One cooking technique that is described a few times in this chapter is touched on briefly in Hannah’s recipe for roasting a turkey “the genteel way”: It was to gut the bird, or animal part (sometimes even the skull), cook the removed bits in some form, and then re-stuff the carcass to make it appear as if it were whole. It was about presentation of the final dish on the dining table, and eighteenth century dining presentations were elaborate, to say the least. The American holidays use the same idea, in stuffing a turkey; it’s just that our modern sensibilities find it more tasteful to serve it without feet and head! In that time and age, however, every part of the animal was used; you’ll even find quite a few recipes calling for cox-combs…
To collar a breast of mutton.
Do it the same way, and it eats very well. But you must take off the skin.
Another way to dress a breast of mutton.
Collar it as before, roast it, and baste it with half a pint of red wine, and when that is all soaked in, baste it well with butter, have a little good gravy, set the mutton upright in the dish, pour in the gravy, have a sweet sauce as for venison, and send it to table. Don’t garnish the dish, but be sure to take the skin off the mutton.
The inside of a sirloin of beef is very good done this way. If you don’t like the wine, a quart of milk, and a quarter of a pound of butter, put into the dripping-pan, does full as well to baste it.
To force a leg of lamb.
With a sharp knife carefully take out all the meat, and leave the skin whole and the fat on it, make the lean you cut out into the force-meat thus: to two pounds of meat, add three pounds of beef-suet cut fine, and beat in a marble mortar till it is very fine, and take away all the skin of the meat and suet, when mix with it four spoonfuls of grated bread, eight or ten cloves, five or six large blades of mace dried and beat find, half a large nutmeg grated, a little pepper and salt, a little lemon-peel cut fine, a very little thyme, some parsley and four eggs; mix all together, put into the skin again just as it was, in the same shape, sew it up, roast it, baste it with butter, cut the loin into steaks and fry it nicely, lay the leg in the dish and the loin round it, with stewed cauliflower (see “to dress cauliflowers”) all round upon the loin; pour a pint of good gravy into the dish, and send it to table. If you don’t like the cauliflower, it may be omitted.
To boil a leg of lamb.
Let the leg be boiled very white. An hour will do it. Cut the loin into steaks, dip them into a few crumbs of bread and egg, fry them nice and brown, boil a good deal of spinach and lay in the dish; put the leg in the middle, lay the loin round it, cut an orange in four and garnish the dish, and have butter in a cup. Some love the spinach boiled, then drained, put into a sauce-pan with a good piece of butter, and stewed.
To force a large fowl.
Cut the skin down the back, and carefully flip it up so as to make out all the meat, mix it with one pound of beef-suet, cut it small, and beat them together in a marble mortar: take a pint of large oysters cut small, two anchovies cut small, one shallot cut fine, a few sweet-herbs, a little pepper, a little nutmeg grated, and the yolks of four eggs; mix altogether and lay this on the bones, draw over the skin and sew up the back, pout the fowl into a bladder, boil it an hour and a quarter, stew some oysters in a good gravy thickened with a piece of butter rolled in flour, take the fowl out of the bladder, lay it in your dish and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with lemon.
It eats much better roasted with the same sauce.
To roast a turkey the genteel way.
First cut it down the back, and with a sharp penknife bone it, then make your force-meat thus: Take a large fowl, or a pound of veal, as much grated bread, half a pound of suet cut and beat very fine, a little beaten mace, two cloves, half a nutmeg grated, about a large tea-spoonful of lemon-peel, and the yolks of two eggs; mix all together, with a little pepper and salt, fill up the places where the bones came out, and fill the body, that it may look just as it did before, sew up the back, and roast it. You may have oyster-sauce, celery sauce, or just as you please; but good gravy in the dish, and garnish with lemon, is as good as any thing. Be sure to leave the pinions* on.
*pinion: She is either referring to the wings, or to the bindings one might have used in the sewing up and “make it look just as it did before” – process.
To stew a turkey or fowl.
