely browned on both sides, stir amongst them a teaspoonful of flour, and pour in by degrees a cup of gravy and a glass of white wine; bring the sauce to the point of boiling, add a morsel of fresh butter and a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and pour the whole into a hot dish garnished with sippets of fried bread. This is a French receipt, and a very excellent one.
Trim, and cut the kidney into slices; season them with salt and pepper, and dredge them well with flour; fry them on both sides, and when they are done through lift them out, empty the pan, and make a gravy for 233 them with a small slice of butter, a dessertspoonful of flour, pepper and salt, and a cup of boiling water; shake these round and give them a minute’s simmering; add a little mushroom catsup, lemon juice, eschalot-vinegar, or any store sauce that will give a good flavour. Minced herbs are to many tastes an improvement to this dish: a small quantity of onion shred fine can be added where it is liked.
6 to 9 minutes.
Put a slice of butter into a thick saucepan, and when it boils throw in a dessertspoonful of minced herbs, and an onion (or two or three eschalots) shred small; shake them over the fire until lightly browned, then stir in a tablespoonful of flour, a little cayenne, some mace or nutmeg, and half a teaspoonful of salt. When the whole is well coloured, pour to it three-quarters of a pint or more of broth or gravy, according to the quantity of meat to be served in it. Let this boil gently for fifteen minutes, then strain it; add half a wineglassful of mushroom or compound catsup; lay in the meat, and keep it by the side of the fire until it is heated through and is on the point of simmering, but be sure not to let it boil. Put some fried or toasted sippets into a very hot dish, and serve the hash directly.
Take the meat from the bones, slice it small, trim off the brown edges, and stew down the trimmings with the bones well broken, an onion, a bunch of thyme and parsley, a carrot cut into thick slices, a few pepper-corns, four cloves, some salt, and a pint and a half of water. When this is reduced to little more than three-quarters of a pint, strain it, clear it from the fat, thicken it with a large dessertspoonful of rice-flour, or rather less of arrow-root; add salt and pepper if needed, boil the whole for a few minutes, then lay in the meat and 234 heat it well. Boiled potatoes are sometimes sliced hot into a very common hash.
Obs.—The cook should be reminded that if the meat in a hash or mince be allowed to boil, it will immediately become hard, and can then only be rendered eatable by very long stewing, which is by no means desirable for meat that is already sufficiently done.
Trim the brown edges from half a pound of under-dressed roast beef, shred it small and mix it with four ounces of fine bread-crumbs, a teaspoonful of minced parsley, and two-thirds as much of thyme, two ounces of butter, broken small, half a cupful of gravy, or cream, a high seasoning of pepper and cayenne, and mace, or nutmeg, a small teaspoonful of salt, and three large eggs, well beaten. Melt a little butter in a pie-dish, pour in the beef, and bake it half an hour; turn it out, and send it to table with brown gravy in a tureen. When cream or gravy is not at hand, an additional egg or two, and rather more butter, must be used. We think that grated lemon-rind improves the breslaw. A portion of fat from the joint can be added where it is liked. The mixture is sometimes baked in buttered cups.
Beef, ½ lb.; bread-crumbs, 4 ozs.; butter, 2 ozs.; gravy, or cream, ½ cupful; parsley, 1 teaspoonful; thyme, two-thirds of teaspoonful; eggs, 3, or 4, if small; salt, 1 teaspoonful; pepper and nutmeg, ½ teaspoonful each: bake ½ hour.
Peel and fry two dozens of button onions in butter until they are lightly browned, then stir to them a tablespoonful of flour, and when the whole is of a deep amber shade, pour in a glass and a half of red wine, and a large cup of boiling broth or water; add a seasoning of salt and common pepper, or cayenne, and a little 235 lemon-pickle, catsup, or lemon-juice, and boil the whole until the onions are quite tender; cut and trim into small handsome slices the remains of either a roast or boiled joint of beef, and arrange them in a clean saucepan; pour the gravy and onions on them, and let them stand for a while to imbibe the flavour of the sauce; then place the hash near the fire, and when it is thoroughly hot, serve it immediately, without allowing it to boil.
Shake over a slow fire a bit of butter the size of an egg, and a tablespoonful of flour; when they have simmered for a minute, stir to them a little onion, shred fine, and a dessertspoonful of minced parsley; so soon as the whole is equally browned, add sufficient pepper, salt, and nutmeg to season the hash properly, and from half to three-quarters of a pint of boiling water or bouillon. Put in the beef cut into small but thick slices; let it stand by the fire and heat gradually; and when near the thicken the sauce with the yolks of three eggs, mixed with a tablespoonful of lemon-juice. For change, omit the eggs, and substitute a tablespoonful of catsup, and another of sliced or minced pickled gherkins.
Mince tolerably fine, with a moderate proportion of its own fat, as much of the inside of a cold roast joint as will suffice for a dish: that which is least done is best for the purpose. Season it rather highly with cayenne and mace, or nutmeg, and moderately with salt; add, if approved, one or two eschalots, minced small, with a few chopped mushrooms, either fresh or pickled, or two tablespoonsful of mushroom catsup. Moisten the whole, mixing it well, with a cupful of good gravy, and put it into a deep dish. Place on the top an inch thick layer of bread-crumbs; moisten these plentifully with clarified butter, passed through a small strainer over 236 them, and send the mince to a slow oven for twenty minutes, or brown it in a Dutch oven.
Spread on the dish in which the saunders are to be served, a layer of smoothly mashed potatoes, that have been seasoned with salt and mixed with about an ounce of butter to the pound. On these spread equally and thickly some undressed beef or mutton, minced, and mixed with a little of the gravy that has run from joint, or a few spoonsful of any other; some salt, pepper, and a small quantity of nutmeg. Place evenly over this another layer of potatoes, and send the dish to the oven for half an hour. A very superior kind of saunders is made by substituting fresh meat for roasted; but this requires to be baked an hour or something more. Sausage-meat, highly seasoned, may be served in this way, instead of beef or mutton.
Let the large ends of the bones be sawn by the butcher, so that when they are dished they may stand upright; and if it can be done conveniently, let them be placed in the same manner in the vessel in which they are boiled. Put a bit of paste, made with flour and water, over the ends where the marrow is visible, and tie a cloth tightly over them; take the paste off before the bones are sent to table, and serve them, placed upright in a napkin, with slices of dry toasted bread, apart. When not wanted for immediate use, they may be partially boiled, and set into a cool place, where they will remain good for many days.
Large marrow-bones, 2 hours; moderate sized, 1½ hour. To keep: boil them 1½ hour, and from ½ to ¾ hour more when wanted for table.
When the bones have been sawn to the length of a deep pie-dish, wash and wipe them dry, lay them into 237 it, and cover them entirely with a good batter. Send them to a moderate oven for an hour or more, and serve them in the batter.
Take the marrow from the bones while it is as fresh as possible; cut it small, put it into a very clean jar, and melt it with a gentle heat, either in a pan of water placed over the fire, or at the mouth of a cool oven; strain it through a muslin, let it settle for a minute or two, and pour it, clear of sediment, into small jars. Tie skins, or double folds of thick paper, over them as soon as the marrow is cold, and store it in a cool place. It will remain good for months.
|1.||Loin, Best End.|
|2.||Loin, Chump End.|
|6.||Neck, Best End.|
|7.||Neck, Scrag End.|
|9.||Breast, Best End.|
|10.||Breast, Brisket End.|
Veal should be fat, finely grained, white, firm, and not overgrown; for when very large it is apt to be 238 coarse and tough. It is more difficult to keep than any other meat except pork, and should never be allowed to acquire the slightest taint before it is dressed, as any approach to putridity renders it equally unwholesome and offensive to the taste. The fillet, the loin, the shoulder, and the best end of the neck, are the parts generally selected for roasting; the breast and knuckle are more usually stewed or boiled. The udder, or firm white fat of the fillet, is much used by French cooks instead of butter, especially in the composition of their forcemeats: for these, it is first well boiled, then left until quite cold, and afterwards thoroughly pounded before it is mixed with the other ingredients. The head and feet of the calf are valuable articles of food, both for the nutriment which the gelatinous parts of them afford, and for the great variety of modes in which they may be dressed. The kidneys, with the rich fat that surrounds them, and the sweetbreads especially, are well-known delicacies; the liver and the heart also are very good eating; and no meat is so generally useful for rich soups and gravies as veal.
It is better to do this before the head is divided; but if only the half of one with the skin on can be procured, it must be managed in the same way. Put it into plenty of water which is on the point of simmering, but which does not positively boil, and let it remain in until it does so, and for five or six minutes afterwards, but at the first full bubble draw it from the fire and let it merely scald; then lift it out, and with a knife that is not sharp scrape off the hair as closely and as quickly as possible. The butchers have an instrument on purpose for the operation; but we have had the head look quite as well when done in the manner we have just described, as when it has been sent in ready prepared by them. After the hair is off, the 239 head should be well washed, and if it cannot be cooked the same day it must be wiped extremely dry before it is hung up; and when it has not been divided it should be left whole until the time approaches for dressing it. The brain must then be taken out, and both that and the head well soaked and washed with the greatest nicety. When the half-head only is scalded, the brain should first be removed. Calves’ feet are freed from the hair easily in the same manner; indeed, we find it a better mode of having it cleared from them than the one we have given in Chapter XX., though that is the one practised by many good butchers.
When the head is dressed with the skin on, which many persons prefer, the ear must be cut off quite close to it; it will require three-quarters of an hour, or upwards, of additional boiling, and should be served covered with fried crumbs: the more usual mode, however, is to boil it without the skin. In either case, first remove the brain, wash the head delicately clean, and soak it for a quarter of an hour; cover it plentifully with cold water, remove the scum as it rises with great care, throw in a little salt, and boil the head gently until it is perfectly tender. In the mean time, wash and soak the brains first in cold and then in warm water, remove the skin or film, boil them in a small saucepan, from fourteen to sixteen minutes, according to their size, and when they are done, chop and mix them with eight or ten sage leaves boiled tender, and finely minced, or, if preferred, with parsley boiled, instead; warm them in a spoonful or two of melted butter, or white sauce; skin the tongue, trim off the root, and serve it in a small dish with the brains laid round it. Send the head to table very hot with parsley and butter poured over it, and some more in a tureen. A cheek of bacon, or very delicate pickled pork, and greens, are the usual accompaniments to boiled calf’s head.
We have given here the common English mode of 240 serving this dish, by some epicures considered the best, and by others, as exceedingly insipid. On the Continent, tomata-sauce takes place of the parsley and butter; and rich oyster, or Dutch sauce, are varieties often substituted for it in this country.
With the skin on, from 2 hours and ¼ to 2 hours and ¾; without the skin, from 1 hour and ¼ to 1 hour and ¾.
Boil the half-head till tolerably tender, let it cool, and bone it entirely, replace the brain, lay the head into a stewpan, and simmer it gently for an hour in rich gravy. From five-and-twenty to thirty minutes before it is dished, add, if procurable, half a pint of mushroom-buttons. Thicken the gravy, if needful, with rice-flour, or with flour and butter, and serve plenty of forcemeat-balls round the head. For dishes of this kind, a little sweet-basil wine, or a few sprigs of the herb itself, impart a very agreeable flavour. When neither these nor mushrooms are within reach, the very thin rind of a small but fresh lemon may be boiled in the gravy, and the strained juice added at the instant of serving.
Boiled from 1 to 2 hours; stewed 1 hour.
Obs.—The skin, with the ear, may be left on the head for this receipt, and the latter slit into narrow strips from the tip to within an inch and a half of the base; which will give it a feathery and ornamental appearance: the head may then be glazed or not at pleasure.
Take away the brains and tongue from the half of a calf’s head, and then remove the bones, being careful in doing so to keep the knife as close to them as possible, and to avoid piercing the outer skin: in this consists the whole art of boning, in which an attentive cook 241 easily render herself expert. Next wash the head and dry it in a clean cloth; sprinkle over the inside a little pounded mace and cayenne, or white pepper; roll it up tightly, and bind it round with tape or twine. Lay into a small stewpot three or four pounds of neck of veal or beef, twice or thrice divided, and place the head upon it with the bones well broken; pour in half a gallon of cold water, or as much as will suffice to keep the head covered until it is done, and simmer it very gently from an hour and a quarter to an hour and three quarters. When it is extremely tender, lift it out, and if wanted for table, remove the binding, and serve it very hot, with currie-sauce, rich oyster-sauce, or egg-sauce and brown gravy; but should the remains, or the whole of it be required for the following receipts, pour no gravy over it: in the latter case do not take off the tape for several hours. The tongue may be stewed with the head, but will require rather less time. We do not think it needful to repeat in every receipt our directions for adding salt to, and removing carefully the scum from, meats that are stewed or boiled, but the cook must not neglect either. When the trouble of boning is objected to, it can be dispensed with for some of the dishes which follow, but not for all. After the head is taken out, boil the gravy until it is well reduced, and rich: it should be strongly jellied when cold. A bone of ham, or a slice of hung-beef will much improve its flavour; but vegetables must be avoided if it be wanted to keep: a little spice and a faggot of parsley may be added to it, and a calf’s foot will be sure to give it the requisite degree of firmness. This receipt is for a head without the skin.
Set aside until quite cold half a calf’s head dressed by the preceding receipt. If on cutting it, the gelatinous part should not appear perfectly tender, pare it off closely from the head, weigh and mince it; put it into a pint of good gravy, and stew it gently from ten to 242 fifteen minutes. Mince as much more of the head as will make up a pound in weight after any discoloured edges are trimmed off, and part of the fat is taken away; add to this three ounces of the lean of a boiled ham chopped fine, the grated rind of a large lemon, three teaspoonsful of parsley and one of thyme shred very small, three quarters of a teaspoonful of mace, half a small nutmeg grated, a teaspoonful of salt, and a half-quarter one of cayenne; stir the whole well together, and put it, with half a pint more of gravy, to the portion that has been already simmered. When the whimsey has boiled softly from four to five minutes, pour it into moulds or pans, in which slices of the tongue have been evenly arranged, and when quite cold it will turn out very firmly. When sent to table it may be garnished with branches of parsley, which should, however, be perfectly dry; and when served for supper or luncheon, it may be accompanied by salad-sauce.
Calf’s head, 1 lb.; lean of ham, 3 ozs.; gravy, 1½ pint; rind of 1 large lemon; parsley, 3 teaspoonsful; thyme and salt, each 1 teaspoonful; mace, ¾ teaspoonful; ½ nutmeg; cayenne, ⅛ part of teaspoonful: 5 minutes.
Obs.—The remains of a plain boiled head may be made to serve for this dish, provided the gravy used with it be well jellied and of high flavour. Slices from the small end of a boiled and smoked ox-tongue, from their bright colour improve greatly the appearance of the whimsey, which should be tasted before it is poured out, that salt or any other seasoning may be added if needful. After three or four days’ keeping, should any mould appear on the surface, take it off, re-melt the whimsey, and give it two minutes boil. For change, the herbs may be omitted, and the quantity of ham increased, or some minced tongue substituted for it.
Prepare, by the cook’s receipt, half a calf’s head with 243 or without the skin on, only, in the latter case, allow more time for the boiling. When it is quite cold, remove the fillets of tape, and cut the head into slices of half an inch thick, brush them over with yolk of egg, and dip them into fine breadcrumbs, seasoned with the grated rind of half a lemon, half a teaspoonful of salt, a dessertspoonful of minced savoury herbs, some cayenne, and a little of the lean of a boiled ham chopped very small, should this last be at hand. Fry the cutlets in butter of a fine light brown, make some gravy in the pan as for veal cutlets, and add to it the juice of half a lemon; or mix a large teaspoonful of currie-powder, and one of flour, very smoothly with the butter, shake them over the fire for four or five minutes, and let the gravy simmer as much longer, after the water is added; or serve the cutlets, covered with good mushroom sauce.
When the whole of this dish has to be prepared, make for it a quart of stock, and proceed in all else as directed for mock turtle soup (page 28); but after the head has been parboiled, cut down a full pound and a half of it for the hash, and slice it small and thick, instead of dividing it into dice. Make the brains into cakes (see page 177), and garnish the dish with forcemeat-balls, rolled in egg, and the finest bread-crumbs, fried a delicate brown, and well-drained, and dried on a warm sieve reversed. The wine and other seasonings should be the same as for the soup.
Rich gravy, 1 quart; flesh of calf’s head, full, 1 lb. and ½; wine, and other seasonings, as for mock turtle soup.
Obs.—The gravy for this hash should be stewed with ham, eschalots, &c., exactly as for the soup.
Take the flesh from the bone of a cold boiled head, and put it aside till wanted; take about three pints of the liquor in which it was cooked; break the bones, and 244 stew them down with a small bunch of savoury herbs, a carrot, or two, should they be small, a little nicely-fried onion, four cloves, a dozen corns of pepper, and either a slice or two of lean unboiled ham, or the bone of a boiled one, quite cleared of flesh, well-bruised, and broken, and freed carefully from any of the smoked outsides. If neither of these can be had, from half to a whole pound of neck of beef should be stewed with the bones, or the whole will be insipid in flavour. When the liquid is reduced nearly half, strain it, take off the fat, thicken it with a little well-made roux, or, if more convenient, with flour and butter, stirred into it, when it boils, or with rice-flour or arrow-root, mixed with a little spice, mushroom-catsup, or Harvey’s sauce, and a small quantity of lemon-pickle or Chili vinegar. Heat the meat slowly in the sauce when it is ready, but do not allow it to boil. The forcemeat, No. 1. of Chapter VI., may be rolled into balls, fried, and served round it. The gravy should be well-seasoned.
Cut into small delicate slices, or scollops of equal size, sufficient cold calf’s head or veal for a dish. Next knead very smoothly together with a knife two ounces of butter, and a small dessertspoonful of flour; put these into a stewpan or well-tinned saucepan, and keep them stirred or shaken over a gentle fire until they have simmered for a minute or two, but do not let them take the slightest colour; then add to them in very small portions (letting the sauce boil up after each is poured in) half a pint of pale veal gravy, or good shin-of-beef stock, and when the whole is very smoothly blended, and has boiled for a couple of minutes, mix together and stir to it a tablespoonful of common vinegar, a dessertspoonful of Chili vinegar, a little cayenne, a tablespoonful of good mushroom catsup, and a very 245 small bit of sugar; and when the sauce again boils, strew a tablespoonful of minced parsley over the meat, lay it in, and let it stand by the fire until it is quite heated through, but do not allow it to boil: if kept just at the simmering point for ten or twelve minutes it may be served perfectly hot without. The addition of the mushroom catsup converts this into an English sauce, and renders it in colour, as well as in flavour, unlike the French one which bears the same name, and which is acidulated generally with lemon-juice instead of vinegar. Pickled mushrooms are sometimes added to the dish: the parsley when it is objected to may be omitted, and the yolks of two or three eggs mixed with a little cream may be stirred in, but not allowed to boil, just before the meat is served. When veal is used for this hash instead of calf’s head, it should be cut in slices not much larger than a shilling, and freed entirely from fat, sinew, and the brown edges. When neither broth nor gravy is at hand, a morsel or two of lean ham, and a few of the trimmings or bones of the head or joint, may be boiled down to supply its place.
Sufficient cold calf’s head, or meat, for a dish; butter, 2 ozs.; flour, 1 small dessertspoonful; gravy, or strong broth, ½ pint; vinegar, and mushroom-catsup, of each 1 tablespoonful; Chili vinegar, 1 dessertspoonful; small bit of sugar; little cayenne, and salt if needed; parsley, 1 tablespoonful (pickled mushrooms or not at pleasure).
Obs.—Soles or codfish are very good, if raised neatly from the bones, or flaked, and heated in this Maître d’Hotel sauce.
The half of a fine large calf’s head, with the skin on, will best answer for this brawn. Take out the brains, and bone it entirely, or get the butcher to do this; rub a little fine salt over, and let it drain for ten or twelve 246 hours; next wipe it dry, and rub it well in every part with three quarters of an ounce of saltpetre finely powdered (or with an ounce, should the head be very large) and mixed with four ounces of common salt, and three of bay-salt, also beaten fine; turn the head daily in this pickle for four or five days, rubbing it a little each time; and then pour over it four ounces of treacle, and continue to turn it every day, and baste it with the brine very frequently for a month. Then hang it up for a night to drain, fold it in brown paper, and send it to be smoked where wood only is burned, from three to four weeks. When wanted for table, wash and scrape it very clean, but do not soak it; lay it, with the rind downwards, into a saucepan or stewpan, which will hold it easily; cover it well with cold water, as it will swell considerably in the cooking. Let it heat rather slowly, skim it thoroughly when it first begins to simmer, and boil it as gently as possible from an hour and three quarters to a couple of hours or more, should it not then be perfectly tender quite through; for unless sufficiently boiled the skin, which greatly resembles brawn, will be unpleasantly tough when cold. When the fleshy side of the head is done, which will be twenty minutes or half an hour sooner than the outside, pour the water from it, leaving so much only in the stewpan as will just cover the gelatinous part, and simmer it till this is thoroughly tender. The head thus cured is very highly flavoured, and most excellent eating. The receipt for it is entirely new, having originated with ourselves. We give the reader, in addition, the result of our first experiment with it, which was exceedingly successful:—“A half calf’s head, not very large, without the skin, pickled with three ounces of common salt, two of bay-salt, half an ounce of saltpetre, one ounce of brown sugar, and half an ounce of pepper, left four days; then three ounces of treacle added, and the pickling continued for a month; smoked nearly as long, and boiled between one hour and a half and two hours.” The pepper was omitted 247 in our second trial, because it did not improve the appearance of the dish, although it was an advantage in point of flavour. Juniper berries might, we think, be added with advantage, when they are liked; and cayenne tied in a muslin might supply the place of the pepper. It is an infinite improvement to have the skin of the head left on.
Take out the bone and put a good roll of forcemeat, (No. 1, page 170) under the flap, dividing first, with a sharp knife, the skin from the meat sufficiently to admit the quantity required; secure it well, truss the veal firmly into good shape, place it at a distance from the fire at first, and baste it with butter. The outside will have a richer crust of browning if the meat be washed, wiped tolerably dry, and well floured before it is laid to the fire. It should be carefully watched, and basted often, that the fat may not burn. Pour melted butter over it after it is dished, and serve with it a boiled cheek of bacon and a lemon. Roast it from four to five hours, according to its size.
A small, and delicately white fillet should be selected for this purpose. Bind it round with tape, after having washed it thoroughly; cover it well with cold water, and bring it gently to boil; watch, and clear off carefully, the scum as it rises, and be, at the same time, very cautious not to allow the water to become smoked. Let the meat be gently simmered from three hours and a half to four and a half, according to its weight. Send it to table with rich white sauce, and a boiled tongue; or make for it in the first instance the oyster forcemeat of Chapter VI, and serve with the veal a tureen of well-made oyster-sauce.
3½ hours to 4½.
It is not usual to stuff a loin of veal, but we greatly 248 recommend the practice, as an infinite improvement to the joint. Make the same forcemeat as for the fillet; and insert it between the skin and the flesh just over the ends of the bones. Skewer down the flap, place the joint at a moderate distance from a sound fire, keep it constantly basted, and be especially careful not to allow the kidney fat to burn: to prevent this, and to ensure the good appearance of the joint, a buttered paper should be fastened round the loin, and removed about half an hour before it is taken from the fire. It is the fashion in some counties to serve egg-sauce and brown gravy with roast loin, or breast of veal.
The cook will scarcely need to be told that she must separate the skin from the flank, with a sharp knife, quite from the end, to the place where the forcemeat is to be put, and then skewer the whole very securely. When the veal is not papered, dredge it well with flour soon after it is laid to the fire.
2 hours to 2½.
If dressed with care and served with good sauces, this, when the meat is small and white, is an excellent dish, and often more acceptable to persons of delicate habit than roast veal. Take from eight to ten pounds of the best end of the loin, leave the kidney in with all its fat, skewer or bind down the flap, lay the meat into cold water, and boil it as gently as possible from two hours and a quarter to two and a half, clearing off the scum perfectly, as in dressing the fillet. Send it to table with well-made oyster-sauce, or bechamel, or with white sauce well-flavoured with lemon juice, and with parsley, boiled, pressed dry, and finely chopped.
2¼ hours to 2½.
Take part of a loin of veal, the chump end will do; put into a large, thick, well-tinned iron saucepan, or into a stewpan, about a couple of ounces of butter, and 249 shake it over a moderate fire until it begins to brown; flour the veal well all over, lay it into the saucepan, and when it is of a fine amber-colour, pour gradually in veal-broth, gravy, or boiling water to nearly half its depth; add a little salt, one or two sliced carrots, a small onion, or more when their flavour is much liked, and a bunch of parsley; stew the veal very softly for an hour or rather more, then turn it, and let it stew for nearly or quite another hour, or longer should if not appear perfectly done. As none of our receipts have been tried with large, coarse veal, the cooking must be regulated by that circumstance, and longer time allowed should the meat be of more than middling size. Dish the joint; skim all the fat from the gravy, and strain it over the meat; or keep the joint hot while it is rapidly reduced to a richer consistency. This is merely a plain family stew.
Let both the veal and the sweetbread be washed with exceeding nicety, cover them with cold water, clear off the scum as it rises, throw in a little salt, add a bunch of parsley, a large blade of mace, and twenty white pepper-corns; simmer the meat from an hour to an hour and a quarter, and serve it covered with rich onion sauce. Send it to table very hot. The sweetbread may be taken up when half done, and curried, or made into cutlets, or stewed in brown gravy. When onions are objected to, substitute white sauce, and a cheek of bacon for them, or parsley and butter, if approved.
1 to 1¼ hour.
Let the caul remain skewered over the joint till within half an hour of its being ready for table; place it at a moderate distance from a brisk fire, baste it constantly, and in about an hour and a half remove the caul, flour the joint, and let it brown. Dish, and pour melted butter over it, and serve it with a cut lemon, and 250 any other usual veal accompaniments. It may be garnished with fried forcemeat-balls of No. 1, Chapter VI., the size of a walnut.
2 to 2½ hours.
Spread a clean cloth upon a table or dresser, and lay the joint flat upon it, with the skin downwards; with a sharp knife, cut off the flesh from the inner side, nearly down to the blade-bone, of which detach the edges first, then work the knife under it, keeping it always close to the bone, and using all possible precaution not to pierce the outer skin; when it is in every part separated from the flesh, loosen it from the socket with the point of the knife, and remove it; or, without dividing the two bones, cut round the joint till it is freed entirely from the meat, and proceed to detach the second bone. That of the knuckle is frequently left in, but for some dishes it is necessary to take it out; in doing this, be careful not to tear the skin. A most excellent grill may be made by leaving sufficient meat for it on the bones of a shoulder of mutton, when they are removed from the joint: it will be found very superior to the broiled blade-bone of a roast shoulder, which is so much esteemed by many people.
Bone a shoulder of veal, and strew the inside thickly with savoury herbs, shred fine; season it well with salt, cayenne, and pounded mace; and place on these a layer of ham cut in thin slices, and freed from rind and rust. Roll the veal, and bind it tightly with a fillet; roast it for an hour and a half, then simmer it gently in good brown gravy for five hours; add forcemeat balls before it is dished, skim the fat from the gravy, and 251 serve it with the meat. This receipt, for which we are indebted to a correspondent on whom we can depend, and which we have not, therefore, proved ourselves, is for a joint that weighs ten pounds before it is boned.
The best end of the neck will make an excellent roast. A forcemeat may be inserted between the skin and the flesh, by first separating them with a sharp knife; or the dish may be garnished with the forcemeat in balls. From an hour and three quarters to a couple of hours will roast it. Pour melted butter over when it is dished, and serve it like other joints. Let it be floured when first laid to the fire, kept constantly basted, and always at a sufficient distance to prevent its being scorched.
1¾ to 2 hours.
For the forcemeat, see No. 1, Chapter VI. From 8 to 10 minutes will fry the balls.
Take the best end of a neck of white and well-fed veal, detach the flesh from the ends of the bones, cut them sufficiently short to give the joint a good square form; roll and skewer the skin over them, wrap a buttered paper round the meat, lay it at a moderate distance from a clear fire, and keep it well basted with butter for an hour and a quarter, then remove the paper and continue the basting with a pint, or more, of béchamel, or of rich white sauce, until the veal is sufficiently roasted, and well encrusted with it. Serve some béchamel under it in the dish, and send it very hot to table. For variety, give the béchamel, in making it, a high flavour of mushrooms, and add some small buttons, stewed very white and tender, to the portion reserved for saucing the joint.
2 to 2¼ hours.252
Cut in small thick slices the flesh of a knuckle of veal, season it with a little fine salt and white pepper, flour it lightly, and fry it in butter to a pale brown, lay it into a very clean stewpan or saucepan, and just cover it with boiling water, skim it clean, and add to it a faggot of thyme and parsley, the white part of a head of celery, a small quantity of cayenne, and a blade or two of mace. Stew it very softly from an hour and three quarters, to two and a half. Thicken and enrich the gravy if needful with rice-flour and mushroom catsup or Harvey’s sauce, or with a large teaspoonful of flour, mixed with a slice of butter, a little good store-sauce and a glass of sherry or Madeira. Fried forcemeat balls of No. 1, page 170, may be added at pleasure. With an additional quantity of water, or of broth (made with the bones of the joint), a pint and a half of young green peas stewed with the veal for an hour will give an agreeable variety of this dish.
After the joint has been trimmed and well washed, put it into a vessel well adapted to it in size, for if it be very large, so much water will be required that the veal will be deprived of its flavour; it should be well covered with it, and very gently boiled until it is perfectly tender in every part, but not so much done as to separate from the bone. Clear off the scum with scrupulous care when the simmering first commences, and throw in a small portion of salt; as this, if sparingly used, will not redden the meat, and will otherwise much improve it. Parsley and butter is usually both poured over, and sent to table with a knuckle of veal, and boiled bacon also should accompany it. From the sinewy nature of this joint, it requires more than the usual time of cooking, a quarter of an hour to the pound not being sufficient for it.253
Knuckle of veal of 6 to 7 lbs.; simmered gently from 2¼ hours to 2½.
Chop separately, and very fine, a pound and a quarter of veal quite free from fat and skin, and six ounces of beef kidney-suet; add a teaspoonful of salt, a full third as much of white pepper, and of mace or nutmeg, with the grated rind of half a lemon, and turn the whole well together with the chopping-knife till it is thoroughly mixed; then press it smoothly into a small, round baking dish, and send it to a moderate oven for an hour and a quarter. Lift it into a clean, hot dish, and serve it plain, or with a little brown gravy in a tureen. Three ounces of the lean of a boiled ham minced small, will very much improve this cake, of which the size can be increased at will, and proportionate time allowed for dressing it. If baked in a hot oven, the meat will shrink to half its proper size, and be very dry. When done, it should be of a fine amber-colour, and like a cake in appearance.
Veal, 1¼ lb.; beef-suet, 6 ozs.; salt, 1 teaspoonful; pepper and mace, or nutmeg, ¾ teaspoonful each; rind of ½ lemon; ham (when added), 3 ozs.: baked 1¼ hour.
Take a pound and a half of veal perfectly clear of fat and skin, and eight ounces of the nicest striped bacon; chop them separately, then mix them well together with the grated rind of a small lemon, half a teaspoonful of salt, a fourth as much of cayenne, the third part of a nutmeg, grated, and a half-teaspoonful of freshly pounded mace. When it is pressed into the dish, let it be somewhat higher in the centre than at the edge; and whether to be served hot or cold, lift it out as soon as it comes from the oven, and place it on a strainer that the fat may drain from it: it will keep many days 254 if the under side be dry. The bacon should be weighed after the rind, and any rust it may exhibit, have been trimmed from it: that cured by the East Farleigh receipt, (see Chapter XI) is best for the purpose. This cake is excellent cold, better indeed than the preceding one; but if preferred hot, slices of either may be warmed through in a Dutch oven, or on the gridiron, or in a few spoonsful of gravy. The same ingredients made into small cakes, floured well, fried slowly from twelve to fifteen minutes, then served with gravy, made in the pan as for cutlets, will be found extremely good.
Veal, 1½ lb.; striped bacon, 8 ozs.: salt and mace, ½ teaspoonful each; rind of lemon, 1; third of 1 nutmeg; cayenne, 4 grains.
