Basic Construction And Carpentry Techniques Home






Custom Search







Harper’s Stereotype Edition.

THE
COOK’S ORACLE;
AND
HOUSEKEEPER’S MANUAL.

CONTAINING
Receipts for Cookery,
AND
DIRECTIONS FOR CARVING.

ALSO,
THE ART OF COMPOSING THE MOST SIMPLE AND MOST HIGHLY FINISHED
BROTHS, GRAVIES, SOUPS, SAUCES, STORE SAUCES, AND FLAVOURING
ESSENCES; PASTRY, PRESERVES, PUDDINGS, PICKLES, &c.

WITH
A COMPLETE SYSTEM OF COOKERY
FOR CATHOLIC FAMILIES.

THE QUANTITY OF EACH ARTICLE IS ACCURATELY STATED BY WEIGHT AND
MEASURE; BEING THE RESULT OF ACTUAL EXPERIMENTS
INSTITUTED IN THE KITCHEN OF

WILLIAM KITCHINER, M.D.


ADAPTED TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC
BY A MEDICAL GENTLEMAN.


FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.


New-York:
PRINTED BY J. & J. HARPER, 82 CLIFF-ST.

SOLD BY COLLINS AND HANNAY, COLLINS AND CO., G. AND C. AND H. CARVILL,
WILLIAM B. GILLEY, E. BLISS, O. A. ROORBACH, WHITE, GALLAHER, AND WHITE,
C. S. FRANCIS, WILLIAM BURGESS, JR., AND N. B. HOLMES;—PHILADELPHIA,
E. L. CAREY AND A. HART, AND JOHN GRIGG;—ALBANY, O. STEELE, AND W. C. LITTLE.


1830.


[ii]

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK, ss.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 20th day of November, A. D. 1829, in the fifty-fourth year of the independence of the United States of America, J. & J. HARPER, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit:

“The Cook’s Oracle, and Housekeeper’s Manual, Containing Receipts for Cookery, and Directions for Carving; also the Art of Composing the most simple and most highly finished Broths, Gravies, Soups, Sauces, Store Sauces, and Flavouring Essences; Pastry, Preserves, Puddings, Pickles, &c. With a Complete System of Cookery for Catholic Families. The Quantity of each Article is accurately stated by Weight and Measure; being the Result of Actual Experiments instituted in the Kitchen of William Kitchiner, M.D. Adapted to the American Public by a Medical Gentleman.”

In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled “An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned.” And also to an Act, entitled “An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints.”

FREDERICK I. BETTS,
Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.


[iii]

ADVERTISEMENT.


The publishers have now the pleasure of presenting to the American public, Dr. Kitchiner’s justly celebrated work, entitled “The Cook’s Oracle, and Housekeeper’s Manual,” with numerous and valuable improvements, by a medical gentleman of this city.

The work contains a store of valuable information, which, it is confidently believed, will not only prove highly advantageous to young and inexperienced housekeepers, but also to more experienced matrons—to all, indeed, who are desirous of enjoying, in the highest degree, the good things which Nature has so abundantly bestowed upon us.

The “Cook’s Oracle” has been adjudged, by connoisseurs in this country and in Great Britain, to contain the best possible instructions on the subject of serving up, beautifully and economically, the productions of the water, land, and air, in such a manner as to render them most pleasant to the eye, and agreeable to the palate.

Numerous notices, in commendation of the work, might be selected from respectable European journals; but the mere fact, that within twelve years, seventy thousand copies of it have been purchased by the English public, is sufficient evidence of its reception and merits.

New-York, December, 1829.


[iv]

PREFACE
TO
THE SEVENTH EDITION.


The whole of this Work has, a seventh time, been carefully revised; but this last time I have found little to add, and little to alter.

I have bestowed as much attention on each of the 500 receipts as if the whole merit of the book was to be estimated entirely by the accuracy of my detail of one particular process.

The increasing demand for “The Cook’s Oracle,” amounting in 1824 to the extraordinary number of upwards of 45,000, has been stimulus enough to excite any man to submit to the most unremitting study; and the Editor has felt it as an imperative duty to exert himself to the utmost to render “The Cook’s Oracle” a faithful narrative of all that is known of the various subjects it professes to treat.


[v]

PREFACE.


Among the multitudes of causes which concur to impair health and produce disease, the most general is the improper quality of our food: this most frequently arises from the injudicious manner in which it is prepared: yet strange, “passing strange,” this is the only one for which a remedy has not been sought; few persons bestow half so much attention on the preservation of their own health, as they daily devote to that of their dogs and horses.

The observations of the Guardians of Health respecting regimen, &c. have formed no more than a catalogue of those articles of food, which they have considered most proper for particular constitutions.

Some medical writers have, “in good set terms,” warned us against the pernicious effects of improper diet; but not one has been so kind as to take the trouble to direct us how to prepare food properly; excepting only the contributions of Count Rumford, who says, in pages 16 and 70 of his tenth Essay, “however low and vulgar this subject has hitherto generally been thought to be—in what Art or Science could improvements be made that would more powerfully contribute to increase the comforts and enjoyments of mankind? Would to God! that I could fix the public attention to this subject!

The Editor has endeavoured to write the following[vi] receipts so plainly, that they may be as easily understood in the kitchen as he trusts they will be relished in the dining-room; and has been more ambitious to present to the Public a Work which will contribute to the daily comfort of all, than to seem elaborately scientific.

The practical part of the philosophy of the kitchen is certainly not the most agreeable; gastrology has to contend with its full share of those great impediments to all great improvements in scientific pursuits; the prejudices of the ignorant, and the misrepresentations of the envious.

The sagacity to comprehend and estimate the importance of any uncontemplated improvement, is confined to the very few on whom nature has bestowed a sufficient degree of perfection of the sense which is to measure it;—the candour to make a fair report of it, is still more uncommon; and the kindness to encourage it cannot often be expected from those whose most vital interest it is to prevent the developement of that by which their own importance, perhaps their only means of existence, may be for ever eclipsed: so, as Pope says, how many are

“Condemn’d in business or in arts to drudge,
Without a rival, or without a judge:
All fear, none aid you, and few understand.”

Improvements in Agriculture and the Breed of Cattle have been encouraged by premiums. Those who have obtained them, have been hailed as benefactors to society! but the Art of making use of these means of ameliorating Life and supporting a healthful ExistenceCookery—has been neglected!!

While the cultivators of the raw materials are distinguished and rewarded, the attempt to improve the pro[vii]cesses, without which neither vegetable nor animal substances are fit for the food of man (astonishing to say), has been ridiculed, as unworthy the attention of a rational being!!

The most usefulvii-* art—which the Editor has chosen to endeavour to illustrate, because nobody else has, and because he knew not how he could employ some leisure hours more beneficially for mankind, than to teach them to combine the “utile” with the “dulce,” and to increase their pleasures, without impairing their health, or impoverishing their fortune, has been for many years his favourite employment; and “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life by Food, &c. &c.” and this Work, have insensibly become repositories for whatever observations he has made which he thought would make us “Live Happy, and Live Long!!!

The Editor has considered the Art of Cookery, not merely as a mechanical operation, fit only for working cooks, but as the Analeptic part of the Art of Physic.

“How best the fickle fabric to support
Of mortal man; in healthful body how
A healthful mind the longest to maintain,”
(Armstrong,)

is an occupation neither unbecoming nor unworthy philosophers of the highest class: such only can comprehend its importance; which amounts to no less, than not only the enjoyment of the present moment, but the more precious advantage of improving and preserving health, and prolonging life, which depend on duly replenishing the daily[viii] waste of the human frame with materials pregnant with nutriment and easy of digestion.

If medicine be ranked among those arts which dignify their professors, cookery may lay claim to an equal, if not a superior, distinction; to prevent diseases is surely a more advantageous art to mankind than to cure them. “Physicians should be good cooks, at least in theory.”—Dr. Mandeville on Hypochondriasis, p. 316.

The learned Dr. Arbuthnot observes, in page 3 of the preface to his Essay on Aliment, that “the choice and measure of the materials of which our body is composed, what we take daily by pounds, is at least of as much importance as what we take seldom, and only by grains and spoonfuls.”

Those in whom the organ of taste is obtuse, or who have been brought up in the happy habit of being content with humble fare, whose health is so firm, that it needs no artificial adjustment; who, with the appetite of a cormorant, have the digestion of an ostrich, and eagerly devour whatever is set before them without asking any questions about what it is, or how it has been prepared—may perhaps imagine that the Editor has sometimes been rather over-much refining the business of the kitchen.

“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”

But as few are so fortunate as to be trained up to understand how well it is worth their while to cultivate such habits of Spartan forbearance, we cannot perform our duty in registering wholesome precepts, in a higher degree, than by disarming luxury of its sting, and making the refinements of Modern Cookery minister not merely to sensual[ix] gratification, but at the same time support the substantial excitement of “mens sana in corpore sano.”

Delicate and nervous invalids, who have unfortunately a sensitive palate, and have been accustomed to a luxurious variety of savoury sauces, and highly seasoned viands; those who, from the infirmity of age, are become incapable of correcting habits created by absurd indulgence in youth, are entitled to some consideration; and, for their sake, the Elements of Opsology are explained in the most intelligent manner; and I have assisted the memory of young cooks, by annexing to each dish the various sauces which usually accompany it, referring to their numbers in the work.

Some idle idiots have remarked to the Author, that “there were really so many references from one receipt to another, that it is exceedingly troublesome indeed; they are directed sometimes to turn to half a dozen numbers:” this is quite true. If the Author had not adopted this plan of reference, his book, to be equally explicit, must have been ten times as big; his object has been to give as much information as possible in as few pages, and for as few pence, as possible.

By reducing culinary operations to something like a certainty, invalids will no longer be entirely indebted to chance, whether they shall recover and live long, and comfortably, or speedily die of starvation in the midst of plenty.

These rules and orders for the regulation of the business of the kitchen have been extremely beneficial to the Editor’s own health and comfort. He hopes they will be equally so to others: they will help those who enjoy health to preserve it; teach those who have delicate and irritable stomachs how to keep them in good temper; and, with a[x] little discretion, enable them to indulge occasionally, not only with impunity, but with advantage, in all those alimentary pleasures which a rational epicure can desire.

There is no question more frequently asked, or which a medical man finds more difficulty in answering, to the satisfaction of himself and his patient, than—What do you wish me to eat?

The most judicious choice of aliment will avail nothing, unless the culinary preparation of it be equally judicious. How often is the skill of a pains-taking physician counteracted by want of corresponding attention to the preparation of food; and the poor patient, instead of deriving nourishment, is distressed by indigestion!

Parmentier, in his Code Pharmaceutique, has given a chapter on the preparation of food: some of the following receipts are offered as an humble attempt to form a sort of Appendix to the Pharmacopœia, and like pharmaceutic prescriptions, they are precisely adjusted by weight and measure. The author of a cookery book, first published in 1824, has claimed this act of industry of mine as his own original invention; the only notice I shall take of his pretensions is to say, that the first edition of “The Cook’s Oracle” appeared in 1817.

By ordering such receipts of the Cook’s Oracle as appear adapted to the case, the recovery of the patient and the credit of the physician, as far as relates to the administration of aliment, need no longer depend on the discretion of the cook. For instance: Mutton Broth, No. 490, or No. 564; Toast and Water, No. 463; Water Gruel, No. 572; Beef Tea, No. 563; and Portable Soup, No. 252. This concentrated Essence of Meat will be found a great[xi] acquisition to the comfort of the army, the navy, the traveller, and the invalid. By dissolving half an ounce of it in half a pint of hot water, you have in a few minutes half a pint of good Broth for three halfpence. The utility of such accurate and precise directions for preparing food, is to travellers incalculable; for, by translating the receipt, any person may prepare what is desired as perfectly as a good English cook.

He has also circumstantially detailed the easiest, least expensive, and most salubrious methods of preparing those highly finished soups, sauces, ragoûts, and piquante relishes, which the most ingenious “officers of the mouth” have invented for the amusement of thorough-bred “grands gourmands.”

It has been his aim to render food acceptable to the palate, without being expensive to the purse, or offensive to the stomach; nourishing without being inflammatory, and savoury without being surfeiting; constantly endeavouring to hold the balance equal, between the agreeable and the wholesome, the epicure and the economist.

He has not presumed to recommend one receipt that has not been previously and repeatedly proved in his own kitchen, which has not been approved by the most accomplished cooks; and has, moreover, been eaten with unanimous applause by a Committee of Taste, composed of some of the most illustrious gastropholists of this luxurious metropolis.

The Editor has been materially assisted by Mr. Henry Osborne, the excellent cook to the late Sir Joseph Banks; that worthy President of the Royal Society was so sensible of the importance of the subject the Editor was investi[xii]gating, that he sent his cook to assist him in his arduous task; and many of the receipts in this edition are much improved by his suggestions and corrections. See No. 560.

This is the only English Cookery Book which has been written from the real experiments of a housekeeper for the benefit of housekeepers; which the reader will soon perceive by the minute attention that has been employed to elucidate and improve the Art of Plain Cookery; detailing many particulars and precautions, which may at first appear frivolous, but which experience will prove to be essential: to teach a common cook how to provide, and to prepare, common food so frugally, and so perfectly, that the plain every-day family fare of the most economical housekeeper, may, with scarcely additional expense, or any additional trouble, be a satisfactory entertainment for an epicure or an invalid.

By an attentive consideration of “the Rudiments of Cookery,” and the respective receipts, the most ignorant novice in the business of the kitchen, may work with the utmost facility and certainty of success, and soon become a good cook.

Will all the other books of cookery that ever were printed do this? To give his readers an idea of the immense labour attendant upon this Work, it may be only necessary for the Author to state, that he has patiently pioneered through more than two hundred cookery books before he set about recording these results of his own experiments! The table of the most economical family may, by the help of this book, be entertained with as much elegance as that of a sovereign prince.

London, 1829.

vii-* “The only test of the utility of knowledge, is its promoting the happiness of mankind.”—Dr. Stark on Diet, p. 90.


[xiii]

CONTENTS.


Page
Preface v
—— to Seventh Edition iv
Introduction 15
Culinary Curiosities 32
Invitations to Dinner 36
Carving 43
Friendly Advice to Cooks 45
Table of Weights, &c. 65

RUDIMENTS OF COOKERY.

Chapter 1. Boiling 66
—— Baking 72
—— 2. Roasting 74
—— 3. Frying 80
—— 4. Broiling 82
—— 5. Vegetables 83
—— 6. Fish 86
Fish Sauces 88
—— 7. Broths and Soups 89
—— 8. Gravies and Sauces 100
—— 9. Made Dishes 106
Receipts 108
Marketing Tables 355

APPENDIX.

Pastry, Confectionery, Preserves, &c. 360
Bread, &c. 390
Observations on Puddings and Pies 392
Pickles 398
Various useful Family Receipts 405
Observations on Carving 409
Index 421

[xiv]


[15]

INTRODUCTION.

The following receipts are not a mere marrowless collection of shreds and patches, and cuttings and pastings, but a bonâ fide register of practical facts,—accumulated by a perseverance not to be subdued or evaporated by the igniferous terrors of a roasting fire in the dog-days,—in defiance of the odoriferous and calefacient repellents of roasting, boiling, frying, and broiling;—moreover, the author has submitted to a labour no preceding cookery-book-maker, perhaps, ever attempted to encounter,—having eaten each receipt before he set it down in his book.

They have all been heartily welcomed by a sufficiently well-educated palate, and a rather fastidious stomach:—perhaps this certificate of the reception of the respective preparations, will partly apologize for the book containing a smaller number of them than preceding writers on this gratifying subject have transcribed—for the amusement of “every man’s master,” the STOMACH.15-*

Numerous as are the receipts in former books, they vary little from each other, except in the name given to them; the processes of cookery are very few: I have endeavoured to describe each, in so plain and circumstantial a manner, as I hope will be easily understood, even by the amateur, who is unacquainted with the practical part of culinary concerns.

Old housekeepers may think I have been tediously minute on many points which may appear trifling: my predecessors seem to have considered the RUDIMENTS of COOKERY quite unworthy of attention. These little delicate distinctions constitute all the difference between a common and an elegant table, and are not trifles to the YOUNG HOUSEKEEPERS who must learn them either from the communication of others or blunder on till their own slowly accumulating and dear-bought experience teaches them.

[16]A wish to save time, trouble and money to inexperienced housekeepers and cooks, and to bring the enjoyments and indulgences of the opulent within reach of the middle ranks of society, were my motives for publishing this book. I could accomplish it only by supposing the reader (when he first opens it) to be as ignorant of cookery as I was, when I first thought of writing on the subject.