First let your pot be very clean, lay four clean skewers at the bottom, lay your turkey or fowl upon them, put in a quart of gravy, take a bunch of celery, cut it small, and wash it very clean, put it into your pot, with two or three blades of mace, let it stew softly till there is just enough for sauce, then add a good piece of butter rolled in flour, two spoonfuls of red wine, two of catchup, and just as much pepper and salt as will season it, lay your fowl or turkey in the dish, pour the sauce over and sent it to table. If the fowl or turkey is enough before the sauce, take it up, and keep it up till the sauce is boiled enough, then put it in, let it boil a minute or two, and dish it up.
To stew a knuckle of veal.
Be sure to let the pot or saucepan be very clean, lay at the bottom four clean wooden skewers, wash and clean the knuckle very well, then lay it in the pot with two or three blades of mace, a little whole pepper, a little piece of thyme, a small onion, a crust of bread, and two quarts of water. Cover it down close, make it boil, then only let it simmer for two hours, and when it is enough take it up; lay it in a dish, and strain the broth over it.
Another way to stew a knuckle of veal.
Clean it as before directed, and boil it till there is just enough for sauce, add one spoonful of catchup, one of red wine, and one of walnut pickle, some truffles and morels, or some dried mushrooms cut small; boil it all together, take up the knuckle, lay it in a dish, pour the sauce over it, and send it to table.
Note, It eats very well done as the turkey, before directed.
To ragoo a piece of beef.
Take a large piece of the flank, which has fat at the top cut square, or any piece that is all meat, and has fat at the top, but no bones. The rump does well. Cut all nicely off the bone (which makes fine soup), then take a large stew-pan, and with a good piece of butter fry it a little brown all over, flouring your meat well before you put it into the pan, then pour in as much gravy as will cover it, made thus: take about a pound of coarse beef, a little piece of veal cut small, a bundle of sweet-herbs, an onion, some whole black pepper and white pepper, two or three large blades of mace, four or five cloves, a piece of carrot, a little piece of bacon steeped in vinegar a little while, a crust of bread toasted brown; put to this a quart water, and let it boil till half is wasted. While this is making, pour a quart of boiling water into the stew-pan, cover it close, and let it be stewing softly; when the gravy is done strain it, pour into the pan where the beef is, take an ounce of truffles and morels cut small, some fresh or dried mushrooms cut small, two spoonfuls of catchup, and cover it close. Let all this stew till the sauce is rich and thick; then have ready some artichoke bottoms cut into four, and a few pickled mushrooms, give them a boil or two, and when your meat is tender and your sauce quite rich, lay the meat into a dish and pour the sauce over it. You may add a sweetbread* cut in six pieces, a palate stewed tender cut into little pieces, some cocks-combs, and a few force meat balls. These are a great addition, but it will be good without.
Note, For variety, when the beef is ready and the gravy put to it, add a large bunch of celery cut small and washed clean, two spoonfuls of catchup, and a glass of red wine. Omit all the other ingredients. When the meat and celery are tender, and the sauce is rich and good, serve it up. It is also very good this way: take six large cucumbers, scoop out the seeds, pare them, cut them into slices, and do them just as you do the celery.
*Culinary names for the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck) or the pancreas (also heart, stomach, or belly) especially of the calf (ris de veau) and lamb (ris d’agneau) (although beef and pork sweetbreads are also eaten).
To force the inside of a sirloin of beef.
Take a sharp knife, and carefully lift up the fat of the inside, take out all the meat close to the bone, chop it small, take a pound of suet, and chop fine, about as many crumbs of bread, a little thyme and lemon peel, a little pepper and salt, half a nutmeg grated, and two shallots chopped fine; mix all together, with a glass of red wine, then put it into the same place, cover it with the skin and fat, skewer it down with fine skewers, and cover it with paper. Don’t take the paper off till the meat is on the dish. Take a quarter of a pint of red wine, two shallots shred small, boil them, and pour into the dish, with the gravy which comes out of the meat; it eats well. Spit your meat before you take out the inside.
Another way to force a sirloin.