French cooks always prefer for this dish, which is a common one in their own country, that part of the fillet to which the fat or udder is attached;* but the flesh of the finer part of the neck, or loin, raised clear from the bones, may be made to answer the purpose nearly, or quite as well, and often much more conveniently, as the meat with us is not divided for sale as in France; and to purchase the entire fillet, for the sake of the fricandeau, would render it exceedingly expensive. Lay the veal flat upon a table, or dresser, with the skin uppermost, and endeavour, with one stroke of an exceedingly sharp knife to clear this off, and leave the surface of the meat extremely smooth; next lard it thickly with small lardoons, as directed for a pheasant (page 200), and make one or two incisions in the underside with the point of a knife, that it may the better imbibe the flavour of the seasonings. Take a stewpan, of sufficient size to hold the fricandeau, and the proper quantity of vegetables compactly arranged, without much room being left round the meat. Put into it a couple of large carrots, cut in thick slices, two onions of moderate size, two or three roots of parsley, 255 three bay-leaves, two small blades of mace, a branch or two of lemon-thyme, and a little cayenne, or a saltspoonful of white pepper-corns. Raise these high in the centre of the stewpan, so as to support the meat, and prevent its touching the gravy. Cover them with slices of very fat bacon, and place the fricandeau gently on them; then pour in as much good veal-broth, or stock, as will nearly cover the vegetables without reaching to the veal. A calf’s foot, split in two, may with advantage be laid under them in the first instance. Stew the fricandeau very gently for upwards of three hours, or until it is found to be extremely tender when probed with a fine skewer or larding-pin. Plenty of live embers must then be put on the lid of the stewpan for ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, to render the lardoons firm. Lift out the fricandeau, and keep it hot; strain and reduce the gravy very quickly, after having skimmed off every particle of fat; glaze the veal, and serve it on a ragout of sorrel, cucumbers, or spinach. This, though rather an elaborate receipt, is the best we can offer to the reader for a dish, which is now almost as fashionable with us as it is common on the Continent. Some English cooks have a very summary method of preparing it; they merely lard and boil the veal till they can “cut it with a spoon,” then glaze and serve it with “brown gravy in the dish.” This may be very tolerable eating, but it will bear small resemblance to the French fricandeau.
3½ to 4 hours.
* Called by them the noix.
Cut two pounds of veal, free from fat, into small half-inch thick cutlets; flour them well, and fry them in butter with two small cucumbers sliced, sprinkled with pepper, and floured, one moderate-sized lettuce, and twenty-four green gooseberries cut open lengthwise and seeded. When the whole is nicely browned lift it into a thick saucepan, and pour gradually into the pan half a pint, or rather more, of 256 boiling water, broth, or gravy. Add as much salt and pepper as it requires. Give it a minute’s simmer, and pour it over the meat, shaking it well round the pan as this is done. Let the veal stew gently from three quarters of an hour to an hour. A bunch of green onions cut small may be added to the other vegetables if approved; and the veal will eat better if slightly seasoned with salt and pepper before it is floured; a portion of fat can be left on it if preferred.
Veal, ; cucumbers, 2; lettuce, 1; green gooseberries, 24; water or broth, ½ pint or more; ¾ to 1 hour.
Cut from the loin or fillet, three pounds of veal, in the thinnest possible slices, and let them be free from fat and skin. Slice also, very thin, a pound of striped bacon, and trim away the rind. Mix thoroughly a dessertspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of pounded mace, as much of nutmeg, one and a half of white pepper, and the minced or grated rinds of two lemons, and with these season the veal equally; butter thickly a deep earthen pan, and lay the meat in smoothly in alternate layers, beginning with the bacon; press the whole closely down, put a round of buttered paper over it, tie on the cover of the pan, set it into a large saucepan of warm water, and let it simmer for two hours and a half from the time of its beginning to boil. If to be served hot, merely heap the meat upon a dish, skim the fat from the gravy, and pour it over; but if to be eaten cold, which it more usually is, put a plate with a weight upon it on the top of the brezolles, pour all the gravy from them, and leave them in the pan for four-and-twenty hours, when they will turn out in a solid mass or cake, and remain good many days if kept in a cool place: the gravy, strained, and reduced to jelly, may be placed round them as a garnish. The brezolles may, if more convenient, be baked in a gentle oven, but they will then require rather less time. In France, they are commonly stewed as 257 slowly as possible, and when half-done, a couple of glasses of white wine or of rich gravy are added to them; minced herbs are also sometimes strewed between the layers of meat.
Veal, 3 lbs.; bacon, 1 lb.; salt, 1 dessertspoonful; mace and nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful each; pepper, 1½ teaspoonful; rinds of lemons, 2: simmered 2½ hours.
Brown in a stewpan, or fry lightly, after having sprinkled them with pepper, salt and flour, from two to three pounds of veal cutlets. If taken from the neck, chop the bones very short, and trim away the greater part of the fat. Arrange them as flat as they can be in a saucepan, give a pint of hot water a boil in the pan in which they have been browned, and pour it on them: add a small faggot of parsley, and, should the flavour be approved, one of green onions also. Let the meat simmer softly for half an hour; then cover it with small new potatoes which have had a single boil in water, give the saucepan a shake, and let the harrico stew very gently for another half hour, or until the potatoes are quite done, and the veal is tender. When the cutlets are thick and the potatoes approaching their full size, more time will be required for the meat, and the vegetables may be at once divided; if extremely young they will not need the previous boil. Before the harrico is served, skim the fat from it, and add salt and pepper should it not be sufficiently seasoned. A few bits of lean ham, or shoulder of bacon browned with the veal, will much improve this dish, and for some tastes, a little acid will render it more agreeable. Very delicate pork chops may be dressed in the same way.
Veal, 2 to 3 lbs.; water (or gravy), 1 pint; new potatoes, 1½ to 2 lbs.; faggot, parsley and green onions: 1 hour or more.
Take them, if possible, free from bone, and after 258 having trimmed them into proper shape, beat them with a paste roller until the fibre of the meat is thoroughly broken; flour them well to prevent the escape of the gravy, and fry them from twelve to fifteen minutes over a fire that is not sufficiently fierce to burn them before they are quite cooked through: they should be of a fine amber brown, and perfectly done. Lift them into a hot dish, pour the fat from the pan, throw in a slice of fresh butter, and when it is melted, stir or dredge in a dessertspoonful of flour; keep these shaken until they are well-coloured, then pour gradually to them a cup of gravy or boiling water; add pepper, salt, a little lemon-pickle or juice, give the whole a boil, and pour it over the cutlets: a few forcemeat balls, fried, and served with them, is usually a very acceptable addition to this dish, even when it is garnished or accompanied with rashers of ham or bacon. A morsel of glaze, or of the jelly of roast meat, should, when at hand, be added to the sauce, which a little mushroom powder would further improve: mushroom sauce, indeed, is considered by many epicures, as indispensable with veal cutlets. We have recommended, in this one instance, that the meat should be thoroughly beaten, because we find that the veal is wonderfully improved by the process, which, however, we still deprecate for other meats, unless indeed we except pork chops.
12 to 15 minutes.
Mix well together four ounces of very fine stale bread-crumbs, a teaspoonful of salt, and a tablespoonful of the best currie powder. Cut down into small well-shaped cutlets or collops, two pounds of veal free from fat, skin, or bone; beat the slices flat, and dip them into the seasoned crumbs; moisten them again with egg, and pass them a second time through the bread-crumbs. When all are ready, fry them in three or four ounces of butter over a moderate fire, from twelve to fourteen minutes. For sauce, mix smoothly with a knife, a teaspoonful of 259 flour and an equal quantity of currie-powder, with a small slice of butter; shake these in the pan for about five minutes, pour to them a cup of gravy or boiling water; add salt, cayenne, if required, and the strained juice of half a lemon; simmer the whole till well-flavoured, and pour it round the cutlets. A better plan is, to have some good currie sauce ready prepared to send to table with this dish; which may likewise be served with only well-made common cutlet-gravy, from the pan, when much of the pungent flavour of the currie-powder is not desired.
Bread-crumbs, 4 ozs.; salt, 1 teaspoonful; currie-powder, 1 tablespoonful; veal, 2 lbs.: 12 to 14 minutes.
Obs.—These cutlets may be broiled; they should then be well beaten first, and dipped into clarified butter, instead of egg, before they are passed through the curried seasoning.
Cut the veal into small thin collops of equal size, arrange them evenly in a sauté-pan, or in a small frying pan; dust a little fine salt and white pepper over them, and grate over a small portion of nutmeg, when it is liked; clarify an ounce or two of butter with a gentle heat, pour it over the veal, and set the pan aside until the dinner hour, then toss the cutlets over a clear fire till they are of a fine amber-colour, which will be in from three to four minutes: drain and dish them quickly. These are excellent, even without any gravy, but some may be made in the pan quickly, by throwing in a little of that which flows from roast meat, or a morsel of any other jellied gravy, or stock, with a squeeze of lemon, and a little cayenne.
3 to 4 minutes.
Raise the flesh entire from the upper side of the best 260 end of a neck of veal, free it from the skin, and from the greater portion of the fat, slice it equally into cutlets little more than a quarter of an inch thick, brush them with egg, strew them with fine bread-crumbs, and fry them of a light brown. Toast, or fry apart as many small slices of bacon as there are cutlets, and let them be trimmed nearly to the same shape; place them alternately on their edges round the inside of a hot dish (so as to form a sort of chain), and pour into the middle some rich gravy made in the pan, and very slightly flavoured with eschalot; or substitute for this some good brown mushroom sauce. Savoury herbs, lemon-rind, nutmeg, or mace, salt, and white pepper or cayenne, should be mixed with the bread-crumbs, in the proportions directed at page 243, or they may be varied at pleasure. A cheek of bacon is best adapted to this dish.
In whatever way sweetbreads are dressed, they should first be well soaked in lukewarm water, then thrown into boiling water to blanch them, as it is called, and to render them firm. If lifted out after they have boiled from five to ten minutes, according to their size, and laid immediately into fresh spring water to cool, their colour will be the better preserved. They may then be gently stewed for three quarters of an hour in veal gravy, which, with the usual additions of cream, lemon, and egg-yolks, may be converted into a fricassee sauce for them, when they are done; or they may be lifted from it, glazed, and served with good Spanish gravy; or, the glazing being omitted, they may be sauced with the sharp Maître d’ Hotel sauce of page 127. They may also be simply floured, and roasted in a Dutch oven, being often basted with butter, and frequently turned. A full sized sweetbread, after having been blanched, will require quite three quarters of an hour to dress it.261
Boil the sweetbreads for half an hour in water, or veal-broth, and when they are perfectly cold, cut them into slices of equal thickness, brush them with yolks of egg, and dip them into very fine bread-crumbs, seasoned with salt, cayenne, grated lemon-rind, and mace; fry them in butter of a fine light brown, arrange them in a dish, placing them high in the centre, and pour under them a gravy made in the pan, thickened with mushroom powder, and flavoured with lemon-juice; or, in lieu of this, sauce them with some rich brown gravy, to which a glass of sherry or Madeira has been added. When it can be done conveniently, take as many slices of a cold boiled tongue, as there are sweetbread cutlets; pare the rind from them, trim them into good shape, and dress them with the sweetbreads, after they have been egged and seasoned in the same way; place each cutlet upon a slice of tongue when they are dished. For variety, substitute croutons of fried bread, stamped out to the size of the cutlets, with a round or fluted paste or cake cutter. The crumb of a stale loaf, very evenly sliced, is best for the purpose.
This is an excellent family dish, highly nutritious and often very inexpensive, as the feet, during the summer, are usually sold at a low rate. Wash them with nicety, divide them at the joint, and split the claws; arrange them closely in a thick stewpan or saucepan, and pour in as much cold water as will cover them about half an inch: three pints will be sufficient for a couple of large feet. When broth or stock is at hand, it is good economy to substitute it for the water, as, by this means, a portion of strong and well-flavoured jellied gravy will be obtained for general use, the full quantity not being needed as sauce for the feet. The whole preparation will be much improved by laying a thick slice of the 262 lean of an unboiled ham, knuckle of bacon, hung beef, or the end of a dried tongue, at the bottom of the pan, before the other ingredients are added; or, when none of these are at hand, by supplying the deficiency with a few bits of stewing-beef or veal: the feet being of themselves insipid, will be much more palatable with one or the other of these additions. Throw in from half to three quarters of a teaspoonful of salt, when they begin to boil, and, after the scum has been all cleared off, add a few branches of parsley, a little celery, one small onion or more, stuck with half a dozen cloves, a carrot or two, a large blade of mace, and twenty corns of whole pepper; stew them softly until the flesh will part entirely from the bones; take it from them; strain part of the gravy, and skim off all the fat, flavour it with catsup, or any other store-sauce, and thicken it, when it boils, with arrow-root, or flour and butter; put in the flesh of the feet, and serve the dish as soon as the whole is very hot. A glass of wine, a little lemon-juice, and a few forcemeat balls will convert this into a very superior stew. A handful of mushroom-buttons simmered in it for half an hour before it is dished, will vary it agreeably.
Calf’s feet (large), 2; water, 3 pints; salt, ½ to ¾ teaspoonful; onions, 1 to 3; cloves, 6; peppercorns, 20; mace, large blade; little celery and parsley; carrots, 1 or 2: stewed softly, 2½ to 3¼ hours. Mushroom catsup, 1 tablespoonful; flour, or arrow-root, 1 large teaspoonful; butter, 1 to 2 ozs. Cayenne, to taste.
To render the liver firm when dressed, lay it into a deep dish, and pour over it half a pint of vinegar; turn it often in this, and let it lie for four and twenty hours, or longer even, if more convenient. Sliced onions, or eschalots, and branches of parsley, may be steeped with it in the vinegar, when their flavour is relished; but, in general, they would not, we think, be considered an improvement. Wash and wipe the liver very dry, slice 263 it evenly, season it with pepper, salt, and savoury herbs shred extremely small, then flour and fry it in butter quickly, of a fine light brown; lift it out and keep it very hot, while a gravy is made for it in the pan. Pour out the fat, throw in a small slice of fresh butter, and when it boils, stir to it a half-teaspoonful of flour; add a seasoning of pepper and salt; about a quarter-pint of boiling water, and a little lemon-juice, Chili vinegar, or lemon-pickle; shake the pan well round, give the whole a boil; sauce the liver with it, and send it to table with or without a garnish of curled bacon.
Take the whole or part of a fine white sound liver, and either lard it as a fricandeau upon the surface, or with large strips of highly-seasoned bacon in the inside (see Larding, page 200); or should either of these modes be objected to, merely wrap it in a well-buttered paper, and roast it from an hour to an hour and a quarter, at a moderate distance from a clear fire, keeping it constantly basted. Remove the paper, and froth the liver well from ten to fifteen minutes before it is done. It should be served with a sauce of some piquancy, such as a poivrade, or brown eschalot, in addition to some good gravy. French cooks steep the liver over-night in vinegar, with a sliced onion and branches of savoury herbs laid over it; this whitens and renders it firm. As an economical mode, some small bits of the liver may be trimmed off, floured, and lightly fried with a sliced onion, and stewed down for gravy in three quarters of a pint of water which has been poured into the pan, with the addition of a few peppercorns, and a small bunch of herbs. A seasoning of salt must not be forgotten; and a little lemon pickle, or juice, would generally be considered an improvement.
1 hour to 1¼.
When there is neither gravy nor broth at hand, the 264 bones and trimmings of the meat must be boiled down to furnish what is required for the mince. As cold meat is very light in weight, a pound of the white part of the veal will be sufficient for a dish, and for this quantity a pint of gravy will be needed. Break down the bones of the joint well, add the trimmings of the meat, a small bunch of savoury herbs, a slice or two of carrot or of celery, a blade of mace, a few white pepper-corns, and a bit or two of lean ham, boiled, or unboiled if it can be had, as either will improve the flavour of the mince. Pour to these a pint and a half of water, and stew them gently for a couple of hours; then strain off the gravy, let it cool and clear it entirely from the fat. Cut the white part of the veal small with a very sharp knife, after all the gristle and brown edges have been trimmed away. Some persons like a portion of fat minced with it, others object to the addition altogether. Thicken the gravy with a teaspoonful and a half of flour smoothly mixed with a small slice of butter, season the veal with a saltspoonful or more of salt, and half as much white pepper and grated nutmeg, or pounded mace; add the lightly-grated rind of half a small lemon; mix the whole well, put it into the gravy, and heat it thoroughly by the side of the fire without allowing it to boil; serve it with pale-toasted sippets in and round the dish. A spoonful or two of cream is always an improvement to this mince.
The most elegant mode of preparing this dish is to mince about a pound of the whitest part of the inside of a cold roast fillet or loin of veal, to heat it without allowing it to boil, in a pint of rich white sauce, or béchamel, and to mix with it at the moment of serving three dozens of small oysters ready bearded, and plumped in their own strained liquor, which is also to be added to the mince; the requisite quantity of salt, cayenne, and mace should be sprinkled over the veal before it is put into the sauce. Garnish the dish with 265 pale fried sippets of bread, or with fleurons* of brioche, or of puff-paste. Nearly half a pint of mushrooms minced, and stewed white in a little butter, may be mixed with the veal instead of the oysters; or should they be very small they may be added to it whole: from ten to twelve minutes will be sufficient to make them tender. Balls of delicately fried oyster-forcemeat laid round the dish will give another good variety of it.
Veal minced, 1 lb.; white sauce, 1 pint; oysters, 3 dozens, with their liquor; or mushrooms, ½ pint, stewed in butter 10 to 12 minutes.
* Fleurons, flowers, or flower-like; figures cut out with tin shapes.
Pour boiling on an ounce and a half of fine bread-crumbs nearly half a pint of good veal-stock or gravy, and let them stand till cool; mix with them then, two ounces of beef-suet shred very small, half a pound of cold roast veal carefully trimmed from the brown edges, skin, and fat, and finely minced; the grated rind of half a lemon, nearly a teaspoonful of salt, a little cayenne, the third of a teaspoonful of mace or nutmeg, and four well-beaten eggs. Whisk up the whole well together, put it into a buttered dish, and bake it from three quarters of an hour to an hour. Cream may be used instead of gravy when more convenient, but this last will give the better flavour. A little clarified butter, put into the dish before the other ingredients are poured in, will be an improvement.
Bread-crumbs, 1½ oz.; gravy or cream, nearly ½ pint; beef-suet, 2 ozs.; cold veal, ½ lb.; rind of ½ lemon; salt, small teaspoonful; third as much mace and nutmeg; little cayenne; eggs, 4 large or 5 small: ¾ to 1 hour.266
|2.||Best End of Loin.|
|3.||Chump End of Loin.|
|4.||Neck, Best End.|
|5.||Neck, Scrag End.|
|A Saddle is the Two Loins.|
|A Chine, the Two Necks.|
The best mutton is small-boned, plump, finely-grained, and short-legged; the lean of a dark, rather than of a bright hue, and the fat white and clear: when this is yellow, the meat is rank, and of bad quality. Mutton is not considered by experienced judges to be in perfection until it is nearly or quite five years old; but to avoid the additional expense of feeding the animal so long, it is commonly brought into the market at three years old. The leg and the loin are the superior joints; and the preference would probably be given more frequently to the latter, but for the superabundance of its fat, which renders it not a very economical dish. The haunch consists of the leg and the part of the loin adjoining it; the saddle, of the two loins together, or of the undivided back of the sheep: these last are always roasted, and are served usually at good tables, or for company-dinners instead of the smaller joints. 267 The shoulder, dressed in the ordinary way, is not very highly esteemed, but when boned, rolled, and filled with forcemeat, it is of more presentable appearance, and to many tastes, far better eating; though some persons prefer it in its natural form, accompanied with stewed onions. It is occasionally boiled or stewed, and covered with rich onion-sauce. The neck is sometimes roasted, but it is more generally boiled; the scrag, or that part of it which joins the head, is seldom used for any other purpose than making broth, and should be taken off before the joint is dressed. Cutlets from the thick end of the loin are commonly preferred to any others, but they are frequently taken likewise from the best end of the neck (sometimes called the back-ribs) and from the middle of the leg. Mutton kidneys are dressed in various ways, and are excellent in many. The trotters and the head of a sheep may be converted into very good dishes, but they are scarcely worth the trouble which is required to render them palatable. The loin and the leg are occasionally cured and smoked like hams or bacon.
This joint should be well-kept, and when the larder accommodations of a house are not good, the butcher should be requested to hang it the proper time. Roast it carefully at a large sound fire, and let it remain at a considerable distance for at least a couple of hours; then draw it nearer, but never sufficiently so to burn or injure the fat. Keep it constantly basted; flour it soon after it is laid to the fire, instead of frothing it, as this latter mode is not generally relished, though fashion is in its favour. In from three and a half to four hours, the haunch will be done, and it will require something less of time when not kept back at first, as we have advised; but if roasted entirely on the plan mentioned at page 189, it will be much finer than in the usual way. Serve it with a good Espagnole, or with plain mutton-gravy and currant-jelly. This joint, 268 when the meat is of very fine quality, may be dressed and served exactly like venison.
3½ to 4 hours. 5 hours or more by the slow method.
This is an excellent joint, though not considered a very economical one. It is usual for the butcher to raise the skin from it before it is sent in, and to skewer it on again, that in the roasting the juices of the meat may be better preserved, and the fat prevented from taking too much colour, as this should be only slightly browned. In something less than half an hour before the mutton is done, remove the skin, and flour the joint lightly after having basted it well. Our own great objection to frothed meat would lead us to recommend that the skin should be taken off half an hour earlier, and that the joint should be kept at sufficient distance from the fire to prevent the possibility of the fat being burned; and that something more of time should be allowed for the roasting. With constant basting, great care, and good management, the cook may always ensure the proper appearance of this, or of any other joint (except, perhaps, of a haunch of venison) without having recourse to papering or pasting, or even to replacing the skin; but when unremitted attention cannot be given to this one part of the dinner, it is advisable to take all precautions that can secure it from being spoiled.
2½ hours to 2¾. More if very large.
In a cool and airy larder a leg of mutton will hang many days with advantage, if the kernel be taken out, and the flap wiped very dry when it is first brought in; and it is never tender when freshly killed: in warm weather it should be well dredged with pepper to preserve it from the flies. If washed before it is put upon the spit, it should be wiped as dry as possible afterwards, and well floured soon after it is laid to the fire. When the excellence of the joint is more regarded than the expense of fuel, it should be roasted by what we 269 have denominated the slow method; that is to say, it should be kept at a considerable distance from the fire, and remain at it four hours instead of it may be drawn nearer for the last twenty or thirty minutes to give it colour. The gravy will flow from it in great abundance when it is cut, and the meat will be very superior to that roasted in the usual way. When this plan is not pursued the mutton should still be kept quite a foot from the fire until it is heated through, and never brought sufficiently near to scorch or to harden any part. It should be constantly basted with its own fat, for if this be neglected all other precautions will fail to ensure a good roast; and after it is dished a little fine salt should be sprinkled lightly on it, and a spoonful or two of boiling water laded over. This is the most palatable mode of serving it, but it may be frothed when it is preferred so, though we would rather recommend that the flour should be dredged on in the first instance, as it then prevents the juices of the meat from escaping, and forms a savoury coating to it; while the raw taste which it so often retains with mere frothing is to many eaters especially objectionable.
Leg of mutton, 7 to 8 lbs.; slow method 4 hours, common method 1 hour and ¾ to 2 hours.
Cover the joint well with cold water, bring it gradually to boil, and let it simmer gently for half an hour; then lift it out, put it immediately on to the spit, and roast it from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half, according to its weight. This mode of dressing the joint renders it remarkably juicy and tender; but there must be no delay in putting it on the spit after it is lifted from the water. A mild ragout of garlic (see page 145,) may be served in the dish with it, or it may be garnished with roast tomatas.
Boiled, ½ hour; roast 1 hour and ¼ to 1 and ½.270
Take out the bone as far as the first joint (by the directions of the following receipt), roll some large strips of bacon in a seasoning of mixed spice, and of savoury herbs minced extremely fine, or dried and reduced to powder, and with these lard the inside of the boned portion of the joint; or fill the cavity with forcemeat highly seasoned with eschalot or garlic. Sew up the meat, and place it in a braising-pan, or ham-kettle nearly of its size, with slices of bacon under and over it, two or three onions, four or five carrots, two bay-leaves, a large bunch of savoury herbs, a few bones, or bits of undressed mutton or veal, and about three quarters of a pint of gravy. Stew the meat as softly as possible from four to five hours, and keep live embers on the top of the pan (or, as this mode of cooking is not general in England, set the mutton, if it can be done conveniently, into a moderately-heated oven, after having luted the edges of the vessel in which it is arranged with a bit of coarse paste); lift it out, strain the gravy, reduce it quickly to glaze, and brush the meat with it; or merely strain, free it from fat, and pour it over the mutton. White beans (haricots blancs), boiled tender and well drained, or a mild ragout of garlic or eschalots, may be laid in the dish under it. The joint can be braised equally well without any part of it being boned.
4 to 5 hours.
Turn the underside of the mutton upwards, and with a sharp knife cut through the middle of the skin from the knuckle to the first joint, and raise it from the flesh on the side along which the bone runs, until the knife is just above it, then cut through the flesh down to the bone; work the knife round it in every part till you reach the socket; next remove the flat bone from the large end of the joint, and pass the knife freely round the remaining one, as it is not needful to take it out 271 clear of the meat; when you again reach the middle joint, loosen the skin round it with great care, and the two bones can then be drawn out without being divided. This being done, fill the cavities with forcemeat, No. 1., (page 170), adding to it a somewhat high seasoning of eschalot, garlic, or onion; or cut out with the bone, nearly a pound of the inside of the mutton, chop it fine with six ounces of delicate striped bacon, and mix with it thoroughly three quarters of an ounce of parsley, and half as much of thyme and winter-savory, all minced extremely small; a half-teaspoonful of pepper (or a third as much of cayenne); the same of mace, salt, and nutmeg, and either the grated rind of a small lemon, or four eschalots finely shred. When the lower part of the leg is filled, sew the skin neatly together where it has been cut open, and tie the knuckle round tightly, to prevent the escape of the gravy. Replace the flat bone at the large end, and with a long needle and twine, draw the edges of the meat together over it. If it can be done conveniently, it is better to roast the mutton thus prepared in a cradle-spit or upon a hanging or bottle-jack, with the knuckle downwards. Place it at first far from the fire, and keep it constantly basted. It will require nearly or quite three hours roasting. Remove the twine before it is served, and send it very hot to table with some rich brown gravy.
Hang a plump and finely-grained leg of mutton in a cool place, for as many days as it can possibly be kept without becoming altogether uneatable. Lay it on a dish, pour over, and rub well into it, about half a small cupful of pyroligneous acid, and let it remain ten minutes. Wash it very thoroughly, cut off the knuckle, and trim away the flap, and any part that may continue very offensive, or take a few inches from either end of the joint; then lay it into a close-shutting stewpot, or thick iron saucepan of its own size, with no other liquid than the drops of water which adhere to it, and simmer it over 272 a very slow fire from four and a half to five hours, turning it several times, that it may be equally done. Give it no seasoning beyond pepper and salt. Should the gravy be too much reduced, add two spoonsful of boiling water, or of mutton-gravy. Send the meat to table in its own juices, with currant-jelly, or sharp venison-sauce apart. We owe this receipt entirely to accident; for, wishing to have proof of the anti-putrescent qualities of the pyroligneous acid, we had it applied to a leg of mutton which had been too long kept, and which was dressed in the way we have described. When brought to table, its resemblance to venison, both in appearance and flavour, was remarkable; and several persons partook of it hashed on the following day, and were all perfectly unconscious that they were not really eating venison; in the latter instance, it was served in rich gravy made in part of hare; a glass of port wine, a little compound catsup, and a thickening of rice-flour were added. The meat, of course, was only heated through, and not allowed to boil. On a second trial we found it an improvement to touch the mutton in every part with a feather dipped in the acid, as soon as it gave evidence of having been sufficiently kept, and then to let it hang three or four days longer: it was again washed with the acid, and afterwards with cold water before it was dressed.
Trim into handsome form a well-kept, but perfectly sweet leg of mutton, of middling weight; wash, but do not soak it; lay it into a vessel as nearly of its size as convenient, and pour in rather more than sufficient cold water to cover it; set it over a good fire, and when it begins to boil, take off the scum, and continue to do so until no more appears; throw in a tablespoonful of salt, (after the first which will assist to bring it to the surface, and as soon as the liquor is clear, add two moderate-sized onions, stuck with a dozen cloves, a large faggot of parsley, thyme, and savoury, and four or five 273 large carrots, and half an hour afterwards, as many turnips. Draw the pan to the side of the fire, and let the mutton be simmered gently from two hours to two and a half, from the time of its first beginning to boil. Serve it with caper, brown cucumber, or oyster-sauce. If stewed softly, as we have directed, the mutton will be found excellent dressed thus; otherwise, it will but resemble the unpalatable and ragged-looking joints of fast-boiled meat, so constantly sent to table by common English cooks. Any undressed hones of veal, mutton, or beef, boiled with the joint, will improve it much, and the liquor will then make excellent soup, or bouillon.
2 to 2½ hours.
When only a few slices have been cut from the middle of the joint, it will still afford a fillet of tolerable size, which, dressed in the following manner, will make a dish of better appearance and savour than a common hash or mince. Take off as much of the large end of the leg, quite through, as will render that side of the fillet perfectly flat; cut also evenly through the joint, where it has been carved, then remove the bone from the fillet, and replace it with veal forcemeat (No. 1, page 170), put the meat, with the bones, knuckle, and trimmings, into a stewpot, or stout saucepan adapted to its size, and just cover it with water, or with broth in preference, when any stock is at hand; as soon as it boils, add a couple of onions, a bunch of parsley, two or even three bay-leaves, four or five carrots, and as many turnips (plenty of vegetables, in fact), and simmer the whole gently for nearly, or quite a couple of hours. Thickening, spice, or store-sauce, can be added to the gravy at will, before the meat is served, which it should be with the vegetables round it.
Cut some inches from either end of a large and well-kept leg of mutton, and leave the fillet shaped like one 274 of veal. Remove the bone, and fill the cavity with forcemeat (No. 1, page 170), which may be flavoured with a little minced eschalot, if approved; more forcemeat may be added by detaching the skin sufficiently on the flap side to admit it. When thus prepared, the fillet may be floured, and roasted, served with currant-jelly and brown gravy, or with only melted butter poured over it; or it may be stewed gently for nearly or quite four hours, in a pint of gravy or water, after being floured and browned all over in a couple of ounces of butter; it must then be turned every hour that it may be equally done. Two or three small onions, a faggot of herbs, a couple of carrots sliced, four or five cloves, and twenty whole pepper-corns can be added at will.
Roasted 2 hours, or stewed 4 hours.
The flesh of the loin of mutton is superior to that of the leg, when roasted; but to the frugal housekeeper, this consideration is usually overbalanced by the great weight of fat attached to it; this, however, when economy is more considered than appearance, may be pared off, and melted down for various kitchen-uses, or finely chopped, and substituted for suet in making hot pie, or pudding crust. When thus reduced in size, the mutton will be soon roasted. If it is to be dressed in the usual way, the butcher should be desired to take off the skin; care should be taken to preserve the fat from being ever so slightly burned; it should be managed, indeed, in the same manner as the saddle, in every respect, and carved also in the same way, that is to say, the meat should be cut out in slices the whole length of the back-bone, and close to it.
Without the fat, 1 to 1½ hour; with, 1½ to 1¾ hours.
Skin and bone a loin of mutton, and lay it into a stewpan, or braising-pan, with a pint of water, a large onion stuck with a dozen cloves, half a pint of port 275 wine, and a spoonful of vinegar; add, when it boils, a small faggot of thyme and parsley, and some pepper and salt: let it stew three hours, and turn it often. Make some gravy of the bones, and add it at intervals to the mutton when required.
This receipt comes to us so strongly recommended by persons who have partaken frequently of the dish, that we have not thought it needful to prove it ourselves.
Flour it well, and baste it constantly with its own dripping; do not place it close enough to the fire for the fat to be in the slightest degree burned, or even too deeply browned. An hour and a half will roast it, if it be of moderate size. Stewed onions are often sent to table with it. A shoulder of mutton is sometimes boiled, and smothered with onion sauce.
1 hour and ½.