I have done my best to contribute to the comfort of my fellow-creatures: by a careful attention to the directions herein given, the most ignorant may easily learn to prepare food, not only in an agreeable and wholesome, but in an elegant and economical manner.

This task seems to have been left for me; and I have endeavoured to collect and communicate, in the clearest and most intelligible manner, the whole of the heretofore abstruse mysteries of the culinary art, which are herein, I hope, so plainly developed, that the most inexperienced student in the occult art of cookery, may work from my receipts with the utmost facility.

I was perfectly aware of the extreme difficulty of teaching those who are entirely unacquainted with the subject, and of explaining my ideas effectually, by mere receipts, to those who never shook hands with a stewpan.

In my anxiety to be readily understood, I have been under the necessity of occasionally repeating the same directions in different parts of the book; but I would rather be censured for repetition than for obscurity, and hope not to be accused of affectation, while my intention is perspicuity.

Our neighbours of France are so justly famous for their skill in the affairs of the kitchen, that the adage says, “As many Frenchmen as many cooks:” surrounded as they are by a profusion of the most delicious wines, and seducing liqueurs offering every temptation to render drunkenness delightful, yet a tippling Frenchman is a “rara avis.”

They know how so easily to keep life in sufficient repair by good eating, that they require little or no screwing up with liquid stimuli. This accounts for that “toujours gai,” and happy equilibrium of the animal spirits which they enjoy with more regularity than any people: their elastic stomachs, unimpaired by spirituous liquors, digest vigorously the food they sagaciously prepare and render easily assimilable, by cooking it sufficiently,—wisely contriving to get half the work of the stomach done by fire and water, till

“The tender morsels on the palate melt,
And all the force of cookery is felt.”

[17]

See Nos. 5 and 238, &c.

The cardinal virtues of cookery, “CLEANLINESS, FRUGALITY, NOURISHMENT, AND PALATABLENESS,” preside over each preparation; for I have not presumed to insert a single composition, without previously obtaining the “imprimatur” of an enlightened and indefatigable “COMMITTEE OF TASTE,” (composed of thorough-bred GRANDS GOURMANDS of the first magnitude,) whose cordial co-operation I cannot too highly praise; and here do I most gratefully record the unremitting zeal they manifested during their arduous progress of proving the respective recipes: they were so truly philosophically and disinterestedly regardless of the wear and tear of teeth and stomach, that their labour appeared a pleasure to them. Their laudable perseverance has enabled me to give the inexperienced amateur an unerring guide how to excite as much pleasure as possible on the palate, and occasion as little trouble as possible to the principal viscera, and has hardly been exceeded by those determined spirits who lately in the Polar expedition braved the other extreme of temperature, &c. in spite of whales, bears, icebergs, and starvation.

Every attention has been paid in directing the proportions of the following compositions; not merely to make them inviting to the appetite, but agreeable and useful to the stomach—nourishing without being inflammatory, and savoury without being surfeiting.

I have written for those who make nourishment the chief end of eating,17-* and do not desire to provoke appetite beyond[18] the powers and necessities of nature; proceeding, however, on the purest epicurean principles of indulging the palate as far as it can be done without injury or offence to the stomach, and forbidding18-* nothing but what is absolutely unfriendly to health.

——“That which is not good, is not delicious
To a well-govern’d and wise appetite.”—Milton.

This is by no means so difficult a task as some gloomy philosophers (uninitiated in culinary science) have tried to make the world believe; who seem to have delighted in persuading you, that every thing that is nice must be noxious, and that every thing that is nasty is wholesome.

“How charming is divine philosophy?
Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo’s lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectar’d sweets,
Where no crude surfeit reigns.”—Milton.

Worthy William Shakspeare declared he never found a philosopher who could endure the toothache patiently:—the Editor protests that he has not yet overtaken one who did not love a feast.

Those cynical slaves who are so silly as to suppose it unbecoming a wise man to indulge in the common comforts of life, should be answered in the words of the French philosopher. “Hey—what, do you philosophers eat dainties?”[19] said a gay Marquess. “Do you think,” replied Descartes, “that God made good things only for fools?”

Every individual, who is not perfectly imbecile and void of understanding, is an epicure in his own way. The epicures in boiling of potatoes are innumerable. The perfection of all enjoyment depends on the perfection of the faculties of the mind and body; therefore, the temperate man is the greatest epicure, and the only true voluptuary.

The pleasures of the table have been highly appreciated and carefully cultivated in all countries and in all ages;19-* and in spite of all the stoics, every one will allow they are the first and the last we enjoy, and those we taste the oftenest,—above a thousand times in a year, every year of our lives!

The stomach is the mainspring of our system. If it be not sufficiently wound up to warm the heart and support the circulation, the whole business of life will, in proportion, be ineffectively performed: we can neither think with precision, walk with vigour, sit down with comfort, nor sleep with tranquillity.

There would be no difficulty in proving that it influences (much more than people in general imagine) all our actions: the destiny of nations has often depended upon the more or less laborious digestion of a prime minister.19-† See a very curious anecdote in the memoirs of Count Zinzendorff in Dodsley’s Annual Register for 1762. 3d edition, p. 32.

The philosopher Pythagoras seems to have been extremely nice in eating; among his absolute injunctions to his disciples, he commands them to “abstain from beans.”

This ancient sage has been imitated by the learned who have discoursed on this subject since, who are liberal of their negative, and niggardly of their positive precepts—in the ratio, that it is easier to tell you not to do this, than to teach you how to do that.

Our great English moralist Dr. S. Johnson, his biographer Boswell tells us, “was a man of very nice discernment in the science of cookery,” and talked of good eating with uncommon satisfaction. “Some people,” said he, “have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat; for my part, I mind my belly very studiously and very carefully, and I look upon it that he who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind any thing else.”

[20]The Dr. might have said, cannot mind any thing else. The energy of our BRAINS is sadly dependent on the behaviour of our BOWELS.20-* Those who say, ’Tis no matter what we eat or what we drink, may as well say, ’Tis no matter whether we eat, or whether we drink.

The following anecdotes I copy from Boswell’s life of Johnson.

Johnson.—“I could write a better book of cookery than has ever yet been written; it should be a book on philosophical principles. I would tell what is the best butcher’s meat, the proper seasons of different vegetables, and then, how to roast, and boil, and to compound.”

Dilly.—“Mrs. Glasse’s cookery, which is the best, was written by Dr. Hill.”

Johnson.—“Well, Sir—this shows how much better the subject of cookery20-† may be treated by a philosopher;20-‡ but[21] you shall see what a book of cookery I shall make, and shall agree with Mr. Dilly for the copyright.”

Miss Seward.—“That would be Hercules with the distaff indeed!”

Johnson.—“No, madam; women can spin very well, but they cannot make a good book of cookery.” See vol. iii. p. 311.

Mr. B. adds, “I never knew a man who relished good eating more than he did: when at table, he was totally absorbed in the business of the moment: nor would he, unless in very high company, say one word, or even pay the least attention to what was said by others, until he had satisfied his appetite.”

The peculiarities of his constitution were as great as those of his character: luxury and intemperance are relative terms, depending on other circumstances than mere quantity and quality. Nature gave him an excellent palate, and a craving appetite, and his intense application rendered large supplies of nourishment absolutely necessary to recruit his exhausted spirits.

The fact is, this great man had found out that animal and intellectual vigour,21-* are much more entirely dependent upon each other than is commonly understood; especially in those constitutions whose digestive and chylopoietic organs are capricious and easily put out of tune, or absorb the “pabulum vitæ” indolently and imperfectly: with such, it is only now and then that the “sensorium commune” vibrates with the full tone of accurately considerative, or creative energy. “His favourite dainties were, a leg of pork boiled till it dropped from the bone, a veal-pie, with plums and sugar, or the outside cut of a salt buttock of beef. With regard to drink, his liking was for the strongest, as it was not the flavour, but the effect that he desired.” Mr. Smale’s Account of Dr. Johnson’s Journey into Wales, 1816, p. 174.

Thus does the HEALTH always, and very often the LIFE of invalids, and those who have weak and infirm STOMACHS, depend upon the care and skill of the COOK. Our forefathers were so sensible of this, that in days of yore no man of consequence thought of making a day’s journey without taking his “Magister Coquorum” with him.

[22]The rarity of this talent in a high degree is so well understood, that besides very considerable pecuniary compensation, his majesty’s first and second cooks22-* are now esquires by their office. We have every reason to suppose they were persons of equal dignity heretofore.

In Dr. Pegge’s “Forme of Cury,” 8vo. London, 1780, we read, that when Cardinal Otto, the Pope’s legate, was at Oxford, A. D. 1248, his brother officiated as “Magister Coquinæ.”

This important post has always been held as a situation of high trust and confidence; and the “Magnus Coquus,” Anglicè, the Master Kitchener, has, time immemorial, been an officer of considerable dignity in the palaces of princes.

The cook in Plautus (pseudol) is called “Hominum servatorem,” the preserver of mankind; and by Mercierun médecin qui guérit radicalement deux maladies mortelles, la faim et la soif.”

The Norman conqueror William bestowed several portions of land on these highly-favoured domestics, the “Coquorum Præpositus,” and “Coquus Regius;” a manor was bestowed on Robert Argyllon the “Grand Queux,” to be held by the following service. See that venerable record, the doomsday book.

“Robert Argyllon holdeth one carucate of land in Addington in the county of Surrey, by the service of making one mess in an earthen pot in the kitchen of our Lord the King, on the day of his coronation, called De la Groute,” i. e. a kind of plum-porridge, or water-gruel with plums in it. This dish is still served up at the royal table at coronations, by the Lord of the said manor of Addington.

At the coronation of King George IV., Court of Claims, July 12, 1820:

“The petition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which was presented by Sir G. Nayler, claiming to perform the service of presenting a dish of De la Groute to the King at the banquet, was considered by the Court, and decided to be allowed.”

A good dinner is one of the greatest enjoyments of human life; and as the practice of cookery is attended with so many discouraging difficulties,22-† so many disgusting and disagree[23]able circumstances, and even dangers, we ought to have some regard for those who encounter them to procure us pleasure, and to reward their attention by rendering their situation every way as comfortable and agreeable as we can. He who preaches integrity to those in the kitchen, (see “Advice to Cooks,”) may be permitted to recommend liberality to those in the parlour; they are indeed the sources of each other. Depend upon it, “True self-love and social are the same;” “Do as you would be done by:” give those you are obliged to trust every inducement to be honest, and no temptation to play tricks.

When you consider that a good servant eats23-* no more than a bad one, how much waste is occasioned by provisions being dressed in a slovenly and unskilful manner, and how much a good cook (to whom the conduct of the kitchen is confided) can save you by careful management, no housekeeper will hardly deem it an unwise speculation (it is certainly an amiable experiment), to invite the honesty and industry of domestics, by setting them an example of liberality—at least, show them, that “According to their pains will be their gains.”

Avoid all approaches towards familiarity; which, to a proverb, is accompanied by contempt, and soon breaks the neck of obedience.

A lady gave us the following account of the progress of a favourite.

“The first year, she was an excellent servant; the second, a kind mistress; the third, an intolerable tyrant; at whose dismissal, every creature about my house rejoiced heartily.”

However, servants are more likely to be praised into good conduct, than scolded out of bad. Always commend them when they do right. To cherish the desire of pleasing in them, you must show them that you are pleased:[24]

“Be to their faults a little blind,
And to their virtues very kind.”

By such conduct, ordinary servants may be converted into good ones: few are so hardened, as not to feel gratified when they are kindly and liberally treated.

It is a good maxim to select servants not younger than THIRTY:—before that age, however comfortable you may endeavour to make them, their want of experience, and the hope of something still better, prevents their being satisfied with their present state; after, they have had the benefit of experience: if they are tolerably comfortable, they will endeavour to deserve the smiles of even a moderately kind master, for fear they may change for the worse.

Life may indeed be very fairly divided into the seasons of HOPE and FEAR. In YOUTH, we hope every thing may be right: in AGE, we fear every thing will be wrong.

Do not discharge a good servant for a slight offence:—

“Bear and forbear, thus preached the stoic sages,
And in two words, include the sense of pages.”—Pope.

Human nature is the same in all stations: if you can convince your servants that you have a generous and considerate regard for their health and comfort, why should you imagine that they will be insensible to the good they receive?

Impose no commands but what are reasonable, nor reprove but with justice and temper: the best way to ensure which is, never to lecture them till at least one day after they have offended you.

If they have any particular hardship to endure in your service, let them see that you are concerned for the necessity of imposing it.

If they are sick, remember you are their patron as well as their master: remit their labour, and give them all the assistance of food, physic, and every comfort in your power. Tender assiduity about an invalid is half a cure; it is a balsam to the mind, which has a most powerful effect on the body, soothes the sharpest pains, and strengthens beyond the richest cordial.

Ye who think that to protect and encourage virtue is the best preventive from vice, reward your female servants liberally.

Charity should begin at home. Prevention is preferable to cure—but I have no objection to see your names ornamenting the lists of subscribers to foundling hospitals and[25] female penitentiaries.25-* Gentle reader, for a definition of the word “charity,” let me refer you to the 13th Chapter of St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

“To say nothing of the deleterious vapours and pestilential exhalations of the charcoal, which soon undermine the health of the heartiest, the glare of a scorching fire, and the smoke so baneful to the eyes and the complexion, are continual and inevitable dangers: and a cook must live in the midst of them, as a soldier on the field of battle surrounded by bullets, and bombs, and Congreve’s rockets; with this only difference, that for the first, every day is a fighting day, that her warfare is almost always without glory, and most praiseworthy achievements pass not only without reward, but frequently without thanks: for the most consummate cook is, alas! seldom noticed by the master, or heard of by the guests; who, while they are eagerly devouring his turtle, and drinking his wine, care very little who dressed the one, or sent the other.”—Almanach des Gourmands.

This observation applies especially to the SECOND COOK, or first kitchen maid, in large families, who have by far the hardest place in the house, and are worse paid, and truly verify the old adage, “the more work, the less wages.” If there is any thing right, the cook has the praise—when there is any thing wrong, as surely the kitchen maid has the blame. Be it known, then, to honest John Bull, that this humble domestic is expected by the cook to take the entire management of all ROASTS, BOILS, FISH, and VEGETABLES; i. e. the principal part of an Englishman’s dinner.

The master, who wishes to enjoy the rare luxury of a table regularly well served in the best style, must treat his[26] cook as his friend—watch over her health26-* with the tenderest care, and especially be sure her taste does not suffer from her stomach being deranged by bilious attacks.

Besides understanding the management of the spit, the stewpan, and the rolling-pin, a COMPLETE COOK must know how to go to market, write legibly, and keep accounts accurately.

In well-regulated private families the most convenient custom seems to be, that the cook keep a house-book, containing an account of the miscellaneous articles she purchases; and the butcher’s, baker’s, butterman’s, green-grocer’s, fishmonger’s, milkman’s, and washing bills are brought in every Monday; these it is the duty of the cook to examine, before she presents them to her employer every Tuesday morning to be discharged.

[27]The advantage of paying such bills weekly is incalculable: among others the constant check it affords against any excess beyond the sum allotted for defraying them, and the opportunity it gives of correcting increase of expense in one week by a prudent retrenchment in the next. “If you would live even with the world, calculate your expenses at half your income—if you would grow rich, at one-third.”

It is an excellent plan to have a table of rules for regulating the ordinary expenses of the family, in order to check any innovation or excess which otherwise might be introduced unawares, and derange the proposed distribution of the annual revenue.

To understand the economy of household affairs is not only essential to a woman’s proper and pleasant performance of the duties of a wife and a mother, but is indispensable to the comfort, respectability, and general welfare of all families, whatever be their circumstances.

The editor has employed some leisure hours in collecting practical hints for instructing inexperienced housekeepers in the useful

Art of providing comfortably for a family;

which is displayed so plainly and so particularly, that a young lady may learn the delectable arcana of domestic affairs, in as little time as is usually devoted to directing the position of her hands on a piano-forte, or of her feet in a quadrille—this will enable her to make the cage of matrimony as comfortable as the net of courtship was charming. For this purpose he has contrived a Housekeeper’s Leger, a plain and easy plan of keeping accurate accounts of the expenses of housekeeping, which, with only one hour’s attention in a week, will enable you to balance all such accounts with the utmost exactness; an acceptable acquisition to all who admit that order and economy are the basis of comfort and independence.

It is almost impossible for a cook in a large family, to attend to the business of the kitchen with any certainty of perfection, if employed in other household concerns. It is a service of such importance, and so difficult to perform even tolerably well, that it is sufficient to engross the entire attention of one person.