When it is quite roasted, take it up, and lay it in the dish with the inside uppermost, with a sharp knife lift up the skin, hack and cut the inside very fine, shake a little pepper and salt over it, with two shallots, cover it with the skin, and send it to table. You may add red wine or vinegar, just as you like.
To force the inside of a rump of beef.
You may do it just in the same manner, only lift up the outside skin, take the middle of the meat, and do as before directed; put it into the same place, and with fine skewers put it down close.
A rolled rump of beef.
Cut the meat all off the bone whole, slit the inside down from top to bottom, but not through the skin, spread it open, take the flesh of two fowls and beef-suet, an equal quantity, and as much cold boiled ham, if you have it, a little pepper, an anchovy, a nutmeg grated, a little thyme, a good deal of parsley, a few mushrooms, and chop them all together, beat them in a mortar, with a half-pint bason full of crumbs of bread; mix all these together, with four yolks of eggs, lay it into the meat, cover it up, and roll it round, stick one skewer in, and tie it with a packthread cross and cross to hold it together; take a pot or large saucepan that will just hold it, lay a layer of bacon and a layer of beef cut in thin slices, a piece of carrot, some whole pepper, mace, sweet herbs, and a large onion, lay the rolled beef on it, just put water enough to the top of the beef; cover it close, and let it stew very softly on a slow fire for eight or ten house, but not to fast. When you find the beef tender, which you will know by running a skewer into the meat, then take it up, cover it up hot, boil the gravy till it is good, then strain it off, and add some mushrooms chopped, some truffles and morels cut small, two spoonfuls of red or white wine, the yolks of two eggs and a piece of butter rolled in flour; boil it together, set the meat before the fire, baste it with butter, and throw crumbs of bread all over it: when the sauce is enough, lay the meat into the dish and pour the sauce over it. Take care the eggs do not curd.
To boil a rump of beef the French fashion.
Take a rump of beef, boil it half an hour, take it up, lay it into a large deep pewter dish or stew-pan, cut three or four gashes in it all along the side, rub the gashes with pepper and salt, and pour into the dish a pint of red wine, as much hot water, two or three large onions cut small, the hearts of eight or ten lettuces cut small, and a good piece of butter rolled in a little flour; lay the fleshy part of the meat downwards, cover it close, let it stew an hour and a half over a charcoal fire, or a very slow coal fire. Observe that the butcher chops the bone so close, that the meat may lie as flat as you can in the dish. When it is enough, take the beef, lay it in the dish, and pour the sauce over it.
Note, When you do it in a pewter dish, it is best done over a chaffing-dish of hot coals, with a bit or two of charcoal to keep it alive.
Take a briscuit of beef, half a pound of coarse sugar, two ounces of bay salt, a pound of common salt; mix all together, and rub the beef, lay it in an earthen pan, and turn it every day. It may lie a fortnight in the pickle; then boil it, and serve it up either with savoys or pease pudding.
Note, It eats much finer cold, cut into slices, and sent to table.
Beef à la daub.
You may take a buttock or a rump of beef, lard it, fry it brown in some sweet butter, then put it into a pot that will just hold it; put in some broth or gravy hot, some pepper, cloves, mace, and a bundle of sweet-herbs, stew it four hours till it is tender, and season it with salt; take half a pint of gravy, two sweetbreads* cut into eight pieces, some truffles and morels, palates, artichoke bottoms, and mushrooms, boil all together, lay your beef into the dish; strain the liquor into the sauce, and boil all together. If it is not thick enough, roll a piece of butter in flour, and boil in it; pour this all over the beef. Take forcemeat rolled in pieces half as long as one’s finger; dip them into batter made with eggs, and fry them brown; fry some sippets** dipped into batter cut three corner-ways, stick them into the meat, and garnish with the force meat.
** Sippet is the diminutive of sop, which was usually a small piece of bread to dip into a soup or broth.
* Culinary names for the thymus (throat, gullet, or neck) or the pancreas (also heart, stomach, or belly) especially of the calf (ris de veau) and lamb (ris d’agneau) (although beef and pork sweetbreads are also eaten).