Bone the joint, and rub it, if large, with four ounces of the coarsest sugar (or with three, if it be small), well mixed with a dessertspoonful of pounded cloves, half that quantity of pepper and of mace, and a fourth part as much of ginger: the following day add four ounces of salt. Keep the mutton turned, and rubbed occasionally with the pickle from eight to ten days; then roll it up tight, bind it with a fillet, and stew it gently for four hours in a pint and a half of beef-broth, or put into the stewpan with it a pound and a half of neck of beef, three half pints of water, one large mild onion, two carrots, two turnips, and a large faggot of herbs. When the mutton is perfectly tender, serve it with some of its own gravy, thickened and highly-flavoured with lemon-pickle, or any other acid sauce; or send it to table with a good sauce piquante.
Mutton, 8 to 9 lbs.; sugar, 4 ozs.; cloves, in powder, 276 1 dessertspoonful; mace, and pepper, 1 teaspoonful each; ginger, ½ teaspoonful; salt, 4 ozs.: 8 to 10 days. Beef broth, 1 pint and ½: 4 hours.
Obs.—For variety, the inside of the mutton may be thickly strewed with minced herbs before it is rolled.
Cut off all the flesh from the inside of the joint down to the blade-bone, and reserve it for a separate dish. It may be lightly browned with some turnips or carrots, or both, and made into a small harrico, or stewed simply in its own gravy, or it will make in part, a pudding or a pie. Bone the mutton (see page 250), flatten it on a table, lay over the inside some thin and neatly-trimmed slices of striped bacon, and spread over them some good veal forcemeat (No. 1, page 170), to within an inch of the outer edge; roll the joint up tightly towards the knuckle (of which the bone may be left in or not, at pleasure), secure it well with tape or twine, and stew it gently in good gravy, from four hours to four and a half.
4 to 4½ hours.
Obs.—In France it is usual to substitute sausage-meat for the bacon and veal-stuffing in this dish.
Trim the fat entirely from some cutlets taken from the loin; just dip them into cold water, dredge them with pepper, and then on both sides with flour; rince a thick iron saucepan with spring water, and leave in it about a tablespoonful; arrange the cutlets in one flat layer, if it can be done conveniently, and place them over a very gentle fire; throw in a little salt when they begin to stew, and let them simmer as softly as possible, but without ceasing, from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half. If dressed with great care, which they require, they will be equally tender, easy of digestion, and nutritious; and being at the same time free from everything which can disagree with the most delicate 277 stomach, the receipt will be found a valuable one for invalids. The mutton should be of good quality, but the excellence of the dish depends mainly on its being most gently stewed; for if allowed to boil quickly, all the gravy will be dried up, and the meat will be unfit for table. The cutlets must be turned when they are half done: a couple of spoonsful of water or gravy may be added to them should they not yield sufficient moisture, but this is rarely needful.
These may be taken from the loin, or the best end of the neck, but the former are generally preferred. Trim off a portion of the fat, or the whole of it, unless it be liked; pepper the cutlets, heat the gridiron, rub it with a bit of the mutton suet, broil them over a brisk fire, and turn them often till they are done: this, for the generality of eaters, will be in about eight minutes if they are not more than half an inch thick, which they should not be. French cooks season them with pepper and salt, and give them a light coating of dissolved butter or of oil, before they are laid to the fire, and we have found the cutlets so managed extremely good.
Lightly broiled, 7 to 8 minutes. Well done, 10 minutes.
Obs.—A cold Maître d’Hotel sauce may be laid under the cutlets when they are dished; or they may be served quite dry, or with brown gravy; or when none is at hand, with good melted butter seasoned with mushroom catsup, cayenne, and Chili vinegar or lemon juice.
Mince as much of an undressed loin or leg of mutton, with or without a portion of its fat, as will fill a pint measure; mix with it two or three young lettuces shred small, a pint of young peas, a teaspoonful of salt, half as much pepper, four tablespoonsful of water, from two to three ounces of good butter, and, if the flavour be liked, a few green onions minced. Keep the whole well 278 stirred with a fork, over a clear and gentle fire until it is quite hot, then place it closely covered by the side of the stove, or on a high trevet, that it may stew as softly as possible for a couple of hours. One or even two half-grown cucumbers, cut small by scoring the ends deeply as they are sliced, or a quarter-pint of minced mushrooms may be added with good effect; or a dessertspoonful of currie-powder and a large chopped onion. A dish of boiled rice should be sent to table with it.
Mutton, 1 pint; green peas, 1 pint; young lettuces, 2; salt, 1 teaspoonful; pepper, ½ teaspoonful; water, 4 tablespoonsful; butter, 2 to 3 ozs.: 2 hours. Varieties: cucumbers, 2; or mushrooms minced, ¼ pint; or currie-powder, 1 dessertspoonful, and 1 large onion.
Put into a broad stewpan or saucepan, a flat layer of mutton chops, freed entirely from fat and from the greater portion of the bone, then, just dipped into cold water, seasoned with pepper, and lightly dredged with flour; on these put a layer of mild turnips sliced half an inch thick, and divided into squares; then some carrots of the same thickness, with a seasoning of salt and black pepper between them; next, another layer of chops, then plenty of vegetables, and as much weak broth or cold water as will barely cover the whole; bring them slowly to a boil, and let them just simmer from two to three hours, according to the quantity. One or two minced onions may be strewed between the other vegetables when their flavour is liked. The savour of the dish will be increased by browning the chops in a little butter before they are stewed, and still more so by frying the vegetables lightly as well, before they are added to it. A head or two of celery would to many tastes improve the flavour of the whole. In summer, cucumber, green onions, shred lettuces, and green peas may be substituted for the winter vegetables.
Mutton, free from fat, 2½ lbs.; turnips, 3 lbs.; carrots, 3 lbs.; celery, (if added), 2 small heads.279
Obs. The fat and trimmings of the mutton used for this and other dishes into which only the lean is admissible, may be turned to advantage by cutting the whole up rather small, and then boiling it in a quart of water to the pound, with a little spice, a bunch of herbs and some salt, until the fat is nearly dissolved: the liquid will then, if strained off and left till cold, make tolerable broth, and the cake of fat which is on the top, if again just melted and poured free of sediment into small pans, will serve excellently for common pies and for frying kitchen dinners. Less water will of course produce broth of better quality, and the addition of a small quantity of fresh meat or bones will render it very good.
Take a couple of pounds of small thick mutton cutlets with or without fat according to the taste of the persons to whom the stew is to be served; take also four pounds of good potatoes, weighed after they are pared, slice them thick, and put a portion of them in a flat layer, into a large thick saucepan or stewpan; season the mutton well with pepper, and place some of it on the potatoes, cover it with another layer, and proceed in the same manner with all, reserving plenty of the vegetable for the top; pour in three quarters of a pint of cold water, and add, when the stew begins to boil, an ounce of salt; let it simmer gently for two hours, and serve it very hot. When the addition of onion is liked, strew in two or three minced ones with the potatoes.
Mutton cutlets, 2 lbs.; potatoes, 4 lbs.; pepper, ½ oz.; salt, 1 oz.; water, ¾ pint: 2 hours.
Obs.—For a real Irish stew the potatoes should be boiled to a mash: an additional quarter-hour may be necessary for the full quantity here, but for half of it two hours are quite sufficient.
Trim into well-shaped cutlets, which should not be 280 very thin, the remains of a roast loin or neck of mutton, or of a quite under-dressed stewed or boiled joint; dip them into egg and well seasoned bread-crumbs, and broil or fry them over a quick fire that they may be browned and heated through without being too much done. This is a very good mode of serving a half roasted loin or neck. When the cutlets are broiled they should be dipped into, or sprinkled thickly with butter just dissolved, or they will be exceedingly dry; a few additional crumbs should be made to adhere to them after they are moistened with this.
Skin six or eight fine fresh mutton kidneys, and without opening them, remove the fat; slice them rather thin, strew over them a dessertspoonful of minced herbs, of which two-thirds should be parsley and the remainder thyme, with a tolerable seasoning of pepper or cayenne, and some fine salt. Melt two ounces of butter in a frying pan, put in the kidneys and brown them quickly on both sides; when nearly done, stir amongst them a dessertspoonful of flour and shake them well in the pan; pour in the third of a pint of gravy (or hot water in default of this), the juice of half a lemon, and as much of Harvey’s sauce, or of mushroom catsup, as will flavour the whole pleasantly; bring these to the point of boiling, and pour them into a dish garnished with fried sippets, or lift out the kidneys first, give the sauce a boil and pour it on them. We generally have the store-sauce of page 213* used to flavour this dish in preference to simple catsup. In France, a couple of glasses of champagne, or, for variety, of claret, are frequently added to the gravy; one of port wine can be substituted for either of these. A dessertspoonful of minced eschalots may be strewed over the kidneys with the herbs; or two dozens of very small ones, previously stewed till tender in fresh butter over a gentle 281 fire, may be added after they are dished. This is a very excellent and approved receipt.
* See English stew.
This should be laid to a clear brisk fire, and carefully and plentifully basted from the time of its becoming warm until it is ready for table; but though it requires quick roasting, it must never be placed sufficiently near the fire to endanger the fat, which is very liable to catch or burn. When the joint is served, the shoulder should be separated from the ribs with a sharp knife, and a small slice of fresh butter, a little cayenne, and a squeeze of lemon juice put between them; if the cook be an expert carver, this had better be done before the lamb is sent to table. The cold Maître d’Hotel sauce of Chapter IV. may be substituted for the usual ingredients, the parsley being omitted or not, according to the taste. Serve good mint sauce, and a fresh salad with this roast.
A leg, shoulder, or loin of lamb should be cooked by the same directions as the quarter, a difference only being made in the time allowed for each.
Fore quarter of lamb, 1¾ to 2 hours. Leg, 1½ hour (less if very small); loin, 1 hour to 1¼.
Obs.—The time will vary a little, of course, from the difference of weather, and in the strength of the fire. Lamb should always be well roasted.
This is an exceedingly nice joint for a small party. It should be roasted at a brisk fire, and kept constantly basted with its own dripping: it will require from an hour and three quarters to two hours roasting. Send it to table with mint sauce, and if convenient, with brown cucumber-sauce also, and a salad.
1¾ to 2 hours.
Obs.—The following will be found an excellent receipt for mint-sauce:—With three heaped tablespoonsful of finely-chopped young mint, mix two of pounded and 282 sifted sugar, and six of the best vinegar: stir it until the sugar is dissolved.
Place it at a moderate distance from a clear fire, baste it frequently, froth it when nearly done, and serve it with the same sauces as the preceding joints. A loin of lamb may be boiled and sent to table with white cucumber, mushroom, common white sauce, or parsley and butter.
1 hour to 1¼.
Choose a small plump leg of lamb, not much exceeding five pounds in weight; put it into a vessel nearly of its size, with a few trimmings, or a bone or two of undressed veal if at hand; cover it with cold water, bring it slowly to a boil, clear off the scum with great care when it is first thrown to the surface, and when it has all been skimmed off, add a bunch of thyme and parsley, and two carrots of moderate size. Let the lamb simmer only, but without ceasing, for an hour and a quarter; serve it covered with béchamel, or rich English white sauce, send a boiled tongue to table with it, and some of the sauce in a tureen.
1 hour and ¼.
Wash the joint, and wipe it very dry; skewer down the flap, and lay it into a close-shutting and thick stewpan, or saucepan, in which three ounces of good butter have been just dissolved, but not allowed to boil; let it simmer slowly over a very gentle fire for two hours and a quarter, and turn it when it is rather more than half done. Lift it out, skim and pour the gravy over it; send brown asparagus, cucumber, or soubise sauce to table with it; or brown gravy, mint sauce, and a salad.
2 hours and ¼.283
The best end of two necks of either will be required for a handsome dish. Cut them thin with one bone to each; trim off the fat and all the skin, scrape the bones very clean that they may look white, and season the cutlets with salt and white pepper; brush them with eggs, dip them into very fine bread-crumbs, then into clarified butter, and again into the bread-crumbs, which should be flattened evenly upon them, and broil them over a very clear and brisk fire, or fry them in a little good butter of a fine clear brown; press them in two sheets of white blotting-paper to extract the grease, and dish them an end, with the points meeting at the top; or place them one over the other in a chain, and pour into the centre a soubise, or a of cucumbers. Brown cucumber sauce, or a rich gravy may be substituted for either of these in serving a quite simple dinner. Cutlets of the loin may be dressed in the same way, after being dipped into crumbs of bread mixed with a full seasoning of minced herbs, and a small quantity of eschalot, when its flavour is liked. The small flat bone at the end of the cutlets should be taken off, to give them a very good appearance.
Follow exactly the receipt for mutton cutlets dressed in the same way, but allow fifteen or twenty minutes less of time, and an additional spoonful of liquid.284
|1.||The Spare Rib.|
|3.||Belly, or Spring.|
This meat is so proverbially, and we believe, even dangerously unwholesome when ill-fed, or in any degree diseased, that its quality should be closely examined before it is purchased. When not home-fatted, it should be bought if possible of some respectable farmer, or miller, unless the butcher who supplies it can be perfectly relied on. Both the fat and lean should be very white, and the latter finely-grained; the rind should be thin, smooth, and cool to the touch; if it be clammy, the pork is stale, and should be at once rejected; it ought also to be scrupulously avoided when the fat, instead of being quite clear of all blemish, is full of small kernels, which are indicative of disease. The manner of cutting up the pork varies in different counties, and also according to the purposes for which it is intended. The legs are either made into hams, or slightly salted for a few days and boiled; they are also sometimes roasted when the pork is not large nor coarse, with a savoury forcemeat inserted between the skin and flesh of the knuckle. The 285 part of the shoulder called the hand, is also occasionally pickled in the same way as hams and bacon, or it may be salted and boiled, but it is too sinewy for roasting. After these and the head have been taken off, the remainder, without further division than being split down the back, may be converted into whole sides, or flitches, as they are usually called, of bacon; but when the meat is large, and required in part for various other purposes, a chine may be taken out, and the fat pared off the bones of the ribs and loins for bacon; the thin part of the body converted into pickled pork, and the ribs and other bones roasted, or made into pies or sausages. The feet, which are generally salted down for ready use, are excellent if laid for two or three weeks into the same pickle as the hams, then well covered with cold water, and slowly boiled till tender.
The loins of young and delicate pork are roasted with the skin on; and this is scored in regular strips of about a quarter-inch wide, with the point of a sharp knife, before the joints are laid to the fire. The skin of the leg also is just cut through in the same manner. This is done to prevent its blistering, and to render it more easy to carve, as the skin (or crackling) becomes so crisp and hard in the cooking, that it is otherwise sometimes difficult to divide it.
To be at any time fit for table, pork must be perfectly sweet, and thoroughly cooked; great attention also should be given to it when it is in pickle, for if any part of it be long exposed to the air, without being turned into, or well and frequently basted with the brine, it will often become tainted during the process of curing it.
Strip the skin from the inside fat of a freshly killed and well-fed pig; slice it small and thin; put it into a new or well scalded jar, set it into a pan of boiling water, and let it simmer over a clear fire. As it 286 dissolves, strain it into small stone jars, or deep earthen pans, and when perfectly cold, tie over it the skin that was cleared from the lard, or bladders that have been thoroughly washed and wiped very dry. Lard thus prepared is extremely pure in flavour, and keeps perfectly well, if stored in a cool place; it may be used with advantage in making pastry, as well as for frying fish, and various other purposes. It is better to keep the last drainings of the fat apart from that which is first poured off, as it will not be quite so fine in quality.
For the particular uses to which the leaf-fat, or fleed, can be advantageously applied, see fleed-crust, Chapter XVI. It may be kept well during the summer months by rubbing fine salt rather plentifully upon it when it is first taken from the pig, and leaving it for a couple of days; it should then be well drained, and covered with a strong brine: this, in warmer weather, should be changed occasionally. When wanted for use, lay it into cold water for two or three hours, then wipe it dry, and it will have quite the effect of the fresh leaf when made into paste.
Inner fat of pig, 6 lbs.; fine salt, ½ to ¾ : 2 days. Brine; to each quart of water, 6 ozs. salt.
After the pig has been scalded and prepared for the spit, wipe it as dry as possible, and put into the body about half a pint of fine bread-crumbs, mixed with three heaped teaspoonsful of sage, minced very small, three ounces of good butter, a large saltspoonful of salt, two-thirds as much of pepper, or some cayenne. Sew it up with soft, but strong 287 cotton, truss it as a hare, with the fore legs skewered back, and the hind ones forward; lay it to a strong, clear fire, but keep it at a moderate distance, as it would quickly blister or scorch, if placed too near. So soon as it has become warm, rub it with a bit of butter, tied in a fold of muslin, or of thin cloth, and repeat this process constantly while it is roasting. When the gravy begins to drop from it, put basins, or small deep tureens under, to catch it in. As soon as the pig is of a fine light amber-brown, and the steam draws strongly towards the fire, wipe it quite dry with a clean cloth, and rub a bit of cold butter over it. When it is half done, a pig iron, or in lieu of this, a large flat iron should be hung in the centre of the grate, or the middle of the pig will be done long before the ends. When it is ready for table, lay it into a very hot dish, and before the spit is withdrawn, take off and open the head, and split the body in two; chop together quickly the stuffing and the brains, put them into half a pint of good veal gravy, ready thickened, add a glass of Madeira or sherry, and the gravy that has dropped from the pig; pour a small portion of this under the meat, and serve the remainder as hot as possible in a tureen; a small quantity of pounded mace and cayenne, with a squeeze of lemon-juice, may be added, should the flavour require heightening. Fine bread-sauce, and a little plain gravy should likewise be served with it. Some persons still prefer the old fashioned currant sauce to any other; and many have the brains and stuffing stirred into rich melted butter, instead of gravy; but the receipt which we have given has usually been so much approved, that we can recommend it with some confidence, as it stands. Modern taste would perhaps be rather in favour of rich brown gravy and thick tomata sauce, or sauce Poivrade.
In dishing the pig, lay the body flat in the middle, and the head and ears at the ends and sides. When very pure oil can be obtained, it is preferable to butter for the basting: it should be laid on with a bunch of 288 feathers. A suckling of three weeks old is considered as best suited to the spit; and it should always be dressed, if possible, the day it is killed.
1¼ to 1¾ hours.
Prepare the pig exactly as for roasting, truss, and place it in the dish in which it is to be sent to the oven, and anoint it thickly in every part with white of egg that has been slightly beaten: it will require no basting, nor further attention of any kind, and will be well crisped by this process.
When the shoulders of a cold roast pig are left entire, take them off with care, remove the skin, trim them into good form, dip them into clarified butter or very pure salad oil, then into fine crumbs highly seasoned with cayenne and mixed with about a half-teaspoonful of salt. Broil them over a clear brisk fire, and send them quickly to table as soon as they are equally browned, with tomata sauce, or sauce Robert. Curried crumbs, and a currie-sauce will give an excellent variety of this dish; and savoury herbs, with two or three eschalots chopped small together and mixed with the bread-crumbs, and brown eschalot sauce to accompany the broil, will likewise be an acceptable one to many tastes.
Raise the flesh from the bones of a cold roast pig, free it from the crisp outer skin or crackling, and cut it down into small handsome slices. Dissolve a bit of butter the size of an egg, and, if they can be easily procured, throw in a handful of button-mushrooms, cleaned, and sliced; shake these over the fire for three or four minutes, then stir to them a dessertspoonful of flour, and continue to shake or toss them gently, but do not allow them to brown. Add a small bunch of parsley, a bay-leaf, a middling sized blade of mace, some salt, a small quantity 289 of cayenne or white pepper, half a pint of good veal or beef broth, and from two to three glasses of light white wine. Let these boil gently until reduced nearly one-third; take out the parsley and mace, lay in the meat, and bring it slowly to the point of simmering; stir to it the beaten yolks of three fresh eggs, and the strained juice of half a lemon. Serve the blanquette very hot.
When the skin is left on the joint which is to be roasted, it must be scored in narrow strips of equal width, before it is put to the fire, and laid at a considerable distance from it at first, that the meat may be heated through before the skin hardens or begins to brown; it must never stand still for an instant, and the basting should be constant. Pork is not at the present day much served at very good tables, particularly in this form; and it is so still less with the old savoury stuffing of sage and onions, though some eaters like it always with the leg: when it is ordered for this joint, therefore, prepare it as directed for a goose, Chapter VI., and after having loosened the skin from the knuckle, insert as much as well can be secured in it. A little clarified butter, or salad oil may be brushed over the skin quite at first, particularly should the meat not be very fat, but unless remarkably lean it will speedily yield sufficient dripping to baste it with. Joints from which the fat has been pared, will require of course far less roasting than those on which the crackling is retained. Brown gravy and apple or tomata sauce, are the usual accompaniments to all roasts of pork, except a sucking pig: they should always be thoroughly cooked.
Leg of pork of 8 lbs., 3 hours; loin of from 5 to 6 lbs., with the skin on, 2 to 2¼ hours; spare-rib of 6 to 7 lbs., 1½ hour.
The skin of this joint may be removed entirely, but if left on it must be scored lengthwise, or in the direction in 290 which it will be carved. The pork should be young of fine quality, and of moderate size. Roast it very carefully, either by the directions given in the preceding receipt, or when the skin is taken off, by those for a saddle of mutton, allowing in the latter case from three-quarters of an hour to a full hour more of the fire for it, in proportion to its weight. Serve it with good brown gravy and tomata sauce, or sauce Robert; or with apple sauce, should it be preferred.
20 minutes to the pound, quite.
Cut them about half an inch thick from a delicate loin of pork, trim them into neat form, and take off part of the fat, or the whole of it when it is not liked; dredge a little pepper or cayenne upon them, and broil them over a clear and moderate fire, from fifteen to eighteen minutes, sprinkle a little fine salt upon them just before they are dished. They may be dipped into egg and then into bread-crumbs mixed with minced sage, then finished in the usual way. When fried, flour them well, and season them with salt and pepper first. Serve them with gravy made in the pan, or with sauce Robert.
“All other parts being taken away, the two sides that remain and which are called flitches are to be cured for bacon. They are first rubbed with salt on their inside, or flesh sides, then placed one on the other, the flesh sides uppermost in a salting-trough, which has a gutter round its edges to drain away the brine; for to have sweet and fine bacon the flitches must not be sopping in brine, which gives it the sort of taste that barrel-pork and sea-junk have, and than which nothing is more villainous. Every one knows how different is the taste of fresh dry salt from that of salt in a dissolved state. Therefore, change the salt often; once in four or five days. Let it melt and sink in, but let it 291 not lie too long. Change the flitches, put that at bottom which was first on the top. Do this a couple of times. This mode will cost you a great deal more in salt, than the sopping mode; but without it your bacon will not be so sweet and fine, nor keep so well. As to the time required for making the flitches sufficiently salt, it depends on circumstances; the thickness of the flitch, the state of the weather, the place wherein the salting is going on. It takes a longer time for a thick than for a thin flitch; it takes longer in dry than in damp weather, it takes longer in a dry than a damp place. But for the flitches of a hog of five score, in weather not very dry or very damp, about six weeks may do; and as yours is to be fat, which receives little injury from over-salting, give time enough; for you are to have bacon till Christmas comes again. The place for salting should, like a dairy, always be cool, but always admit of a free circulation of air; confined air, though cool, will taint meat sooner than the midday sun accompanied with a breeze. With regard to smoking the bacon, two precautions are necessary: first to hang the flitches where no rain comes down upon them, and next, that the smoke must proceed from wood, not peat turf nor coal. As to the time that it requires to smoke a flitch, it must depend a good deal upon whether there be a constant fire beneath, and whether the fire be large or small. A month will do if the fire be pretty constant and such as a farm house fire usually is. But over-smoking, or rather, too long hanging in the air, makes the bacon rust. Great attention should, therefore, be paid to this matter. The flitch ought not to be dried up to the hardness of a board, and yet it ought to be perfectly dry. Before you hang it up, lay it on the floor, scatter the flesh-side pretty thickly over with bran or with some fine sawdust, not of deal or fir. Rub it on the flesh or pat it well down upon it. This keeps the smoke from getting into the little openings, and makes a sort of crust to be dried on.292
“To keep the bacon sweet and good, and free from hoppers, sift fine some clean and dry wood-ashes. Put some at the bottom of a box or chest long enough to hold a flitch of bacon. Lay in one flitch; and then put in more ashes, then another flitch, and cover this with six or eight inches of the ashes. The place where the box or chest is kept ought to be dry, and should the ashes become damp they should be put in the fireplace to dry, and when cold, put back again. With these precautions the bacon will be as good at the end of the year as on the first day.”
Obs.—Although the preceding directions for curing the bacon are a little vague as regards the proportions of salt and pork, we think those for its after-management will be acceptable to many of our readers, as in our damp climate it is often a matter of great difficulty to preserve hams and bacon through the year from rust.
“Let the swine be put up to fast for twenty-four hours before they are killed (and observe that neither a time of severe frost, nor very damp weather is favourable for curing bacon). After a pig has been killed and scalded, let it hang twelve hours before it is cut up, then for every stone, or fourteen pounds’ weight of the meat, take one pound of salt, an ounce and a quarter of saltpetre, and half an ounce of coarse sugar. Rub the sugar and saltpetre first into the fleshy parts of the pork, and remove carefully with a fork any extravasated blood that may appear on it, together with the broken vessels adjoining; apply the salt especially to those parts, as well as to the shank-ends of the hams, and any other portions of the flesh that are more particularly exposed. Before the salt is added to the meat, warm it a little before the fire, and use only a part of it in the first instance; then, as it dissolves, or is absorbed by the meat, add the remainder at several different times. Let the meat in the mean while lie either on clean straw, 293 or on a cold brick or stone floor; it will require from a fortnight to three weeks’ curing, according to the state of the atmosphere. When done, hang it in a cool dry place, where there is a thorough current of air, and let it remain there until it is perfectly dry, when the salt will be found to have crystallized upon the surface. The meat may then be removed to your store, and kept in a close chest, surrounded with clean outer straw. If very large, the hams will not be in perfection in less than twelve months from the time of their being
Pork, 20 stone; salt, 20 lbs.; saltpetre, 20 ozs.; sugar, 10 ozs.: 14 to 21 days.
To a porker of sixteen stone (Kentish weight, that is to say, eight pounds to the stone, or nine stone two pounds of common weight), allow two gallons of salt, two pounds of saltpetre, one pound of coarse sugar, and two pounds of bay-salt, well dried and reduced to powder. Put aside the hams and cheeks to be cured by themselves; let the feet, ears, tail, and eye parts of the head be salted for immediate eating. The blade-bones, and ends of the loins and ribs reserved for sausage-meat should it be wanted, and the loin and spare-ribs for roasting. Divide and salt the remainder thus: Mix well together the saltpetre, sugar, and bay-salt, and rub the pork gently with them in every part; cover the bottom of the pickling tub with salt, and pack in the pork as closely as possible, with a portion of the remaining salt between each layer. A very little water is sometimes sprinkled in to facilitate the dissolving of the salt into a brine, but this is better avoided, if possible, and in damp weather will not be needed. If in a fortnight it should not have risen, so as almost entirely to cover the meat, boil a strong brine of salt, saltpetre, sugar, and bay-salt; let it remain till perfectly cold, and then pour it over the pork. A board, with a heavy stone weight upon it, should be kept upon the meat, to force it down under the brine. 294 In from three to four months it will be fit for table, and will be delicate and excellent pickled pork.
The pickling parts of a porker of sixteen stone, (Kentish weight, or nine stone two pounds of common weight, or fourteen pounds to the stone); common salt, 2 gallons; saltpetre, 2 lbs.; coarse sugar, 1 lb.; bay-salt, 2 lbs.
Cut the bacon from the pig with as little lean to it as possible. Rub it well in every part, with salt which has been dried, reduced to powder, and sifted; put the layers of bacon close against and upon each other, in a shallow wooden trough, and set it in a cool, but not a damp cellar; add more salt all round the bacon, and lay a board, with a very heavy weight upon it. Let it remain for six weeks, then hang it up in a dry and airy place.
Pork, 14 lbs.; salt, 14 ozs.: 6 weeks.
One pound of common salt, one pound of the coarsest sugar, and one of saltpetre, in fine powder, to each stone (fourteen pounds) of the meat will answer this purpose extremely well. An ounce of black pepper can be added, if liked, and when less sugar is preferred, the proportion can be diminished one-half, and the quantity of salt as much increased. Bacon also may be cured by this receipt, or by the Bordyke one for hams. A month is sufficient time for the salting, unless the pork be very large, when five weeks must be allowed for a ham. The ingredients may be well mixed, and all applied at the same time.
To each 14 lbs. of pork, salt, 1 lb.; coarse sugar, 1 lb.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; pepper (if used), 1 oz.: 4 to 5 weeks.
Take the hams as soon as the pig is sufficiently cold to be cut up, rub them well with common salt, and 295 leave them for three days to drain; throw away the brine, and for a couple of hams of from fifteen to eighteen pounds weight, mix together two ounces of saltpetre, a pound of coarse sugar, and a pound of common salt; rub the hams in every part with these, lay them into deep pickling-pans with the rind downwards, and keep them for three days well covered with the salt and sugar; then pour over them a bottle of good vinegar, and turn them in the brine, and baste them with it daily for a month; drain them well, rub them with bran, and let them be hung for a month high in a chimney over a wood-fire to be smoked.
Hams, of from 15 to 18 lbs. each, 2; to drain 3 days. Common salt, and coarse sugar, each 1 lb.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.: 3 days. Vinegar, 1 bottle: a month. To be smoked 1 month.
Obs.—Such of our readers as shall make trial of this admirable receipt, will acknowledge, we doubt not, that the hams thus cured are in reality superior to those of Westphalia. It was originally given to the public by the celebrated French cook, Monsieur Ude, to whom, after having proved it, we are happy to acknowledge our obligation for it. He directs that the hams when smoked should be hung as high as possible from the fire, that the fat may not be melted; a very necessary precaution, as the mode of their being cured renders it peculiarly liable to do so. This, indeed, is somewhat perceptible in the cooking, which ought, therefore, to be conducted with especial care. The hams should be very softly simmered,* and not over-done. They should be large, and of finely-fed pork, or the receipt will not answer. We give the result of our first trial of it, which was perfectly successful.
Leg of Suffolk farm-house pork, 14 to 15 lbs.; saltpetre, 1¼ oz.; strong coarse salt, 6 ozs.; coarse sugar, 8 ozs.: 3 days. Fine white-wine vinegar, 1 pint. 296 In pickle, turned daily, 1 month. Smoked over wood, 1 month.
Obs.—When two hams are pickled together a smaller proportion of the ingredients is required for each, than for one which is cured by itself.
* We have not been able to make the trial ourselves, but we think they would be even finer baked than boiled.
After the hams have been rubbed with salt, and well drained from the brine, according to our previous directions, take, for each fourteen pounds weight of meat, one ounce of saltpetre in fine powder, mixed with three ounces of the coarsest sugar; rub the meat in every part with these, and let it remain some hours, then cover it well with eight ounces of bay-salt, dried and pounded, and mixed with four ounces of common salt: in four days add one pound of treacle, and keep the hams turned daily, and well basted with the pickle for a month. Hang them up to drain for a night, fold them in brown paper, and send them to be smoked for a month. An ounce of ground black pepper is often mixed with the saltpetre in this receipt, and three ounces of bruised juniper-berries are rubbed on to the meat before the salt is added, when hams of a very high flavour are desired.
Ham, 14 lbs.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; coarse sugar, 3 ozs.: 8 to 12 hours. Bay-salt ½ lb.; common salt, 4 ozs.: 4 days. Treacle, 1 lb.: 1 month. To heighten flavour, black pepper 1 oz.; juniper-berries, 3 ozs.
The degree of soaking which must be given to a ham before it is boiled, must depend both on the manner in which it has been cured, and on its age. If highly salted, hard, and old, a day and night, or even longer, may be requisite to dilate the pores sufficiently, and to extract a portion of the salt. To do either effectually the water must be several times changed during the steeping. We generally find hams cured by any of 297 the receipts which we have given in this chapter quite enough soaked in twelve hours; and they are more frequently laid into water only early in the morning of the day on which they are boiled. Those pickled by Monsieur Ude’s receipt need much less steeping than any others. After the ham has been scraped, or brushed, as clean as possible, pare lightly away any part which, from being blackened or rusty, would disfigure it; though it is better not to cut the flesh at all unless it be really requisite for the good appearance of the joint. Lay it into a ham-kettle, or into any other vessel of a similar form, and cover it plentifully with cold water; bring it very slowly indeed to boil, and clear off carefully the scum which will be thrown up in great abundance. So soon as the water has been cleared from this, draw back the pan quite to the edge of the stove, that the ham may be simmered softly, but steadily, until it is tender. On no account allow it to boil fast. A bunch of herbs and three or four carrots, thrown in directly after the water has been skimmed, will improve it. When it can be probed very easily with a sharp skewer, or larding-pin, lift it out, strip off the skin, and should there be an oven at hand, set it in for a few minutes, after having laid it on a drainer; strew fine raspings over it, or grate a hard-toasted crust, or sift upon it the prepared bread of page 155, unless it is to be glazed, when neither of these must be used.