“If we take a review of the qualifications which are indispensable in that highly estimable domestic, a GOOD COOK, we shall find that very few deserve that name.”27-*[28]

“The majority of those who set up for professors of this art are of mean ability, selfish, and pilfering every thing they can; others are indolent and insolent. Those who really understand their business (which are by far the smallest number), are too often either ridiculously saucy, or insatiably thirsty; in a word, a good subject of this class is a rara avis indeed!”

“God sends meat,”—who sends cooks?28-* the proverb has long saved us the trouble of guessing. Vide Almanach des Gourmands, p. 83.

Of what value then is not this book, which will render every person of common sense a good cook in as little time as it can be read through attentively!

If the masters and mistresses of families will sometimes condescend to make an amusement of this art, they will escape numberless disappointments, &c. which those who will not, must occasionally inevitably suffer, to the detriment of both their health and their fortune.

I did not presume to offer any observations of my own, till I had read all that I could find written on the subject, and submitted (with no small pains) to a patient and attentive consideration of every preceding work, relating to culinary concerns, that I could meet with.

These books vary very little from each other; except in the preface, they are

“Like in all else as one egg to another.”

Ab uno, disce omnes,” cutting and pasting have been much oftener employed than the pen and ink: any one who has occasion to refer to two or three of them, will find the receipts almost always “verbatim et literatim;” equally unintelligible to those who are ignorant, and useless to those who are acquainted with the business of the kitchen.

I have perused not fewer than 250 of these volumes.

During the Herculean labour of my tedious progress[29] through these books, few of which afford the germ of a single idea, I have often wished that the authors of them had been satisfied with giving us the results of their own practice and experience, instead of idly perpetuating the errors, prejudices, and plagiarisms of their predecessors; the strange, and unaccountable, and uselessly extravagant farragoes and heterogeneous compositions which fill their pages, are combinations no rational being would ever think of either dressing or eating; and without ascertaining the practicability of preparing the receipts, and their fitness for food when done, they should never have ventured to recommend them to others: the reader of them will often put the same quære, as Jeremy, in Congreve’s comedy of “Love for Love,” when Valentine observes, “There’s a page doubled down in Epictetus that is a feast for an emperor.—Jer. Was Epictetus a real cook, or did he only write receipts?”

Half of the modern cookery books are made up with pages cut out of obsolete works, such as the “Choice Manual of Secrets,” the “True Gentlewoman’s Delight,” &c. of as much use, in this age of refinement, as the following curious passage from “The Accomplished Lady’s Rich Closet of Rarities, or Ingenious Gentlewoman’s Delightful Companion,” 12mo. London, 1653, chapter 7, page 42; which I have inserted in a note,29-* to give the reader a notion of the barbarous manners of the 16th century, with the addition of the arts of the confectioner, the brewer, the baker, the distiller, the gardener, the clear-starcher, and the perfumer, and how to make pickles, puff paste, butter, blacking, &c. together with my Lady Bountiful’s sovereign remedy for an inward bruise, and other ever-failing nostrums,—Dr. Killemquick’s wonder-working essence, and fallible elixir, which cures all manner of incurable maladies directly minute, Mrs. Notable’s instructions how to make soft po[30]matum, that will soon make more hair grow upon thy head, “than Dobbin, thy thill-horse, hath upon his tail,” and many others equally invaluable!!!—the proper appellation for which would be “a dangerous budget of vulgar errors,” concluding with a bundle of extracts from “the Gardener’s Calendar,” and “the Publican’s Daily Companion.”

Thomas Carter, in the preface to his “City and Country Cook,” London, 1738, says, “What I have published is almost the only book, one or two excepted, which of late years has come into the world, that has been the result of the author’s own practice and experience; for though very few eminent practical cooks have ever cared to publish what they knew of the art, yet they have been prevailed on, for a small premium from a bookseller, to lend their names to performances in this art unworthy their owning.”

Robert May, in the introduction to his “Accomplished Cook,” 1665, says, “To all honest and well-intending persons of my profession, and others, this book cannot but be acceptable, as it plainly and profitably discovers the mystery of the whole art; for which, though I may be envied by some, that only value their private interests above posterity and the public good; yet (he adds), God and my own conscience would not permit me to bury these, my experiences, with my silver hairs in the grave.”

Those high and mighty masters and mistresses of the alimentary art, who call themselves “profess” cooks, are said to be very jealous and mysterious beings; and that if, in a long life of laborious stove-work, they have found out a few useful secrets, they seldom impart to the public the fruits of their experience; but sooner than divulge their discoveries for the benefit and comfort of their fellow-creatures, these silly, selfish beings will rather run the risk of a reprimand from their employers, and will sooner spoil a good dinner, than suffer their fellow-servants to see how they dress it!!!

The silly selfishness of short-sighted mortals, is never more extremely absurd than in their unprofitable parsimony of what is of no use to them, but would be of actual value to others, who, in return, would willingly repay them tenfold. However, I hope I may be permitted to quote, in defence of these culinary professors, a couple of lines of a favourite old song:

“If you search the world round, each profession, you’ll find,
Hath some snug little secrets, which the Mystery30-* they call.”

[31]

My receipts are the results of experiments carefully made, and accurately and circumstantially related;

The TIME requisite for dressing being stated;

The QUANTITIES of the various articles contained in each composition being carefully set down in NUMBER, WEIGHT, and MEASURE.

The WEIGHTS are avoirdupois; the MEASURE, Lyne’s graduated glass, i. e. a wine-pint divided into sixteen ounces, and the ounce into eight drachms. By a wine-glass is to be understood two ounces liquid measure; by a large or table-spoonful, half an ounce; by a small or tea-spoonful, a drachm, or half a quarter of an ounce, i. e. nearly equal to two drachms avoirdupois.

At some glass warehouses, you may get measures divided into tea and table-spoons. No cook should be without one, who wishes to be regular in her business.

This precision has never before been attempted in cookery books, but I found it indispensable from the impossibility of guessing the quantities intended by such obscure expressions as have been usually employed for this purpose in former works:—

For instance: a bit of this—a handful of that—a pinch of t’other—do ’em over with an egg—and a sprinkle of salt—a dust of flour—a shake of pepper—a squeeze of lemon,—or a dash of vinegar, &c. are the constant phrases. Season it to your palate, (meaning the cook’s,) is another form of speech: now, if she has any, (it is very unlikely that it is in unison with that of her employers,) by continually sipping piquante relishes, it becomes blunted and insensible, and loses the faculty of appreciating delicate flavours, so that every thing is done at random.

These culinary technicals are so very differently understood by the learned who write them, and the unlearned who read them, and their “rule of thumb” is so extremely indefi[32]nite, that if the same dish be dressed by different persons, it will generally be so different, that nobody would imagine they had worked from the same directions, which will assist a person who has not served a regular apprenticeship in the kitchen, no more than reading “Robinson Crusoe” would enable a sailor to steer safely from England to India.32-*

It is astonishing how cheap cookery books are held by practical cooks: when I applied to an experienced artist to recommend me some books that would give me a notion of the rudiments of cookery, he replied, with a smile, “You may read Don Quixote, or Peregrine Pickle, they are both very good books.”

Careless expressions in cookery are the more surprising, as the confectioner is regularly attentive, in the description of his preparations, to give the exact quantities, though his business, compared to cookery, is as unimportant as the ornamental is inferior to the useful.

The maker of blanc-mange, custards, &c. and the endless and useless collection of puerile playthings for the palate (of first and second childhood, for the vigour of manhood seeketh not to be sucking sugar, or sipping turtle), is scrupulously exact, even to a grain, in his ingredients; while cooks are unintelligibly indefinite, although they are intrusted with the administration of our FOOD, upon the proper quality and preparation of which, all our powers of body and mind depend; their energy being invariably in the ratio of the performance of the restorative process, i. e. the quantity, quality, and perfect digestion of what we eat and drink.

Unless the stomach be in good humour, every part of the machinery of life must vibrate with languor: can we then be too attentive to its adjustment?!!


CULINARY CURIOSITIES.

The following specimen of the unaccountably whimsical harlequinade of foreign kitchens is from “La Chapelle” Nouveau Cuisinier, Paris, 1748.

“A turkey,” in the shape of “football,” or “a hedge-hog.” A “shoulder of mutton,” in the shape of a “bee-hive.”—“Entrée of pigeons,” in the form of a “spider,” or sun-fashion, or “in the form of a frog,” or, in “the form of the moon.”—Or,[33] “to make a pig taste like a wild boar;” take a living pig, and let him swallow the following drink, viz. boil together in vinegar and water, some rosemary, thyme, sweet basil, bay leaves, and sage; when you have let him swallow this, immediately whip him to death, and roast him forthwith. How “to still a cocke for a weak bodie that is consumed,—take a red cocke that is not too olde, and beat him to death.”—See THE BOOKE OF COOKRYE, very necessary for all such as delight therein. Gathered by A. W., 1591, p. 12. How to ROAST a pound of BUTTER, curiously and well; and to farce (the culinary technical for to stuff) a boiled leg of lamb with red herrings and garlic; with many other receipts of as high a relish, and of as easy digestion as the devil’s venison, i. e. a roasted tiger stuffed with tenpenny nails, or the “Bonne Bouche,” the rareskin Rowskimowmowsky offered to Baron Munchausen, “a fricassee of pistols, with gunpowder and alcohol sauce.”—See the Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 12mo. 1792, p. 200; and the horrible but authentic account of Ardesoif, in Moubray’s Treatise on Poultry, 8vo. 1816, p. 18.

But the most extraordinary of all the culinary receipts that have been under my eye, is the following diabolically cruel directions of Mizald, “how to roast and eat a goose alive.” “Take a GOOSE or a DUCK, or some such lively creature, (but a goose is best of all for this purpose,) pull off all her feathers, only the head and neck must be spared: then make a fire round about her, not too close to her, that the smoke do not choke her, and that the fire may not burn her too soon; nor too far off, that she may not escape free: within the circle of the fire let there be set small cups and pots full of water, wherein salt and honey are mingled: and let there be set also chargers full of sodden apples, cut into small pieces in the dish. The goose must be all larded, and basted over with butter, to make her the more fit to be eaten, and may roast the better: put then fire about her, but do not make too much haste, when as you see her begin to roast; for by walking about, and flying here and there, being cooped in by the fire that stops her way out, the unwearied goose is kept in; she will fall to drink the water to quench her thirst and cool her heart, and all her body, and the apple-sauce will make her dung, and cleanse and empty her. And when she roasteth, and consumes inwardly, always wet her head and heart with a wet sponge; and when you see her giddy with running, and begin to stumble, her heart wants moisture, and she is roasted enough. Take her up, set her before your guests, and she will cry as you cut off any part from her, and will be almost eaten up before she be dead; it is mighty pleasant to behold!!”—See Wecker’s Secrets of Nature, in folio, London, 1660, p. 148. 309.33-*

“We suppose Mr. Mizald stole this receipt from the kitchen of his infernal majesty; probably it might have been one of the dishes the devil ordered when he invited Nero and Caligula to a feast.”—A. C., Jun.

This is also related in Baptista Porta’s Natural Magicke, fol. 1658, p. 321. This very curious (but not scarce) book contains, among other strange tricks and fancies of “the Olden Time,” directions, “how to ROAST and BOIL a fowl at the same time, so that one-half shall be ROASTED and the other BOILED;” and “if you have a lacke of cooks, how to persuade a goose to roast himselfe!!”—See a second act of the above tragedy in page 80 of the Gentleman’s Magazine for January, 1809.

Many articles were in vogue in the 14th century, which are now obsolete. We add the following specimens of the CULINARY AFFAIRS OF DAYS OF YORE.

Sauce for a goose, A.D. 1381.

“Take a faire panne, and set hit under the goose whill she rostes; and kepe clene the grese that droppes thereof, and put thereto a godele (good deal) of Wyn, and a litel vinegur, and verjus, and onyons mynced, or garlek; then take the gottes (gut) of the goose and slitte hom, and scrape hom clene in water and salt, and so wash hom, and hack hom small, then do all this togedur in a piffenet (pipkin), and do thereto raisinges of corance, and pouder of pepur and of ginger, and of canell and hole clowes and maces, and let hit boyle and serve hit forthe.”

“That unwieldy marine animal the PORPUS was dressed in a variety of modes, salted, roasted, stewed, &c. Our ancestors were not singular in their partiality to it; I find, from an ingenious friend of mine, that it is even now, A. D. 1790, sold in the markets of most towns in Portugal; the flesh of it is intolerably hard and rancid.”—Warner’s Antiq. Cul. 4to. p. 15.

“The SWAN33-† was also a dish of state, and in high fashion when the elegance of[34] the feast was estimated by the magnitude of the articles of which it was composed; the number consumed at the Earl of Northumberland’s table, A. D. 1512, amounted to twenty.”—Northumberland Household-book, p. 108.

“The CRANE was a darling dainty in William the Conqueror’s time, and so partial was that monarch to it, that when his prime favourite, William Fitz-Osborne, the steward of the household, served him with a crane scarcely half roasted, the king was so highly exasperated, that he lifted up his fist, and would have strucken him, had not Eudo (appointed Dapifer immediately after) warded off the blow.”—Warner’s Antiq. Cul. p. 12.

Seals, curlews, herons, bitterns, and the PEACOCK, that noble bird, “the food of lovers and the meat of lords,” were also at this time in high fashion, when the baronial entertainments were characterized by a grandeur and pompous ceremonial, approaching nearly to the magnificence of royalty; there was scarcely any royal or noble feast without PECOKKES, which were stuffed with spices and sweet herbs, roasted and served up whole, and covered after dressing with the skin and feathers; the beak and comb gilt, and the tail spread, and some, instead of the feathers, covered it with leaf gold; it was a common dish on grand occasions, and continued to adorn the English table till the beginning of the seventeenth century.

In Massinger’s play of “The City Madam,” Holdfast, exclaiming against city luxury, says, “three fat wethers bruised, to make sauce for a single peacock.”

This bird is one of those luxuries which were often sought, because they were seldom found: its scarcity and external appearance are its only recommendation; the meat of it is tough and tasteless.

Another favourite dish at the tables of our forefathers, was a PIE of stupendous magnitude, out of which, on its being opened, a flock of living birds flew forth, to the no small surprise and amusement of the guests.

“Four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie;
When the pie was open’d, the birds began to sing—
Oh! what a dainty dish—’t is fit for any king.”

This was a common joke at an old English feast. These animated pies were often introduced “to set on,” as Hamlet says, “a quantity of barren spectators to laugh;” there is an instance of a dwarf undergoing such an incrustation. About the year 1630, king Charles and his queen were entertained by the duke and dutchess of Buckingham, at Burleigh on the Hill, on which occasion Jeffery Hudson, the dwarf, was served up in a cold pie.—See Walpole’s Anecdotes of Painting, vol. ii. p. 14.

The BARON OF BEEF was another favourite and substantial support of old English hospitality.

Among the most polished nations of the 15th and 16th centuries, the powdered (salted) horse, seems to have been a dish in some esteem: Grimalkin herself could not escape the undistinguishing fury of the cook. Don Anthony of Guevera, the chronicler to Charles V., gives the following account of a feast at which he was present. “I will tell you no lye, I sawe such kindes of meates eaten, as are wont to be sene, but not eaten—as a HORSE roasted—a CAT in gelyLYZARDS in hot brothe, FROGGES fried,” &c.

While we are thus considering the curious dishes of olden times, we will cursorily mention the singular diet of two or three nations of antiquity, noticed by Herodotus, lib. iv. “The Androphagi (the cannibals of the ancient world) greedily devoured the carcasses of their fellow-creatures; while the inoffensive Cabri (a Scythian tribe) found both food and drink in the agreeable nut of the Pontic tree. The Lotophagi lived entirely on the fruit of the Lotus tree. The savage Troglodyte esteemed a living serpent the most delicate of all morsels; while the capricious palate of the Zyguntini preferred the ape to every thing.”—Vide Warner’s Antiq. Cul. p. 135.

“The Romans, in the luxurious period of their empire, took five meals a day; a breakfast (jentaculum;) a dinner, which was a light meal without any formal preparation (prandium); a kind of tea, as we should call it, between dinner and supper (merenda); a supper (cæna), which was their great meal, and commonly consisted of two courses; the first of meats, the second, what we call a dessert; and a posset,[35] or something delicious after supper (commissatio).”—Adam’s Rom. Antiq. 2d edition, 8vo. 1792, p. 434 and 447.

“The Romans usually began their entertainments with eggs, and ended with fruits; hence, Ab ovo usque ad mala, from the beginning to the end of supper, Horat. Sat. i. 3. 6; Cic. Fam. ix. 20.