Beef à la mode in pieces.
You must take a buttock of beef, cut it into two-pound pieces, lard them with bacon, fry them brown, put them into a pot that will just hold them, put in two quarts of broth or gravy, a few sweet-herbs, an onion, some mace, cloves, nutmeg, pepper and salt; when that is done, cover it close, and stew it till it is tender, skim off all the fat, lay the meat in the dish, and strain the sauce over it. You may serve it up hot or cold.
Beef à la mode, the French way.
Take a piece of the buttock of beef, and some fat bacon cut into little long bits, then take two tea-spoonfuls of salt, one teaspoonful of beaten pepper, one of beaten mace, and one of nutmeg; mix all together, have your larding pins ready, first dip the bacon in vinegar, then roll it in your spice, and lard your beef very thick and nice; put the meat into a pot with two or three large onions, a good piece of lemon-peel, a bundle of herbs, and three or four spoonfuls of vinegar; cover it down close, and put a wet cloth round the edge of the cover, that no steam can get out, and set it over a very slow fire: when you think one side is done enough, turn the other, and cover it with the rind of the bacon; cover the pot close again as before, and when it is enough (which it will be when quite tender) take it up and lay it in your dish, take off all the fat from the gravy, and pour the gravy over the meat. If you chuse your beef to be red, you may rub it with saltpetre overnight.
Note, You must take great care in doing your beef this way that your fire is very slow; it will at least take six hours doing, if the piece be any thing large. If you would have the sauce very rich, boil half an ounce of truffles and morels in half a pint of good gravy, till they are very tender, and all a gill of pickled mushrooms, but fresh ones are best; mix all together with the gravy of the meat, and pour it over your beef. You must mind and beat all your spices very fine; and if you have not enough, mix some more, according to the bigness of your beef.
Take a rump of beef, cut it into steaks half a quarter long, about an inch thick, let them be square; lay on some good forcemeat made with veal, roll them, tie them once round with a hard knot, dip them in egg, crumbs of bread, and grated nutmeg, and a little pepper and salt. The best way is to roast them, or fry them brown in fresh butter, lay them every one on a bay-leaf, and cover them over one with a piece of bacon toasted, have some good gravy, a few truffles and morels, and mushrooms; boil all together, pour into the dish, and send it to table.
They are good done the same way, only roll them narrow at one end and broad at the other. Fry them of a fine brown. Omit the bay leaf, but lay little pieces of bacon about two inches long on them. The same sauce. Garnish with lemon.
Cut them into thin pieces about two inches long, beat them with the back of a knife very well, grate some nutmeg, flour them a little, lay them in a stew-pan, put in as much water as you think will do for sauce, half an onion cut small, a little piece of lemon-peel cut small, a bundle of sweet-herbs, a little pepper and salt, a piece of butter rolled in a little flour. Set them on a slow fire: when they begin to simmer, stir them now and then; when they begin to be hot, ten minutes will do them, but take care they do not boil. Take out the sweet-herbs, pour it into the dish, and send it to table.
Note, You may do the inside of a sirloin of beef in the same manner, the day after it is roasted, only do not beat them, but cut them thin.
N.B. You may do this dish between two pewter dishes, hang them between two chairs, take six sheets of white brown paper, tear them into slips, and burn them under the dish once piece at a time.
* collops – a small piece of meat, either thin slices or minced meat of either beef, lamb or venison.
To stew beef-steaks.
Take rump steaks, pepper and salt them, lay them in a stew-pan, pour in half a pint of water, a blade or two of mace, two or three cloves, a little bundle of sweet-herbs, an anchovy, a piece of butter rolled in flour, a glass of white wine, and an onion; cover them close, and let them stew softly till they are tender, then take out the steaks, flour them, fry them in fresh butter, and pour away all the fat, strain the sauce they were stewed in, and pour into the pan; toss it all up together till the sauce is quite hot and thick. If you add a quarter of a pint of oysters, it will make it the better. Lay the steaks into the dish, and pour the sauce over them. Garnish with any pickle you like.