Small ham, 3½ to 4 hours; moderate sized, 4 to 4½ hours; very large, 5 to 5½ hours.
Obs.—We have seen the following manner of boiling a ham recommended, but we have not tried it:—“put into the water in which it is to be boiled, a quart of old cider and a pint of vinegar, a large bunch of sweet herbs, and a bay-leaf. When it is two-thirds done, skin, cover it with raspings, and set it in an oven until it is enough: it will prove incomparably superior to a ham boiled in the usual way.”298
After having soaked, thoroughly cleaned, and trimmed the ham, put over it a little very sweet clean hay, and tie it up in a thin cloth; place it in a ham-kettle, a braising pan, or any other vessel as nearly of its size as can be, and cover it with two parts of cold water, and one of light white-wine (we think the reader will find cider a good substitute for this); add, when it boils and has been skimmed, four or five carrots, two or three onions, a large bunch of savoury herbs, and the smallest bit of garlic. Let the whole simmer gently from four to five hours, or longer should the ham be very large. When perfectly tender, lift it out, take off the rind, and sprinkle over it some fine crumbs, or some raspings of bread mixed with a little finely minced parsley.
Unless when too salt, from not being sufficiently soaked, a ham (particularly a young and fresh one) eats much better baked than boiled, and remains good longer. The safer plan is to lay it into plenty of cold water over night. The following day soak it for an hour or more in warm water, wash it delicately clean, trim smoothly off all rusty parts, and lay it with the rind downwards into a coarse paste rolled to about an inch thick; moisten the edges, draw, pinch them together, and fold them over on the upper side of the ham, taking care to close them so that no gravy can escape. Send it to a well-heated, but not a fierce oven. A very small ham will require quite three hours baking, and a large one five. The crust and the skin must be removed while it is hot. When part only of a ham is dressed, this mode is better far than boiling it.
When very highly salted and dried it should be soaked for an hour before it is dressed. Scrape and wash it well, cover it plentifully with cold water, let it both 299 heat and boil slowly, remove all the scum with care, and when a fork or skewer will penetrate the bacon easily lift it out, strip off the skin, and strew raspings of bread over the top, or grate upon it a hard crust which has been toasted till it is crisp quite through; or should it be at hand, use for the purpose the bread recommended at page 155, then dry it a little before the fire or set it for a few minutes into a gentle oven. Bacon requires long boiling, but the precise time depends upon its quality, the flesh of young porkers becoming tender much sooner than that of older ones; sometimes, too, the manner in which the animal has been fed renders the meat hard, and it will then, unless thoroughly cooked, prove very indigestible. From ten to fifteen minutes less for the pound, must be allowed for unsmoked bacon, or for pickled pork.
Smoked bacon, (striped) 2 lbs., from 1¼ to 1½ hour; unsmoked bacon, or pork, 1 to 1¼ hour.
Obs.—The thickest part of a large gammon of bacon will require from twenty to thirty minutes longer boiling than the thinner side.
Cut it evenly in thin slices, or rashers, as they are generally called, pare from them all rind and rust, curl them round, fasten them with small slight skewers, then fry, broil, or toast them in a Dutch oven: draw out the skewers before they are sent to table. A few minutes will dress them either way. They may also be cooked without being curled. The rind should always be taken off, and the bacon gently toasted, grilled, or fried, that it may be well done without being too much dried, or hardened: it should be cut thin.
Slice rather thicker than for frying, some cold boiled bacon, and strew it lightly on both sides with fine raspings of bread, or with a grated crust which has been very slowly and gradually toasted till brown quite 300 through. Toast or warm the rashers in a dutch oven, and serve them with veal cutlets, or any other delicate meat. The bacon thus dressed is much nicer than when broiled or fried without the previous boiling.
4 to 5 minutes.
Split open the head of a middling sized porker, remove the brain and all the bones, strew the inside rather thickly with fine salt, and let it drain until the following day. Cleanse the ears and feet in the same manner; wipe them all from the brine, lay them into a large pan, and rub them well with an ounce and a half of saltpetre mixed with six ounces of sugar; in twelve hours, add six ounces of salt; the next day pour a quarter-pint of good vinegar over them, and keep them turned in the pickle every twenty-four hours, for a week, then wash it off the ears and feet, and boil them about an hour and a half; bone the feet while they are warm, and trim the gristle from the large ends of the ears. When these are ready, mix a large grated nutmeg with a teaspoonful and a half of mace, half a teaspoonful of cayenne, and as much of cloves. Wash, but do not soak the head, wipe and flatten it on a board; cut some of the flesh from the thickest parts, and (when the whole of the meat has been seasoned equally with the spices) lay it on the thinnest; intermix it with that of the ears and feet, roll it up very tight, and bind it firmly with broad tape; fold a thin pudding-cloth quite closely round it, and tie it securely at both ends. A braising-pan, from its form, is best adapted for boiling it, but if there be not one at hand, place the head in a vessel adapted to its size, with the bones and trimmings of the feet and ears, a large bunch of savoury herbs, two moderate-sized onions, a small head of celery, three or four carrots, a teaspoonful of pepper-corns, and sufficient cold water to cover it well; boil it very gently for four hours, and leave it until two parts cold in the liquor in which it was boiled. Take off the cloth, and put the brawn between two 301 dishes or trenchers, with a heavy weight on the upper one. The next day, take off the fillets of tape, and serve the head whole or sliced.
Chop, not very fine, one pound of lean pork with two pounds of the inside fat; strew over, and mix thoroughly with them three teaspoonsful of salt, nearly half as much pepper, a half-teaspoonful of mace, one small nutmeg, grated, and a large tablespoonful of mixed parsley, thyme, and sage, (and sweet-basil, if it can be procured) all minced extremely small. Press the meat closely and evenly into a shallow tin,—such as are used for Yorkshire puddings will answer well,—and bake it in a very gentle oven from an hour to an hour and a half: it is served cold, in slices. Should the proportion of fat be considered too much, it can be diminished on a second trial.
Lean of pork, 1 lb.; fat, 2 lbs.; salt, 3 teaspoonsful; pepper, 1½ teaspoonful; mace, ½ teaspoonful; nutmeg, 1 small; mixed herbs, 1 large tablespoonful: 1 to 1½ hour.
Season very highly from two to three pounds of good sausage-meat, both with spices and with sage, or with thyme and parsley, if these be preferred; press the mixture into a pan, and proceed exactly as for the veal-cake of page 253. A few minced eschalots can be mixed with the meat for those who like their flavour.
Common farm-house sausages are made with nearly equal parts of fat and lean pork, coarsely chopped, and seasoned with salt and pepper only. They are put into skins (which have previously been turned inside out, scraped very thin, washed with exceeding nicety, and wiped very dry), then twisted into links, and should be hung in a cool airy larder, when they will remain good for some time. Odd scraps and trimmings of pork are 302 usually taken for sausage-meat when the pig is killed and cut up at home; but the chine and blade-bone are preferred in general for the purpose. The pork rinds, as we have already stated,* will make a strong and almost flavourless jelly, which may be used with excellent effect for stock, and which, with the addition of some pork-bones, plenty of vegetables, and some dried peas, will make a very nutritious soup for those who do not object to the pork-flavour which the bones will give. Half an ounce of salt, and nearly or quite a quarter-ounce of pepper will sufficiently season each pound of the sausage-meat.
To three pounds of lean pork, add two of fat, and let both be taken clear of skin. As sausages are lighter, though not so delicate when the meat is somewhat coarsely chopped, this difference should be attended to in making them. When the fat and lean are partially mixed, strew over them two ounces and a half of dry salt, beaten to powder, and mixed with one ounce of ground black pepper, and three large tablespoonsful of sage, minced very fine. Turn the meat with the chopping knife, until the ingredients are well blended. Test it, before it is taken off the block, by frying a small portion, that if more seasoning be desired, it may at once be added. A full-sized nutmeg, and a small dessertspoonful of pounded mace, would, to many tastes, improve it. This sausage-meat is usually formed into cakes, which, after being well floured, are roasted in a Dutch oven. They must be watched, and often turned, that no part may be scorched. The meat may be put into skins, and dressed in any other way as well.
Lean of pork, 3 lbs.; fat, 2 lbs.; salt, 2½ ozs.; pepper, 1 oz.; minced sage, 3 large tablespoonsful.303
Chop, first separately, and then together, one pound and a quarter of veal, perfectly free from fat, skin, and sinew, an equal weight of lean pork, and of the inside fat of the pig. Mix well, and strew over the meat an ounce and a quarter of salt, half an ounce of pepper, one nutmeg grated, and a large teaspoonful of pounded mace. Turn, and chop the sausages till they are equally seasoned throughout, and tolerably fine; press them into a clean pan, and keep them in a very cool place. Form them, when wanted for table, into cakes something less than an inch thick, flour and fry them for about ten minutes in a little butter.
Lean of veal and pork, of each 1 lb. 4 ozs.; fat of pork, 1 lb. 4 ozs.; salt, 1 oz.; pepper, ½ oz.; nutmeg, 1; mace, 1 large teaspoonful: fried in cakes, 10 minutes.
Take from the best end of a neck of veal, from the fillet or the loin, a couple or more pounds of flesh without any intermixture of fat or skin; chop it fine, and pound it thoroughly in a large mortar, with half its weight of the inside, or leaf-fat of a pig; proportion salt and spice to it by the preceding receipt, form it into cakes, and fry it as above.
In Lincolnshire, sausages are frequently boiled in the skins, and served upon a toast, as a corner dish. They should be put into boiling water, and simmered from seven to ten minutes, according to their size.
Roast, and take the husk and skin from forty fine Spanish chestnuts; fry gently, in a morsel of butter, six small flat oval cakes of fine sausage-meat, and when 304 they are well browned lift them out and pour into a saucepan, which should be bright in the inside, the greater part of the fat in which they have been fried; mix with it a large teaspoonful of flour, and stir these over the fire till they are well, and equally browned; then pour in by degrees nearly half a pint of strong beef or veal broth, or gravy, and two glasses of good white wine; add a small bunch of savoury herbs, and as much salt and pepper, or cayenne, as will season the whole properly; give it a boil, lay in the sausages round the pan, and the chestnuts in the centre; stew them very softly for nearly an hour; take out the herbs, dish the sausages neatly, and heap the chestnuts in the middle, strain the sauce over them and serve them very hot. This is a corner dish. There should be no sage mixed with the pork to dress thus.
Chestnuts roasted, 40; sausages, 6; gravy, nearly ½ pint; sherry or Madeira, 2 wineglassesful: stewed together from 50 to 60 minutes.
Young, plump, well-fed, but not over-fatted poultry is the best. The skin of fowls and turkeys should be 305 clear, white, and finely grained, the breasts broad and full-fleshed, the legs smooth, the toes pliable and easily broken when bent back; the birds should also be heavy in proportion to their size. This applies equally to geese and ducks, of which the breasts likewise should be very plump, and the feet yellow and flexible: when these are red and hard, the bills of the same colour, and the skin full of hairs, and extremely coarse, the birds are old.
White-legged fowls and chickens should be chosen for boiling, because their appearance is the most delicate when dressed; but the dark-legged ones often prove more juicy and of better flavour when roasted, and their colour then is immaterial.
Every precaution should be taken to prevent poultry from becoming ever so slightly tainted before it is cooked, but unless the weather be exceedingly sultry, it should not be quite freshly killed:* pigeons only are the better for being so, and are thought to lose their flavour by hanging even a day or two. Turkeys, as we have stated in our receipts for them, are very tough and poor eating if not sufficiently long kept. A goose, also, in winter, should hang some days before it is dressed, and fowls, likewise, will be improved by it.
All kinds of poultry should be thoroughly cooked, though without being overdone, for nothing in general can more effectually destroy the appetite than the taste and appearance of their flesh when brought to table half roasted or boiled.
* If from accidental circumstances it should become apparently unfit for table, it may be restored to an eatable state by the same means as fish; it should not, however, be purchased, at any time, when it exhibits a greenish tint on any part of the skin, as this indicates its being already stale.
After the fowl has been drawn and singed, wipe it inside and out with a clean cloth, but do not wash it. Take off the head, cut through the skin all round the 306 first joint of the legs, and pull them from the fowl, to draw out the large tendons. Raise the flesh first from the lower part of the back-bone,* and work the knife gradually to the socket of the thigh; with the point of the knife detach the joint from it, take the end of the bone firmly in the fingers, and cut the flesh clean from it down to the next joint, round which pass the point of the knife carefully, and when the skin is loosened from it in every part, cut round the next bone, keeping the edge of the knife close to it, until the whole of the leg is done. Remove the bones of the other leg in the same manner; then detach the flesh from the back and breast-bone, sufficiently to enable you to reach the upper joints of the wings; proceed with these as with the legs, but be especially careful not to pierce the skin of the second joint: it is usual to leave the pinions unboned, in order to give more easily its natural form to the fowl when it is dressed. The merry-thought and neck-bones may now easily be cut away, the back and side-bones taken out without being divided, and the breast-bone separated carefully from the flesh, (which, as the work progresses, must be turned back from the bones upon the fowl, until it is completely inside out). After the one remaining bone is removed, draw the wings and legs back to their proper form, and turn the fowl the right side outwards.
A turkey is boned exactly in the same manner, but as it requires a very large proportion of forcemeat to fill it entirely, the legs and wings are sometimes drawn into the body, to diminish the expense of this. If very securely trussed, and sewn, the bird may be either boiled, or stewed in rich gravy, as well as roasted, after being boned and forced.
* A little also from the end of the breast-bone, if necessary.
Cut through the skin down the centre of the back, and raise the flesh carefully on either side with the point of a sharp knife, until the sockets of the wings 307 and thighs are reached. Till a little practice has been gained, it will perhaps be better to bone these joints before proceeding further; but after they are once detached from it, the whole of the body may easily be separated from the flesh, and taken out entire: only the neck-bones and merrythought will then remain to be removed. The bird thus prepared may either be restored to its original form, by filling the legs and wings with forcemeat, and the body with the livers of two or three fowls, if they can be procured, mixed with alternate layers of parboiled tongue, freed from the rind, fine sausage-meat, or veal-forcemeat, or thin slices of the nicest bacon, or ought else of good flavour, which will give a marbled appearance to the fowl when it is carved, and then be sewn up and trussed as usual; or the legs and wings may be drawn inside the body, and the bird being first flattened on a table may be covered with sausage-meat, and the various other ingredients we have named, so placed that it shall be of equal thickness in every part; then tightly rolled, bound firmly together with a fillet of broad tape, wrapped in a thin pudding-cloth, closely tied at both ends, and dressed as follows:—Put it into a braising-pan, stewpan, or thick iron saucepan, bright in the inside, and fitted as nearly as may be to its size; add all the chicken-bones, a bunch of sweet herbs, two carrots, two bay-leaves, a large blade of mace, twenty-four white peppercorns, and any trimmings or bones of undressed veal which may be at hand, cover the whole with good veal-broth; add salt, if needed, and stew it very softly, from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half; let it cool in the liquor in which it was stewed; and after it is lifted out, boil down the gravy to a jelly and strain it; let it become cold, clear off the fat, and serve it cut into large dice or roughed, and laid round the fowl, which is to be served cold. If restored to its form, instead of being rolled, it must be stewed gently for an hour, and may then be sent to table hot, covered with mushroom, or any other good sauce that 308 may be preferred; or it may be left till the following day, and served garnished with the jelly, which should be firm, and very clear and well-flavoured: the liquor in which a calf’s foot has been boiled down, added to the broth, will give it the necessary degree of consistency. French cooks add three or four onions to these preparations of poultry (the last of which is called a galantine); but these our own taste would lead us to reject.
Rolled, 1¼ hour to 1 and ½; galantine, 1 hour.
Obs.—A couple of fowls, boned and rolled, make an excellent pie.
First carve them entirely into joints, then remove the bones, beginning with the legs and wings, at the head of the largest bone; hold this with the fingers, and work the knife as directed in the receipt above. The remainder of the birds is too easily done to require any instructions.
In very cold weather a turkey in its feathers will (in an airy larder) hang quite a fortnight with advantage; and, however fine a quality of bird it may be, unless sufficiently long kept, it will prove not worth the dressing, though it should always be perfectly sweet when prepared for table. Pluck, draw, and singe it with exceeding care; wash, and then dry it thoroughly with clean cloths, or merely wipe the outside well, without wetting it, and pour water plentifully through the inside. Fill the breast with forcemeat (No. 1, page 170), or with the finest sausage-meat, highly seasoned with minced herbs, lemon-rind, mace, and cayenne. Truss the bird 309 firmly, lay it to a clear sound fire, baste it constantly and bountifully with butter, and serve it when done with good brown gravy, and well-made bread-sauce. An entire chain of delicate fried sausages is still often placed in the dish, round a turkey, as a garnish.
It is usual to fold and fasten a sheet of buttered writing-paper over the breast to prevent it being too much coloured: this should be removed twenty minutes before the bird is done. The forcemeat of chestnuts (No. 15, Chapter VI.) may be very advantageously substituted for the commoner kinds in stuffing it, and the body may then be filled with chestnuts, previously stewed till tender in rich gravy, or simmered over a slow fire in plenty of rasped bacon, with a high seasoning of mace, nutmeg, and cayenne, till they are so; or, instead of this, well-made chestnut sauce, or a dish of stewed chestnuts may be sent to table with the turkey.
1½ to 2½ hours.
Obs.—A turkey should be laid at first far from the fire, and drawn nearer when half done, though never sufficiently so to scorch it; it should be well roasted, for even the most inveterate advocates for under-dressed meats will seldom tolerate the taste or sight of partially-raw poultry.
A delicate but plump hen-turkey of moderate size should be selected for boiling. Pick and draw it, using the greatest precaution not to break the gall-bladder; singe it with writing-paper, take off the head and neck, cut through the skin round the first joint of the legs, and draw them off; this is best accomplished by fastening the feet to a strong hook, and then pulling the bird away from it. Wash it exceedingly clean, and then wipe it dry; fill the breast 310 with the forcemeat No. 1 or 2 of Chapter VI., or with the oyster, chestnut, or French forcemeat, of which the receipts are given in the same Chapter. In trussing it draw the legs into the body, break the breast-bone, and give the turkey as round and plump an appearance as can be. Put it into plenty of warm water, clear off the scum with the greatest care as it is thrown to the surface, and boil the bird very gently from an hour and a half to two hours and a quarter. A very large turkey would require a longer time, but it is unsuited to this mode of cooking. When the oyster-forcemeat is used, a large tureen of rich oyster-sauce should accompany the dish; but celery-sauce, or good white sauce, may otherwise be sent to table with it; and a boiled tongue or a small ham is usually served in addition. For a plain family dinner, parsley and butter, and a delicate cheek of bacon, are sometimes substituted for either of these, and parsley and butter for a more expensive sauce. Fast boiling will cause the skin of the bird to break, and must therefore be especially avoided: it should hang for some days before it is dressed, for if quite freshly killed it will not be tender, but it must be perfectly sweet to be fit for table.
Moderate-sized turkey, 1½ to 2 hours; large turkey, longer; very small one, less time.
Take a small, well-kept, but quite sweet hen-turkey, of from seven to eight pounds weight, and remove, by the receipt for a fowl (page 306), all the bones, except those of the pinions, without opening the bird; draw it into shape, and fill it entirely with exceedingly fine sausage-meat, beginning with the legs and wings; plump the breast well in preparing it, and when its original form is quite restored, tie it securely at both ends, and at the extremities of the legs; pass a slight iron skewer through these and the body, and another through the wings and body; then lay a twine over the 311 back of the turkey, and pass it under the ends of the first skewer, cross it in the centre of the back, and pass it under the ends of the second skewer, then carry it over the pinions to keep them firmly in their place, and fasten it at the neck. When a cradle spit, of which the engraving shows the form, and which opens with a joint to receive the roast, is not at hand, a bottle jack will be found more convenient than any other for holding the turkey; and after the hook of this is passed through the neck, it must be further supported by a string running across the back and under the points of the skewer which confines the pinions, to the hook; for, otherwise, its weight would most probably cause it to fall. Flour it well, place it far from the fire until it is heated through, and baste it plentifully and incessantly with butter. An hour and three-quarters will roast it well. Break and boil down the bones for gravy in a pint and a half of water, with a little salt, a few slices of celery, a dozen corns of pepper, and a branch or two of parsley. Brown gently in a morsel of good butter, a couple of ounces of lean ham, add to them a slight dredge of flour, and a little cayenne, and pour to them the broth from the bones, after it has boiled an hour, and been strained and skimmed; shake the stewpan well round, and stew the gravy until it is wanted for table; clear it entirely from fat, strain, and serve it very hot. An eschalot, or half an onion may be browned with the ham when either is liked, but their flavour is not, we think, appropriate with poultry.
Hen-turkey between 7 and 8 lbs. weight, boned, filled with sausage-meat, 3 to 4 lbs.; or with forcemeat No. 1, or with No. 3, Chapter VI., 1 lb. (that is to say, 312 1 lb. of bread-crumbs, and the other ingredients in proportion.) Sausage-meat, 2 to 3 lbs.: roasted 1¾ hour.
Obs.—When a common spit is used for the turkey, it must be fastened to, and not put on it.
Bread-sauce can be served with the bird, or not, at pleasure.
It will be found an improvement to moisten the sausage-meat with one or two spoonsful of water: it should be finely minced, well spiced, and mixed with herbs, when the common forcemeat is not used in addition. In preparing it, a pound and a quarter of fat should be mixed with each pound of the lean.
To give the turkey a very good appearance, the breast may be larded by the directions of page 200.
Prepare as for boiling a fine well-kept hen-turkey; wipe the inside thoroughly with a dry cloth, but do not wash it; throw in a little salt to draw out the blood, let it remain a couple of hours or more, then drain and wipe it again; next, rub the outside in every part with about four ounces of fine dry salt, mixed with a large tablespoonful of pounded sugar; rub the turkey well with these, and turn it every day for four days, then fill it entirely with equal parts of choice sausage-meat, and the crumb of bread soaked in boiling milk or cream, and wrung dry in a cloth; season these with the grated rind of a large lemon, a small nutmeg, some mace, cayenne, and fine herbs, in the same proportion as for veal-forcemeat (No. 1, page 170). Sew the turkey up very securely, and when trussed, roll it in a cloth, tie it closely at both ends, and boil it very gently between three and four hours. When taken up, sprinkle it thickly with fine crumbs of bread, mixed with plenty of parsley, shred extremely small. Serve it cold, with a sauce made of the strained juice and grated rind of two lemons, a teaspoonful of made mustard, and one of pounded sugar, with as much oil as will prevent its being more than pleasantly acid, and a little salt, if needed; 313 work these together until perfectly mixed, and send them to table in a tureen.
This receipt was given to us abroad, by a Flemish lady, who had had the dish often served with great success in Paris. We have inserted it on her authority, not on our own experience.
After it has been picked and singed with care, put into the body of the goose two parboiled onions of moderate size, chopped fine, and mixed with half an ounce of minced sage-leaves, a saltspoonful of salt, and half as much black pepper, or a proportionate quantity of cayenne; to these add a small slice of fresh butter; truss the goose, and after it is on the spit, tie it firmly at both ends that it may turn steadily, and that the seasoning may not escape. Roast it at a brisk fire, and keep it constantly basted. Serve it with brown gravy, and apple, or tomata sauce. When the taste is in favour of a stronger seasoning than the above, which occurs, we apprehend, but seldom, use raw onions for it, and increase the quantity; but should one still milder be preferred, mix a handful of fine bread-crumbs with the other ingredients, or two or three minced apples. The body of a goose is sometimes filled entirely with mashed potatoes, which, for the purpose, ought to be boiled very dry, and well blended with two or three ounces of butter, or with some thick cream, some salt, and white pepper or cayenne: and to these minced sage and parboiled onions can also be added at pleasure. A teaspoonful of made-mustard, half as much of salt, and a small portion of cayenne, smoothly mixed with a glass of port wine are sometimes poured into the goose just before it is served, through a cut made in the apron.
1½ to 1¾ hour.314
Obs.—We extract, for the benefit of our readers, from a work in our possession, the following passage, of which we have had no opportunity of testing the correctness. “Geese, with their sage and onions, may be deprived of power to breathe forth any incense, thus:—Pare from a lemon all the yellow rind, taking care not to bruise the fruit nor to cut so deeply as to let out the juice. Place this lemon in the centre of the seasoning within the bird. When or before it is brought to table, let the flap be gently opened, remove the lemon with a tablespoon; avoid breaking, and let it instantly be thrown away, as its white, pithy skin will have absorbed all the gross particles which else would have escaped.”
Season the inside with a little pepper and salt, and roast the goose at a brisk fire from forty to fifty minutes. Serve it with good brown gravy only.
Strip off the feathers, and carefully pick every stump or plug from the skin, as nothing can be more uninviting than the appearance of any kind of poultry where this has been neglected, nor more indicative of slovenliness on the part of the cook. Take off the head and neck close to the body, but leave sufficient of the skin to tie over the part that is cut. In drawing the bird, do not open it more than is needful, and use great precaution to avoid breaking the gall-bladder. Hold the legs in boiling water for two or three minutes that the skin may be peeled from them easily; cut off the claws, and then, with a bit of lighted writing-paper, singe off the hairs without blackening the fowl. Wash, and wipe it afterwards very dry, and let the liver and gizzard be made 315 delicately clean, and fastened into the pinions. Truss, and spit it firmly; flour it well when first laid to the fire; baste it frequently with butter, and when it is done, draw out the skewers, dish it, pour a little good gravy over, and send it to table with bread, mushroom, egg, or chestnut sauce. A common mode of serving roast fowls in France is aux cressons, that is, laid upon young water-cresses, which have previously been freed from the outer leaves, thoroughly washed, shaken dry in a clean cloth, and sprinkled with a little fine salt, and a small quantity of vinegar: these should cover the dish, and after the fowls are placed on them, gravy should be poured over as usual.
The body of a fowl may be filled with very small mushrooms prepared as for partridges (see partridges with mushrooms), then sewn up, roasted, and served with mushroom-sauce: this is an excellent mode of dressing it. A slice of fresh butter mixed with some salt and cayenne or pepper; a little rasped bacon; or a bit or two of the lean of beef or veal minced, or cut into dice, may be put inside the bird when either is considered an improvement. An ounce or two of fresh butter smoothly mixed with a teaspoonful of really good mushroom-powder, a little pounded mace, salt, and cayenne, will impart much more of flavour to the fowl.
Full-sized fowl, 1 hour: young chicken, 25 to 35 minutes.
Obs.—As we have already observed in our general remarks on roasting, the time must be regulated by various circumstances, which we named, and which the cook should always take into consideration. A buttered paper should be fastened over the breast, and removed about fifteen minutes before the fowl is served: this will prevent its taking too much colour.
Fill the breast of a fine fowl with good forcemeat, roast it as usual, and when it is very nearly ready to 316 serve take it from the fire, pour lukewarm butter over it in every part, and strew it thickly with very fine bread-crumbs; sprinkle these again with butter, and dip the fowl into more crumbs. Put it down to the fire, and when it is of a clear light brown all over take it carefully from the spit, dish, and serve it with lemon-sauce, and with gravy thickened and mixed with plenty of minced parsley, or with brown gravy and any other sauce usually served with fowls. Savoury herbs shred small, spice, and lemon grate, may be mixed with the crumbs at pleasure. Do not pour gravy over the fowl when it is thus prepared.
Let the bird hang for as many days as the weather will allow; then stuff, truss, roast, and serve it like a turkey, or leave the head on and lard the breast. Send gravy and bread-sauce to table with it in either case; it will be found excellent eating.
¾ to 1 hour.
Bone a fowl without opening the back, and restore it to its original form by filling the vacant spaces in the legs and wings with forcemeat; put a roll of it also into the body, and a large sausage on either side; tie it very securely at both ends, truss it with fine skewers, and roast it for a full hour, keeping it basted plentifully with butter. When appearance is not regarded, the pinions may be taken off, and the legs and wings drawn inside the fowl, which will then require a much smaller proportion of forcemeat:—that directed for veal (No. 1, page 170), will answer quite well in a general way, but for a dinner of ceremony, No. 17 or 18 of the same Chapter, should be used in preference. The fowl must be tied securely to the spit, not put upon it. Boned chickens are excellent when entirely filled with well-made mushroom-forcemeat, or very delicate and nicely seasoned sausage-meat, and either roasted or stewed. 317 Brown gravy, or mushroom-sauce should then be sent to table with them.
White-legged poultry should always be selected for boiling, as they are of better colour when dressed than any others. Truss them firmly and neatly, with the legs drawn into the bodies, and the wings twisted over the backs; let them be well covered with water, which should be hot, but not boiling when they are put in. A full-sized fowl will require about three-quarters of an hour from the time of its beginning to simmer; young chickens not more than from twenty to twenty-five minutes: they should be very gently boiled, and the scum should be removed with great care as it gathers on the surface of the water. Either of the following sauces may be sent to table with them: parsley and butter, béchamel, English white-sauce, oyster, celery, or white-mushroom sauce. The fowls are often dished with small tufts of delicately boiled cauliflower placed round them; or with young vegetable marrow, scarcely larger than an egg, merely pared and halved after it is dressed: white sauce must be served with both of these.
Full-sized fowl, ¾ hour: young chickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
Obs.—Half a gallon of cold added to an equal quantity of boiling water, will bring it to the proper degree of heat for putting in the fowls. For richer modes of boiling poultry, see Blanc and Poêlée, Chapter VII.
Either of these, when merely split and broiled, is very dry and unsavoury eating; but will be greatly improved if first boiled gently from five to ten minutes and left to become cold, then divided, dipped into egg and well 318 seasoned bread-crumbs, plentifully sprinkled with clarified butter, dipped again into the crumbs, and broiled over a clear and gentle fire from half to three-quarters of an hour. It should be served very hot, with mushroom-sauce, or with a little good plain gravy, which may be thickened and flavoured with a teaspoonful of mushroom-powder (should it be at hand), mixed with half as much flour and a little butter; or with some Espagnole. It should be opened at the back, and evenly divided quite through; the legs should be trussed like those of a boiled fowl; the breast-bone, or that of the back may be removed at pleasure, and both sides of the bird should be made as flat as they can, that the fire may penetrate every part equally; the inside should be first laid towards it. The neck, feet, and gizzard may be boiled down with a small quantity of onion and carrot previously browned in a morsel of butter, to make the gravy; and the liver, after having been simmered with them for five or six minutes, may be used to thicken it after it is strained. A teaspoonful of lemon-juice, some cayenne, and minced parsley should be added to it, and a little arrow-root, or flour and butter.
½ to ¾ hour.
To make a fricassee of good appearance without great expense, prepare, with exceeding nicety, a couple of plump chickens, strip off the skin, and carve them very neatly. Reserve the wings, breasts, merry-thoughts, and thighs; and stew down the inferior joints with a couple of blades of mace, a small bunch of savoury herbs, a few white peppercorns, a pint and a half of water, and a small half-teaspoonful of salt. When something more than a third part reduced, strain the gravy, let it cool, and skim off every particle of fat. Arrange the joints which are to be fricasseed in one layer, if it can be done conveniently, and pour to them as much of the gravy as will nearly cover them; add the very thin rind of half a fine fresh lemon, and simmer the fowls gently from half to three-quarters of an hour; 319 throw in sufficient salt, pounded mace, and cayenne to give the sauce a good flavour, thicken it with a large teaspoonful of arrow-root, and stir to it the third of a pint of rich boiling cream; then lift the stew-pan from the fire, and shake it briskly round while the beaten yolks of three fresh eggs, mixed with a spoonful or two of cream, are added; continue to shake the pan gently above the fire till the sauce is just set, but it must not be allowed to boil, or it will curdle in an instant.