“The dishes (edulia) held in the highest estimation by the Romans, are enumerated, Gell. vii. 16, Macrob. Sat. ii. 9, Martial. v. 79, ix. 48, xi. 53, &c., a peacock (PAVO), Horat. Sat. ii. 2. 23, Juvenal. i. 143, first used by Hortensius, the orator, at a supper, which he gave when admitted into the college of priests, (aditiali cænd sacerdotii,) Plin. x. 20, s. 23; a pheasant, (PHASIANA, ex Phasi. Colchidis fluvio,) Martial. iii. 58, xiii. 72, Senec. ad Helv. 9, Petron. 79, Manil. v. 372; a bird called Attagen vel-ena, from Ionia or Phrygia, Horat. Epod. ii. 54, Martial. xiii. iii. 61, a guinea-hen, (avis Afra, Horat. ib. Gallina Numidica vel Africana, Juvenal, xi. 142, Martial, xiii. 73); a Melian crane; an Ambracian kid; nightingales, lusciniæ; thrushes, turdi; ducks, geese, &c. Tomaculum, (ἁ τεμνω,) vel Isicium, (ab inseco;) sausages or puddings, Juvenal. x. 355. Martial. 42. 9, Petron. 31.”—Vide ibid. p. 447.

That the English reader may be enabled to form some idea of the heterogeneous messes with which the Roman palate was delighted, I introduce the following receipt from Apicius.

Thick sauce for a boiled chicken.—Put the following ingredients into a mortar: aniseed, dried mint, and lazar-root (similar to assafœtida), cover them with vinegar; add dates; pour in liquamen, oil, and a small quantity of mustard seeds; reduce all to a proper thickness with port wine warmed; and then pour this same over your chicken, which should previously be boiled in anise-seed water.”

Liquamen and Garum were synonymous terms for the same thing; the former adopted in the room of the latter, about the age of Aurelian. It was a liquid, and thus prepared: the guts of large fish, and a variety of small fish, were put into a vessel and well salted, and exposed to the sun till they became putrid. A liquor was produced in a short time, which being strained off, was the liquamen.—Vide Lister in Apicium, p. 16, notes.

Essence of anchovy, as it is usually made for sale, when it has been opened about ten days, is not much unlike the Roman liquamen. See No. 433. Some suppose it was the same thing as the Russian Caviar, which is prepared from the roe of the sturgeon.

The BLACK BROTH of Lacedæmon will long continue to excite the wonder of the philosopher, and the disgust of the epicure. What the ingredients of this sable composition were, we cannot exactly ascertain. Jul. Pollux says, the Lacedæmonian black broth was blood, thickened in a certain way: Dr. Lister (in Apicium) supposes it to have been hog’s blood; if so, this celebrated Spartan dish bore no very distant resemblance to the black-puddings of our days. It could not be a very alluring mess, since a citizen of Sybaris having tasted it, declared it was no longer a matter of astonishment with him, why the Spartans were so fearless of death, since any one in his senses would much rather die, than exist on such execrable food.—Vide Athenæum, lib. iv. c. 3. When Dionysius the tyrant had tasted the black broth, he exclaimed against it as miserable stuff; the cook replied—“It was no wonder, for the sauce was wanting.” “What sauce?” says Dionysius. The answer was,—“Labour and exercise, hunger and thirst, these are the sauces we Lacedæmonians use,” and they make the coarsest fare agreeable.—Cicero, 3 Tuscul.

15-* “The STOMACH is the grand organ of the human system, upon the state of which all the powers and feelings of the individual depend.”—See Hunter’s Culina, p. 13.

“The faculty the stomach has of communicating the impressions made by the various substances that are put into it, is such, that it seems more like a nervous expansion of the brain, than a mere receptacle for food.”—Dr. Waterhouse’s Lecture on Health, p. 4.

17-* I wish most heartily that the restorative process was performed by us poor mortals in as easy and simple a manner as it is in “the cooking animals in the moon,” who “lose no time at their meals; but open their left side, and place the whole quantity at once in their stomachs, then shut it, till the same day in the next month, for they never indulge themselves with food more than twelve times in a year.”—See Baron Munchausen’s Travels, p. 188.

Pleasing the palate is the main end in most books of cookery, but it is my aim to blend the toothsome with the wholesome; but, after all, however the hale gourmand may at first differ from me in opinion, the latter is the chief concern; since if he be even so entirely devoted to the pleasure of eating as to think of no other, still the care of his health becomes part of that; if he is sick he cannot relish his food.

“The term gourmand, or EPICURE, has been strangely perverted; it has been conceived synonymous with a glutton, ‘né pour la digestion,’ who will eat as long as he can sit, and drink longer than he can stand, nor leave his cup while he can lift it; or like the great eater of Kent whom Fuller places among his worthies, and tells us that he did eat with ease thirty dozens of pigeons at one meal; at another, fourscore rabbits and eighteen yards of black pudding, London measure!—or a fastidious appetite, only to be excited by fantastic dainties, as the brains of peacocks or parrots, the tongues of thrushes or nightingales, or the teats of a lactiferous sow.

“In the acceptation which I give to the term EPICURE, it means only the person who has good sense and good taste enough to wish to have his food cooked according to scientific principles; that is to say, so prepared that the palate be not offended—that it be rendered easy of solution in the stomach, and ultimately contribute to health; exciting him as an animal to the vigorous enjoyment of those recreations and duties, physical and intellectual, which constitute the happiness and dignity of his nature.” For this illustration I am indebted to my scientific friend Apicius Cælius, Jun., with whose erudite observations several pages of this work are enriched, to which I have affixed the signature A. C., Jun.

18-* “Although AIR is more immediately necessary to life than FOOD, the knowledge of the latter seems of more importance; it admits certainly of great variety, and a choice is more frequently in our power. A very spare and simple diet has commonly been recommended as most conducive to health; but it would be more beneficial to mankind if we could show them that a pleasant and varied diet was equally consistent with health, as the very strict regimen of Arnard, or the miller of Essex. These, and other abstemious people, who, having experienced the greatest extremities of bad health, were driven to temperance as their last resource, may run out in praises of a simple diet; but the probability is, that nothing but the dread of former sufferings could have given them the resolution to persevere in so strict a course of abstinence, which persons who are in health and have no such apprehension could not be induced to undertake, or, if they did, would not long continue.

“In all cases, great allowance must be made for the weakness of human nature: the desires and appetites of mankind must, to a certain degree, be gratified, and the man who wishes to be most useful will imitate the indulgent parent, who, while he endeavours to promote the true interests of his children, allows them the full enjoyment of all those innocent pleasures which they take delight in. If it could be pointed out to mankind that some articles used as food were hurtful, while others were in their nature innocent, and that the latter were numerous, various, and pleasant, they might, perhaps, be induced to forego those which were hurtful, and confine themselves to those which were innocent.”—See Dr. Stark’s Experiments on Diet, pp. 89 and 90.

19-* See a curious account in Cours Gastronomique, p. 145, and in Anacharsis’ Travels, Robinson, 1796, vol. ii. p. 58, and Obs. and note under No. 493.

19-† See the 2d, 3d, and 4th pages of Sir Wm. Temple’s Essay on the Cure of the Gout by Moxa.

20-* “He that would have a clear head, must have a clean stomach.”—Dr. Cheyne on Health, 8vo. 1724, p. 34.

“It is sufficiently manifest how much uncomfortable feelings of the bowels affect the nervous system, and how immediately and completely the general disorder is relieved by an alvine evacuation.”—p. 53.

“We cannot reasonably expect tranquillity of the nervous system, while there is disorder of the digestive organs. As we can perceive no permanent source of strength but from the digestion of our food, it becomes important on this account that we should attend to its quantity, quality, and the periods of taking it, with a view to ensure its proper digestion.”—Abernethy’s Sur. Obs. 8vo. 1817, p. 65.

20-† “If science can really contribute to the happiness of mankind, it must be in this department; the real comfort of the majority of men in this country is sought for at their own fireside; how desirable does it then become to give every inducement to be at home, by directing all the means of philosophy to increase domestic happiness!”—Sylvester’s Philosophy of Domestic Economy, 4to. 1819, p. 17.

20-‡ The best books of cookery have been written by physicians.—Sir Kenelme Digby—Sir Theodore Mayerne.—See the last quarter of page 304 of vol. x. of the Phil. Trans. for 1675.—Professor Bradley—Dr. Hill—Dr. Le Cointe—Dr. Hunter, &c.

“To understand the THEORY OF COOKERY, we must attend to the action of heat upon the various constituents of alimentary substances as applied directly and indirectly through the medium of some fluid, in the former way as exemplified.” In the processes of ROASTING and BOILING, the chief constituents of animal substances undergo the following changes—the fibrine is corrugated, the albumen coagulated, the gelatine and osmazome rendered more soluble in water, the fat liquefied, and the water evaporated.

“If the heat exceed a certain degree, the surface becomes first brown, and then scorched. In consequence of these changes, the muscular fibre becomes opaque, shorter, firmer, and drier; the tendons less opaque, softer, and gluey; the fat is either melted out, or rendered semi-transparent. Animal fluids become more transparent: the albumen is coagulated and separated, and they dissolve gelatine and osmazome.

“Lastly, and what is the most important change, and the immediate object of all cookery, the meat loses the vapid nauseous smell and taste peculiar to its raw state, and it becomes savoury and grateful.

“Heat applied through the intervention of boiling oil, or melted fat, as in FRYING, produces nearly the same changes; as the heat is sufficient to evaporate the water, and to induce a degree of scorching.

“But when water is the medium through which heat is applied—as in BOILING, STEWING, and BAKING, the effects are somewhat different, as the heat never exceeds 212°, which is not sufficient to commence the process of browning or decomposition, and the soluble constituents are removed by being dissolved in the water, forming soup or broth; or, if the direct contact of the water be prevented, they are dissolved in the juices of the meat, and separate in the form of gravy.”

Vide Supplement to Encyclop. Brit. Edin. vol. iv. p. 344, the article “FOOD,” to which we refer our reader as the most scientific paper on the subject we have seen.

21-* “Health, beauty, strength, and spirits, and I might add all the faculties of the mind, depend upon the organs of the body; when these are in good order, the thinking part is most alert and active, the contrary when they are disturbed or diseased.”—Dr. Cadogan on Nursing Children, 8vo. 1757, p. 5.

22-* “We have some good families in England of the name of Cook or Coke. I know not what they may think; but they may depend upon it, they all originally sprang from real and professional cooks; and they need not be ashamed of their extraction, any more than the Parkers, Butlers, &c.”—Dr. Pegge’s Forme of Cury, p. 162.

22-† It is said, there are SEVEN chances against even the most simple dish being presented to the mouth in absolute perfection; for instance, A LEG OF MUTTON.

1st.—The mutton must be good. 2d.—Must have been kept a good time. 3d.—Must be roasted at a good fire. 4th.—By a good cook. 5th.—Who must be in good temper. 6th.—With all this felicitous combination you must have good luck; and, 7th.—Good appetite.—The meat, and the mouths which are to eat it, must be ready for action at the same moment.

23-* To guard against “la gourmandise” of the second table, “provide each of your servants with a large pair of spectacles of the highest magnifying power, and never permit them to sit down to any meal without wearing them; they are as necessary, and as useful in a kitchen as pots and kettles: they will make a lark look as large as a FOWL, a goose as big as a SWAN, a leg of mutton as large as a hind quarter of beef; a twopenny loaf as large as a quartern;” and as philosophers assure you that pain even is only imaginary, we may justly believe the same of hunger; and if a servant who eats no more than one pound of food, imagines, by the aid of these glasses, that he has eaten three pounds, his hunger will be as fully satisfied—and the addition to your optician’s account, will soon be overpaid by the subtraction from your butcher’s and baker’s.

25-* Much real reformation might be effected, and most grateful services obtained, if families which consist wholly of females, would take servants recommended from the Magdalen—Penitentiary—or Guardian—who seek to be restored to virtuous society.

Female servants who pursue an honest course, have to travel, in their peculiar orbit, through a more powerfully resisting medium than perhaps any other class of people in civilized life; they should be treated with something like Christian kindness: for want of this, a fault which might at the time have been easily amended has become the source of interminable sorrow.”

“By the clemency and benevolent interference of two mistresses known to the writer, two servants have become happy wives, who, had they been in some situations, would have been literally outcasts.”

A most laudable SOCIETY for the ENCOURAGEMENT of FEMALE SERVANTS, by a gratuitous registry, and by rewards, was instituted in 1813; plans of which may be had gratis at the Society’s House, No. 10, Hatton Garden. The above is an extract from the Rev. H. G. Watkins’s Hints to Heads of Families, a work well deserving the attentive consideration of inexperienced housekeepers.

26-* The greatest care should be taken by the man of fashion, that his cook’s health be preserved: one hundredth part of the attention usually bestowed on his dog, or his horse, will suffice to regulate her animal system.

“Cleanliness, and a proper ventilation to carry off smoke and steam, should be particularly attended to in the construction of a kitchen; the grand scene of action, the fire-place, should be placed where it may receive plenty of light; hitherto the contrary has prevailed, and the poor cook is continually basted with her own perspiration.”—A. C., Jun.

“The most experienced artists in cookery cannot be certain of their work without tasting: they must be incessantly tasting. The spoon of a good cook is continually passing from the stewpan to his tongue; nothing but frequent tasting his sauces, ragoûts, &c. can discover to him what progress they have made, or enable him to season a soup with any certainty of success; his palate, therefore, must be in the highest state of excitability, that the least fault may be perceived in an instant.

“But, alas! the constant empyreumatic fumes of the stoves, the necessity of frequent drinking, and often of bad beer, to moisten a parched throat; in short, every thing around him conspires quickly to vitiate the organs of taste; the palate becomes blunted; its quickness of feeling and delicacy, on which the sensibility of the organs of taste depends, grows daily more obtuse; and in a short time the gustatory nerve becomes quite unexcitable.

If you find your cook neglect his business—that his ragoûts are too highly spiced or salted, and his cookery has too much of the ‘haut goût,’ you may be sure that his index of taste wants regulating; his palate has lost its sensibility, and it is high time to call in the assistance of the apothecary.

“‘Purger souvent’ is the grand maxim in all kitchens where le Maître d’Hôtel has any regard for the reputation of his table. Les Bons Hommes de Bouche submit to the operation without a murmur; to bind others, it should be made the first condition in hiring them. Those who refuse, prove they were not born to become masters of their art; and their indifference to fame will rank them, as they deserve, among those slaves who pass their lives in as much obscurity as their own stewpans.”

To the preceding observations from the “Almanach des Gourmands,” we may add, that the Mouthician will have a still better chance of success, if he can prevail on his master to observe the same régime which he orders for his cook; or, instead of endeavouring to awaken an idle appetite by reading the index to a cookery book, or an additional use of the pepper-box and salt-cellar, rather seek it from abstinence or exercise;—the philosophical gourmand will consider that the edge of our appetite is generally keen, in proportion to the activity of our other habits; let him attentively peruse our “Peptic Precepts,” &c. which briefly explain the art of refreshing the gustatory nerves, and of invigorating the whole system. See in the following chapter on INVITATIONS TO DINNER—A recipe to make FORTY PERISTALTIC PERSUADERS.

27-* “She must be quick and strong of sight; her hearing most acute, that she may be sensible when the contents of her vessels bubble, although they be closely covered, and that she may be alarmed before the pot boils over; her auditory nerve ought to discriminate (when several saucepans are in operation at the same time) the simmering of one, the ebullition of another, and the full-toned wabbling of a third.

“It is imperiously requisite that her organ of smell be highly susceptible of the various effluvia, that her nose may distinguish the perfection of aromatic ingredients, and that in animal substances it shall evince a suspicious accuracy between tenderness and putrefaction; above all, her olfactories should be tremblingly alive to mustiness and empyreuma.

“It is from the exquisite sensibility of her palate, that we admire and judge of the cook; from the alliance between the olfactory and sapid organs, it will be seen that their perfection is indispensable.”—A. C., Jun.

28-* A facetious gourmand suggests that the old story of “lighting a candle to the devil,” probably arose from this adage—and was an offering presented to his infernal majesty by some epicure who was in want of a cook.

29-* “A gentlewoman being at table, abroad or at home, must observe to keep her body straight, and lean not by any means with her elbows, nor by ravenous gesture discover a voracious appetite: talk not when you have meat in your mouth; and do not smack like a pig, nor venture to eat spoonmeat so hot that the tears stand in your eyes, which is as unseemly as the gentlewoman who pretended to have as little a stomach as she had a mouth, and therefore would not swallow her pease by spoonfuls; but took them one by one, and cut them in two before she would eat them. It is very uncomely to drink so large a draught that your breath is almost gone—and are forced to blow strongly to recover yourself—throwing down your liquor as into a funnel is an action fitter for a juggler than a gentlewoman: thus much for your observations in general; if I am defective as to particulars, your own prudence, discretion, and curious observations will supply.”