½ to ¾ hour.
Skin, and cut into joints, one or two young chickens, remove the bones with care from the breasts, merrythoughts, and the thighs, which are to be separated from the legs. Mix well together a teaspoonful of salt, and nearly a fourth as much of mace, a little grated nutmeg, and cayenne; flatten, and form into good shape, the boned joints of chicken, and the flesh of the wings, rub a little of the seasoning over them in every part, dip them into beaten egg, and then into very fine bread-crumbs, and fry them gently in fresh butter till they are of a delicate brown. Some of the bones and trimmings may be boiled down in half a pint of water, with a roll of lemon-peel, a little salt, and eight or ten white peppercorns, to make the gravy, which, after being strained and cleared from fat, may be poured hot to some thickening made in the pan with a slice of fresh butter and a dessertspoonful of flour: a teaspoonful of mushroom-powder would improve it greatly, and a small quantity of lemon-pickle or juice should be added before it is poured out, with salt and cayenne if required. Pile the cutlets high in the middle of the dish, and serve the sauce under them, or in a tureen.
Take closely off the flesh of the breast and wing together, on either side of the bone, and when you have 320 thus raised the large fillets, as they are called, from three birds, which will give you but six cutlets, take the strips of flesh that lie under the wings, and that of the merry-thoughts, and flatten two or three of these together, that you may have nine cutlets at least, of equal size. When all are ready, fry to a pale brown as many diamond-shaped sippets of bread as there are bits of fowl, and let them be quite as large; place these before the fire to dry, and wipe out the pan. Dip the cutlets into some yolks of eggs mixed with a little clarified butter, and strew them in every part with the finest bread-crumbs, moderately seasoned with salt, cayenne, and pounded mace. Dissolve as much good butter as will be required to dress them, and fry them in it of a light amber-colour; arrange them upon the sippets of bread, pile them high in the dish, and pour a rich brown gravy or Sauce Espagnole round, but not over them.
This is an Indian dish. Cut up the chicken, wipe it dry, and rub it well with currie-powder, mixed with a little salt; fry it in a bit of butter, taking care that it is of a nice light brown. In the mean time cut two or three onions into thin slices, draw them out into rings, and cut the rings into little bits, about half an inch long; fry them for a long time gently in a little bit of clarified butter, until they have gradually dried up and are of a delicate yellow-brown. Be careful that they are not burnt, as the burnt taste of a single bit would spoil the flavour of the whole. When they are as dry as chips, without the least grease or moisture upon them, mix a little salt with them, strew them over the fried chicken, and serve up with lemon on a plate.
We have extracted this receipt from a clever little work called the “Hand-Book of Cookery.”
After having taken off, in joints, as much of a cold fowl, or fowls as will suffice for a dish, bruise the bodies 321 with a paste roller, pour to them a pint of water, and boil them for an hour and a half to two hours, with the addition of a little pepper and salt only, or with a small quantity of onion, carrot, and herbs. Strain, and skim the fat from the gravy, put it into a clean saucepan, and, should it require thickening, stir to it, when it boils, half a teaspoonful of flour, smoothly mixed with a small bit of butter; add a little mushroom catsup, or store-sauce, with a slight seasoning of mace or nutmeg. Lay in the fowl, and keep it near the fire until it is heated quite through, and is at the point of boiling: serve it with fried sippets round the dish. For a hash of higher relish, add to the bones, when they are first stewed down, a large onion, minced and browned in butter, and before the fowl is dished, add some cayenne, and the juice of half a lemon.
Raise from the bones all the more delicate parts of the flesh of either cold roast, or cold boiled fowls, clear it from the skin, and keep it covered from the air, till wanted for use. Boil the bones, well bruised, and the skin, with three-quarters or a pint of water, until reduced quite half, then strain the gravy and let it cool; next, having first skimmed off the fat, put it into a clean saucepan, with a quarter-pint of cream, an ounce and a half of butter, well mixed with a dessertspoonful of flour, a little pounded mace, and grated lemon-rind; keep these stirred until they boil, then put in the fowl, finely minced, with three or four hard-boiled eggs, chopped small, and sufficient salt, and white pepper, or cayenne, to season it properly. Shake the mince over the fire till it is just ready to boil, stir to it quickly a squeeze of lemon-juice, dish it with pale sippets of fried bread, and serve it immediately. When cream cannot easily be obtained, use milk, with a double quantity of butter and flour. The eggs may be omitted; the mince may be warmed in good white sauce, and a border formed round it of 322 leaves of pastry, fried or baked. An excellent variety of this dish is made also by covering the mince thickly with very fine bread-crumbs, moistening them with clarified butter, and giving them colour with a salamander, or in a quick oven. The dish must then be deep.*
Cut into joints, and take the skin from some cold fowls, lay them into a deep dish, strew over them a little fine salt and cayenne, add the juice of a lemon, and let them remain for an hour, moving them occasionally, that they may all absorb a portion of the acid; then dip them one by one into some French batter (see page 154), and fry them a pale brown over a gentle fire. Serve them garnished with very green crisped parsley. A few drops of eschalot vinegar may be mixed with the lemon-juice which is poured to the fowls, or slices of raw onion or eschalot, and small branches of sweet herbs may be laid amongst them, and cleared off before they are dipped into the batter. Gravy made of the trimmings, thickened, and well-flavoured, may be sent to table with them in a tureen, and dressed bacon (see page 299), in a dish apart.
Carve and soak the remains of roast fowls as above, wipe them dry, dip them into clarified butter, and then into fine bread-crumbs, and broil them gently over a very clear fire. A little finely minced lean of ham, or grated lemon-peel, with a seasoning of cayenne, salt, and mace, mixed with the crumbs, will vary this dish agreeably. When fried, instead of broiled, the fowls may be dipped into yolk of egg, instead of butter, but this renders them too dry for the gridiron.
Cut very equally a sufficient number of slices from a 323 cold ham, to form two, or even three layers round the rim of the dish which is to be sent to table. Place the fowls, neatly carved and trimmed, in the centre, with some branches of curled parsley, or other light foliage amongst them. Cold tongue may be substituted for the ham with advantage. This dish has a handsome appearance, and is convenient for the purpose of quick serving.
Carve with great nicety a couple of cold roast fowls; place the inferior joints, if they are served at all, close together in the middle of a dish, and arrange the others round and over them, piling them as high as you can in the centre. Border the dish with the hearts of young lettuces cut in two, and hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise. At the moment of serving, pour over the fowls a well-made mayonnaise sauce (see page 134), or, if preferred, a salad mixture, compounded with thick cream, instead of oil.
In preparing these for the spit, be careful to clear the skin entirely from the stumps of the feathers; take off the heads and necks, but leave the feet on, and hold them for a few minutes in boiling water to loosen the skin, which must be peeled off. Wash the insides of the birds by pouring water through them, but merely wipe the outsides with a dry cloth. Put into the bodies a seasoning of parboiled onions mixed with minced sage, salt, pepper, and a slice of butter, when this mode of dressing them is liked; but as the taste of a whole party is seldom in its favour, one, when a couple are 324 roasted, is often served without the stuffing. Cut off the pinions at the first joint from the bodies, truss the feet behind the backs, spit the birds firmly, and roast them at a brisk fire, but do not place them sufficiently near to be scorched; baste them constantly, and when the breasts are well plumped, and the steam from them draws towards the fire, dish, and serve them quickly with a little good brown gravy poured round them, and some also in a tureen; or instead of this, with some which has been made with the necks, gizzards, and livers well stewed down, with a slight seasoning of browned onion, some herbs, and spice.
Young ducks, ½ hour: full sized, from ¾ to 1 hour.
Obs.—Olive-sauce may be served with roast as well as with stewed ducks.
These, as we have already said, should be dressed while they are very fresh. If extremely young they will be ready in twelve hours for the spit, otherwise, in twenty-four. Take off the heads and necks, and cut off the toes at the first joint; draw them carefully, that the gall-bladders may not be broken, and pour plenty of water through them; wipe them dry, and put into each bird a small bit of butter lightly dipped into a little cayenne (formerly it was rolled in minced parsley, but this is no longer the fashionable mode of preparing them). Truss the wings over the backs, and roast them at a brisk fire, keeping them well and constantly basted with butter. Serve them with brown gravy and a tureen of parsley and butter. For the second course, dish them upon young water-cresses, as directed for roast fowl aux cressons, page 315. About twenty minutes will roast them.
18 to 20 minutes; five minutes longer if large; rather less, if very young.325
Truss them like boiled fowls, drop them into plenty of boiling water, throw in a little salt, and in fifteen minutes lift them out, pour parsley and butter over, and send a tureen of it to table with them.
Buck venison, which is in season only from June to Michaelmas, is considered finer than doe venison, which comes into the market in October, and remains in season through November and December: neither should be cooked at any other part of the year. The greater the depth of fat upon the haunch the better the quality of the meat will be, provided it be clear and white, and the lean of a dark hue. If the cleft of the hoof, which 326 is always left on the joint, be small and smooth, the animal is young; but it is old when the marks are the reverse of these.* Although the haunch is the prime and favourite joint of venison, the neck and shoulder are also excellent, stewed in various ways, or made into pasties. If kept to the proper point, and well dressed, this is the most tender of all meat; but care is necessary to bring it into a fitting state for table without its becoming offensive. A free current of air in a larder is always a great advantage, as it assists materially in preserving the sweetness of every thing which is kept in it, while a close damp atmosphere, on the contrary, is more destructive of animal food of all kinds, even than positive heat. The fumes of creosote are said to be an admirable preservative against putrescence, but we have not ourselves yet had experience of the fact. All moisture should be wiped daily, or even more frequently, from the venison, with soft cloths, when any appears upon the surface; and every precaution must be taken to keep off the flies, when the joint is not hung in a wire-safe. Black pepper thickly powdered on it will generally answer the purpose: with common care, indeed, meat may always be protected from their attacks, and to leave it exposed to them in warm weather is altogether inexcusable in the cook.
Hares and rabbits are stiff when freshly killed, and if young, the ears tear easily, and the claws are smooth and sharp. A hare in cold weather will remain good from ten to fourteen days; care only must be taken to prevent the inside from becoming musty, which it will do if it has been emptied in the field. Pheasants, partridges, and other game may be chosen by nearly the same tests as poultry: by opening the bill, the staleness will be detected easily if they have been too long kept. 327 With few exceptions, game depends almost entirely for the fine flavour and the tenderness of its flesh, on the time which it is allowed to hang before it is cooked, and it is never good when very fresh; but it does not follow that it should be sent to table in a really offensive state, for this is agreeable to few eaters and disgusting to many, and nothing should at any time be served of which the appearance or the odour may destroy the appetite of any person present.
* It must be observed that venison is not in perfection when young: like mutton, it requires to be of a certain age before it is brought to table. The word cleft applies also to the thickest part of the haunch, and it is the depth of the fat on this, which decides the quality of the joint.
To give venison the flavour and the tenderness so much prized by epicures, it must be well kept; and by taking the necessary precautions it will hang a considerable time without detriment. Wipe it with soft dry cloths wherever the slightest moisture appears on the surface, and dust it plentifully with freshly-ground pepper or powdered ginger, to preserve it from the flies. The application of the pyroligneous acid would effectually protect it from these, as well as from the effects of the weather; but the joint must then be, not only well washed, but soaked some considerable time, and this would be injurious to it: the acid, therefore, should only be resorted to for the purpose of restoring to an eatable state that which would otherwise be lost, from having been kept beyond the point in which it is possible to serve it.
To prepare the venison for the spit, wash it slightly with tepid water, or merely wipe it thoroughly with damp cloths, and dry it afterwards with clean ones; then lay over the fat side a large sheet of thickly-buttered paper, and next a paste of flour and water about three-quarters of an inch thick; cover this 328 again with two or three sheets of stout paper, secure the whole well with twine, and lay the haunch to a sound clear fire; baste the paper immediately with butter, or clarified dripping, and roast the joint from three hours and a half to four and a half, according to its weight and quality. Doe venison will require half an hour less time than buck venison. Twenty minutes before the joint is done remove the paste and paper, baste the meat in every part with butter, and dredge it very lightly with flour; let it take a pale-brown colour, and send it to table as hot as possible with unflavoured gravy in a tureen, and good currant jelly. It is not now customary to serve any other sauces with it; but should the old-fashioned sharp or sweet sauce be ordered, the receipt for it will be found at page 105.*
3½ to 4½ hours.
* Plates of minced eschalots are still sometimes handed round to the venison-eaters; but not at very refined tables we believe.
Bone the joint, by the directions given for a shoulder of veal or mutton (see page 250); flatten it on a table, season it well with cayenne, salt, and pounded mace, mixed with a very small proportion of allspice; lay over it thin slices of the fat of a loin of well-fed mutton; roll and bind it tightly, lay it into a vessel nearly of its size, and pour to it as much good stock made with equal parts of beef and mutton as will nearly cover it; stew it as slowly as possible from three hours to three and a half or longer, should it be very large, and turn it when it is half done. Dish and serve it with a good Espagnole, made with part of the gravy in which it has been stewed; or thicken this slightly with rice-flour, mixed with a glass or more of claret or of port-wine, and as much salt and cayenne as will season the gravy properly.
Some cooks soak the slices of mutton-fat in wine before they are laid upon the joint; but no process of 329 the sort will ever give to any kind of meat the true flavour of the venison, which to most eaters is far finer than that of the wine, and should always be allowed to prevail over all the condiments with which it is dressed. Those, however, who care for it less than for a dish of high artificial savour, can have eschalots, ham, and carrot, lightly browned in good butter, added to the stew when it first begins to boil.
3½ to 4 hours.
For a superior hash of venison, add to three quarters of a pint of strong thickened brown-gravy, Christopher North’s sauce, in the proportion directed for it in the receipt of page 131. Cut the venison in small thin slices of equal size, arrange them in a clean saucepan, pour the gravy on them, let them stand for ten minutes or more, then place them near the fire, and bring the whole very slowly to the point of boiling only: serve the hash immediately in a hot-water dish.
For a plain dinner, when no gravy is at hand, break down the bones of the venison small, after the flesh has been cleared from them, and boil them with those of three or four undressed mutton-cutlets, a slice or two of carrot, or a few savoury herbs, and about a pint and a half of water or broth, until the liquid is reduced quite one-third. Strain it off, let it cool, skim off all the fat, heat the gravy, thicken it when it boils with a dessertspoonful or rather more of arrow-root, or with the brown roux of page 114, mix the same sauce with it, and finish it exactly as the richer hash above. It may be served on sippets of fried bread or not, at choice.
* Minced collops of venison may be prepared exactly like those of beef; and venison-cutlets like those of mutton: the neck may be taken for both of these.
After the hare has been skinned, or cased, as it is 330 called, wash it very thoroughly in cold water, and afterwards in warm. If in any degree over-kept, or musty in the inside, which it will sometimes be when emptied before it is hung up, and neglected afterwards, use vinegar, or the pyroligneous acid, well diluted, to render it sweet; then again throw it into abundance of water, that it may retain no taste of the acid. Pierce with the point of a knife any parts in which the blood appears to have settled, and soak them in tepid water, that it may be well drawn out. Wipe the hare dry, fill it with the forcemeat (No. page 170), sew it up, truss and spit it firmly, baste it for ten minutes with lukewarm water, mixed with a very little salt, throw this away, and put into the pan a quart or more of new milk, keep it constantly laded over the hare, until it is nearly dried up, then add a large lump of butter, flour the hare, and continue the basting steadily, until it is well browned; for unless this be done, and the roast be kept at a proper distance from the fire, the outside will become so dry and hard as to be quite uneatable. Serve the hare when done, with good brown gravy, (of which a little should be poured round it in the dish,) and with fine red currant jelly. This is an approved English method of dressing it, but we would recommend in preference, that it should be basted plentifully with butter from the beginning. (The strict economist may substitute clarified beef-dripping, and finish with a small quantity of butter only); and that the salt and water should be altogether omitted. First-rate cooks merely wipe the hare inside and out, and rub it with its own blood before it is laid to the fire; but there is generally a rankness about it, especially after it has been many days killed, which, we 331 should say, renders the washing indispensable, unless a coarse game-flavour be approved.
1¼ to 1¾ hour.
A hare may be rendered far more plump in appearance, and infinitely easier to carve, by taking out the bones of the back and thighs, or of the former only: in removing this, a very sharp knife should be used, and much care will be required to avoid cutting through the skin just over the spine, as it adheres closely to the bone. Nearly double the usual quantity of forcemeat must be prepared, and with this restore the legs to their original shape, and fill the body, which should previously be lined with delicate slices of the nicest bacon, of which the rind and edges have been trimmed away. Sew up the hare, truss it as usual; lard it or not, as is most convenient, keep it basted plentifully with butter while roasting, and serve it with the customary sauce. We have found two tablespoonsful of the finest currant jelly, melted in a half-pint of rich brown gravy, an acceptable accompaniment to hare, where the taste has been in favour of a sweet sauce.
To remove the back-bone, clear from it first the flesh in the inside; lay this back to the right and left from the centre of the bone to the tips; then work the knife on the upper side quite to the spine, and when the whole is detached except the skin which adheres to this, separate the bone at the first joint from the neck-bone (or ribs; we know not how more correctly to describe it), and pass the knife with caution under the skin down the middle of the back. The directions for boning the thighs of a fowl will answer equally for a hare, and we therefore refer the reader to them.
Wash and soak the hare thoroughly, wipe it very dry, cut it down into joints, dividing the largest, flour and 332 brown it slightly in butter, with some bits of lean ham, pour to them by degrees a pint and a half of gravy, and stew the hare very gently from an hour and a half to two hours: when it is about one-third done, add the very thin rind of half a large lemon, and ten minutes before it is served, stir to it a large dessertspoonful of rice-flour, smoothly mixed with two tablespoonsful of good mushroom catsup, a quarter-teaspoonful or more of mace, and something less of cayenne. This is an excellent plain receipt for stewing a hare; but the dish may be enriched with forcemeat, No. 1. (page 170), rolled into small balls, and simmered for ten minutes in the stew, or fried and added to it after it is dished; a higher seasoning of spice, a couple of glasses of port wine, with a little additional thickening, and a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, will all serve to give it a heightened relish.
Hare, 1; lean of ham or bacon, 4 to 6 ozs.; butter, 2 ozs.; gravy, 1½ pint; lemon-rind, ½: 1 hour and 20 to 50 minutes. Rice-flour, 1 large dessertspoonful; mushroom catsup, 2 tablespoonsful; mace, ⅓ of teaspoonful; little cayenne (salt, if needed): 10 minutes.
This, like a hare, is much improved by having the back-bone taken out, and the directions we have given will enable the cook, with very little practice, to remove it without difficulty. Line the inside, when this is done, with thin slices of bacon, fill it with forcemeat No. 1, (page 170), sew it up, truss, and roast it at a clear, brisk fire, and baste it constantly with butter. Flour it well soon after it is laid down. Serve it with good brown gravy, and with currant jelly, when this last is liked. For change, the back of the rabbit may be larded, and the bone left in, or not, at 333 pleasure; or it can be plain roasted when more convenient: ¾ to 1 hour; less, if small.
Rabbits that are three parts grown, or, at all events, which are still quite young, should be chosen for this mode of cooking. Wash and soak them well, truss them firmly, with the heads turned and skewered to the sides, drop them into plenty of boiling water, and simmer them gently from thirty to forty-five minutes: when very young, they will require even less time than this. Cover them with rich white sauce, mixed with the livers, parboiled, and finely pounded, and well-seasoned with cayenne and lemon-juice, or with white onion-sauce, or with parsley and butter, made with milk or cream, instead of water, (the livers, minced, are often added to the last of these), or with good mushroom-sauce.
30 to 45 minutes.
After the rabbit has been emptied, thoroughly washed, and well-soaked, blanch it, that is to say, put it into boiling water, and let it boil from five to seven minutes; drain it, and when cold, or nearly so, cut it into joints, dip them into beaten egg, and then into fine bread-crumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper, and when all are ready, fry them in butter over a moderate fire, from twelve to fifteen minutes. Simmer two or three strips of lemon-peel in a little gravy, until well flavoured with it; boil the liver of the rabbit for five minutes, let it cool, and then mince it; thicken the gravy with an ounce of butter, and a small teaspoonful of flour, add the liver, give the sauce a minute’s boil, stir in two tablespoonsful of cream, if at hand, and, last of all, a small quantity of lemon-juice. Dish the rabbit, pour the 334 sauce under it, and serve it quickly. If preferred, a gravy can be made in the pan, as for veal cutlets, and the rabbit may be simply fried.
Unless kept to the proper point, a pheasant is one of the most tough, dry, and flavourless birds that is sent to table; but when it has hung as many days as it can, without becoming really tainted, and is well roasted and served, it is most excellent eating. Pluck off the feathers carefully, cut a slit in the back of the neck to remove the crop, then draw the bird in the usual way, and either wipe the inside very clean with a damp cloth, or pour water through it; wipe the outside also, but with a dry cloth; cut off the toes, turn the head of the bird under the wing, with the bill laid straight along the breast, skewer the legs, which must not be crossed, flour the pheasant well, lay it to a brisk fire, and baste it constantly and plentifully with well-flavoured butter. Send bread-sauce and good brown gravy to table with it. The entire breast of the bird may be larded by the directions of page 200. When a brace is served, one is sometimes larded, and the other not; but a much handsomer appearance is given to the dish by larding both. About three-quarters of an hour will roast them.
¾ hour; a few minutes less, if liked very much underdone; five or ten more for thorough roasting, with a good fire in both cases.
Take, quite clear from the bones, and from all skin and sinew, the flesh of a half-roasted pheasant; mince, and then pound it to the smoothest paste; add an equal bulk of the floury part of some fine roasted potatoes, or of such as have been boiled by Captain Kater’s receipt; (see Chapter XV.), beat these together till they are well blended; next throw into the mortar something less (in volume) of fresh butter than there was of the 335 pheasant-flesh, with a high seasoning of mace, nutmeg, and cayenne, and a half-teaspoonful or more of salt; pound the mixture afresh for ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, keeping it turned from the sides of the mortar into the middle, then add one by one, after merely taking out the germs with the point of a fork, two whole eggs, and a yolk or two without the whites, if these last will not render the mixture too moist. Mould it into the form of a roll, lay it into a stewpan rubbed with butter, pour boiling water on it and poach it gently from ten to fifteen minutes. Lift it out with care, drain it on a sieve, and when it is quite cold cover it equally with beaten egg, and then with the finest bread-crumbs, and broil it over a clear fire, or fry it in butter of a clear golden brown. A good gravy should be made of the remains of the bird, and sent to table with it; the flavour may be heightened with ham and eschalots as directed in Chapter III, page 98, and small mushrooms, sliced sideways, and stewed quite tender in butter may be mixed with the boudin after it is taken from the mortar: or their flavour may be given more delicately by adding to it only the butter in which they have been simmered, well pressed from them through a strainer. The mixture, which should be set into a very cool place before it is moulded, may be made into several small rolls, which will require four or five minutes’ poaching only. The flesh of partridges will answer quite as well as that of pheasants for this dish.
Let the birds hang as long as they can possibly be kept without becoming offensive; pick them carefully, draw, and singe them; wipe the insides thoroughly with a clean cloth; truss them with the head turned under the wing and the legs drawn close together or crossed. Flour them when first laid to the fire, and baste them plentifully 336 with butter. Serve them with bread-sauce, and good brown gravy: a little of this last should be poured over them. In some counties they are dished upon fried bread-crumbs, but these are better handed round the table by themselves. Where game is plentiful we recommend that the remains of a cold roasted partridge should be well bruised and boiled down with just so much water, or unflavoured broth, as will make gravy for a couple of other birds: this, seasoned with salt and cayenne only, or flavoured with a few mushrooms, will be found a very superior accompaniment to roast partridges, to the best meat-gravy that can be made. A little eschalot, and a few herbs can be added to it at pleasure. It should be served also with boiled or broiled partridges in preference to any other.
30 to 40 minutes.
Obs.—Rather less time must be allowed when the birds are liked underdressed. In preparing them for the spit, the crop must be removed through a slit cut in the back of the neck; the claws be clipped close, and the legs held in boiling water for a minute that they may be skinned the more easily.
This is a delicate mode of dressing young and tender birds. Pick, clean, and wash them well; cut off the heads, truss them like boiled fowls, and when ready drop them into a large pan of boiling water, throw a little salt on them, and in fifteen, or at the utmost in eighteen minutes they will be ready to serve. Lift them out, dish them quickly, and send them to table with white mushroom-sauce, with bread-sauce and game-gravy (see preceding receipt), or with celery-sauce. Our own mode of having them served, is usually with a slice of fresh butter, about a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and a good sprinkling of cayenne placed in a very hot dish, under the birds.
15 to 18 minutes.337
For a brace of young well-kept birds, prepare from half to three-quarters of a pint of mushroom buttons, or very small flaps, as for pickling. Dissolve over a gentle fire an ounce and a half of butter, throw in the mushrooms with a slight sprinkling of salt and cayenne, simmer them from eight to ten minutes, and turn them, with the butter, on to a plate; when they are quite cold, put the whole into the bodies of the partridges, sew them up, truss them securely, and roast them on a vertical jack with the heads downwards; or should an ordinary spit be used, tie them firmly to it, instead of passing it through them. Roast them the usual time, and serve them with brown mushroom-sauce, or with gravy and bread-sauce only. The birds may be trussed like boiled fowls, floured, and lightly browned in butter, then half covered with rich brown gravy and stewed slowly for thirty minutes, then turned, and simmered for another half hour with the addition of some mushrooms to the gravy; or they may be covered with small mushrooms stewed apart, when they are sent to table. They can also be served with their sauce only, simply thickened with a small quantity of fresh butter, smoothly mixed with less than a teaspoonful of arrow-root and flavoured with cayenne and a little catsup, wine, or store-sauce.
Partridges, 2; mushrooms, ½ to ¾ pint; butter, 1½ oz.; little mace and cayenne: roasted 30 to 40 minutes, or stewed 1 hour.
Obs.—Nothing can be finer than the game flavour imbibed by the mushrooms with which the birds are filled, in this receipt.
“Split a young and well-kept partridge, and wipe it with a soft clean cloth inside and out, but do not wash it; broil it delicately over a very clear fire, sprinkling it 338 with a little salt and cayenne; rub a bit of fresh butter over it the moment it is taken from the fire, and send it quickly to table with a sauce made of a good slice of butter browned with flour, a little water, cayenne, salt, and mushroom-catsup, poured over it.” We give this receipt exactly as we received it from a house where we know it to have been greatly approved by various guests who have partaken of it there.
After having prepared the bird with great nicety, divided, and flattened it, season it with salt, and pepper, or cayenne, dip it into clarified butter, and then into very fine bread-crumbs, and take care that every part be equally covered: if wanted of particularly good appearance dip it a second time into the butter and crumbs. Place it over a very clear fire, and broil it gently from twenty to thirty minutes. Send it to table with brown mushroom-sauce, or some Espagnole.
This is dressed precisely like our common partridge, and is excellent eating if it be well-kept; otherwise it is tough and devoid of flavour. It does not, we believe, abound commonly in England, its hostility to the gray partridge, which it drives always from its neighbourhood, rendering it an undesirable occupant of a preserve. It was at one time, however, plentiful in Suffolk,* and in one or two of the adjoining counties, but great efforts we have understood have been made to exterminate it.
* Brought there by the late Marquis of Hertford, to his Sudborne estate.
These birds, so delicious when well kept and well roasted, are tough and comparatively flavourless when too soon dressed. They should hang therefore till they give unequivocal indication of being ready for the spit. 339 Pick and draw them with exceeding care, as the skin is easily broken; truss them like pheasants, lay them at a moderate distance from a clear brisk fire, baste them plentifully and constantly with butter, and serve them on a thick toast which has been laid under them in the dripping-pan for the last ten minutes of their roasting, and which will have imbibed a high degree of savour: some cooks squeeze a little lemon-juice over it before it is put into the pan. Send rich brown gravy and bread-sauce to table with the birds. From three-quarters of an hour to a full hour will roast them. Though kept to the point which we have recommended, they will not offend even the fastidious eater after they are dressed, as, unless they have been too long allowed to hang, the action of the fire will remove all perceptible traces of their previous state. In the earlier part of the season, when warm weather and close packing have rendered them, in their transit from the North, apparently altogether unfit for table, the chloride of soda may be used with great advantage to restore them to a fitting state for it; though the copious washings which must then be resorted to may diminish something of their fine flavour.
¾ to 1 hour.
Handle the birds very lightly in picking them, draw, and wipe the inside with clean damp cloths, or first wash, and then dry them well; though this latter mode would not be approved generally by epicures. Truss the birds in the same manner as the black cock, and roast them about half an hour at a clear and brisk fire, keeping them basted almost without intermission. Serve them on a buttered toast which has been laid under them in the pan for ten minutes, or with gravy and bread-sauce only.
½ hour to 35 minutes.
Obs.—There are few occasions, we think, in which the contents of the dripping-pan can be introduced at table with advantage; but in dressing moor-game, we 340 would strongly recommend the toast to be laid in it under the birds, as it will afford a superior relish even to the birds themselves.
This is an elegant mode of serving the remains of roasted game, but when a superlative salmi is desired, the birds must be scarcely more than half roasted for it. In either case, carve them very neatly, and strip every particle of skin and fat from the legs, wings, and breasts; bruise the bodies well, and put them, with the skin, and other trimmings, into a very clean stewpan. If for a simple and inexpensive dinner, merely add to them two or three sliced eschalots, a bay-leaf, a small blade of mace, and a few peppercorns; then pour in a pint, or rather more, of good veal gravy, or strong broth, and boil it briskly till reduced nearly half; strain the gravy, pressing the bones well, to obtain all the flavour, skim off the fat, add a little cayenne and lemon-juice, heat the game very in it, but do not, on any account, allow it to boil; place sippets of fried bread round a dish, arrange the birds in good form in the centre, give the sauce a boil, and pour it on them. This is but a homely sort of salmi, though of excellent flavour if well made; it may require, perhaps, the addition of a little thickening, and two or three glasses of dry white wine poured to the bodies of the birds, with the broth, would bring it nearer to the French salmi in flavour. As the spongy substance in the inside of moor-fowl and black-game is apt to be extremely bitter, when they have been long kept, care should be taken to remove such parts as would endanger the preparation.
Prepare undressed, or half-roasted game by the directions we have already given, and after having stripped the skin from the thighs, wings, and breasts, arrange the joints evenly in a clean stewpan, and keep them covered from the air and dust till wanted. Cut down into dice 341 four ounces of the lean of an unboiled ham, and put it, with two ounces of butter, into a thick well-tinned saucepan, or stewpan; add three or four minced eschalots (more, should a high flavour of them be liked), two ounces of sliced carrot, four cloves, two bay-leaves, a dozen peppercorns, one blade of mace, a small sprig or two of thyme, and part of a root of parsley, or two or three small branches of the leaves. Stew these over a gentle fire, stirring, or shaking them often, until the sides of the saucepan appear of a reddish-brown, then mix well in a dessertspoonful of flour, and let it take a little colour; next, add by degrees, making the sauce boil as each portion is thrown in, three quarters of a pint of strong veal stock, or gravy, and nearly half a pint of sherry or Madeira; put in the well-bruised bodies of the birds, and boil them from an hour to an hour and a half; strain, and clear the sauce quite from fat, pour it on the joints of game, heat them in it slowly, and when they are near the point of boiling, dish them immediately with delicately fried sippets round the dish. When mushrooms can be obtained, throw a dozen or two small ones, with the other seasonings, into the butter. The wine is sometimes added to the vegetables, and one half reduced before the gravy is added; but though a sauce of fine colour is thus produced, the flavour of the wine is entirely lost.
Handle them as little and as lightly as possible, and pluck off the feathers gently; for if this be violently done the skin of the birds will be broken. Do not draw them, but after having wiped them with clean soft cloths, truss them with the head under the wing, and the bill laid close along the breast; pass a slight skewer through the thighs, catch the ends with a bit of 342 twine, and tie it across to keep the legs straight. Suspend the birds with the feet downwards to a bird-spit, flour them well, and baste them with butter, which should be ready dissolved in the pan or ladle. Before the trail begins to drop, which it will do as soon as they are well heated, lay a thick round of bread, freed from the crust, and toasted a delicate brown, into the pan under them to catch it, as this is considered finer eating than the flesh of the birds; continue the basting, letting the butter fall from them into the basting-spoon or ladle, as it cannot be collected again from the dripping-pan should it drop there, in consequence of the toast, or toasts being in it. There should be one of these for each woodcock, and the trail should be spread equally over it. When the birds are done, which they will be, at a brisk fire, in from twenty to twenty-five minutes, lay the toasts into a very hot dish, dress the birds upon them, pour a little gravy round the bread, and send more to table in a tureen.