“In CARVING at your own table, distribute the best pieces first, and it will appear very comely and decent to use a fork; so touch no piece of meat without it.”

Mem. The English are indebted to Tom Coryat for introducing THE FORK, for which they called him Furcifer.”—See his Crudities, vol. i. p. 106.—Edit. 1776, 8vo.

30-* “Almost all arts and sciences are more or less encumbered with vulgar errors and prejudices, which avarice and ignorance have unfortunately sufficient influence to preserve, by help (or hindrance) of mysterious, undefinable, and not seldom unintelligible, technical terms—Anglicè, nicknames—which, instead of enlightening the subject it is professedly pretended they were invented to illuminate, serve but to shroud it in almost impenetrable obscurity; and, in general, so extravagantly fond are the professors of an art of keeping up all the pomp, circumstance, and mystery of it, and of preserving the accumulated prejudices of ages past undiminished, that one might fairly suppose those who have had the courage and perseverance to overcome these obstacles, and penetrate the veil of science, were delighted with placing difficulties in the way of those who may attempt to follow them, on purpose to deter them from the pursuit, and that they cannot bear others should climb the hill of knowledge by a readier road than they themselves did: and such is l’esprit de corps, that as their predecessors supported themselves by serving it out gradatim et stillatim, and retailing with a sparing hand the information they so hardly obtained, they find it convenient to follow their example: and, willing to do as they have been done by, leave and bequeath the inheritance undiminished to those who may succeed them.”—See p. 10 of Dr. Kitchiner on Telescopes, 12mo. 1825, printed for Whittaker, Ave Maria Lane.

32-* “In the present language of cookery, there has been a woful departure from the simplicity of our ancestors,—such a farrago of unappropriate and unmeaning terms, many corrupted from the French, others disguised from the Italian, some misapplied from the German, while many are a disgrace to the English. What can any person suppose to be the meaning of a shoulder of lamb in epigram, unless it were a poor dish, for a pennyless poet? Aspect of fish, would appear calculated for an astrologer; and shoulder of mutton surprised, designed for a sheep-stealer.”—A. C., Jun.

33-* See note to No. 59 how to plump the liver of a goose.

33-† “It is a curious illustration of the de gustibus non eat disputandum, that the ancients considered the swan as a high delicacy, and abstained from the flesh of the goose as impure and indigestible.”—Moubray on Poultry, p. 36.


[36]

INVITATIONS TO DINNER


In “the affairs of the mouth” the strictest punctuality is indispensable; the GASTRONOMER ought to be as accurate an observer of time, as the ASTRONOMER. The least delay produces fatal and irreparable misfortunes.

Almost all other ceremonies and civil duties may be put off for several hours without much inconvenience, and all may be postponed without absolute danger. A little delay may try the patience of those who are waiting; but the act itself will be equally perfect and equally valid. Procrastination sometimes is rather advantageous than prejudicial. It gives time for reflection, and may prevent our taking a step which would have made us miserable for life; the delay of a courier has prevented the conclusion of a convention, the signing of which might have occasioned the ruin of a nation.

If, from affairs the most important, we descend to our pleasures and amusements, we shall find new arguments in support of our assertions. The putting off of a rendezvous, or a ball, &c. will make them the more delightful. To hope is to enjoy.

“Man never is, but always to be blest.”

The anticipation of pleasure warms our imagination, and keeps those feelings alive, which possession too often extinguishes.

“’Tis expectation only makes us blest;
Enjoyment disappoints us at the best.”

Dr. Johnson has most sagaciously said; “Such is the state of life, that none are happy, but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing: when we have made it, the next wish is, immediately to change again.”

However singular our assertions may have at first appeared to those who have not considered the subject, we hope by this time we have made converts of our readers, and convinced the “Amateurs de Bonne Chère” of the truth and importance of our remarks; and that they will remember, that DINNER is the only act of the day which cannot be put off with impunity, for even FIVE MINUTES.

[37]In a well-regulated family, all the clocks and watches should agree; on this depends the fate of the dinner; what would be agreeable to the stomach, and restorative to the system, if served at FIVE o’clock, will be uneatable and innutritive and indigestible at A QUARTER PAST.

The dining-room should be furnished with a good-going clock; the space over the kitchen fire-place with another, vibrating in unison with the former, so placed, that the cook may keep one eye on the clock, and the other on the spit, &c. She will calculate to a minute the time required to roast a large capon or a little lark, and is equally attentive to the degree of heat of her stove, and the time her sauce remains on it, when to withdraw the bakings from the oven, the roast from the spit, and the stew from the pan.

With all our love of punctuality, the first consideration must still be, that the dinner “be well done, when ’t is done.”

It is a common fault with cooks who are anxious about time, to overdress every thing—the guests had better wait than the dinner—a little delay will improve their appetite; but if the dinner waits for the guests, it will be deteriorated every minute: the host who wishes to entertain his friends with food perfectly well dressed, while he most earnestly endeavours to impress on their minds the importance of being punctual to the appointed hour, will still allow his cook a quarter of an hour’s grace.

The old adage that “the eye is often bigger than the belly,” is often verified by the ridiculous vanity of those who wish to make an appearance above their fortune. Nothing can be more ruinous to real comfort than the too common custom of setting out a table, with a parade and a profusion, unsuited not only to the circumstances of the hosts, but to the number of the guests; or more fatal to true hospitality, than the multiplicity of dishes which luxury has made fashionable at the tables of the great, the wealthy, and the ostentatious, who are, often, neither great nor wealthy.

Such pompous preparation, instead of being a compliment to our guests, is nothing better than an indirect offence; it is a tacit insinuation, that it is absolutely necessary to provide such delicacies to bribe the depravity of their palates, when we desire the pleasure of their company; and that society now, must be purchased, at the same price Swift told Pope he was obliged to pay for it in Ireland. “I should hardly prevail to find one visiter, if I were not able to hire him with a bottle of wine.” Vide Swift’s letters to Pope, July 10th, 1732.

[38]When twice as much cooking is undertaken as there are servants, or conveniences in the kitchen to do it properly, dishes must be dressed long before the dinner hour, and stand by spoiling—the poor cook loses her credit, and the poor guests get indigestions. Why prepare for eight or ten friends, more than sufficient for twenty or thirty visiters? “Enough is as good as a feast,” and a prudent provider, who sensibly takes measure of the stomachic, instead of the SILLY ocular, appetite of his guests, may entertain his friends, three times as often, and ten times as well.

It is your SENSELESS SECOND COURSES—ridiculous variety of WINES, LIQUEURS, ICES,38-* DESSERTS, &c.—which are served up merely to feed the eye, or pamper palled appetite, that overcome the stomach and paralyze digestion, and seduce “children of a larger growth” to sacrifice the health and comfort of several days, for the baby-pleasure of tickling their tongue for a few minutes, with trifles and custards!!! &c. &c.

Indigestion will sometimes overtake the most experienced epicure; when the gustatory nerves are in good humour, hunger and savoury viands will sometimes seduce the tongue of a ‘grand gourmand’ to betray the interests of his stomach in spite of his brains.

“On such an unfortunate occasion, when the stomach sends forth eructant38-† signals of distress, the peristaltic persuaders are as agreeable and effectual assistance as can be offered; and for delicate constitutions, and those that are impaired by age or intemperance, are a valuable panacea.

“They derive, and deserve this name, from the peculiar mildness of their operation. One or two very gently increase the action of the principal viscera, help them to do their work a little faster, and enable the stomach to serve with an ejectment whatever offends it, and move it into the bowels.

“Thus indigestion is easily and speedily removed, appetite restored, the mouths of the absorbing vessels being cleansed, nutrition is facilitated, and strength of body, and energy of mind, are the happy results.” See “Peptic Precepts,” from which we extract the following prescription—

[39]To make FORTY PERISTALTIC PERSUADERS,

  • Take
  •  
  • Turkey rhubarb, finely pulverized, two drachms,
  • Syrup (by weight), one drachm,
  • Oil of carraway, ten drops (minims),
  • Made into pills, each of which will contain three grains of rhubarb.

“The DOSE OF THE PERSUADERS must be adapted to the constitutional peculiarity of the patient. When you wish to accelerate or augment the alvine exoneration, take two, three, or more, according to the effect you desire to produce. Two pills will do as much for one person, as five or six will for another: they will generally very regularly perform what you wish to-day, without interfering with what you hope will happen to-morrow; and are therefore as convenient an argument against constipation as any we are acquainted with.

“The most convenient opportunity to introduce them to the stomach, is early in the morning, when it is unoccupied, and has no particular business of digestion, &c. to attend to—i. e. at least half an hour before breakfast. Physic must never interrupt the stomach, when it is busy in digesting food.

“From two to four persuaders will generally produce one additional motion, within twelve hours. They may be taken at any time by the most delicate females, whose constitutions are so often distressed by constipation, and destroyed by the drastic purgatives they take to relieve it.”

The cloth39-* should be laid in the parlour, and all the paraphernalia of the dinner-table completely arranged, at least half an hour before dinner-time.

The cook’s labour will be lost, if the parlour-table be not ready for action, and the eaters ready for the eatables, which the least delay will irreparably injure: therefore, the GOURMAND will be punctual for the sake of gratifying his ruling passion; the INVALID, to avoid the danger of encountering an indigestion from eating ill-dressed food; and the RATIONAL EPICURE, who happily attends the banquet with “mens sana in corpore sano,” will keep the time not only for these strong reasons, but that he may not lose the advantage of being[40] introduced to the other guests. He considers not only what is on the table, but who are around it: his principal inducement to leave his own fireside, is the charm of agreeable and instructive society, and the opportunity of making connexions, which may augment the interest and enjoyment of existence.

It is the most pleasing part of the duty of the master of the feast (especially when the guests are not very numerous), to take advantage of these moments to introduce them to one another, naming them individually in an audible voice, and adroitly laying hold of those ties of acquaintanceship or profession which may exist between them.

This will much augment the pleasures of the festive board, to which it is indeed as indispensable a prelude, as an overture is to an opera: and the host will thus acquire an additional claim to the gratitude of his guests. We urge this point more strongly, because, from want of attention to it, we have seen more than once persons whom many kindred ties would have drawn closely together, pass an entire day without opening their lips to each other, because they were mutually ignorant of each other’s names, professions, and pursuits.

To put an end at once to all ceremony as to the order in which the guests are to sit, it will save much time and trouble, if the mistress of the mansion adopts the simple and elegant method of placing the name of each guest in the plate which is intended for him. This proceeding will be of course the result of consideration, and the host will place those together whom he thinks will harmonize best.

Le Journal des Dames informs us, that in several fashionable houses in Paris, a new arrangement has been introduced in placing the company at a dinner-table.

“The ladies first take their places, leaving intervals for the gentlemen; after being seated, each is desired to call on a gentleman to sit beside her; and thus the lady of the house is relieved from all embarrassment of étiquette as to rank and pretensions,” &c.

But, without doubt, says the Journalist, this method has its inconveniences.

“It may happen that a bashful beauty dare not name the object of her secret wishes; and an acute observer may determine, from a single glance, that the elected is not always the chosen.”

If the party is large, the founders of the feast may sit in the middle of the table, instead of at each end, thus they will enjoy the pleasure of attending equally to all their[41] friends; and being in some degree relieved from the occupation of carving, will have an opportunity of administering all those little attentions which contribute so much to the comfort of their guests.

If the GUESTS have any respect for their HOST, or prefer a well-dressed dinner to one that is spoiled, instead of coming half an hour after, they will take care to make their appearance a quarter of an hour before the time appointed.

The operations of the cook are governed by the clock; the moment the roasts, &c. are ready, they must go to the table, if they are to be eaten in perfection.

An invitation to come at FIVE o’clock seems to be generally understood to mean six; FIVE PRECISELY, half past five; and NOT LATER THAN FIVE (so that dinner may be on the table within five minutes after, allowing this for the variation of watches), FIVE O’CLOCK EXACTLY.

Be it known to all loyal subjects of the empire of good-living, that the COMMITTEE OF TASTE have unanimously resolved, that “an invitation to ETA. BETA. PI. must be in writing, and sent at least ten days before the banquet; and must be answered in writing (as soon as possible after it is received), within twenty-four hours at least,” especially if it be not accepted: then, in addition to the usual complimentary expressions of thanks, &c. the best possible reasons must be assigned for the non-acceptance, as a particular pre-engagement, or severe indisposition, &c. Before the bearer of it delivers it, he should ascertain if the person it is directed to is at home; if he is not, when he will be; and if he is not in town, to bring the summons back.

Nothing can be more disobliging than a refusal which is not grounded on some very strong and unavoidable cause,—except not coming at the appointed hour;—“according to the laws of conviviality, a certificate from a sheriff’s officer, a doctor, or an undertaker, are the only pleas which are admissible. The duties which invitation imposes do not fall only on the persons invited, but, like all other social duties, are reciprocal.

“As he who has accepted an invitation cannot disengage himself from it; the master of the feast cannot put off the entertainment on any pretence whatever. Urgent business, sickness, not even death itself, can dispense with the obligation which he is under of giving the entertainment for which he has sent out invitations, which have been accepted; for in the extreme cases of compulsory absence, or death, his place may be filled by his friend or executor.”—Vide le[42] Manuel des Amphitryons, 8vo. Paris, 1808; and Cours Gastronomique, 1809; to which the reader is referred for farther instructions.

It is the least punishment that a blundering, ill-bred booby can receive, who comes half an hour after the time he was bidden, to find the soup removed, and the fish cold: moreover, for such an offence, let him also be mulcted in a pecuniary penalty, to be applied to the FUND FOR THE BENEFIT OF DECAYED COOKS. This is the least punishment that can be inflicted on one whose silence, or violation of an engagement, tends to paralyze an entertainment, and to draw his friend into useless expense.

Boileau, the French satirist, has a shrewd observation on this subject. “I have always been punctual at the hour of dinner,” says the bard; “for I knew, that all those whom I kept waiting at that provoking interval, would employ those unpleasant moments to sum up all my faults.—Boileau is indeed a man of genius, a very honest man; but that dilatory and procrastinating way he has got into, would mar the virtues of an angel.”

There are some who seldom keep an appointment: we can assure them they as seldom “’scape without whipping,” and exciting those murmurs which inevitably proceed from the best-regulated stomachs, when they are empty, and impatient to be filled.

The most amiable animals when hungry become ill-tempered: our best friends employ the time they are kept waiting, in recollecting and repeating any real faults we have, and attributing to us a thousand imaginary ones.

Ill-bred beings, who indulge their own caprice, regardless how they wound the feelings of others, if they possess brilliant and useful talents, may occasionally be endured as convenient tools; but deceive themselves sadly, even though they possess all the wisdom, and all the wit in the world, if they fancy they can ever be esteemed as friends.

Wait for no one: as soon as the clock strikes, say grace, and begin the business of the day,

“And good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both.”

MANNERS MAKE THE MAN.

Good manners have often made the fortune of many, who have had nothing else to recommend them:

[43]Ill manners have as often marred the hope of those who have had every thing else to advance them.

These regulations may appear a little rigorous to those phlegmatic philosophers,

“Who, past all pleasures, damn the joys of sense,
With rev’rend dulness and grave impotence,”

and are incapable of comprehending the importance (especially when many are invited) of a truly hospitable entertainment: but genuine connoisseurs in the science of good cheer will vote us thanks for our endeavours to initiate well-disposed amateurs.

CARVING.

Ceremony does not, in any thing, more commonly and completely triumph over comfort, than in the administration of “the honours of the table.”

Those who serve out the loaves and fishes seldom seem to understand that he is the best carver who fills the plates of the greatest number of guests, in the least portion of time.

To effect this, fill the plates and send them round, instead of asking each individual if they choose soup, fish, &c. or what particular part they prefer; for, as they cannot all be choosers, you will thus escape making any invidious distinctions.

A dexterous CARVER43-* (especially if he be possessed with that determined enemy to ceremony and sauce, a keen appetite,) will help half a dozen people in half the time one of your would-be-thought polite folks wastes in making civil faces, &c. to a single guest.

It would save a great deal of time, &c. if POULTRY, especially large turkeys and geese, were sent to table ready cut up. (No. 530.*)

Fish that is fried should be previously divided into such portions as are fit to help at table. (See No. 145.)

A prudent carver will cut fair,43-† observe an equitable[44] distribution of the dainties he is serving out, and regulate his helps, by the proportion which his dish bears to the number he has to divide it among, taking into this reckoning the quantum of appetite the several guests are presumed to possess.