20 to 25 minutes.
This beautiful bird is by no means rare upon our eastern coast, but we know not whether it be much seen in the markets generally. It is most excellent eating, and should be roasted at a clear quick fire, well floured when first laid down, turned briskly, and basted with butter almost without intermission. If drawn from the spit in from twenty-five to thirty minutes, then dished and laid before the fire for two or three more, it will give forth a singularly rich gravy. Score the breast when it is carved, sprinkle on it a little cayenne and fine salt, and let a cut lemon be handed round the table when the bird is served; or omit the scoring, and send round with it brown gravy, and Christopher North’s sauce made hot.
20 to 30 minutes.
These are prepared for the spit exactly like the tame ones, with the exception of the stuffing, which is never 343 used for wild fowl. A bit of soft bread soaked in port wine, or in claret, is sometimes put into them, but nothing more. Flour them well, lay them rather near to a very clear and brisk fire, that they may be quickly browned, and yet retain their juices. Baste them plentifully and constantly with butter, and if it can be so regulated let the spit turn with them rapidly. From fifteen to twenty minutes will roast them sufficiently for the generality of eaters; but for those who object to them much under-dressed a few additional minutes must be allowed. Something less of time will suffice when they are prepared for persons who like them scarcely more than heated through.
Teal, which is a more delicate kind of wild fowl, is roasted in the same way: in from ten to fifteen minutes it will be enough done for the fashionable mode of serving it, and twenty minutes will dress it well at a good fire.
The great superiority of the oriental curries over those generally prepared in England is not, we believe, altogether the result of a want of skill or of experience on the part of our cooks, but is attributable, in some measure, 344 to many of the ingredients which in a fresh and green state add so much to their excellence, being here beyond our reach.
The natives of the East compound and vary this class of dishes, we are told, with infinite ingenuity, blending in them very agreeably many condiments of different flavour, till the highest degree of piquancy and savour is produced, the whole being tempered with fine vegetable acids. With us, turmeric and cayenne pepper prevail in them often far too powerfully: the prodigal use of the former should be especially avoided, as it injures both the quality and the colour of the currie, which ought to be of a dark green, rather than of a red or yellow hue. The first is given by the genuine powder imported from India; the others, by the greater number of spurious ones, sold in England, under its name. A couple of ounces of a sweet sound cocoa-nut lightly grated and stewed for nearly or quite an hour in the gravy of a currie is a great improvement to its flavour: it will be found particularly agreeable with that of sweetbreads, and may be served in the currie, or strained from it at pleasure. Great care, however, should be taken not to use, for the purpose, a nut that is rancid. Spinage, cucumbers, vegetable marrow, tomatas, acid apples, green gooseberries (seeded), and tamarinds imported in the shell—not preserved—may all, in their season, be added, with very good effect, to curries of different kinds. Potatoes and celery are also occasionally boiled down in them.
The rice for a currie should always be sent to table in a separate dish from it, and, in serving them, it should be first helped, and the currie laid upon it.
Turmeric, eight ounces.
Coriander seed, four ounces.
Cummin seed, two ounces.
Fœnugreek seed, two ounces.
Cayenne, half an ounce. (More or less of this last to the taste.)
Let the seeds be of the finest quality. Dry them well, pound, and sift them separately through a lawn sieve, then weigh, and mix them in the above proportions. This is an exceedingly agreeable and aromatic powder, when all the ingredients are perfectly fresh and good, but the preparing it is rather a troublesome process. Mr. Arnott recommends that when it is considered so, a “high-caste” chemist should be applied to for it. The Messieurs Corbyn and Co., 300, High Holborn, are so justly celebrated for the superior quality and genuineness of every thing supplied by them to the public, that we can scarcely do better than name them to such of our readers as may be unacquainted with their house: their drugs are allowed to be quite equal in quality to those which are procured at Apothecaries’ Hall.
“Take the heart of a cabbage, and nothing but the heart, that is to say, pull away all the outside leaves till it is about the size of an egg; chop it fine, add to it a couple of apples sliced thin, the juice of one lemon, half a teaspoonful of black pepper, with one large tablespoonful of my currie-powder, and mix the whole well together. Now take six onions that have been chopped fine and fried brown, a garlic head, the size of a nutmeg, also minced fine, two ounces of fresh butter, two tablespoonsful of flour, and one pint of strong mutton or beef gravy; and when these articles are boiling, add the former ingredients, and let the whole be well stewed up together: if not hot enough, add cayenne pepper. Next, put in a fowl that has been roasted and nicely cut up; or a rabbit; or some lean chops of pork or mutton; or a lobster; or the remains of yesterday’s calf’s head; or any thing else you may fancy; and you will have an excellent currie, fit for kings to partake of.”
“Well! now for the rice! It should be put into water which should be frequently changed, and should remain in for half an hour at least; this both clears and soaks it. Have your saucepan full of water (the larger the better), 346 and when it boils rapidly, throw the rice in: it will be done in fifteen minutes. Strain it into a dish, wipe the saucepan dry, return the drained rice into it, and put it over a gentle fire for a few minutes, with a cloth over it: every grain will be separate. When served, do not cover the dish.”
Obs.—We have already given testimony to the excellence of Mr. Arnott’s currie-powder, but we think the currie itself will be found somewhat too acid for English taste in general, and the proportion of onion and garlic by one-half too much for any but well-seasoned Anglo-Indian palates. After having tried his method of boiling the rice, we still give the preference to that of page 44, Chapter I.
Slice and fry three large onions in two ounces of butter, and lift them out of the pan when done. Put into a stewpan three other large onions and a small clove of garlic that have been pounded together, and smoothly mixed with a dessertspoonful of the best pale turmeric, a teaspoonful of powdered ginger, one of salt, and one of cayenne pepper; add to these the butter in which the onions were fried, and half a cupful of good gravy; let them stew for about ten minutes, taking care that they shall not burn. Next, stir to them the fried onions, and half a pint more of gravy; add a pound and a half of mutton, or of any other meat, free from bone and fat, and simmer it gently for an hour, or more should it not then be perfectly tender.
Fried onions, 3 large; butter, 2 ozs.; onions, pounded, 3 large; garlic, 1 clove; turmeric, 1 dessertspoonful; powdered ginger, salt, cayenne, each 1 teaspoonful; gravy, cupful: 10 minutes. Gravy, ½ pint; meat, 1½ lb.; 1 hour or more.
Skin and cut down a fowl into small joints, or a couple of pounds of mutton free from fat and bone, into very small thick cutlets; rub them with as much currie-powder 347 mixed with a teaspoonful of flour and one of salt as can be made to adhere to them: this will be from two to three tablespoonsful. Dissolve a good slice of butter in a deep well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, and shake it over a brisk fire for four or five minutes, or until it begins to take colour, then put in the meat, and brown it well and equally without allowing a morsel to be scorched. The pan should be shaken vigorously every minute or two, and the meat turned in it frequently. When this is done, lift it out and throw into the stewpan two or three large onions finely minced, and four or five eschalots when these last are liked, add a morsel of butter, if needful, and fry them till they begin to soften; then add a quarter-pint of gravy, broth, or boiling water, and a large acid apple, or two moderate sized ones, of a good boiling kind, with the hearts of two or three lettuces, or of one hard cabbage, shred quite small (tomatas or cucumbers freed from their seeds can be substituted for these, when in season). Stew the whole slowly until it resembles a thick pulp, and add to it any additional liquid that may be required, should it become too dry; put in the meat, and simmer the whole very softly until this is done, which will be in from three quarters of an hour to an hour.*
* Prawns, shrimps, or the flesh of boiled lobsters may be slowly heated through, and served in this currie-sauce with good effect.
For each pound of meat, whether veal, mutton, or beef, take a heaped tablespoonful of good currie-powder, a small teaspoonful of salt, and one of flour; mix these well together, and after having cut down the meat into thick small cutlets, or squares, rub half of the mixed powder equally over it. Next, fry gently from one to four or five large onions sliced, with or without the addition of a small clove of garlic, or half a dozen eschalots, according to the taste; and when they are of a fine golden brown, lift them out with a slice and lay them upon a sieve to drain; throw a little more butter into the pan and fry the meat lightly in it; drain it well 348 from the fat in taking it out, and lay it into a clean stewpan or saucepan, strew the onion over it, and pour in as much boiling water as will almost cover it. Mix the remainder of the currie-powder smoothly with a little broth or cold water, and after the currie has stewed for a few minutes pour it in, shaking the pan well round that it may be smoothly blended with the gravy. Simmer the whole very softly until the meat is perfectly tender; this will be in from an hour and a quarter to two hours and a half, according to the quantity and the nature of the meat. Mutton will be the soonest done; the brisket end (gristles) of a breast of veal will require twice as much stewing, and sometimes more. A fowl will be done in an hour. An acid apple or two, or any of the vegetables we have enumerated at the commencement of this Chapter, may be added to the currie, proper time being allowed for the cooking of each variety. Very young green peas, are liked by some people in it, and cucumbers pared, seeded, and cut moderately small, are always a good addition. A richer currie will of course be produced if gravy or broth be substituted for the water: either should be boiling when poured to the meat. Lemon-juice should be stirred in before it is served, when there is no other acid in the currie. A dish of boiled rice must be sent to table with it. A couple of pounds of meat free from bone, is sufficient quite for a good sized dish of this kind, but three of the breast of veal are sometimes used for it, when it is to be served to a large family-party of currie-eaters: from half to a whole pound of rice should then accompany it. For the proper mode of boiling it, see mullagatawny soup, Chapter I. The Patna (small grained) is the kind which ought to be used for the purpose. Six ounces is quite sufficient for a not large currie; and a pound, when boiled dry, and heaped lightly in a dish, appears an enormous quantity for a modern table.
To each pound of meat, whether veal, mutton, or beef, 1 heaped tablespoonful of good currie-powder, 1 small teaspoonful of salt, and a large one of flour, to be well mixed, and half rubbed on to the meat before it is fried, 349 the rest added afterwards; onions fried, from 1 to 4 or 5, (with or without the addition of a clove of garlic, or half a dozen eschalots); sufficient boiling water to nearly cover the meat; vegetables, as in receipt, at choice; stewed, 1¼ to 2½ hours: a fowl, 1 hour, or rather less; beef, 2 lbs., 1½ hour, or more; veal gristles, 2½ hours.
Obs.—Rabbits make a very good currie when quite young. Cayenne pepper can always be added to heighten the pungency of a currie, when the proportion in the powder is not considered sufficient.
These curries are made with a sort of paste, which is labelled with the above names, and as it has attracted some attention of late, and the curries made with it are very good, and quickly and easily prepared, we give the directions for them. “Cut a pound and a half of chicken, fowl, veal, rabbit, or mutton, into pieces an inch and a half square. Put from two to three ounces of fresh butter in a stewpan, and when it is melted put in the meat, and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon; add from two to three dessertspoonsful of the currie-paste; mix the whole up well together, and continue the stirring over a brisk fire from five to ten minutes, and the currie will be done. This is a dry currie. For a gravy currie, add two or three tablespoonsful of boiling water after the paste is well mixed in, and continue the stewing and stirring from ten to twelve minutes longer, keeping the sauce of the consistency of cream. Prepare salmon and lobster in the same way, but very quickly, that they may come up firm. The paste may be rubbed over steaks, or cutlets, when they are nearly broiled; three or four minutes will finish them.”*
* Unless the meat be extremely tender, and cut small, it will require from ten to fifteen minutes stewing: when no liquid is added, it must be stirred without intermission, or the paste will burn to the pan. It answers well for cutlets, and for mullagatawny soup also; but makes a very mild currie.
Boil six ounces of ribband maccaroni for fifteen minutes, 350 in water slightly salted, with a very small bit of butter dissolved in it; drain it perfectly, and then put it into a full pint and a quarter of good beef or veal stock or gravy, previously mixed, and boiled for twenty minutes, with a small tablespoonful of fine currie-powder, a teaspoonful of arrow-root, and a little lemon-juice. Heat and toss the maccaroni gently in this until it is well and equally covered with it. A small quantity of rich cream, or a little béchamel, will very much improve the sauce, into which it should be stirred just before the maccaroni is added, and the lemon-juice should be thrown in afterwards. This dish is, to our taste, far better without the strong flavouring of onion or garlic, usually given to curries; but this, when it is preferred, can be imparted to the gravy in the usual way.
Ribband maccaroni, 6 ozs.; 15 minutes. Gravy, or good beef or veal stock, full pint and ¼; fine currie-powder, 1 small ; arrow-root, 1 teaspoonful; little lemon-juice: 20 minutes. Maccaroni in sauce, 3 to 6 minutes.
Obs.—An ounce or two of grated cocoa-nut simmered in the gravy for half an hour or more, then strained and well pressed from it, is always an excellent addition. The pipe maccaroni, well curried, is extremely good: the sauce for both kinds should be made with rich gravy, especially when the onion is omitted. A few drops of eschalot-vinegar can be added to it, when the flavour is liked.
Boil six or eight fresh eggs quite hard, as for salad, and put them aside until they are cold. Mix well together from two to three ounces of good butter, and from three to four dessertspoonsful of currie-powder; shake them, in a stewpan or thick saucepan, over a clear but moderate fire for some minutes, then throw in a couple of mild onions finely minced, and fry them gently until they are tolerably soft; pour to them, by degrees, from half to three-quarters of a pint of broth 351 or gravy, and stew them slowly until they are reduced to pulp; mix smoothly a small cup of thick cream with two teaspoonsful of wheaten or of rice-flour, stir them to the currie, and simmer the whole till the raw taste of the thickening is gone. Cut the eggs into half-inch slices, heat them quite through in the sauce without boiling them, and serve them as hot as possible.
Wash and soak them as usual, then throw them into boiling water with a little salt in it, and a whole onion, and let them simmer for ten minutes; or, if at hand, substitute weak veal-broth for the water. Lift them out, place them on a drainer, and leave them until they are perfectly cold; then cut them into half-inch slices, and either flour and fry them lightly in butter, or put them, without this, into as much curried gravy as will just cover them; stew them in it very gently, from twenty to thirty minutes; add as much lemon-juice or Chili vinegar as will acidulate the sauce agreeably,* and serve the currie very hot. As we have already stated in two or three previous receipts, an ounce or more of sweet freshly-grated cocoa nut, stewed tender in the gravy, and strained from it, before the sweetbreads are added, will give a peculiarly pleasant flavour to all curries.
Blanched 10 minutes; sliced (fried or not); stewed 20 to 30 minutes.
* A small portion of Indian pickled mango, or of its liquor, is an agreeable addition to a currie.
“Let a hundred of large sea-oysters be opened into a basin, without losing one drop of their liquor. Put a lump of fresh butter into a good-sized saucepan, and when it boils, add a large onion, cut into thin slices, and let it fry in the uncovered stewpan until it is of a rich brown; now add a bit more butter, and two or three tablespoonsful of currie-powder. When these ingredients are well mixed over the fire with a wooden spoon, add gradually either hot water, or broth from the stock-pot; cover the stewpan, and let the whole boil up. 352 Meanwhile, have ready the meat of a cocoa-nut, grated or rasped fine, put this into the stew-pan with a few sour tamarinds (if they are to be obtained, if not, a sour apple, chopped). Let the whole simmer over the fire until the apple is dissolved, and the cocoa-nut very tender; then add a cupful of strong thickening made of flour and water, and sufficient salt, as a currie will not bear being salted at table. Let this boil up for five minutes. Have ready also, a vegetable marrow, or part of one, cut into bits, and sufficiently boiled to require little or no further cooking. Put this in with a tomata or two; either of these vegetables may be omitted. Now put into the stew-pan the oysters with their liquor, and the milk of the cocoa-nut; stir them well with the former ingredients; let the currie stew gently for a few minutes, then throw in the strained juice of half a lemon. Stir the currie from time to time with a wooden spoon, and as soon as the oysters are done enough serve it up with a corresponding dish of rice on the opposite side of the table. The dish is considered at Madras the ne plus ultra of Indian cookery.”*
We have extracted this receipt, as it stands, from the Magazine of Domestic Economy, the season in which we have met with it not permitting us to have it tested. Such of our readers as may have partaken of the true Oriental preparation, will be able to judge of its correctness; and others may consider it worthy of a trial. We should suppose it necessary to beard the oysters.
* Native oysters, prepared as for sauce, may be curried by the receipt for eggs or sweetbreads, with the addition of their liquor.
The quantity of onion, eschalot, or garlic used for a currie should be regulated by the taste of the persons for whom it is prepared; the very large proportions of them which are acceptable to some eaters, preventing others altogether from partaking of the dish. Slice, and fry gently in a little good butter, from a couple to six large onions (with a bit of garlic, and four or five eschalots, or none of either), when they are coloured equally of a fine yellow-brown, lift them into a sieve 353 reversed to drain; put them into a clean saucepan, add a pint and a half of good gravy, with a couple of ounces of rasped cocoa-nut, or any other of the condiments we have already specified, which may require as much stewing as the onions (an apple or two, for instance), and simmer them softly from half to three-quarters of an hour, or until the onion is sufficiently tender to be pressed through a strainer. We would recommend that for a delicate currie this should always be done; for a common one it is not necessary; and many persons prefer to have the whole of it left in this last. After the gravy has been worked through the strainer, and again boils, add to it from three to four dessertspoonsful of currie-powder, and one of flour, with as much salt as the gravy may require, the whole mixed to a smooth batter with a small cupful of good cream.* Simmer it from fifteen to twenty minutes, and it will be ready for use. Lobster, prawns, shrimps, maccaroni, hard-boiled eggs, cold calf’s head, and various other meats may be heated and served in it with advantage. For all of these, and indeed for every kind of currie, acid of some sort should be added. Chili-vinegar answers well when no fresh lemon-juice is at hand.
Onions, 2 to 6 (garlic, 1 clove, or eschalots, 4 to 5, or neither); fried a light brown. Gravy, 1½ pint; cocoa-nut, 2 ozs. (3, if very young): ½ to ¾ hour. Currie-powder, 3 to 4 dessertspoonsful; flour, 1 dessertspoonful; salt, as needed; cream, 1 small cupful: 15 to 20 minutes.
Obs.—In India, curds are frequently added to curries, but that may possibly be from their abounding much more than sweet cream in so hot a climate.
* This must be added only just before the currie is dished, when any acid fruit has been boiled in the gravy: it may then be first blended with a small portion of arrow-root, or flour.
Any tender and well-roasted meat, taken free of fat, skin, and gristle, as well as from the dry outsides, will answer for potting admirably, better, indeed, than that 354 which is generally baked for the purpose, and which is usually quite deprived of its juices by the process. Spiced or corned beef also is excellent when thus prepared; and any of these will remain good a long time if mixed with cold fresh butter, instead of that which is clarified; but no addition that can be made to it will render the meat eatable, unless it be thoroughly pounded; reduced, in fact, to the smoothest possible paste, free from a single lump or a morsel of unbroken fibre. If rent into fragments, instead of being cut quite through the grain, in being minced, before it is put into the mortar, no beating will bring it to the proper state. Unless it be very dry, it is better to pound it for some time before any butter is added, and it must be long and patiently beaten after all the ingredients are mixed, that the whole may be equally blended and well-mellowed in flavour.
The quantity of butter required will depend upon the nature of the meat; ham and salted beef will need a larger proportion than roast meat, or than the breasts of poultry and game; and fish, from being more moist, will require comparatively little. Salmon, lobsters, prawns, and shrimps are all extremely good, prepared in this way. They should, however, be extremely fresh when they are pounded, and be set immediately afterwards into a very cool place. For these, and for white meats in general, mace, nutmeg, and cayenne or white pepper, are the appropriate spices. A small quantity of cloves may be added to hare and other brown meat, but allspice we would not recommend unless the taste is known to be in favour of it. The following receipt for pounding ham will serve as a general one for the particular manner of proceeding.
To be eaten in perfection this should be made with a freshly cured ham, which, after having been soaked for twelve hours, should be wiped dry, nicely trimmed, 355 closely wrapped in coarse paste, and baked very tender.* When it comes from the oven, remove the crust and rind, and when the ham is perfectly cold, take for each pound of the lean, which should be weighed after every morsel of skin and fibre has been carefully removed, six ounces of cold roast veal, prepared with equal nicety. Mince these quite fine with an exceedingly sharp knife, taking care to cut through the meat, and not to tear the fibre, as on this much of the excellence of the preparation depends. Next put it into a large stone or marble mortar, and pound it to the smoothest paste with eight ounces of fresh butter, which must be added by degrees. When three parts beaten, strew over it a teaspoonful of freshly-pounded mace, half a large, or the whole of a small nutmeg grated, and the third of a teaspoonful of cayenne well mixed together. It is better to limit the spice to this quantity in the first instance, and to increase afterwards either of the three kinds, to the taste of the parties to whom the meat is to be served.† We do not find half a teaspoonful of cayenne, and nearly two teaspoonsful of mace, more than is generally approved. After the spice is added, keep the meat often turned from the sides to the middle of the mortar, that it may be seasoned equally in every part. When perfectly pounded, press it into small potting-pans, and pour clarified butter‡ over the top. If kept in a cool and dry place, this meat will remain good for a fortnight, or more.
Lean of ham, 1 lb.; lean of roast veal, 6 ozs.; fresh butter, 8 ozs.; mace, from 1 to 2 teaspoonsful; ½ large nutmeg; cayenne, ¼ to ½ teaspoonful.
Obs.—The roast veal is ordered in this receipt because the ham alone is generally too salt; for the same reason butter, fresh-taken from the churn, or that which is but slightly salted and quite new, should be used for it in 356 preference to its own fat. When there is no ready-dressed veal in the house, the best part of the neck roasted or stewed will supply the requisite quantity. The remains of a cold boiled ham will answer quite well for potting, even when a little dry.
† Spice, it must be observed, varies so very greatly in its quality that discretion is always necessary in using it.
‡ This should never be poured hot on the meat: it should be less than milk-warm when added to it.
Roast the birds as for table, but let them be thoroughly done, for if the gravy be left in, the meat will not keep half so well. Raise the flesh of the breast, wings, and merrythought quite clear from the bones, take off the skin, mince, and then pound it very smoothly, with about one-third of its weight of fresh butter, or something less, if the meat should appear of a proper consistence without the full quantity; season it with salt, mace, and cayenne only, and add these in small portions until the meat is rather highly flavoured with both the last; proceed with it as with other potted meats.
Boil tender, an unsmoked tongue of good flavour, and the following day cut from it the quantity desired for potting, or take for this purpose, the remains of one which has already been served at table. Trim off the skin and rind, weigh the meat, mince it very small, then pound it as fine as possible with four ounces of butter to each pound of tongue, a small teaspoonful of mace, half as much of nutmeg and cloves, and a tolerably high seasoning of cayenne. After the spices are well beaten with the meat, taste it, and add more if required. A few ounces of any well-roasted meat mixed with the tongue will give it firmness, in which it is apt to be deficient. The breasts of turkeys, fowls, partridges, or pheasants may be used for the purpose with good effect.
Tongue, 1 lb.; butter, 4 ozs.; mace, 1 teaspoonful; nutmeg and cloves each, ½ teaspoonful; cayenne, 5 to 10 grains.357
Scrape the anchovies very clean, raise the flesh from the bones, and pound it to a perfect paste in a Wedgwood or marble mortar; then with the back of a wooden spoon press it through a hair-sieve reversed. Next weigh the anchovies, and pound them again with double their weight of the freshest butter that can be procured, a high seasoning of mace and cayenne, and a small quantity of finely-grated nutmeg; set the mixture by in a cool place for three or four hours to harden it before it is put into the potting pans. If butter be poured over, it must be only lukewarm; but the anchovies will keep well for two or three weeks without. A little rose-pink may be added to improve the colour, but it must be used sparingly, or it will impart a bitter taste. The quantity of butter can be increased or diminished in proportion as it is wished that the flavour of the anchovies should prevail.
Anchovies pounded, 3 ozs.; butter, 6 ozs.; mace, third of teaspoonful; half as much cayenne; little nutmeg.
Pound to the smoothest paste the coral of one or two fine lobsters, mix with it about a third of its volume of fresh butter, and the same proportion of spices as are given in the preceding receipt. Let the whole be thoroughly blended; set it by for a while in a cool place and pot it, or make it up into small pats, and serve them with curled parsley round the dish, or with any light foliage that will contrast well with their brilliant colour. The flesh of the lobster may be cut fine with a very sharp knife, and pounded with the coral.
Let the fish be quite freshly boiled, shell them quickly, and just before they are put into the mortar, chop them 358 a little with a very sharp knife; pound them perfectly with a small quantity of fresh butter, mace, and cayenne.
Shrimps (unshelled), 2 quarts; butter, 2 to 4 ozs.; mace, 1 small saltspoonful; cayenne, third as much.
The receipt for these, which we can recommend to the reader, will be found in the next Chapter.
The quality of vegetables depends much both on the soil in which they are grown, and on the degree of care bestowed upon their culture; but if produced in ever so great perfection their excellence will be entirely destroyed if they be badly cooked.
With the exception of artichokes, which are said to be improved by two or three days’ keeping, all the summer varieties should be dressed before their first freshness has in any degree passed off (for their flavour is never so fine as within a few hours of their being cut or gathered); but when this cannot be done, precaution should be taken to prevent their withering. The stalk-ends of asparagus, cucumbers, and vegetable-marrow should be placed in from one to two inches of cold water; and all other kinds should be spread on a cool brick floor. When this has been neglected, they must be thrown into cold water for some time before they are boiled to recover them, though they will prove even then but very inferior eating.
Vegetables when not sufficiently cooked are known 359 to be so exceedingly unwholesome and indigestible, that the custom of serving them crisp, which means, in reality, only half-boiled, should be altogether disregarded when health is considered of more consequence than fashion; but they should not be allowed to remain in the water after they are quite done, or both their nutritive properties and their flavour will be lost, and their good appearance destroyed. Care should be taken to drain them thoroughly in a warm strainer, and to serve them very hot, with well-made sauces, if with any.
Only dried peas or beans, Jerusalem artichokes, and potatoes, are put at first into cold water. All others require plenty of fast-boiling water, which should be ready salted and skimmed before they are thrown into it.
Lay them for half an hour or more into a pan of strong brine, with the stalk-ends uppermost; this will destroy the small snails and other insects which cluster in the leaves, and they will fall out and sink to the bottom. A pound and a half of salt to the gallon of water will answer for this purpose, and if strained daily it will last for some time.
After they have been properly prepared and washed, throw them into plenty of boiling water which has been salted and well skimmed; and keep them uncovered and boiling fast until they are done, taking every precaution against their being smoked. Should the water be very hard, a bit of soda the size of a hazel-nut, or a small half-teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, may be added with the salt, for every two quarts, and will greatly improve the colour of the vegetables; but if used in undue proportions it will injure them; green peas especially will be quickly reduced to a mash if boiled with too large a quantity.
Water, 1 gallon; salt, 2 ozs.; soda, ¼ to ½ oz.; or carbonate of soda, 1 teaspoonful.360
Potatoes, to boil well together, should be all of the same sort, and as nearly equal in size as may be. Wash off the mould, and scrub them very clean with a hard brush, but neither scoop nor apply a knife to them in any way, even to clear the eyes.* Rinse them well, and arrange them compactly in a saucepan, so that they may not lie loose in the water, and that a small quantity may suffice to cover them. Pour this in cold, and when it boils, throw in about a large teaspoonful of salt to the quart, and simmer the potatoes till they are nearly done, but for the last two or three minutes, let them boil rapidly. When they are tender quite through, which may be known by probing them with a fork, pour all the water from them immediately, lift the lid of the saucepan to allow the steam to escape, and place them on a trevet, high over the fire, or by the side of it, until the moisture has entirely evaporated; then peel, and send them to table as quickly as possible, either in a hot napkin, or in a dish, of which the cover is so placed, that the steam can pass off. There should be no delay in serving them after they are once taken from the fire. Irish families usually prefer them served in their skins. Some kinds will be done in twenty minutes, others in little less than three quarters of an hour. We are informed that “the best potatoes are those which average from five to six to the pound, with few eyes, but those pretty deep, and equally distributed over the surface.” We cannot ourselves vouch for the correctness of the assertion, but we think it may be relied on.
20 minutes to ¾ hour, or more.
Obs.—The water in which they are boiled, should barely cover the potatoes.
* “Because,” in the words of our clever Irish correspondent, “the water through these parts is then admitted into the very heart of the vegetable; and the latent heat, after cooking, is not sufficient to throw it off: this renders the potatoes very unwholesome.”361
Pare the potatoes, cover them with cold water, and boil them slowly until they are quite tender, but watch them carefully, that they may not be overdone; drain off the water entirely, strew some salt over them, leave the saucepan uncovered by the side of the fire, and shake it forcibly every minute or two, until the whole of the potatoes appear dry and floury. Lancashire cooks dress the vegetable in this way to perfection, but it is far from an economical mode, as a large portion of the potatoe adheres to the saucepan; it has, however, many admirers.
These are never good unless freshly dug. Take them of equal size, and rub off the skins with a brush, or a very coarse cloth, wash them clean, and put them, without salt, into boiling, or at least, quite hot water; boil them softly, and when they are tender enough to serve, pour off the water entirely, strew some fine salt over the potatoes, give them a shake, and let them stand by the fire in the saucepan for a minute, then dish, and serve them immediately. Some cooks throw in a small slice of fresh butter, with the salt, and toss them gently in after it is dissolved. This is a good mode, but the more usual one is to send melted butter to table with them, or to pour white sauce over them when they are very young, and served early in the season, as a side or corner dish.
Very small, 10 to 15 minutes; moderate-sized 15 to 20 minutes.
Rub off the skins, wash the potatoes well, and wipe them dry; put them with three ounces of good butter, for a small dish, and with four ounces, or more, for a large one, into a well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, and simmer them over a gentle fire for about half an hour. 362 Keep them well-shaken or tossed, that they may be equally done, and throw in some salt when they begin to stew. This is a good mode of dressing them when they are very young and watery.
Wash, wipe, and pare the potatoes, cover them with cold water, and boil them gently till they are done, pour off the water, and sprinkle a little fine salt over them; then take each potatoe separately with a spoon, and lay it into a clean warm cloth, twist this so as to press all the moisture from the vegetable, and render it quite round; turn it carefully into a dish placed before the fire, throw a cloth over, and when all are done, send them to table quickly. Potatoes dressed in this way, are mashed without the slightest trouble; it is also by far the best method of preparing them for puddings or cakes.
Scrub, and wash exceedingly clean, some potatoes nearly assorted in size; wipe them very dry, and roast them in a Dutch oven before the fire, placing them at a distance from it, and keeping them often turned; or arrange them in a coarse dish, and bake them in a moderate oven. Dish them neatly in a napkin, and send them very hot to table; serve cold butter with them.
1¾ to upwards of 2 hours.
Wash and wipe some large potatoes of a firm kind, and with a small scoop adapted to the purpose,* form as many diminutive ones 363 as will fill a dish; cover them with cold water, and when they have boiled very gently for five minutes, pour it off, and put more cold water to them; after they have simmered a second time for five minutes, drain the water quite away, and let them steam by the side of the fire from four to five minutes longer. Dish them carefully, pour white sauce over them, and serve them with the second course. Old potatoes thus prepared, have often been made to pass for new ones, at the best tables, at the season in which the fresh vegetable is dearest. The time required to boil them will of course vary with their quality: we give the method which we have found very successful.
* This may be procured of Mr. Livermore, 30, Oxford Street, to whom we have already referred.
After having washed them, wipe and pare some raw potatoes, cut them in slices of equal thickness, or into thin shavings, and throw them into plenty of boiling butter, or very pure clarified dripping. Fry them of a fine light brown, and very crisp; lift them out with a skimmer, drain them on a soft warm cloth, dish them very hot, and sprinkle fine salt over them. This is an admirable way of dressing potatoes, very common on the Continent, but less so in England than it deserves to be. When pared round and round to a form, in ribbons or shavings of equal width, and served dry and well-fried, lightly piled in a dish, they make a handsome appearance and are excellent eating. We have known them served in this country with a slight sprinkling of cayenne. If sliced they should be something less than a quarter-inch thick.