“Study their genius, caprices, goût
They, in return, may haply study you:
Some wish a pinion, some prefer a leg,
Some for a merry-thought, or sidesbone beg,
The wings of fowls, then slices of the round
The trail of woodcock, of codfish the sound.
Let strict impartiality preside,
Nor freak, nor favour, nor affection guide.”
From the Banquet.

The guest who wishes to ensure a hearty welcome, and frequent invitation to the board of hospitality, may calculate that the “easier he is pleased, the oftener he will be invited.” Instead of unblushingly demanding of the fair hostess that the prime “tit-bit” of every dish be put on your plate, receive (if not with pleasure, or even content) with the liveliest expressions of thankfulness whatever is presented to you, and forget not to praise the cook, and the same shall be reckoned unto you even as the praise of the mistress.

The invalid or the epicure, when he dines out, to save trouble to his friends, may carry with him a portable MAGAZINE OF TASTE. (See No. 462.)

“If he does not like his fare, he may console himself with the reflection, that he need not expose his mouth to the like mortification again: mercy to the feelings of the mistress of the mansion will forbid his then appearing otherwise than absolutely delighted with it, notwithstanding it may be his extreme antipathy.”

“If he likes it ever so little, he will find occasion to congratulate himself on the advantage his digestive organs will derive from his making a moderate dinner, and consolation from contemplating the double relish he is creating for the following meal, and anticipating the (to him) rare and delicious zest of (that best sauce) good appetite, and an unrestrained indulgence of his gormandizing fancies at the chop-house he frequents.”

“Never intrust a cook-teaser with the important office of CARVER, or place him within reach of a sauce-boat. These chop-house cormorants, who

[45]

‘Critique your wine, and analyze your meat,
Yet on plain pudding deign at home to eat,’

are, generally, tremendously officious in serving out the loaves and fishes of other people; for, under the notion of appearing exquisitely amiable, and killingly agreeable to the guests, they are ever on the watch to distribute themselves the dainties which it is the peculiar part of the master and mistress to serve out, and is to them the most pleasant part of the business of the banquet: the pleasure of helping their friends is the gratification, which is their reward for the trouble they have had in preparing the feast. Such gentry are the terror of all good housewives: to obtain their favourite cut they will so unmercifully mangle your joints, that a dainty dog would hardly get a meal from them after; which, managed by the considerative hands of an old housekeeper, would furnish a decent dinner for a large family.”—Vide “Almanach des Gourmands.”

I once heard a gentle hint on this subject, given to a blue-mould fancier, who by looking too long at a Stilton cheese, was at last completely overcome, by his eye exciting his appetite, till it became quite ungovernable; and unconscious of every thing but the mity object of his contemplation, he began to pick out, in no small portions, the primest parts his eye could select from the centre of the cheese.

The good-natured founder of the feast, highly amused at the ecstasies each morsel created in its passage over the palate of the enraptured gourmand, thus encouraged the perseverance of his guest—“Cut away, my dear sir, cut away, use no ceremony, I pray: I hope you will pick out all the best of my cheese. Don’t you think that THE RIND and the ROTTEN will do very well for my wife and family!!” There is another set of terribly free and easy folks, who are “fond of taking possession of the throne of domestic comfort,” and then, with all the impudence imaginable, simper out to the ousted master of the family, “Dear me, I am afraid I have taken your place!”

Half the trouble of WAITING AT TABLE may be saved by giving each guest two plates, two knives and forks, two pieces of bread, a spoon, a wine-glass, and a tumbler, and placing the wines and sauces, and the MAGAZINE OF TASTE, (No. 462,) &c. as a dormant, in the centre of the table; one neighbour may then help another.

Dinner-tables are seldom sufficiently lighted, or attended. An active waiter will have enough to do to attend upon half a dozen active eaters. There should be about half as many candles as there are guests, and their flame be about[46] eighteen inches above the table. Our foolish modern pompous candelabras seem intended to illuminate the ceiling, rather than to give light on the plates, &c.

Wax lights at dinner are much more elegant, and not so troublesome and so uncertain as lamps, nor so expensive; for to purchase a handsome lamp will cost you more than will furnish you with wax candles for several years.

38-* Swilling cold soda water immediately after eating a hearty dinner, is another very unwholesome custom—take good ginger beer if you are thirsty, and don’t like Sir John Barleycorn’s cordial.

38-† Strong peppermint or ginger lozenges are an excellent help for that flatulence with which some aged and dyspeptic people ate afflicted three or four hours after dinner.

39-* Le Grand Sommelier, or CHIEF BUTLER, in former times was expected to be especially accomplished in the art of folding table linen, so as to lay his napkins in different forms every day: these transformations are particularly described in Rose’s Instructions for the Officers of the Mouth, 1682, p. 111, &c. “To pleat a napkin in the form of a cockle-shell double”—“in the form of hen and chickens”—“shape of two capons in a pye”—or “like a dog with a collar about his neck”—and many others equally whimsical.

43-* In days of yore “Le Grand Ecuyer Tranchant,” or the MASTER CARVER, was the next officer of the mouth in rank to the “Maître d’Hôtel,” and the technical terms of his art were as singular as any of those which ornament “Grose’s Classical Slang Dictionary,” or “The Gipsies’ Gibberish:” the only one of these old phrases now in common use is, “cut up the TURKEY:”—we are no longer desired to “disfigure a PEACOCK“—“unbrace a DUCK”—“unlace a CONEY”—“tame a CRAB”—“tire an EGG”—and “spoil the HEN,” &c.—See Instructions for the Officers of the Mouth, by Rose, 1682.

43-† Those in the parlour should recollect the importance of setting a good example to their friends at the second table. If they cut bread, meat, cheese, &c. FAIRLY, it will go twice as far as if they hack and mangle it, as if they had not half so much consideration for those in the kitchen as a good sportsman has for his dogs.


FRIENDLY ADVICE TO COOKS,46-*
AND OTHER
SERVANTS

On your first coming into a family, lose no time in immediately getting into the good graces of your fellow-servants, that you may learn from them the customs of the kitchen, and the various rules and orders of the house.

Take care to be on good terms with the servant who waits at table; make use of him as your sentinel, to inform you how your work has pleased in the parlour: by his report you may be enabled in some measure to rectify any mistake; but request the favour of an early interview with your master or mistress: depend as little as possible on second-hand opinions. Judge of your employers from YOUR OWN observations, and THEIR behaviour to you, not from any idle reports from the other servants, who, if your master or mistress inadvertently drop a word in your praise, will immediately take alarm, and fearing your being more in favour than themselves, will seldom stick at trifles to prevent it, by pretending to take a prodigious liking to you, and poisoning your mind in such a manner as to destroy all your confidence, &c. in your employers; and if they do not immediately succeed in worrying you away, will take care you have no comfort while you stay: be most cautious of those who profess most: not only beware of believing such honey-tongued[47] folks, but beware as much of betraying your suspicions of them, for that will set fire to the train at once, and of a doubtful friend make a determined enemy.

If you are a good cook, and strictly do your duty, you will soon become a favourite domestic; but never boast of the approbation of your employers; for, in proportion as they think you rise in their estimation, you will excite all the tricks, that envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness can suggest to your fellow-servants; every one of whom, if less sober, honest, or industrious, or less favoured than yourself, will be your enemy.

While we warn you against making others your enemies, take care that you do not yourself become your own and greatest enemy. “Favourites are never in greater danger of falling, than when in the greatest favour,” which often begets a careless inattention to the commands of their employers, and insolent overbearance to their equals, a gradual neglect of duty, and a corresponding forfeiture of that regard which can only be preserved by the means which created it.

“Those arts by which at first you gain it,
You still must practise to maintain it.”

If your employers are so pleased with your conduct as to treat you as a friend rather than a servant, do not let their kindness excite your self-conceit, so as to make you for a moment forget you are one. Condescension, even to a proverb, produces contempt in inconsiderate minds; and to such, the very means which benevolence takes to cherish attention to duty, becomes the cause of the evil it is intended to prevent.

To be an agreeable companion in the kitchen, without compromising your duty to your patrons in the parlour, requires no small portion of good sense and good nature: in a word, you must “do as you would be done by.”

Act for, and speak of, every body as if they were present.

We hope the culinary student who peruses these pages will be above adopting the common, mean, and ever unsuccessful way of “holding with the hare, and running with the hounds,” of currying favour with fellow-servants by flattering them, and ridiculing the mistress when in the kitchen, and then, prancing into the parlour and purring about her, and making opportunities to display all the little faults you can find (or invent) that will tell well against those in the kitchen; assuring them, on your return, that they were vraised, for whatever you heard them blamed, and so[48] excite them to run more extremely into any little error which you think will be most displeasing to their employers; watching an opportunity to pour your poisonous lies into their unsuspecting ears, when there is no third person to bear witness of your iniquity; making your victims believe, it is all out of your sincere regard for them; assuring them (as Betty says in the man of the world,) “That indeed you are no busybody that loves fending nor proving, but hate all tittling and tattling, and gossiping and backbiting,” &c. &c.

Depend upon it, if you hear your fellow-servants speak disrespectfully of a master or a mistress with whom they have lived some time, it is a sure sign that they have some sinister scheme against yourself; if they have not been well treated, why have they stayed?

“There is nothing more detestable than defamation. I have no scruple to rank a slanderer with a murderer or an assassin. Those who assault the reputation of their benefactors, and ‘rob you of that which nought enriches them,’ would destroy your life, if they could do it with equal impunity.”

“If you hope to gain the respect and esteem of others, and the approbation of your own heart, be respectful and faithful to your superiors, obliging and good-natured to your fellow-servants, and charitable to all.” You cannot be too careful to cultivate a meek and gentle disposition; you will find the benefit of it every day of your life: to promote peace and harmony around you, will not only render you a general favourite with your fellow-servants, but will make you happy in yourself.

“Let your character be remarkable for industry and moderation; your manners and deportment, for modesty and humility; your dress distinguished for simplicity, frugality, and neatness. A dressy servant is a disgrace to a house, and renders her employers as ridiculous as she does herself. If you outshine your companions in finery, you will inevitably excite their envy, and make them your enemies.”

  • “Do every thing at the proper time.”
  • “Keep every thing in its proper place.”
  • “Use every thing for its proper purpose.”

The importance of these three rules must be evident, to all who will consider how much easier it is to return any thing when done with to its proper place, than it is to find it when mislaid; and it is as easy to put things in one place as in another.

Keep your kitchen and furniture as clean and neat as possible, which will then be an ornament to it, a comfort to[49] your fellow-servants, and a credit to yourself. Moreover, good housewifery is the best recommendation to a good husband, and engages men to honourable attachment to you; she who is a tidy servant gives promise of being a careful wife.

Giving away Victuals.

Giving away any thing without consent or privity of your master or mistress, is a liberty you must not take; charity and compassion for the wants of our fellow-creatures are very amiable virtues, but they are not to be indulged at the expense of your own honesty, and other people’s property.

When you find that there is any thing to spare, and that it is in danger of being spoiled by being kept too long, it is very commendable in you to ask leave to dispose of it while it is fit for Christians to eat: if such permission is refused, the sin does not lie at your door. But you must on no account bestow the least morsel in contradiction to the will of those to whom it belongs.

“Never think any part of your business too trifling to be well done.”

“Eagerly embrace every opportunity of learning any thing which may be useful to yourself, or of doing any thing which may benefit others.”

Do not throw yourself out of a good place for a slight affront. “Come when you are called, and do what you are bid.” Place yourself in your mistress’s situation, and consider what you would expect from her, if she were in yours; and serve, reverence, and obey her accordingly.

Although there may be “more places than parish-churches,” it is not very easy to find many more good ones.

  • “A rolling stone never gathers moss.”
  • “Honesty is the best policy.”
  • “A still tongue makes a wise head.”

Saucy answers are highly aggravating, and answer no good purpose.

Let your master or mistress scold ever so much, or be ever so unreasonable; as “a soft answer turneth away wrath,” “so will SILENCE be the best a servant can make”.

One rude answer, extorted perhaps by harsh words, or unmerited censure, has cost many a servant the loss of a good place, or the total forfeiture of a regard which had been growing for years.

“If your employers are hasty, and have scolded without reason, bear it patiently; they will soon see their error, and[50] not be happy till they make you amends. Muttering on leaving the room, or slamming the door after you, is as bad as an impertinent reply; it is, in fact, showing that you would be impertinent if you dared.”

“A faithful servant will not only never speak disrespectfully to her employers, but will not hear disrespectful words said of them.”

Apply direct to your employers, and beg of them to explain to you, as fully as possible, how they like their victuals dressed, whether much or little done.50-*

Of what complexion they wish the ROASTS, of a gold colour, or well browned, and if they like them frothed?

Do they like SOUPS and SAUCES thick or thin, or white or brown, clean or full in the mouth? What accompaniments they are partial to?

What flavours they fancy? especially of SPICE and HERBS:

“Namque coquus domini debet habere gulam.”—Martial.

It is impossible that the most accomplished cook can please their palates, till she has learned their particular taste: this, it will hardly be expected, she can hit exactly the first time; however, the hints we have here given, and in the 7th and 8th chapters of the Rudiments of Cookery, will very much facilitate the ascertainment of this main chance of getting into their favour.

Be extremely cautious of seasoning high: leave it to the eaters to add the piquante condiments, according to their own palate and fancy: for this purpose, “The Magazine of Taste,” or “Sauce-box,” (No. 462,) will be found an invaluable acquisition; its contents will instantaneously produce any flavour that may be desired.

“De gustibus non est disputandum.”

Tastes are as different as faces; and without a most attentive observation of the directions given by her employers, the most experienced cook will never be esteemed a profound palatician.

It will not go far to pacify the rage of a ravenous gourmand, who likes his chops broiled brown, (and done enough, so that they can appear at table decently, and not blush when they are cut,) to be told that some of the customers at Dolly’s chop-house choose to have them only half-done, and that this is the best way of eating them.

[51]We all think that is the best way which we relish best, and which agrees best with our stomach: in this, reason and fashion, all-powerful as they are on most occasions, yield to the imperative caprice of the palate.

Chacun à son goût.

The Irishman loves Usquebaugh, the Scot loves ale call’d Blue-cap,
The Welchman he loves toasted cheese, and makes his mouth like a mouse-trap.”

Our Italian neighbours regale themselves with macaroni and parmesan, and eat some things which we call carrion.—Vide Ray’s Travels, p. 362 and 406.

While the Englishman boasts of his roast beef, plum pudding, and porter,

The Frenchman feeds on his favourite frog and soupe-maigre,

The Tartar feasts on horse-flesh,

The Chinaman on dogs,

The Greenlander preys on garbage and train oil; and each “blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.” What at one time or place is considered as beautiful, fragrant, and savoury, at another is regarded as deformed and disgustful.51-*

“Ask a toad what is beauty, the supremely beautiful, the ΤΟ ΚΑΛΟΝ! He will tell you it is my wife,—with two large eyes projecting out of her little head, a broad and flat neck, yellow belly, and dark brown back. With a Guinea negro, it is a greasy black skin, hollow eyes, and a flat nose. Put the question to the devil, and he will tell you that BEAUTY is a pair of horns, four claws, and a tail.”—Voltaire’s Philos. Dict. 8vo. p. 32.

Asafœtida was called by the ancients ‘FOOD FOR THE GODS.’ The Persians, Indians, and other Eastern people, now eat it in sauces, and call it by that name: the Germans call it devil’s dung.”—Vide Pomet on Drugs.

Garlic and clove, or allspice, combined in certain proportions, produce a flavour very similar to asafœtida.

The organ of taste is more rarely found in perfection, and is sooner spoiled by the operations of time, excessive use, &c. than either of our other senses.

There are as various degrees of sensibility of palate as there are of gradations of perfection in the eyes and ears of painters and musicians. After all the pains which the editor has taken to explain the harmony of subtle relishes, unless nature has given the organ of taste in a due degree, this book[52] will, alas! no more make an Osborne,52-* than it can a Reynolds, or an Arne, or a Shield.

Where nature has been most bountiful of this faculty, its sensibility is so easily blunted by a variety of unavoidable circumstances, that the tongue is very seldom in the highest condition for appreciating delicate flavours, or accurately estimating the relative force of the various materials the cook employs in the composition of an harmonious relish. Cooks express this refinement of combination by saying, a well-finished ragoût “tastes of every thing, and tastes of nothing:” (this is “kitchen gibberish” for a sauce in which the component parts are well proportioned.)

However delicately sensitive nature may have formed the organs of taste, it is only during those few happy moments that they are perfectly awake, and in perfect good humour, (alas! how very seldom they are,) that the most accomplished and experienced cook has a chance of working with any degree of certainty without the auxiliary tests of the balance and the measure: by the help of these, when you are once right, it is your own fault if you are ever otherwise.

The sense of taste depends much on the health of the individual, and is hardly ever for a single hour in the same state: such is the extremely intimate sympathy between the stomach and the tongue, that in proportion as the former is empty, the latter is acute and sensitive. This is the cause that “good appetite is the best sauce,” and that the dish we find savoury at luncheon, is insipid at dinner, and at supper quite tasteless.

To taste any thing in perfection, the tongue must be moistened, or the substance applied to it contain moisture; the nervous papillæ which constitute this sense are roused to still more lively sensibility by salt, sugar, aromatics, &c.

If the palate becomes dull by repeated tasting, one of the best ways of refreshing it, is to masticate an apple, or to wash your mouth well with milk.

The incessant exercise of tasting, which a cook is obliged to submit to during the education of her tongue, frequently impairs the very faculty she is trying to improve. “’Tis true ’tis pity and pity ’tis,” (says a grand gourmand) “’tis true, her too anxious perseverance to penetrate the mysteries of palatics may diminish the tact, exhaust the power, and destroy the index, without which all her labour is in vain.”

[53]Therefore, a sagacious cook, instead of idly and wantonly wasting the excitability of her palate, on the sensibility of which her reputation and fortune depends, when she has ascertained the relative strength of the flavour of the various ingredients she employs, will call in the balance and the measure to do the ordinary business, and endeavour to preserve her organ of taste with the utmost care, that it may be a faithful oracle to refer to on grand occasions, and new compositions.53-* Of these an ingenious cook may form as endless a variety, as a musician with his seven notes, or a painter with his colours: read chapters 7 and 8 of the Rudiments of Cookery.

Receive as the highest testimonies of your employers’ regard whatever observations they may make on your work: such admonitions are the most unequivocal proofs of their desire to make you thoroughly understand their taste, and their wish to retain you in their service, or they would not take the trouble to teach you.

Enter into all their plans of economy,53-† and endeavour to make the most of every thing, as well for your own honour as your master’s profit, and you will find that whatever care you take for his profit will be for your own: take care that the meat which is to make its appearance again in the parlour is handsomely cut with a sharp knife, and put on a clean dish: take care of the gravy (see No. 326) which is left, it will save many pounds of meat in making sauce for hashes, poultry, and many little dishes.

Many things may be redressed in a different form from that in which they were first served, and improve the appearance of the table without increasing the expense of it.

Cold fish, soles, cod, whitings, smelts, &c. may be cut into bits, and put into escallop shells, with cold oyster, lobster, or shrimp sauce, and bread crumbled, and put into a Dutch oven, and browned like scalloped oysters. (No. 182.)

[54]The best way TO WARM COLD MEAT is to sprinkle the joint over with a little salt, and put it in a Dutch oven, at some distance before a gentle fire, that it may warm gradually; watch it carefully, and keep turning it till it is quite hot and brown: it will take from twenty minutes to three quarters of an hour, according to its thickness; serve it up with gravy: this is much better than hashing it, and by doing it nicely a cook will get great credit. Poultry (No. 530*), FRIED FISH (see No. 145), &c. may be redressed in this way.

Take care of the liquor you have boiled poultry or meat in; in five minutes you may make it into EXCELLENT SOUP. See obs. to Nos. 555 and 229, No. 5, and the 7th chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.

No good housewife has any pretensions to rational economy who boils animal food without converting the broth into some sort of soup.

However highly the uninitiated in the mystery of soup-making may elevate the external appendage of his olfactory organ at the mention of “POT LIQUOR,” if he tastes No. 5, or 218, 555, &c. he will be as delighted with it as a Frenchman is with “potage à la Camarani,” of which it is said “a single spoonful will lap the palate in Elysium; and while one drop of it remains on the tongue, each other sense is eclipsed by the voluptuous thrilling of the lingual nerves!!”

Broth of fragments.—When you dress a large dinner, you may make good broth, or portable soup (No. 252), at very small cost, by taking care of all the trimmings and parings of the meat, game, and poultry, you are going to use: wash them well, and put them into a stewpan, with as much cold water as will cover them; set your stewpan on a hot fire; when it boils, take off all the scum, and set it on again to simmer gently; put in two carrots, two turnips, a large onion, three blades of pounded mace, and a head of celery; some mushroom parings will be a great addition. Let it continue to simmer gently four or five hours; strain it through a sieve into a clean basin. This will save a great deal of expense in buying gravy-meat.

Have the DUST, &c. removed regularly once in a fortnight, and have your KITCHEN CHIMNEY swept once a month; many good dinners have been spoiled, and many houses burned down, by the soot falling: the best security against this, is for the cook to have a long birch-broom, and every morning brush down all the soot within reach of it. Give notice to your employers when the contents of your COAL-CELLAR are diminished to a chaldron.

[55]It will be to little purpose to procure good provisions, unless you have proper utensils55-* to prepare them in: the most expert artist cannot perform his work in a perfect manner without proper instruments; you cannot have neat work without nice tools, nor can you dress victuals well without an apparatus appropriate to the work required. See 1st page of chapter 7 of the Rudiments of Cookery.

In those houses where the cook enjoys the confidence of her employer so much as to be intrusted with the care of the store-room, which is not very common, she will keep an exact account of every thing as it comes in, and insist upon the weight and price being fixed to every article she purchases, and occasionally will (and it may not be amiss to jocosely drop a hint to those who supply them that she does) reweigh them, for her own satisfaction, as well as that of her employer, and will not trust the key of this room to any one; she will also keep an account of every thing she takes from it, and manage with as much consideration and frugality as if it was her own property she was using, endeavouring to disprove the adage, that “PLENTY makes waste,” and remembering that “wilful waste makes woful want.”

The honesty of a cook must be above all suspicion: she must obtain, and (in spite of the numberless temptations, &c. that daily offer to bend her from it) preserve a character of spotless integrity and useful industry,55-† remembering that it is the fair price of INDEPENDENCE, which all wish for, but none without it can hope for; only a fool or a madman will be so silly or so crazy as to expect to reap where he has been too idle to sow.

Very few modern-built town-houses have a proper place[56] to preserve provisions in. The best substitute is a HANGING SAFE, which you may contrive to suspend in an airy situation; and when you order meat, poultry, or fish, tell the tradesman when you intend to dress it: he will then have it in his power to serve you with provision that will do him credit, which the finest meat, &c. in the world will never do, unless it has been kept a proper time to be ripe and tender.

If you have a well-ventilated larder in a shady, dry situation, you may make still surer, by ordering in your meat and poultry such a time before you want it as will render it tender, which the finest meat cannot be, unless hung a proper time (see 2d chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery), according to the season, and nature of the meat, &c.; but always, as “les bons hommes de bouche de France” say, till it isassez mortifiée.”

Permitting this process to proceed to a certain degree renders meat much more easy of solution in the stomach, and for those whose digestive faculties are delicate, it is of the utmost importance that it be attended to with the greatest nicety, for the most consummate skill in the culinary preparation of it will not compensate for the want of attention to this. (Read obs. to No. 68.) Meat that is thoroughly roasted, or boiled, eats much shorter and tenderer, and is in proportion more digestible, than that which is under-done.

You will be enabled to manage much better if your employers will make out a BILL OF FARE FOR THE WEEK on the Saturday before: for example, for a family of half a dozen—

Sunday Roast beef (No. 19), and my pudding (No. 554).

Monday Fowl (Nos. 16. 58), what was left of my pudding fried, and warmed in the Dutch oven.

Tuesday Calf’s head (No. 10), apple-pie.

Wednesday Leg of mutton (No. 1), or (No. 23).

Thursday Do. broiled or hashed (No. 487), or (No. 484,) pancakes.

Friday Fish (No. 145), pudding (No. 554).

Saturday Fish, or eggs and bacon (No. 545).

It is an excellent plan to have certain things on certain days. When your butcher or poulterer knows what you will want, he has a better chance of doing his best for you; and never think of ordering BEEF FOR ROASTING except for Sunday.

When the weather or season56-* is very unfavourable for[57] keeping meat, &c. give him the choice of sending that which is in the best order for dressing; i. e. either ribs or sirloin of beef, or leg, loin, or neck of mutton, &c.

Meat in which you can detect the slightest trace of putrescency, has reached its highest degree of tenderness, and should be dressed without delay; but before this period, which in some kinds of meat is offensive, the due degree of inteneration may be ascertained, by its yielding readily to the pressure of the finger, and by its opposing little resistance to an attempt to bind the joint.

Although we strongly recommend that animal food should be hung up in the open air, till its fibres have lost some degree of their toughness; yet, let us be clearly understood also to warn you, that if kept till it loses its natural sweetness, it is as detrimental to health, as it is disagreeable to the smell and taste.

In very cold weather, bring your meat, poultry, &c. into the kitchen, early in the morning, if you roast, boil, or stew it ever so gently and ever so long; if it be frozen, it will continue tough and unchewable.

Without very watchful attention to this, the most skilful cook in the world will get no credit, be she ever so careful in the management of her spit or her stewpan.

The time meat should hang to be tender, depends on the heat and humidity of the air. If it is not kept long enough, it is hard and tough; if too long, it loses its flavour. It should be hung where it will have a thorough air, and be dried with a cloth, night and morning, to keep it from damp and mustiness.

Before you dress it, wash it well; if it is roasting beef, pare off the outside.

If you fear meat,57-* &c. will not keep till the time it is wanted, par-roast or par-boil it; it will then keep a couple of days longer, when it may be dressed in the usual way, only it will be done in rather less time.

[58]“In Germany, the method of keeping flesh in summer is to steep it in Rhenish wine with a little sea-salt; by which means it may be preserved a whole season.”—Boerhaave’s Academical Lectures, translated by J. Nathan, 8vo. 1763, p. 241.

The cook and the butcher as often lose their credit by meat being dressed too fresh, as the fishmonger does by fish that has been kept too long.

Dr. Franklin in his philosophical experiments tells us, that if game or poultry be killed by ELECTRICITY it will become tender in the twinkling of an eye, and if it be dressed immediately, will be delicately tender.

During the sultry SUMMER MONTHS, it is almost impossible to procure meat that is not either tough, or tainted. The former is as improper as the latter for the unbraced stomachs of relaxed valetudinarians, for whom, at this season, poultry, stews, &c., and vegetable soups, are the most suitable food, when the digestive organs are debilitated by the extreme heat, and profuse perspiration requires an increase of liquid to restore equilibrium in the constitution.

I have taken much more pains than any of my predecessors, to teach the young cook how to perform, in the best manner, the common business of her profession. Being well grounded in the RUDIMENTS of COOKERY, she will be able to execute the orders that are given her, with ease to herself, and satisfaction to her employers, and send up a delicious dinner, with half the usual expense and trouble.

I have endeavoured to lessen the labour of those who wish to be thoroughly acquainted with their profession; and an attentive perusal of the following pages will save them much of the irksome drudgery attending an apprenticeship at the stove: an ordeal so severe, that few pass it without irreparable injury to their health;58-* and many lose their lives before they learn their business.

To encourage the best performance of the machinery of mastication, the cook must take care that her dinner is not only well cooked, but that each dish be sent to table with its proper accompaniments, in the neatest and most elegant manner.

Remember, to excite the good opinion of the eye is the first step towards awakening the appetite.

[59]Decoration is much more rationally employed in rendering a wholesome, nutritious dish inviting, than in the elaborate embellishments which are crowded about trifles and custards.

Endeavour to avoid over-dressing roasts and boils, &c. and over-seasoning soups and sauces with salt, pepper, &c.; it is a fault which cannot be mended.

If your roasts, &c. are a little under-done, with the assistance of the stewpan, the gridiron, or the Dutch oven, you may soon rectify the mistake made with the spit or the pot.

If over-done, the best juices of the meat are evaporated; it will serve merely to distend the stomach, and if the sensation of hunger be removed, it is at the price of an indigestion.

The chief business of cookery is to render food easy of digestion, and to facilitate nutrition. This is most completely accomplished by plain cookery in perfection; i. e. neither over nor under-done.

With all your care, you will not get much credit by cooking to perfection, if more than one dish goes to table at a time.

To be eaten in perfection, the interval between meat being taken out of the stewpan and its being put into the mouth, must be as short as possible; but ceremony, that most formidable enemy to good cheer, too often decrees it otherwise, and the guests seldom get a bit of an “entremets” till it is half cold. (See No. 485.)

So much time is often lost in placing every thing in apple-pie order, that long before dinner is announced, all becomes lukewarm; and to complete the mortification of the grand gourmand, his meat is put on a sheet of ice in the shape of a plate, which instantly converts the gravy into jelly, and the fat into a something which puzzles his teeth and the roof of his mouth as much as if he had birdlime to masticate. A complete meat-screen will answer the purpose of a hot closet, plate-warmer, &c.—See Index.

It will save you infinite trouble and anxiety, if you can prevail on your employers to use the “SAUCE-BOX,” No. 462, hereinafter described in the chapter of Sauces. With the help of this “MAGAZINE OF TASTE,” every one in company may flavour their soup and sauce, and adjust the vibrations of their palate, exactly to their own fancy; but if the cook give a decidedly predominant and piquante goût to a dish, to tickle the tongues of two or three visiters, whose taste she knows, she may thereby make the dinner disgusting to all the other guests.

[60]Never undertake more work than you are quite certain you can do well. If you are ordered to prepare a larger dinner than you think you can send up with ease and neatness, or to dress any dish that you are not acquainted with, rather than run any risk in spoiling any thing (by one fault you may perhaps lose all your credit), request your employers to let you have some help. They may acquit you for pleading guilty of inability; but if you make an attempt, and fail, will vote it a capital offence.

If your mistress professes to understand cookery, your best way will be to follow her directions. If you wish to please her, let her have the praise of all that is right, and cheerfully bear the blame of any thing that is wrong; only advise that all NEW DISHES may be first tried when the family dine alone. When there is company, never attempt to dress any thing which you have not ascertained that you can do perfectly well.

Do not trust any part of your work to others without carefully overlooking them: whatever faults they commit, you will be censured for. If you have forgotten any article which is indispensable for the day’s dinner, request your employers to send one of the other servants for it. The cook must never quit her post till her work is entirely finished.

It requires the utmost skill and contrivance to have all things done as they should be, and all done together, at that critical moment when the dinner-bell sounds “to the banquet.”

“A feast must be without a fault;
And if ’t is not all right, ’t is naught.”

But

“Good nature will some failings overlook,
Forgive mischance, not errors of the cook;
As, if no salt is thrown about the dish,
Or nice crisp’d parsley scatter’d on the fish,
Shall we in passion from our dinner fly,
And hopes of pardon to the cook deny,
For things which Mrs. Glasse herself might oversee,
And all mankind commit as well as she?”
Vide King’s Art of Cookery.

Such is the endless variety of culinary preparations, that it would be as vain and fruitless a search as that for the philosopher’s stone, to expect to find a cook who is quite perfect in all the operations of the spit, the stewpan, and the rolling-pin: you will as soon find a watchmaker who can make, put together, and regulate every part of a watch.

“The universe cannot produce a cook who knows how to[61] do every branch of cookery well, be his genius as great as possible.”—Vide the Cook’s Cookery, 8vo. page 40.

The best rule for marketing is to pay READY MONEY for every thing, and to deal with the most respectable tradesmen in your neighbourhood.

If you leave it to their integrity to supply you with a good article, at the fair market price, you will be supplied with better provisions, and at as reasonable a rate as those bargain-hunters, who trot “around, around, around about” a market, till they are trapped to buy some unchewable old poultry, tough tup-mutton, stringy cow beef, or stale fish, at a very little less than the price of prime and proper food. With savings like these they toddle home in triumph, cackling all the way, like a goose that has got ankle-deep into good luck.

All the skill of the most accomplished cook will avail nothing, unless she is furnished with PRIME PROVISIONS. The best way to procure these is to deal with shops of established character: you may appear to pay, perhaps, ten per cent. more than you would, were you to deal with those who pretend to sell cheap, but you would be much more than in that proportion better served.

Every trade has its tricks and deceptions: those who follow them can deceive you if they please; and they are too apt to do so, if you provoke the exercise of their over-reaching talent.61-*

Challenge them to a game at “Catch who can,” by entirely relying on your own judgment; and you will soon find that nothing but very long experience can make you equal to the combat of marketing to the utmost advantage.

Before you go to market, look over your larder, and consider well what things are wanting, especially on a Saturday. No well-regulated family can suffer a disorderly caterer to be jumping in and out to the chandler’s shop on a Sunday morning.