Boil them perfectly tender quite through, pour off the water, and steam them very dry by the directions already given in the receipt of page 360; peel them quickly, take out every speck, and while they are still hot press the potatoes through an earthen cullender, or bruise them to a smooth mash with a strong wooden fork or spoon, but 364 never pound them in a mortar, as that will reduce them to a close heavy paste. Let them be entirely free from lumps, for nothing can be more indicative of carelessness or want of skill on the part of the cook, than mashed potatoes sent to table full of these. Melt in a clean saucepan a slice of good butter with a few spoonsful of milk, or, better still, of cream; put in the potatoes after having sprinkled some fine salt upon them, and stir the whole over a gentle fire, with a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are well mixed, and the whole is very hot. It may then be served directly; or heaped high in a dish, left rough on the surface, and browned before the fire; or it may be pressed into a well buttered mould of handsome form, which has been strewed with the finest bread-crumbs, and shaken free of the loose ones, then turned out, and browned in a Dutch, or common oven. More or less liquid will be required to moisten sufficiently potatoes of various sorts.
Potatoes, mashed, 2 lbs.; salt, 1 teaspoonful; butter, 1 to 2 ozs.; milk or cream, ¼ pint.
Obs.—Mashed potatoes are often moulded with a cup, and then equally browned; any other shape will answer the purpose as well, and many are of better appearance.
Boil some floury potatoes very dry, mash them as smoothly as possible, season them well with salt and white pepper; warm them with about an ounce of butter to the pound, or rather more if it will not render them too moist; a few spoonsful of good cream may be added, but they must be boiled very dry after it is stirred to them. Let the mixture cool a little, roll it into balls, sprinkle over them vermicelli crushed slightly with the hand, and fry them a fine light brown. They may be dished round a shape of plain mashed potatoes, or piled on a napkin by themselves. They may likewise be rolled in egg and fine bread-crumbs instead of in the vermicelli, or in rice-flour, which answers very well for them.365
Boil some good potatoes as dry as possible, or, let them be prepared by Captain Kater’s receipt; mash a pound of them very smoothly, and mix with them while they are still warm, two ounces of fresh butter, a teaspoonful of salt, a little nutmeg, the beaten and strained yolks of four eggs, and last of all the whites, thoroughly whisked. Mould with and drop the mixture from a teaspoon into a small pan of boiling butter, or very pure lard, and fry the boulettes for five minutes over a moderate fire: they should be of a fine pale brown, and very light. Drain them well and dish them on a hot napkin.
Potatoes, 1 lb.; butter, 2 ozs.; salt, 1 teaspoonful; eggs 4: 5 minutes.
Mash and season the potatoes with salt, and white pepper or cayenne, and mix with them plenty of minced parsley and a small quantity of green onions, or eschalots; add sufficient yolks of egg to bind the mixture together, roll it into small balls, and fry them in plenty of lard or butter over a moderate fire, or they will be too much browned before they are done through. Ham, or any other kind of meat finely minced, may be substituted for the herbs, or added to them.
Boil in the usual manner some potatoes of a firm kind, peel, and let them cool; cut them equally into quarter-inch slices. Dissolve in a very clean stewpan or saucepan from two to four ounces of good butter, stir to it a small dessertspoonful of flour, and shake the pan over the fire for two or three minutes; add by slow degrees a small cup of boiling water, then some pepper, salt, and a tablespoonful of minced parsley; put in the potatoes, and toss them gently over a clear 366 fire until they are quite hot, and the sauce adheres well to them; at the instant of serving, add a dessertspoonful of strained lemon-juice. Pale veal gravy may be substituted for the water; and the potatoes after being thickly sliced, may be quickly cut of the same size with a small round cutter.
Prepare the potatoes as above, and toss them gently in a quarter-pint or more of thick white sauce or of common béchamel, with or without the addition of the minced parsley.
Wash, trim, and tie the kale in bunches, and throw it into plenty of boiling water with some salt in it. When it is perfectly tender, lift it out, drain it well from the water, and send it to table with good melted butter. When fashion is not particularly regarded we recommend its being served upon a toast like asparagus. About twenty minutes will boil it, rather less for persons who like it crisp.
18 to 20 minutes.
Boil the kale for ten minutes in salt and water; drain it well, and put it into a saucepan with as much good brown gravy as will nearly cover it; stew it gently for ten minutes or until it is tender, and send it to table in the gravy very hot. Another excellent mode of serving this vegetable is, to boil it in salt and water, and to pour over it plenty of rich white sauce after it is dished.
Pick the spinach leaf by leaf from the stems, and wash it in an abundance of spring water, changing it several times; then shake it in a dry cloth held by the 367 four corners, or drain it on a large sieve. Throw it into sufficient well-salted boiling water to allow it to float freely, and keep it pressed down with a skimmer that it may be equally done. When quite young it will be tender in from eight to ten minutes, but to ascertain if it be so, take a leaf and squeeze it between the fingers. If to be dressed in the French mode, drain, and then throw it directly into plenty of fresh water, and when it is cool form it into balls and press the moisture thoroughly from it with the hands. Next, chop it extremely fine upon a clean trencher; put two ounces (for a large dish) of butter into a stewpan or bright thick saucepan, lay the spinach on it, and keep it stirred over a gentle fire for ten minutes, or until it appears dry; dredge in a spoonful of flour, and turn the spinach as it is added: pour to it gradually, a few spoonsful of very rich veal-gravy, or, if preferred, of good boiling cream (with the last of these a dessertspoonful or more of pounded sugar may be added for a second-course dish, when the true French mode of dressing the vegetable is liked). Stew the whole briskly till the liquid is well absorbed; dish, and serve the spinach very hot, with small, pale fried sippets round it, or with leaves of puff paste fresh from the oven, or well dried after having been fried. For ornament, the sippets may be fancifully shaped with a tin cutter. A proper seasoning of salt must not be omitted in this or any other preparation of the spinach.
Boil the spinach as already directed, and after it has been well squeezed and chopped, stir it over a moderate fire until it is very dry; moisten it with as much thick rich gravy as will flavour it well, and turn and stew it quite fast until it is again very dry; then press it into a hot mould of handsome form, turn it into a dish and serve it quickly. Two or three ounces of fresh butter may be laid into the saucepan with the 368 spinach at first, as a substitute for the gravy. When a perforated tin shape, ordinarily used for moulding spinach, is not at hand one of earthenware, slightly buttered, will serve nearly as well.
Boil the spinach very green in plenty of water, drain, and then press the moisture from it between two trenchers; chop it fine, put it into a clean saucepan, with a slice of fresh butter, and stir the whole till well-mixed and very hot. Smooth it in a dish, mark it in dice, and send it quickly to table.
Take it leaf by leaf from the stalks, and be very careful to clear it from any weeds that may be amongst it, and to free it by copious and repeated washings from every particle of grit. Put it into a large well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, with the water only that hangs about it; throw in a small spoonful of salt, and keep it constantly pressed down with a wooden spoon, and turned often for about a quarter of an hour, or until it is perfectly tender. Drain off the superfluous moisture, chop the spinach quickly on a hot trencher; dish, and serve it immediately. Fried sippets of bread should always be served round this vegetable, unless it be prepared for an invalid.
These should be freshly drawn, young and white. Wash and trim them neatly, leaving on two or three of the small inner-leaves of the top. Boil them in plenty of salted water from twenty to thirty minutes: as soon as they are tender send them to table well-drained, with melted butter or white sauce. Common radishes when young, tied in bunches, and boiled from eighteen to twenty-five minutes, then served on a toast like asparagus, are very good.369
Trim off the coarser leaves from some young leeks, cut them in equal lengths, tie them in small bundles, and boil them in plenty of water which has been previously salted and skimmed; serve them on a toast, and send melted butter to table with them.
20 to 25 minutes.
Strip off the outer leaves, and cut away the stalks; wash the lettuces with exceeding nicety, and throw them into water salted as for all green vegetables. When they are quite tender, which will be in from twenty to thirty minutes, according to their age, lift them out, and press the water thoroughly from them; chop them a little, and heat them in a clean saucepan with a seasoning of pepper and salt, and a small slice of butter; then dredge in a little flour and stir them well; add next a small cup of broth or gravy, boil them quickly until they are tolerably dry, then stir in a little pale vinegar or lemon-juice, and serve them as hot as possible, with fried sippets round them.
With a sharp knife scrape the stems of the asparagus lightly, but very clean, from within one to two inches of the green tender points, throw them into cold water as they are done, and when all are ready, tie them in bunches of equal size; cut the large ends evenly, that the asparagus may be all of the same length, and put it into plenty of boiling water prepared by the directions of page 359. Cut a round of bread quite half an inch thick, and after having pared off the crust, toast it a delicate brown on both sides. When the stalks of the asparagus are tender, lift it out directly, or it will lose both its colour and its flavour, and will also be liable to break; dip the toast quickly into the water in which it was boiled, and 370 dish the vegetable upon it, with the points meeting in the centre. Send rich melted butter to table with it. In France a small quantity of vinegar is stirred into the sauce before it is served; and many persons like the addition. Asparagus may be preserved for a day or two sufficiently fresh for use, by keeping the stalks immersed in an inch depth of cold water; but it is never so good as when dressed directly it is cut, or within a few hours after.
20 to 25 minutes.
Obs.—Abroad, boiled asparagus is very frequently served cold, and eaten with oil and vinegar, or a sauce Mayonnaise.
This is a convenient mode of dressing asparagus, when it is too small and green to make a good appearance plainly boiled. Cut the points so far only as they are perfectly tender, in bits of equal size, not more than the third of an inch in length, wash them very clean, and throw them into plenty of boiling water, with the usual quantity of salt and a morsel of soda. When they are tolerably tender, which will be in from ten to twelve minutes, drain them well, and spread them on a clean cloth; fold it over them, wipe them gently, and when they are quite dry put them into a clean stewpan with a good slice of butter, which should be just dissolved before the asparagus is added; stew them in this over a brisk fire, shaking them often, for eight or ten minutes; dredge in about a small teaspoonful of flour, and add half that quantity of white sugar; then pour in boiling water to nearly cover the asparagus, and boil it rapidly until but little liquid remains; stir in the beaten yolks of two eggs, heap the asparagus high in a dish, and serve it very hot. The sauce should adhere entirely to the vegetable as in green peas à la Française.
To be eaten in perfection these should be young, very 371 freshly gathered, and shelled just before they are boiled; should there be great inequality in their size, the smaller ones may be separated from the others, and thrown into the saucepan four or five minutes later. Wash, and drain the peas in a cullender, put them into plenty of fast-boiling water, salted by the directions of page 359, keep the pan uncovered, and let them boil rapidly till they are tender; drain them well, dish them quickly, and serve them very hot, with good melted butter in a tureen; or put a slice of fresh butter into the midst of the peas, heap them well over it in the centre of the dish, and let it dissolve before they are disturbed. Never, on any account, boil or mix mint with them unless it be expressly ordered, as it is particularly distasteful to many persons. It should be served in small heaps round them if at all.
15 to 25 minutes, or more if old.
Throw a quart of young and freshly-shelled peas into plenty of spring-water with a couple of ounces of butter, and with the hand, work them together until the butter adheres well to the peas; lift them out, and drain them in a cullender; put them into a stewpan or thick saucepan without any water, and let them remain over a gentle fire, and be stirred occasionally for twenty minutes from the time of their first beginning to simmer; then pour to them as much boiling water as will cover them just; throw in a small quantity of salt, and keep them boiling quickly for forty minutes; stir well amongst them a small lump of sugar which has been dipped quickly into water, and a thickening of about half an ounce of butter very smoothly mixed with a teaspoonful of flour; shake them over the fire for a couple of minutes, and serve them directly heaped high in a very hot dish: there will be no sauce except that which adheres to the peas if they be properly managed. We have found marrow-fats excellent, dressed 372 by this receipt. Fresh and good butter should be used with them always.
Peas, 1 quart; butter, 2 ozs.: 20 minutes. Water to cover the peas; little salt: 40 minutes. Sugar, small lump; butter, ½ oz.; flour, 1 teaspoonful: 2 minutes.
Boil a quart of young peas perfectly tender in salt and water, and drain them as dry as possible. Dissolve an ounce and a half of butter in a clean stewpan, stir smoothly to it when it boils a dessertspoonful of flour, and shake these over the fire for three or four minutes, but without allowing them to take the slightest colour; pour gradually to them a cup of rich cream, add a small lump of sugar pounded, let the sauce boil, then put in the peas and toss them gently in it until they are very hot: dish, and serve them quickly.
Peas, 1 quart: 18 to 25 minutes. Butter, 1½ oz.; flour, 1 dessertspoonful: 3 to 5 minutes. Sugar, 1 saltspoonful; cream, 1 cupful.
When the beans are very small and young, merely take off the ends and stalks, and drop them into plenty of spring-water as they are done; when all are ready, wash and drain them well, throw them into a large saucepan of fast-boiling water, salted as usual, (see page 359) and when they are quite tender, which will be in from twelve to eighteen minutes, pour them into a cullender, shake the water from them, dish, and send them quickly to table with good melted butter in a tureen. When from half to two parts grown, cut the beans obliquely into a lozenge form, or, when a less modern fashion is preferred, split them lengthwise into delicate strips, and then cut them once across: the strings should be drawn off with the tops and stalks. No mode of dressing it can render this vegetable good when it is old, but if the sides be pared off, the beans 373 cut thin, and boiled tender with rather more than the ordinary proportion of soda, they will be of excellent colour, and tolerably eatable.
Boil, and drain them thoroughly; then put them into a clean stewpan, or well-tinned iron saucepan, and shake them over the fire until they are very dry and hot; add to them from two to four ounces of fresh butter cut into small bits, some white pepper, a little salt, and the juice of half a lemon, toss them gently for a few minutes over a clear fire, and serve them very hot. Should the butter turn to oil, a spoonful or two of veal-gravy or boiling water must be added.
Prepare as many young and freshly-gathered beans as will serve for a large dish, boil them tender, and drain the water well from them. Melt a couple of ounces of fresh butter in a clean saucepan, and stir smoothly to it a small dessertspoonful of flour; keep these well shaken, and gently simmered until they are lightly browned, add salt and pepper, and pour to them, by degrees, a small cupful of good veal gravy (or, in lieu of this, of sweet rich cream), toss the beans in the sauce till they are as hot as possible; stir quickly in, as they are taken from the fire, the beaten yolks of two fresh eggs, and a little lemon-juice, and serve them without delay. The eggs and lemon are sometimes omitted, and a tablespoonful of minced parsley is added to the butter and flour, but this, we think, is scarcely an improvement.
Beans, 1 to 2 quarts: boiled 15 to 20 minutes. Butter, 2 ozs.; flour, 1 dessertspoonful; salt and pepper; veal-gravy, small cupful; yolks of eggs, 2; lemon-juice, a dessertspoonful.
When young, freshly gathered, and well dressed, these beans, even with many persons accustomed to a luxurious 374 table, are a favourite accompaniment to a dish of streaked bacon, or delicate pickled pork. Shell them only just before they are wanted, wash, drain, and throw them into boiling water, salted as for peas. When they are quite tender, pour them into a hot cullender, drain them thoroughly, and send them to table quickly, with a tureen of parsley and butter, or with plain melted butter, when it is preferred. A boiled cheek of bacon, trimmed free of any blackened parts, may be dished over the beans, upon occasion.
20 to 30 minutes; less, when very young.
Obs.—When the skin of the beans appears wrinkled, they will generally be found sufficiently tender to serve, but they should be tasted to ascertain that they are so.
Pare and slice them very thin, strew a little fine salt over them, and when they have stood a few minutes, drain off the water, by raising one side of the dish, and letting it flow to the other; pour it away, strew more salt, and a moderate seasoning of pepper on them, add two or three tablespoonsful of the purest salad-oil, and turn the cucumbers well, that the whole may receive a portion of it; then pour over them from one to three dessertspoonsful of Chili-vinegar, and a little common, should it be needed; turn them into a clean dish and serve them.
Obs.—If very young, cucumbers are usually dressed without being pared, but the tough rind of full-grown ones being extremely indigestible, should be avoided. The vegetable, though apt to disagree with persons of delicate habit, when sauced in the common English mode, with salt, pepper, and vinegar only, may often be eaten by them with impunity when dressed with plenty of oil. It is difficult to obtain this perfectly fresh and pure here; and hence, perhaps, arises in part the prejudice which, amongst us, is so often found to exist against the use of this most wholesome condiment.375
Chop together very small, two moderate-sized cucumbers, with half the quantity of mild onion; add the juice of a lemon, a saltspoonful or more of salt, a third as much of cayenne, and one or two glasses of Madeira, or of any other dry white wine. This preparation is to be served with any kind of roast meat.
Take three or four cucumbers, so young as not to require paring; score the ends well, that when they are sliced they may fall into small bits; add plenty of young onions, cut fine, the juice of half a lemon, a glass of sherry or Madeira, and a dessertspoonful of Chili-vinegar.
Cut into lengths of an inch or rather more, one or two freshly-gathered cucumbers, take off the rind, and then pare them round and round into thin ribbons, until the watery part is reached:—this is to be thrown aside. When all are done, sprinkle them with cayenne and fine salt, and leave them to drain a little; then arrange them lightly in a clean dish, and sauce them with very fine oil, well mixed with Chili-vinegar, or with equal parts of Chili and of common vinegar.
Cucumbers, 2 or 3; salt, 1 to 2 saltspoonsful; little cayenne; oil, 6 to 8 tablespoonsful; Chili-vinegar, or equal parts of this and common vinegar, 2 to 4 tablespoonsful.
Obs.—When the flavour of eschalots is much liked, a teaspoonful or more of the vinegar in which they have been steeped or pickled may be added to this dish.
Pare, and split into quarters, four or five full-grown 376 but still young cucumbers; take out the seeds and cut each part in two; sprinkle them with white pepper or cayenne, flour and fry them lightly in a little butter, lift them from the pan, drain them on a sieve, then lay them into as much good brown gravy as will nearly cover them, and stew them gently from twenty-five to thirty minutes, or until they are quite tender. Should the gravy require to be thickened or flavoured, dish the cucumbers, and keep them hot while a little flour and butter, or any other of the usual ingredients, is stirred into it. Some persons like a small portion of lemon-juice, or of Chili-vinegar added to the sauce; cucumber-vinegar might be substituted for these with very good effect, as the vegetable loses much of its fine and peculiar flavour when cooked.
25 to 30 minutes.
Obs.—The cucumbers may be left in entire lengths, thrown into well-salted boiling water, and simmered for ten minutes, then thoroughly drained upon the back of a sieve, and afterwards stewed very quickly till tender in some highly flavoured brown gravy, or in the Spanish sauce of page 105.
The cucumbers for this dish may be pared and sliced very thin, or quartered, freed from the seeds, and cut into half-inch lengths; in either case they should be steeped in a little vinegar and sprinkled with salt for half an hour before they are dressed. Drain, and then press them dry in a soft cloth; flour them well, put a slice of butter into a stewpan or saucepan bright in the inside, and when it begins to boil throw in the cucumbers, and shake them over a gentle fire for ten minutes, but be careful to prevent their taking the slightest colour; pour to them gradually as much strong, but very pale, veal-stock or gravy as will nearly cover them; when it boils skim off the fat entirely; add salt and white pepper, if needed, and when the cucumbers are tender quite, strew in a large teaspoonful of finely minced 377 parsley, and thicken the sauce with the yolks of eggs. French cooks add the flour when the vegetable has stewed in the butter, instead of dredging it upon them at first, and this is perhaps the better method.
Boil them tolerably tender in salt and water, drain them well, then stew them for a few minutes in a thick béchamel, and serve them in it.
If very young they need not be pared, but otherwise, take off the rind, slice, and dredge them lightly with pepper and flour, but put no salt at first; throw them into very hot butter or clarified dripping, or they will not brown; when they are nearly done sprinkle some salt amongst them, and as soon as they are quite tender, lift them out with a slice, drain them well, and place them lightly over the hash or mince. A small portion of onion may be fried with them when it is liked.
This in France and in other parts of the Continent is served and eaten with the bouilli (or beef boiled tender in the soup-pot), with a seasoning of salt and pepper only; but the fruit is there far more abundant, and of infinitely finer growth than with us, and requires so little care, comparatively, that it is planted in many places in the open fields, where it flourishes admirably.
The herbs and vegetables for a salad cannot be too freshly gathered; they should be carefully cleared from insects and washed with scrupulous nicety; they are better when not prepared till near the time of sending them to table, and should not be sauced till the instant before they are served. Tender lettuces, of which the outer leaves should be stripped away, mustard and cress, 378 young radishes, and occasionally chives or small green onions (when the taste of a party is in favour of these last) are the usual ingredients of summer salads. Half-grown cucumbers sliced thin, and mixed in with them, are a favourite addition with many persons. In England it is customary to cut the lettuces extremely fine; the French, who object to the flavour of the knife, which they fancy this mode imparts, break them small instead. Young celery alone, sliced and dressed with a rich salad mixture (see page 133) is excellent: it is still in some families served thus always with roast pheasants.
Beet-root, baked or boiled, blanched endive, small salad-herbs which are easily raised at any time of the year, celery, and hardy lettuces, with any ready-dressed vegetable will supply salads through the winter. Cucumber-vinegar is an agreeable addition to these.
In winter this is made principally of beautifully-blanched endive, washed delicately clean and broken into small branches with the fingers, then taken from the water and shaken dry in a basket kept for the purpose, or in a fine cloth; then arranged in the salad-bowl, and strewed with herbs (tarragon generally, when in season) minced small: the dressing is not added until just before the salad is eaten. For this, see page 134. In summer, young lettuces are substituted for the endive, and intermixed with a variety of herbs, some of which are not generally cultivated in England.
Fill a salad bowl from half to three parts full with very tender lettuces shred small, and minced lean of ham, and hard-boiled eggs, or their yolks only, also minced, placed in alternate layers; dress the mixture with English salad-sauce, but do not pour it into the bowl until the instant of serving. A portion of cold chicken, cut in thin slices about the size of a shilling, may be added when convenient.379
Mix treacle and vinegar, in the proportion of one tablespoonful of the first to two of the latter; add a little black pepper, and eat the sauce with lettuces shred small (with an intermixture of young onions when they are liked). This, though certainly not a very refined order of salad, is scarcely so unpalatable as such ingredients would seem to promise.
This is a common summer salad in France, where there is generally an abundant growth of walnuts, though it is not, we believe, much served in England. Take the fruit when a pin will pierce it easily, and pare it down to the kernel; put it into a salad bowl with either a French or an English dressing, and toss the whole gently before it is served.
Trim off the outside leaves, and cut the stems quite close to the cauliflowers; let them lie for an hour in plenty of cold water, with a handful of salt in it, to draw out any insects that may be amongst them; then wash them very thoroughly, and examine them well, to be assured that no snail is left in any part of them, throw them into a large pan of boiling water, salted as for asparagus, and quite cleared from scum; for this, if not removed, will adhere to the cauliflowers and spoil their appearance. When the stalks are tender lift them out, dish them neatly, and send good melted butter to table with them.
20 to 30 minutes.
Cut the cauliflowers into small handsome tufts, and boil them until three parts done, drain them well, toss them a moment in some thick melted butter or white 380 sauce, and set them by to cool. When they are quite cold, dip them separately into batter (see page 154), fry them of a light brown, arrange them neatly in a dish, and serve them very hot.
Take all the green leaves from two or three fine white cauliflowers, and cut the stalks off very closely, so that they will stand upright in the dish in which they are served; boil them tender,* drain them well, and dish them, so as to give the whole the appearance of one cauliflower, pour a little good white sauce equally over the tops, and on this strew grated Parmesan cheese, drop over it a little clarified butter, add another layer of cheese, and cover the whole with the finest bread-crumbs; moisten these with more clarified butter, and brown them with a salamander, or set the dish into the oven, to give them colour; pour white sauce round the cauliflowers, and send them very hot to table.
* Not too much so, or they will break in the dressing.
Strip away all the green leaves, and divide each cauliflower into three or four parts, trimming the stalks quite close; put them, with the heads downwards, into a stewpan which will just hold them, half filled with boiling water, into which an ounce of good butter and some salt have previously been thrown; so soon as they are quite tender, drain the water from them, place a dish over the stewpan and turn it gently upside down; arrange the vegetables neatly in the form of one large cauliflower and cover it with good melted butter, into which a little lemon-juice has been stirred.
12 to 18 minutes.
This is boiled, and served in the same manner as cauliflowers when the heads are large; the stems of the branching broccoli are peeled, and the vegetable, tied in 381 bunches, is dressed and served, like asparagus, upon a toast.
10 to 20 minutes.
After they have been soaked and well washed, cut off the stems quite close, trim away a few of the lower leaves, and clip the points of all; throw the artichokes into plenty of fast-boiling water, ready-salted and skimmed, with the addition, if it be at hand, of the proportion of soda directed in page 359, as this will greatly improve the colour of the vegetable. When extremely young, the artichokes will be tender in from half to three-quarters of an hour, but they will require more than double that time when at their full growth: when the leaves can be drawn out easily they are done. Send good melted butter to table with them. They should be boiled always with the stalk-ends uppermost.
Very young, ½ to ¾ hour; full-grown, 1¼ to 2 hours.
Obs.—French cooks lift the tops from the artichokes before they are served, and replace them after having taken out the chokes: this must be expeditiously done to prevent the vegetable from cooling.
Wash, soak, and drain some very young and tender artichokes (they should not have attained more than a third of their growth), cut off the stalks close, quarter them, and send them to table with a little water in the dish. The chokes will be scarcely formed, and the remainder of the vegetable will have almost the flavour of fresh walnuts: it is constantly served thus in France as a hors d’œuvre.
It is customary to gather this when not larger than a turkey’s egg, but we should say that the vegetable is not then in its perfection. The flesh is whiter and of better flavour when the gourd is about six inches long; 382 at least we have found it so with the kinds which have fallen under our observation. It may either be boiled in the skin, then pared, halved, and served upon a toast; or quartered, freed from the seed, and left till cold, then dipped into egg and fine crumbs of bread, and fried; or it may be cut into dice, and reheated in a little good white sauce; or stewed tender in butter, and served in well-thickened veal-gravy, flavoured with a little lemon-juice. It may likewise be mashed by the receipt we have given for turnips, and in that form will be found excellent. The French make a fanciful dish of the marrows thus: they boil them tender in water, and halve them lengthwise as is usual, they then slice a small bit off each to make them stand evenly in the dish, and after having hollowed the insides, so as to leave a mere shell, about half an inch thick, they fill them with a thick rich mince of white meat, and pour white sauce round them; or they heap fried crumbs over the tops, place the dish in the oven for a few minutes, and serve them without sauce.
Size of turkey’s egg, 10 to 15 minutes; moderate-sized, 20 to 30; large, ¾ to 1 hour.
These are now often served in England in the American fashion, merely sliced, and dressed like cucumbers, with salt, pepper, oil, and vinegar. For various other American modes of preparing them for table, see tomata dumplings, Chapter XVII.
Select them nearly of the same size, take off the stalks, and roast them gently in a Dutch oven, or if more convenient, place them at the edge of the dripping-pan, taking care that no fat from the joint shall fall upon them, and keeping them turned that they may be equally done. From ten to fourteen minutes will roast them.383
Arrange them in a single layer, and pour to them as much gravy as will reach to half their height; stew them very softly till the under sides are done, then turn, and finish stewing them. Thicken the gravy with a little arrow-root and cream, or with flour and butter, and serve it round them.
Cut the stems quite close, slice off the tops of eight fine tomatas, and scoop out the insides; press the pulp through a sieve, and mix with it one ounce of fine crumbs of bread, one of butter, broken very small, some pepper, or cayenne, and salt. Fill the tomatas with the mixture, and bake them ten minutes in a moderate oven; serve them with brown gravy in the dish. A few small mushrooms, stewed tender in a little butter, then minced and added to the tomata-pulp, will very much improve this receipt.
Baked 10 minutes.
Let the tomatas be well shaped and of equal size; divide them nearly in the middle, leaving the blossom-side the largest, as this only is to be used; empty them carefully of their seeds and juice, and fill them with the following ingredients, which must previously be stewed tender in butter, but without being allowed to brown: minced mushrooms and shalots, with a moderate proportion of parsley, some lean of ham, chopped small, a seasoning of cayenne, and a little fine salt, if needed; let them cool, then mix with them about a third as much of fine crumbs of bread, and two yolks of eggs; fill the tomatas, cover them with fine crumbs, moisten them with clarified butter, and bake them in a brisk oven until they are well coloured. Serve them as a garnish 384 to stewed rump or sirloin of beef, or to a boned and forced leg of mutton.
Minced lean of ham, 2 ozs.; mushrooms, 2 ozs.; bread-crumbs, 2 ozs.; shalots, 4 to 8; parsley, full teaspoonful; cayenne, quarter saltspoonful; little salt, if needed; butter, 2 ozs.; yolks of eggs, 2 to 3: baked, 10 to 20 minutes.
Obs.—The French pound the whole of these ingredients with a bit of garlic, before they fill the tomatas with them, but this is not absolutely necessary, and the garlic, if added at all, should be parboiled first, as its strong flavour, combined with that of the eschalots, would scarcely suit the general taste. When the lean of a dressed ham is at hand, only the herbs and vegetables will need to be stewed in the butter; this should be mixed with them into the forcemeat, which an intelligent cook will vary in many ways.
Divide a dozen fine ripe tomatas, squeeze out the seeds, and take off the stalks; put them with one small mild onion (or more, if liked), and about half a pint of very good gravy, into a well-tinned stewpan or saucepan, and simmer them for nearly or quite an hour; a couple of bay-leaves, some cayenne, and as much salt as the dish may require should be added when they begin to boil. Press them through a sieve, heat them again, and stir to them a quarter-pint of good cream, previously mixed and boiled for five minutes with a teaspoonful of flour. This purée is to be served with calf’s head, veal cutlets, boiled knuckle of veal, calf’s brains, or beef palates. For pork, beef, geese, and other brown meats, the tomatas should be reduced to a proper consistency in rich, and highly-flavoured brown gravy, or Spanish sauce.
Cut the stems from some fine meadow mushroom-buttons, 385 and clean them with a bit of new flannel, and some fine salt, then either wipe them dry with a soft cloth, or rinse them in fresh water, drain them quickly, spread them in a clean cloth, fold it over them, and leave them ten minutes, or more, to dry. For every pint of them thus prepared, put an ounce and a half of fresh butter into a thick iron saucepan, shake it over the fire until it just begins to brown, throw in the mushrooms, continue to shake the saucepan over a clear fire, that they may not stick to it, nor burn, and when they have simmered three or four minutes, strew over them a little salt, some cayenne, and pounded mace; stew them till they are perfectly tender, heap them in a dish, and serve them with their own sauce only, for breakfast, supper, or luncheon. Nothing can be finer than the flavour of the mushrooms thus prepared; and the addition of any liquid is far from an improvement to it. They are very good when drained from the butter, and served cold, and in a cool larder may be kept for several days. The butter in which they are stewed is admirable for flavouring gravies, sauces, or potted meats. Small flaps, freed from the fur and skin, may be stewed in the same way; and either these, or the buttons, served under roast poultry or partridges, will give a dish of very superior relish.
Meadow mushrooms, 3 pints, fresh butter, 4½ ozs.: 3 to 5 minutes. Salt, 1 small teaspoonful; mace, half as much; cayenne, third of saltspoonful: 10 to 15 minutes. More spices to be added, if required—much depending on their quality; but they should not overpower the flavour of the mushrooms.
Obs.—Persons inhabiting parts of the country where mushrooms are abundant, may send them easily, when thus prepared (or when potted by the following receipt), to their friends in cities, or in less productive counties. If poured into jars, with sufficient butter to cover them, they will travel any distance, and can be rewarmed for use.386
Prepare either small flaps or buttons with great nicety, without wetting them, and wipe the former very dry, after the application of the salt and flannel. Stew them quite tender, with the same proportion of butter as the mushrooms Au Beurre, but increase a little the quantity of spice; when they are done, turn them into a large dish, spread them over one end of it, and raise it two or three inches, that they may be well drained from the butter. As soon as they are quite cold, press them very closely into small potting-pans; pour lukewarm clarified butter thickly over them, and store them in a cool dry place. If intended for present use, merely turn them down upon a clean shelf, but for longer keeping, cover the tops first with very dry paper, and then with melted mutton-suet. We have ourselves had the mushrooms after being simply spread upon a dish while hot, remain perfectly good in that state for seven or eight weeks: they were prepared late in the season, and the weather was consequently cool during the interval.
Cut the stems closely from a quart, or more, of small just-opened mushrooms, peel them, and take out the fur. Dissolve from two to three ounces of fresh butter in a well-tinned saucepan or stewpan; put in the mushrooms, strew over them a quarter-teaspoonful of pounded mace mixed with a little cayenne, and let them stew over a gentle fire from ten to fifteen minutes; toss or stir them often during the time; then add a small dessertspoonful of flour, and shake the pan round until it is lightly browned. Next pour in, by slow degrees, half a pint of gravy or of good beef-broth; and when the mushrooms have stewed softly in this for a couple of minutes throw in a little salt, and a squeeze of lemon-juice, and pour them on to a crust, cut about an inch and a quarter thick, from the under part of a 387 moderate-sized loaf, and fried in good butter a light-brown, after having been first slightly hollowed in the inside. New milk, or thin cream, may be used with very good effect instead of the gravy; but a few strips of lemon-rind, and a small portion of nutmeg and mushroom-catsup should then be added to the sauce. The bread may be buttered and grilled over a gentle fire instead of being fried, and is better so.
Small mushrooms, 4 to 5 half pints; butter, 3 to 4 ozs.; mace, mixed with a little cayenne, ¼ teaspoonful: stewed softly 10 to 15 minutes. Flour, 1 small dessertspoonful: 3 to 5 minutes. Gravy or broth, ½ pint: 2 minutes. Little salt and lemon-juice.
The truffle is so scantily produced in England, and it is so expensive, even in the countries where it is both of finer and more abundant growth, that it is little seen here except at the tables of the wealthier classes. As we cannot, from our own experience, give receipts for dressing it, we cite the best French authority on the subject.
Select the finest truffles for this dish, be particular in smelling them, and reject any that have a musty smell. Wash and brush them well with cold water only, change it several times, and when they are perfectly clean line a stewpan with slices of bacon; put in the truffles with a bunch of parsley, green onions and thyme, two or three bay-leaves, half a dozen cloves, and a little sweet basil; pour in sufficient rich veal gravy to cover them, with the addition of from half a pint to half a bottle of champagne; boil them very softly for an hour, then draw them aside and let them cool in the gravy. Heat them afresh in it when they are wanted for table; lift them out and drain them in a very clean cloth, and dish them neatly in a fine and beautifully-white napkin, which shall contrast as strongly as possible with the dark hue of the truffles.388
Wash perfectly clean, wipe, and pare some truffles as thin as possible; slice them about the size of a penny; put them into a sauté-pan (or small frying-pan), with a slice of fresh butter, some minced parsley and eschalot, salt and pepper; put them on the fire and stir them, that they may fry equally; when they are done, which will be in about ten minutes, drain off part of the butter, and throw in a bit of fresh, a small ladleful of Spanish sauce (see page 105), the juice of one lemon, and a little cayenne pepper. This is a dish of high relish.
All green vegetables should be thrown into abundance of fast boiling water ready salted and skimmed, with the addition of the morsel of soda which we have recommended, in a previous page of this Chapter; the pan should be left uncovered, and every precaution taken to prevent the smoke from reaching its contents. Endive, sprouts, and spring greens, will only require copious washing before they are boiled; but savoys, large lettuces, and close-leaved cabbages should be thrown into salt and water for half an hour or more before they are dressed, with the tops downwards to draw out the insects. The stems of these last should be cut off, the decayed leaves stripped away, and the vegetable halved or quartered, or split deeply across the stalk-end, and divided entirely before it is dished.
Very young greens, 15 to 20 minutes; lettuces, 20 to 30 minutes; large savoys, or cabbages, 1 to 1½ hour, or more.
Obs.—When the stalk of any kind of cabbage is tender, it is done. Turnip-greens should be well washed in several waters, and boiled in a very large quantity to deprive them of their bitterness.389
Cut out the stalk entirely, and slice a fine firm cabbage or two in very thin strips; throw them after they have been well washed and drained, into a large pan of boiling water ready salted and skimmed, and when they are tender, which will be in from ten to fifteen minutes, pour them into a sieve or strainer, press the water thoroughly from them, and chop them slightly. Put into a very clean saucepan about a couple of ounces of butter, and when it is dissolved add the cabbage, with sufficient pepper and salt to season it, and stir it over a clear fire until it appears tolerably dry; then shake lightly in a tablespoonful of flour, turn the whole well, and add by slow degrees a cup of thick cream: veal gravy or good white-sauce may be substituted for this, when preferred to it.
Pare entirely from them the stringy rind, and either split the turnips once or leave them whole; throw them into boiling water slightly salted, and keep them closely covered from smoke and dust till they are tender. When small and young they will be done in from fifteen to twenty minutes; at their full growth they will require from three-quarters to a full hour, or more, of gentle boiling. After they become old and woolly they are not worth dressing in any way. When boiled in their skins and pared afterwards, they are said to be of better flavour and much less watery than when cooked in the usual way.
Young turnips, 15 to 20 minutes; full-grown, ¾ to 1 hour, or more.
Split them once or even twice should they be large; after they are pared, boil them very tender, and press the water thoroughly from them with a couple of trenchers, or with the back of a large plate and one 390 trencher. To ensure their being free from lumps, it is better to pass them through a cullender or coarse hair-sieve, with a wooden spoon, though, when quite young, they may be worked sufficiently smooth without this. Put them into a clean saucepan and stir them constantly for some minutes over a gentle fire, that they may be very dry, then add some salt, a bit of fresh butter, and a little cream, or in lieu of this new milk (we would also recommend a seasoning of white pepper or cayenne when appearance and fashion are not particularly regarded), and continue to simmer and to stir them for five or six minutes longer, or until they have quite absorbed all the liquid which has been poured to them. Serve them always as hot as possible. This is an excellent receipt.
Turnips, weighed after they are pared, 3 lbs.: dried 5 to 8 minutes. Salt, 1 teaspoonful; butter, 1 oz. to 1½ oz.; cream or milk, nearly ½ pint: 5 or 6 minutes.
When no scoop for the purpose is at hand, cut some small finely-grained turnips into quarters, and pare them into balls, or into the shape of plums or pears of equal size; arrange them evenly in a broad stewpan or saucepan, and cover them nearly with good veal-broth, throw in a little salt, and a morsel of sugar, and boil them rather quickly until they are quite tender, but unbroken; lift them out, draining them well from the broth; dish, and pour over them some thick white sauce. As an economy, a cup of cream, and a teaspoonful of arrow-root, may be added to the broth in which the turnips have stewed, to make the sauce; and when it boils, a small slice of butter may be stirred and well worked into it, should it not be sufficiently rich without.
This is an excellent way of dressing the vegetable when it is mild, and finely-grained; but its flavour otherwise is too strong to be agreeable. After they 391 have been washed, wiped quite dry, and pared, slice the turnips nearly half an inch thick, and divide them into dice. Just dissolve an ounce of butter for each half-pound of the turnips, put them in as flat as they can be, and stew them very gently indeed, from three-quarters of an hour to a full hour. Add a seasoning of salt and white pepper when they are half done. When thus prepared, they may be dished over fried, or nicely-broiled mutton cutlets, or served by themselves.
For a small dish; turnips, 1½ lb.; butter, 3 ozs.; seasoning of white pepper; salt, ½ teaspoonful or more: ¾ to 1 hour. Large dish, turnips, 2 lbs.; butter, 4 ozs.
To a pound of turnips sliced and cut into dice, pour a quarter-pint of boiling veal-gravy, add a small lump of sugar, some salt and cayenne, or white pepper, and boil them quickly from fifty to sixty minutes. Serve them very hot.
Wash the mould from them, and scrape the skin off lightly with the edge of a sharp knife, or, should this be objected to, pare them as thin and as equally as possible; in either case, free them from all blemishes, and should they be very large, split them across the tops a few inches down; rinse them well, and throw them into plenty of boiling water with some salt in it. The skin of very young carrots may be rubbed off like that of new potatoes, and from twenty to thirty minutes will then be sufficient to boil them; but at their full growth they will require from an hour and a half to two hours. It was formerly the custom to tie them in a cloth, and to wipe the skin from them with it after they were dressed; and old-fashioned cooks still use one to remove it; but all vegetables should, we think, be dished and served with the least possible delay after they are ready for table. Melted butter should accompany boiled carrots.
Very young carrots, 20 to 30 minutes. Full-grown ones, 1½ to 2 hours.392
Select some good carrots of equal size, and cut the upper parts into even lengths of about two inches and a half, then trim one end of each into a point, so as to give the carrot the form of a sugar-loaf.* When all are ready, throw them into plenty of ready-salted boiling water, and boil them three-quarters of an hour. Lift them out, and drain them well, then arrange them upright, and all on a level in a broad stewpan or saucepan, and pour in good hot beef-broth, or veal-gravy to half their height; add as much salt as may be needed, and a small teaspoonful of sugar, and boil them briskly for half an hour, or longer, should they require it. Place them again upright in dishing them, and keep them hot while a little good brown gravy is thickened to pour over them, and mixed with a large teaspoonful of parsley and a little lemon-juice; or sauce them with common béchamel (see page 117), or white sauce, with or without the addition of parsley.
Thick part of carrots cut in cones: boiled ¾ hour. With gravy or broth, little salt and sugar: ½ hour, or more. Sauce: thickened gravy, béchamel made without meat, or common white sauce.
Obs.—The carrots dressed thus are exceedingly good without any sauce, beyond the small quantity of liquid which will remain in the stewpan with them; or with a few spoonsful more of gravy added to this, and thickened with butter and a little flour.
Boil quite tender some fine highly-flavoured carrots, press the water from them, and rub them through the back of a fine hair-sieve; put them into a clean saucepan or stewpan, and dry them thoroughly over a gentle fire; then add a slice of fresh butter, and when this is dissolved and well mixed with them, strew in a dessertspoonful 393 or more of powdered sugar, and a little salt; next, stir in by degrees some good cream, and when this is quite absorbed, and the carrots again appear dry, dish and serve them quickly with small sippets, à la Reine (see page 6), placed round them.
Carrots, 3 lbs., boiled quite tender: stirred over a gentle fire 5 to 10 minutes. Butter, 2 ozs.; salt, ½ teaspoonful; pounded sugar, 1 dessertspoonful; cream, ½ pint, stewed gently together till quite dry.
Obs.—For excellent mashed carrots omit the sugar, add a good seasoning of salt and white pepper, and half a pint of rich brown gravy; or for a plain dinner rather less than this of milk.
Either boil sufficient carrots for a dish quite tender, and then cut them into slices a quarter inch thick, or first slice, and then boil them: the latter method is the most expeditious, but the other best preserves the flavour of the vegetable. Drain them well, and while this is being done just dissolve from two to four ounces of butter in a saucepan, and strew in some minced parsley, some salt, and white pepper or cayenne; then add the carrots, and toss them very gently until they are equally covered with the sauce, which should not be allowed to boil: the parsley may be omitted at pleasure. Cold carrots may be rewarmed in this way.
These are dressed in precisely the same manner as carrots, but require much less boiling. According to their quality, and the time of year, they will take from twenty minutes to nearly an hour. Every speck or blemish should be cut from them after they are scraped, and the water in which they are boiled should be well skimmed. They are a favourite accompaniment to salt-fish and boiled pork, and may be served either mashed or plain.
20 to 55 minutes.394
Boil them till they are about half done, lift them out, and let them cool; slice them rather thickly, sprinkle them with fine salt and white pepper, and fry them a pale brown in good butter. Serve them with roast meat, or dish them under it.
Wash the artichokes, pare them quickly, and throw them as they are done into a saucepan of cold water, or of equal parts of milk and water; and when they are about half boiled add a little salt to them. Take them up the instant they are perfectly tender: this will be in from fifteen to twenty-five minutes, so much do they vary as to the time necessary to dress them. If allowed to remain in the water after they are done they become black and flavourless. Melted butter should always be sent to table with them.
15 to 25 minutes.
Boil them from eight to twelve minutes; lift them out, drain them on a sieve, and let them cool; dip them into beaten eggs, and cover them with fine bread-crumbs. Fry them a light brown, drain, pile them in a hot dish, and serve them quickly.
Wash and wipe the artichokes, cut off one end of each quite flat, and trim the other into a point; boil them in milk and water, lift them out the instant they are done, place them upright in the dish in which they are to be served, and sauce them with a good béchamel, or with nearly half a pint of cream thickened with a small dessertspoonful of flour, mixed with an ounce and a half of butter, and seasoned with a little mace and some salt. When cream cannot be procured use new milk, and increase the proportion of flour and 395 butter, though the sauce thus made will serve only for a family dinner.
Boil them tender, press the water well from them, and then proceed exactly as for mashed turnips, taking care to dry the artichokes well, both before and after the milk or cream is added to them: they will be excellent if good white sauce is substituted for either of these.
The haricot blanc is the seed of a particular kind of French bean, of which we find some difficulty in ascertaining the English name, for though we have tried several which resembled it in appearance, we found their flavour, after they were dressed, very different, and far from agreeable. The large white Dutch is, we believe, the proper variety for cooking; at least we have obtained a small quantity under that name, which approached much more nearly than any others we had tried to those which we had eaten abroad. The haricots, when freshly harvested, may be thrown into plenty of boiling water, with some salt and a small bit of butter; if old, they must be previously soaked for an hour or two, put into cold water, brought to boil gently, and simmered until they are tender, for if boiled fast the skins will burst before the beans are done. Drain them thoroughly from the water when they are ready, and lay them into a clean saucepan over two or three ounces of fresh butter, a small dessertspoonful of chopped parsley, and sufficient salt and pepper to season the whole; then gently shake or toss the beans until they are quite hot and equally covered with the sauce; add the strained juice of half a lemon, and serve them quickly. The vegetable thus dressed, is excellent; and it affords a convenient resource in the season when the supply of other kinds is scantiest. In some countries the dried beans are placed in water, over-night, upon a stove (those invented by 396 Dr. Arnott,* would, from the perfect regulation of the heat, answer for the purpose better than most others, we apprehend), and by a very gentle degree of warmth are sufficiently softened by the following day to be served as follows:—they are drained from the water, spread on a clean cloth and wiped quite dry, then lightly floured and fried in oil or butter, with a seasoning of pepper and salt, lifted into a hot dish, and served under roast beef, or mutton.
* So many impositions are practised on the public with regard to these stoves, that we think it well to name Mr. Livermore, 30, Oxford-street, as an authorized and excellent constructor of the genuine ones.
Wash the roots delicately clean, but neither scrape nor cut them, as not a fibre even should be trimmed away, until after they are dressed. Throw them into boiling water, and according to their size boil them from one hour and a half to two hours and a half. Pare and serve them whole, or thickly sliced, and send melted butter to table with them. Many persons prefer the beet-root baked, after being washed and wiped very dry. It is often mixed with winter salads; and it makes a pickle of beautiful colour; but one of the most usual modes of serving it at the present day is, with the cheese, cold and merely pared and sliced, after having been boiled or baked.
1½ to 2½ hours. Baked, 2½ to 3½ hours.
Obs.—This root must not be probed with a fork like other vegetables, to ascertain if it be done or not, but the cook must endeavour by attention to learn the time required for it. After it is lifted out, the thickest part may be pressed with the fingers, to which it will yield, if it be sufficiently boiled.
Bake or boil it tolerably tender, and let it remain till it is cold, then pare and cut it into slices; heat and 397 stew it for a short time in some good pale veal-gravy (or in strong veal-broth for ordinary occasions), thicken this with a teaspoonful of arrow-root, add half a cup or more of good cream, and stir in, as it is taken from the fire, from a tea to a tablespoonful of Chili-vinegar. The beet-root may be served likewise in thick white sauce, to which just before it is dished the mild eschalot of page 164, may be added.
Strip the outer leaves from a fine and fresh red cabbage; wash it well, and cut it into the thinnest possible slices, beginning at the top; put it into a thick saucepan in which two or three ounces of good butter have been just dissolved; add some pepper and salt, and stew it very slowly indeed for three or four hours in its own juice, keeping it often stirred, and well pressed down. When it is perfectly tender add a tablespoonful of vinegar; mix the whole up thoroughly, heap the cabbage in a hot dish, and serve broiled sausages round it; or omit these last, and substitute lemon-juice, cayenne pepper, and a half-cupful of good gravy.
The stalk of the cabbage should be split in quarters and taken entirely out in the first instance.
3 to 4 hours.
These delicate little sprouts, or miniature cabbages, should be gathered when not larger than a common walnut, and after being trimmed free from any decayed leaves, and washed very thoroughly, should be thrown into a pan of water properly salted, and boiled from eight to ten minutes, then well drained, and served upon a rather thick round of toasted bread, buttered on both sides. Rich melted butter must be sent to table with them. This is the Belgian mode of dressing this excellent vegetable, which is served in France with the sauce poured over it, or it is tossed in a stewpan 398 with a slice of butter and some pepper and salt: a spoonful or two of veal-gravy (and sometimes a little lemon-juice) is added when these are perfectly mixed.
8 to 10 minutes.
We are surprised that a vegetable so excellent as this should be so little cared for in England. Delicately fried in batter,—which is a common mode of serving it abroad,—it forms both an elegant and delicious second-course dish; it is also good when plain boiled, drained, and served in gravy, or even with melted butter. Wash the roots, scrape gently off the dark outside skin, and throw them into cold water as they are done, to prevent their turning black; cut them into lengths of three or four inches, and when all are ready put them into plenty of boiling water, with a little salt, a small bit of butter, and a couple of spoonsful of white vinegar, or the juice of a lemon: they will be done in from three-quarters of an hour to an hour. Try them with a fork, and when perfectly tender, drain, and serve them with white sauce, rich brown gravy, or melted butter.
¾ to 1 hour.
Boil the salsify tender, as directed above, drain, and then press it lightly in a soft cloth. Make some French batter (see page 154), throw the bits of salsify into it, take them out separately, and fry them a light brown, drain them well from the fat, sprinkle a little fine salt over them, after they are dished, and serve them quickly. At English tables, salsify occasionally makes its appearance fried with egg and bread-crumbs instead of batter. Scorgonera is dressed in precisely the same manner as the salsify.
This vegetable is extremely good dressed like sea-kale, and served on a toast with rich melted butter. Let it be freshly-dug, wash it with great nicety, trim 399 the ends, take off the coarse outer-leaves, cut the roots of equal length, tie them in bunches, and boil them in plenty of water, with the usual proportion of salt, from twenty to thirty minutes.
20 to 30 minutes.
Cut five or six fine roots of celery to the length of the inside of the dish in which they are to be served; free them from all the coarser leaves, and from the green tops, trim the root ends neatly, and wash the vegetable in several waters till it is as clean as possible; then, either boil it tender, with a little salt, and a bit of fresh butter the size of a walnut, in just sufficient water to cover it quite, drain it well, arrange it on a very hot dish, and pour a thick béchamel, or white-sauce over it; or stew it in broth or common stock, and serve it with very rich, thickened, Espagnole or brown gravy. It has a higher flavour when partially stewed in the sauce, after being drained thoroughly from the broth. Unless very large and old, it will be done in from twenty-five to thirty minutes, but if not quite tender, longer time must be allowed for it. A cheap and expeditious method of preparing this dish is to slice the celery, to simmer it till soft in as much good broth as will only just cover it, to add a thickening of flour and butter, or arrow-root, some salt, pepper, and a small cup of cream.
25 to 30 minutes, or more.
Strip the outer skin from four or five fine Portugal onions, and trim the ends, but without cutting into the vegetable; arrange them in a saucepan of sufficient size to contain them all in one layer; just cover them with good beef, or veal gravy, and stew them very gently indeed for a couple of hours: they should be tender quite through, but should not be allowed to fall to pieces. When large, but not mild onions are used, they should be first boiled for half an hour in plenty of 400 water, then drained from it, and put into boiling gravy: strong, well-flavoured broth of veal or beef, is sometimes substituted for this, and with the addition of a little catsup, spice, and thickening answers very well. The savour of this dish is heightened by flouring lightly and frying the onions of a pale brown before they are stewed.
Portugal onions, 4 or 5 (if fried, 15 to 20 minutes); broth or gravy, 1 to 1½ pint: nearly or quite 2 hours.
Obs.—When the quantity of gravy is considered too much, the onions may be only half covered, and turned when the under side is tender, but longer time must then be allowed for stewing them.
Strip the outer rind from forty or fifty fine sound Spanish chestnuts, throw them into a large saucepan of hot water, and bring it to the point of boiling; when the second skin parts from them easily, lift them out, and throw them into plenty of cold water; peel, and wipe them dry, then put them into a stewpan or bright saucepan, with as much highly-flavoured cold beef or veal-gravy as will nearly cover them, and stew them very gently from three-quarters of an hour to a full hour: they should be quite tender, but unbroken. Add salt, cayenne, or thickening, if required, and serve the chestnuts in their gravy. We have found it an improvement to have them floured and lightly browned in a little good butter before they are stewed, and also to add some thin strips of fresh lemon-rind to the gravy.
Chestnuts, 40 or 50; gravy, ¾ pint, or more: ¾ to 1 hour.
Obs.—A couple of bay-leaves and a slice of lean ham will give an improved flavour to the sauce should it not be sufficiently rich: the ham should be laid under the chestnuts, but not served with them. When these are to be browned, or even otherwise, they may be freed readily from the second skin by shaking them with a small bit of butter in a frying-pan over a gentle fire.
TO ROAST SIRLOIN, OR RIBS OF BEEF ... have it dredged with flower when it is first placed at the fire
[Someone needs to tell the publisher that the words “flour” and “flower” parted company several centuries ago.]
... A quarter of an hour for each pound of meat
text has of a hour
... persons who prefer beef somewhat rere:
[Spelling unchanged. The word occurs nowhere else, and “rere” is in fact the original form.]
BEEF STEAKS A LA FRANÇAISE ... send a tureen of olive sauce (see page 148,) to table with them
[Comma unchanged, though it seems superfluous.]
COLLARED BEEF ... without having the tape and cloth removed.
final . missing
A MINIATURE ROUND OF BEEF ... We give the receipt . . . in its original form
[It’s unusual for Eliza Acton not to name her source. I couldn’t find the original; like the Stufato (next recipe) it may have come directly from a friend or acquaintance.]
STUFATO ... lay in the meat, and let it just simmer for five or six hours
text has andl et
... Boil for twenty-five minutes three pounds of pipe maccaroni . . . . mix . . . without breaking the maccaroni
[A dead giveaway that this recipe did not come directly from a Neapolitan. Pasta cooked al dente is at no risk for breaking.]
MINCED COLLOPS AU NATUREL ... Mince finely
[The meat grinder was invented in Germany by the impressively named Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig, Freiherr Drais von Sauerbronn (1785–1851)—Karl Drais for short. Sources are vague about the date; one site found “Hamburg Steak” on a Delmonico’s menu as early as 1837, though the word may have had a different meaning. Already in 1822, William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy refers to “grind[ing] meat for your pigs”—but in context he doesn’t mean flesh, he means food. It may even have been a misprint for “meal”.]
SAVOURY MINCED COLLOPS ... stir to them a little catsup, Chili vinegar, or lemon-juice, a small quantity of
[Later editions replace the comma after “lemon-juice” with a : (colon), which makes the sentence work better.]
TO DRESS BEEF TONGUES ... three and a half to four hours’ boiling
[Text has “hours,” with a comma; corrected from 3rd edition.]
FRENCH RECEIPT FOR HASHED BOUILLI ... when near the point of boiling
text has point of boint of boiling
[Aaand that’s why you never interrupt the compositor when he is in the middle of a line.]
SAUNDERS ... the gravy that has run from the joint
text has from the / the joint at line break
TO TAKE THE HAIR FROM A CALF’S HEAD WITH THE SKIN ON ... the one we have given in Chapter XX.
[Chapter XX, Sweet Dishes, explains how to prepare gelatin from calves’ feet. This is not the first hint that the chapters of the book were not originally written in publication order. Perhaps Eliza Acton was a “dessert-first” kind of woman.]
PREPARED CALF’S HEAD ... an attentive cook may easily render herself expert
text has may / may at line break
BURLINGTON WHIMSEY ... when quite cold it will turn out very firmly
[At first glance this looks like an unwarranted use of an adverb in place of an adjective, like “feel badly”. But I may have been led astray by the modern sense of “turn out”.]
ROAST NECK OF VEAL.
final . missing
BORDYKE VEAL CAKE ... cayenne, 4 grains
[The prose says “half a teaspoonful of salt, a fourth as much [i.e. ⅛ tsp] of cayenne”. An earlier recipe equated ¼ tsp of cayenne with 10 grains. But who would ever weigh a single recipe’s worth of cayenne pepper or, indeed, any other spice? Was the whole thing adapted from a recipe meant to serve eight hundred?]
FRICANDEAU OF VEAL [Footnote] Called by them the noix.
[In The Modern Cook (1846), Charles Elme Francatelli explains: “The noix, or cushion, is that part of a leg of veal to which the udder adheres”. We will stipulate that he, like Eliza Acton, is using “udder” in the sense of “firm white fat” rather than, well, the udder.]
SPRING-STEW OF VEAL ... Veal, 2 lbs.;
text has 2lbs.; without space
VEAL CUTLETS A L’INDIENNE, OR INDIAN FASHION.
[It is not every day you see the words “Veal” and “Indian” in the same sentence.]
VEAL CUTLETS, A LA MODE DE LONDRES; OR, LONDON FASHION ... Savoury herbs, grated lemon-rind
text has grated, lemon-rind with superfluous comma
TO ROAST A LEG OF MUTTON [pg 268] ... four hours instead of two, it may be
[The 3rd edition has a : colon after “two”.]
TO BOIL A LEG OF MUTTON ... throw in a tablespoonful of salt, (after the first skimming),
[Text has skimming,), with paired commas. The patterns ), and ,) both occur, but ), with comma on the outside is far more common, so I picked that. (So, luckily, did the 3rd edition.)]
LAMB OR MUTTON-CUTLETS, WITH SOUBISE SAUCE ... dish them an end
[Text unchanged. The 3rd edition has the same wording, so it must make sense.]
... a puree of cucumbers
[Spelling unchanged; everywhere else it’s purée with acute accent.]
TO PRESERVE UNMELTED LARD FOR MANY MONTHS ... fine salt, ½ to ¾ lb.
. in “lb.” missing
COBBETT’S RECEIPT FOR CURING BACON ... “confined air, though cool, will taint meat sooner than the midday sun accompanied with a breeze”
[Florence Nightingale stresses that cold and ventilation are two separate and unrelated things. A cold room is not automatically a well-ventilated one, and a well-ventilated room does not have to be cold.]
... To keep the bacon sweet and good, and free from hoppers
[In Cottage Economy, Cobbett explains that hoppers are “a sort of skipping maggots, engendered by a fly which has a great relish for bacon”.]
A GENUINE YORKSHIRE RECEIPT FOR CURING HAMS AND BACON
[Final close quote supplied from 3rd edition]
KENTISH MODE OF CUTTING UP AND CURING A PIG ... sixteen stone (Kentish weight, that is to say, eight pounds to the stone, or nine stone two pounds of common weight)
[128 (27) pounds or a bit under 60 kilos, should you want to try this at home.]
SAUSAGES ... We were compelled . . . to withdraw from Chapter I
[Query: If there was room to add this explanatory footnote, why was it not equally possible to delete the half-line of body text that the footnote explains?]
TO ROAST A FOWL ... see partridges with mushrooms
[The recipe is at the top of page 377.]
FRIED CHICKEN A LA MALABAR ... fry [onions] . . . of a delicate yellow-brown. Be careful that they are not burnt
[In one of her Indian cookbooks, Madhur Jaffrey laments that people always stop browning onions when they are only half done, for fear that they will burn. “They will not”, she says emphatically, so long as you watch them closely and adjust the heat as needed.]
MINCED FOWL ... three-quarters or a pint of water
[This recipe has no time-and-ingredients section. But the third edition has the same wording, suggesting that she means “somewhere between ¾ pint and 1 pint” (15-20 ounces), and not a misprint for “¾ of a pint”.]
TO CHOOSE GAME ... only from June to Michaelmas
[I do not perfectly understand the significance of “only”, since June to Michaelmas is a longer time than October through December.]
... nothing should at any time be served of which the appearance or the odour may destroy the appetite of any person present
[Query: Did any cooks really need to have this explained to them? This passage, incidentally, may be the source of a similar admonition in Mrs. Beeton. Her wording is different, but the sentiment is the same.]
TO ROAST A HARE ... Wipe the hare dry, fill it with the forcemeat (No. 1, page 170)
text has No. 1. with . for ,
A SALMI OF MOOR-FOWL, PHEASANTS, OR PARTRIDGES ... heat the game very gradually, in it,
TO ROAST WOODCOCKS OR SNIPES ... Before the trail begins to drop
[The “trail” is the entrails of certain game birds (and fishes), when cooked and eaten with the rest of the bird. In the OED it is the last of three unrelated Trail substantives; one of their citations is from no less an authority than Alexis Soyer.]
MR. ARNOTT’S CURRIE-POWDER ... Cummin seed, two ounces.
[Whew. Mr Arnott was not as inexplicably hostile to cumin as were the contributors to Webster’s Encyclopædia (and, hence, Beeton’s Book of Household Management). There’s still way too much fenugreek, though.]
MR. ARNOTT’S CURRIE ... a garlic head, the size of a nutmeg
[I realize that 19th-century vegetables tended to be smaller than their modern counterparts—but what the hell?]
CURRIED MACCARONI ... 1 small tablespoonful
text has tablespoonsful
CURRIED OYSTERS ... The dish is considered at Madras the ne plus ultra of Indian cookery.
[This seemed so improbable that I looked up Chennai oyster recipes. Results were not heartening. The local oyster, incidentally, is Crassostrea madrasensis, preserving the older name of the city.]
CURRIED GRAVY ... In India, curds are frequently added to curries
[I hope she means “curd” in the Anglo-Indian sense, or what is now called yogurt.]
[Illustration] Artichokes à la Reine
[This illustration is referenced twice in the text: once under Carrots (“the Windsor receipt”) and again under Jerusalem Artichokes.]
SCOOPED POTATOES [Footnote] Mr. Livermore . . . to whom we have already referred
[Well, no, she hasn’t. He will be referenced several times in future chapters.]
FRIED POTATOES ... When pared round and round to a corkscrew form
text has “corkskrew”; corrected from 3rd edition
MASHED POTATOES ... press the potatoes through an earthen cullender, or bruise them to a smooth mash with a strong wooden fork or spoon, but never pound them in a mortar
[The potato masher was an even more recent invention than the meat grinder; one source points to the 1860s.]
TO BOIL ARTICHOKES ... Very young, ½ to ¾ hour; full-grown, 1¼ to 2 hours.
[Some day, when artichokes are in season, I am going to try boiling one for two hours just to see what happens.]
[One of a handful of British vegetables that never caught on in the US (sea-kale is another), the vegetable marrow is best described as a zucchini grown to the size of a watermelon. One source calmly informs me that “The vegetable is remarkable, some say, for its complete absence of flavour.” E. M. Delafield would have agreed; in The Provincial Lady in Wartime, the narrator categorically forbids her cook to make marrow jam, because she remembers how much everyone hated it in the previous war.]
TRUFFLES ... we cite the best French authority
[For a given definition of “cite”, since she never does name the source of the two following recipes.]
CARROTS. (The Windsor Receipt.) ... [Footnote] See plate, page 358.
[The illustration on page 358 is labeled Artichokes à la Reine, though it does seem to fit the description given here.]
SWEET CARROTS ... Boil quite tender . . . and rub them through the back of a fine hair-sieve
[This directive sheds light on the two-hour cooking time recommended a few recipes back for mature carrots. A cooked carrot is supposed to end up soft enough to be pushed through a hair sieve. Did Eliza Acton’s contemporaries not have teeth?]
HARICOTS BLANCS ... The large white Dutch runner, is, we believe,
[If you can find the vegetable, you may call it either SALsifee or SALsifie, with stress on the first syllable.]
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.