Give your directions to your assistants, and begin your business early in the morning, or it will be impossible to have the dinner ready at the time it is ordered.

[62]To be half an hour after the time is such a frequent fault, that there is the more merit in being ready at the appointed hour. This is a difficult task, and in the best-regulated family you can only be sure of your time by proper arrangements.

With all our love of punctuality, we must not forget that the first consideration must still be, that the dinner “be well done when ’t is done.”

If any accident occurs to any part of the dinner, or if you are likely to be prevented sending the soup, &c. to the table at the moment it is expected, send up a message to your employers, stating the circumstance, and bespeak their patience for as many minutes as you think it will take to be ready. This is better than either keeping the company waiting without an apology, or dishing your dinner before it is done enough, or sending any thing to table which is disgusting to the stomachs of the guests at the first appearance of it.

Those who desire regularity in the service of their table, should have a DIAL, of about twelve inches diameter, placed over the kitchen fireplace, carefully regulated to keep time exactly with the clock in the hall or dining-parlour; with a frame on one side, containing A TASTE TABLE of the peculiarities of the master’s palate, and the particular rules and orders of his kitchen; and, on the other side, of the REWARDS given to those who attend to them, and for long and faithful service.

In small families, where a dinner is seldom given, a great deal of preparation is required, and the preceding day must be devoted to the business of the kitchen.

On these occasions a char-woman is often employed to do the dirty work. Ignorant persons often hinder you more than they help you. We advise a cook to be hired to assist to dress the dinner: this would be very little more expense, and the work got through with much more comfort in the kitchen and credit to the parlour.

When you have a very large entertainment to prepare, get your soups and sauces, forcemeats, &c. ready the day before, and read the 7th chapter of our Rudiments of Cookery. Many made dishes may also be prepared the day before they are to go to table; but do not dress them quite enough the first day, that they may not be over-done by warming up again.

Prepare every thing you can the day before the dinner, and order every thing else to be sent in early in the morning; if the tradesmen forget it, it will allow you time to send for it.

The pastry, jellies, &c. you may prepare while the broths are doing: then truss your game and poultry, and shape[63] your collops, cutlets, &c., and trim them neatly; cut away all flaps and gristles, &c. Nothing should appear on table but what has indisputable pretensions to be eaten!

Put your made dishes in plates, and arrange them upon the dresser in regular order. Next, see that your roasts and boils are all nicely trimmed, trussed, &c. and quite ready for the spit or the pot.

Have your vegetables neatly cut, pared, picked, and clean washed in the colander: provide a tin dish, with partitions, to hold your fine herbs: onions and shallots, parsley, thyme, tarragon, chervil, and burnet, minced very fine; and lemon-peel grated, or cut thin, and chopped very small: pepper and salt ready mixed, and your spice-box and salt-cellar always ready for action: that every thing you may want may be at hand for your stove-work, and not be scampering about the kitchen in a whirlpool of confusion, hunting after these trifles while the dinner is waiting.

In one drawer under your SPICE-BOX keep ready ground, in well-stopped bottles, the several spices separate; and also that mixture of them which is called “ragoût powder” (No. 457 or No. 460): in another, keep your dried and powdered sweet, savoury, and soup herbs, &c. and a set of weights and scales: you may have a third drawer, containing flavouring essences, &c. an invaluable auxiliary in finishing soups and sauces. (See the account of the “MAGAZINE OF TASTE,” or “SAUCE-BOX,” No. 462.)

Have also ready some THICKENING, made of the best white flour sifted, mixed with soft water with a wooden spoon till it is the consistence of thick batter, a bottle of plain BROWNING (No. 322), some strained lemon-juice, and some good glaze, or PORTABLE soup (No. 252).

“Nothing can be done in perfection which must be done in a hurry:”63-* therefore, if you wish the dinner to be sent up to please your master and mistress, and do credit to yourself, be punctual; take care that as soon as the clock strikes, the dinner-bell rings: this shows the establishment to be orderly, is extremely gratifying to the master and his guests, and is most praiseworthy in the attendants.

But remember, you cannot obtain this desirable reputation without good management in every respect. If you wish to ensure ease and independence in the latter part of your life, you must not be unwilling to pay the price for which only they can be obtained, and earn them by a diligent and[64] faithful64-* performance of the duties of your station in your young days, which, if you steadily persevere in, you may depend upon ultimately receiving the reward your services deserve.

All duties are reciprocal: and if you hope to receive favour, endeavour to deserve it by showing yourself fond of obliging, and grateful when obliged; such behaviour will win regard, and maintain it: enforce what is right, and excuse what is wrong.

Quiet, steady perseverance is the only spring which you can safely depend upon for infallibly promoting your progress on the road to independence.

If your employers do not immediately appear to be sensible of your endeavours to contribute your utmost to their comfort and interest, be not easily discouraged. Persevere, and do all in your power to MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL.

Endeavour to promote the comfort of every individual in the family; let it be manifest that you are desirous to do rather more than is required of you, than less than your duty: they merit little who perform merely what would be exacted. If you are desired to help in any business which may not strictly belong to your department, undertake it cheerfully, patiently, and conscientiously.

The foregoing advice has been written with an honest desire to augment the comfort of those in the kitchen, who will soon find that the ever-cheering reflection of having done their duty to the utmost of their ability, is in itself, with a Christian spirit, a never-failing source of comfort in all circumstances and situations, and that

VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD.”

46-* A chapter of advice to cooks will, we hope, be found as useful as it is original: all we have on this subject in the works of our predecessors, is the following; “I shall strongly recommend to all cooks of either sex, to keep their stomachs free from strong liquors till after dinner, and their noses from snuff.”—Vide Clermont’s Professed Cook, p. 30, 8vo. London, 1776.

50-* Meat that is not to be cut till it is cold, must be thoroughly done, especially in summer.

51-* See chapter XV. “Chaque Pays, chaque Coutume.”—Cours Gastronomique, 8vo. 1809, p. 162.

52-* Cook to Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., late president of the Royal Society.

53-* “The diversities of taste are so many and so considerable, that it seemeth strange to see the matter treated of both by philosophers and physicians with so much scantiness and defect: for the subject is not barren, but yieldeth much and pleasant variety, and doth also appear to be of great importance.”—From Dr. Grew’s Anat. of Plants, fol. 1682, p. 286. The Dr. enumerates sixteen simple tastes: however, it is difficult to define more than six.—1st. Bitter as wormwood. 2d. Sweet as sugar. 3d. Sour as vinegar. 4th. Salt as brine. 5th. Cold as ice. 6th. Hot as brandy. “Compound tastes, innumerable, may be formed by the combination of these simple tastes—as words are of letters.”—See also Phil. Trans. vol. xv. p. 1025.

53-† “I am persuaded that no servant ever saved her master sixpence, but she found it in the end in her pocket.”—Trusler’s Domestic Management, p. 11.

55-* “A surgeon may as well attempt to make an incision with a pair of shears, or open a vein with an oyster-knife, as a cook pretend to dress a dinner without proper tools.”—Verrall’s Cookery, 8vo. 1759, p. 6.

55-† Many COOKS miss excellent opportunities of making themselves independent, by their idleness, in refusing any place, however profitable, &c. if there is not a kitchen maid kept to wait upon them.

There are many invalids who require a good cook, and as (after reading this book they will understand how much) their comfort and effective existence depends on their food being properly prepared, will willingly pay handsome wages, (who would not rather pay the cook than the doctor?) but have so little work in the kitchen that one person may do it all with the utmost ease, without injury to her health; which is not the case in a large family, where the poor cook is roasting and stewing all day, and is often deprived of her rest at night. No artists have greater need to “make hay while the sun shines,” and timely provide for the infirmities of age. Who will hire a superannuated servant? If she has saved nothing to support herself, she must crawl to the workhouse.

It is melancholy to find, that, according to the authority of a certain great French author, “cooks, half stewed and half roasted, when unable to work any longer, generally retire to some unknown corner, and die in forlornness and want.”—Blackwood’s Edin. Mag. vol. vii. p. 668.

56-* “The season of the year has considerable influence on the quality of butcher-meat; depending upon the more or less plentiful supply of food, upon the periodical change which takes place in the body of the animal, and upon temperature. The flesh of most full-grown quadrupeds is in highest season during the first months of winter, after having enjoyed the advantage of the abundance of fresh summer food. Its flavour then begins to be injured by the turnips, &c. given as winter food; and in spring, it gets lean from deficiency of food. Although beef and mutton are never absolutely out of season, or not fit for the table, they are best in November, December, and January. Pork is absolutely bad, except during the winter.”—Supplement to the Edin. Ency. Brit. p. 328.

57-*Larders, PANTRIES, and SAFES must be sheltered from the sun, and otherwise removed from the heat; be dry, and, if possible, have a current of dry, cool air continually passing through them.

“The freezing temperature, i. e. 32 degrees of Fahrenheit, is a perfect preservative from putrefaction: warm, moist, muggy weather is the worst for keeping meat. The south wind is especially unfavourable, and lightning is quickly destructive; but the greatest enemy you have to encounter is the flesh-fly, which becomes troublesome about the month of May, and continues so till towards Michaelmas.”—For further Obs. on this subject see “The Experienced Butcher,” page 160.

58-*

“Buy it with health, strength, and resolution,
And pay for it, a robust constitution.”
Preface to the Cook’s Cookery, 1758.

See the preface to “The Cook’s Cookery,” p. 9. This work, which is very scarce, was, we believe, written to develope the mistakes in what he calls “The Thousand Errors,” i. e. “The Lady’s Cookery,” i. e. Mrs. Glasse’s, i. e. Sir John Hill’s.

61-* “He who will not be cheated a little, must be content to be abused a great deal: the first lesson in the art of comfortable economy, is to learn to submit cheerfully to be imposed upon in due proportion to your situation and circumstances: if you do not, you will continually be in hot water.

“If you think a tradesman has imposed upon you, never use a second word, if the first will not do, nor drop the least hint of an imposition. The only method to induce him to make an abatement is the hope of future favours. Pay the demand, and deal with the gentleman no more: but do not let him see that you are displeased, or, as soon as you are out of sight, your reputation will suffer as much as your pocket has.”—Trusler’s Way to be Rich, 8vo. 1776, p. 85.

63-* Says Tom Thrifty, “except catching of fleas.” See T. T.’s Essay on Early Rising.

64-* N.B. “If you will take half the pains to deserve the regard of your master and mistress by being a good and faithful servant, you take to be considered a good fellow-servant, so many of you would not, in the decline of life, be left destitute of those comforts which age requires, nor have occasion to quote the saying that ‘Service is no inheritance,’ unless your own misconduct makes it so.

“The idea of being called a tell-tale has occasioned many good servants to shut their eyes against the frauds of fellow-servants.

“In the eye of the law, persons standing by and seeing a felony committed, which they could have prevented, are held equally guilty with those committing it.”—Dr. Trusler’s Domestic Management, p. 12, and Instructions to Servants.


[65]

TABLE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.


To reduce our culinary operations to as exact a certainty as the nature of the processes would admit of, we have, wherever it was needful, given the quantities of each article.

The weights are avoirdupois.

The measure, the graduated glass of the apothecaries. This appeared the most accurate and convenient; the pint being divided into sixteen ounces, the ounce into eight drachms. A middling-sized tea-spoon will contain about a drachm; four such tea-spoons are equal to a middling-sized table-spoon, or half an ounce; four table-spoons to a common-sized wine-glass.

The specific gravities of the various substances being so extremely different, we cannot offer any auxiliary standards65-* for the weights, which we earnestly recommend the cook to employ, if she wishes to gain credit for accuracy and uniformity in her business: these she will find it necessary to have as small as the quarter of a drachm avoirdupois, which is equal to nearly seven grains troy.

Glass measures (divided into tea and table-spoons), containing from half an ounce to half a pint, may be procured; also, the double-headed pepper and spice boxes, with caps over the gratings. The superiority of these, by preserving the contents from the action of the air, must be sufficiently obvious to every one: the fine aromatic flavour of pepper is soon lost, from the bottles it is usually kept in not being well stopped. Peppers are seldom ground or pounded sufficiently fine. (See N.B. to 369.)

N.B. The trough nutmeg-graters are by far the best we have seen, especially for those who wish to grate fine, and fast.

65-* A large table-spoonful of flour weighs about half an ounce.


[66]

RUDIMENTS OF COOKERY.


CHAPTER I.
BOILING.66-*

This most simple of culinary processes is not often performed in perfection. It does not require quite so much nicety and attendance as roasting; to skim your pot well, and keep it really boiling (the slower the better) all the while, to know how long is required for doing the joint, &c., and to take it up at the critical moment when it is done enough, comprehends almost the whole art and mystery. This, however, demands a patient and perpetual vigilance, of which few persons are capable.

The cook must take especial care that the water really boils all the while she is cooking, or she will be deceived in the time; and make up a sufficient fire (a frugal cook will manage with much less fire for boiling than she uses for roasting) at first, to last all the time, without much mending or stirring.

When the pot is coming to a boil there will always, from[67] the cleanest meat and clearest water, rise a scum to the top of it, proceeding partly from the water; this must be carefully taken off as soon as it rises.

On this depends the good appearance of all boiled things.

When you have skimmed well, put in some cold water, which will throw up the rest of the scum.

The oftener it is skimmed, and the cleaner the top of the water is kept, the sweeter and the cleaner will be the meat.

If let alone, it soon boils down and sticks to the meat,67-* which, instead of looking delicately white and nice, will have that coarse and filthy appearance we have too often to complain of, and the butcher and poulterer be blamed for the carelessness of the cook in not skimming her pot.

Many put in milk, to make what they boil look white; but this does more harm than good: others wrap it up in a cloth; but these are needless precautions: if the scum be attentively removed, meat will have a much more delicate colour and finer flavour than it has when muffled up. This may give rather more trouble, but those who wish to excel in their art must only consider how the processes of it can be most perfectly performed: a cook, who has a proper pride and pleasure in her business, will make this her maxim on all occasions.

It is desirable that meat for boiling be of an equal thickness, or before thicker parts are done enough the thinner will be done too much.

Put your meat into cold67-† water, in the proportion of about a quart of water to a pound of meat: it should be covered with water during the whole of the process of boiling, but not drowned in it; the less water, provided the meat be covered with it, the more savoury will be the meat, and the better will be the broth.

The water should be heated gradually, according to the thickness, &c. of the article boiled. For instance, a leg of mutton of 10 pounds weight (No. 1,) should be placed over a moderate fire, which will gradually make the water hot, without causing it to boil for about forty minutes; if the water boils much sooner, the meat will be hardened, and shrink up as if it was scorched: by keeping the water a certain time heating without boiling, the fibres of the meat are[68] dilated, and it yields a quantity of scum, which must be taken off as soon as it rises.

“104. If a vessel containing water be placed over a steady fire, the water will grow continually hotter till it reaches the limit of boiling, after which the regular accessions of heat are wholly spent in converting it into steam.

“Water remains at the same pitch of temperature, however fiercely it boils. The only difference is, that with a strong fire it sooner comes to boil, and more quickly boils away, and is converted into steam.”—Buchanan on the Economy of Fuel, 1810.

The editor placed a thermometer in water in that state which cooks call gentle simmering; the heat was 212°, i. e. the same degree as the strongest boiling.

Two mutton chops were covered with cold water, and one boiled a gallop, and the other simmered very gently for three quarters of an hour: the chop which was slowly simmered was decidedly superior to that which was boiled; it was much tenderer, more juicy, and much higher flavoured. The liquor which boiled fast was in like proportion more savoury, and when cold had much more fat on its surface. This explains why quick boiling renders meat hard, &c., because its juices are extracted in a greater degree.

Reckon the time from its first coming to a boil.

The old rule of 15 minutes to a pound of meat, we think rather too little: the slower it boils, the tenderer, the plumper, and whiter it will be.

For those who choose their food thoroughly cooked (which all will who have any regard for their stomachs), twenty minutes to a pound for fresh, and rather more for salted meat, will not be found too much for gentle simmering by the side of the fire, allowing more or less time, according to the thickness of the joint, and the coldness of the weather: to know the state of which, let a thermometer be placed in the pantry; and when it falls below 40°, tell your cook to give rather more time in both roasting and boiling, always remembering, the slower it boils the better.

Without some practice it is difficult to teach any art; and cooks seem to suppose they must be right, if they put meat into a pot, and set it over the fire for a certain time, making no allowance whether it simmers without a bubble or boils a gallop.

Fresh-killed meat will take much longer time boiling than that which has been kept till it is what the butchers call ripe, and longer in cold than in warm weather: if it be frozen, it must be thawed before boiling as before roasting; if it be[69] fresh-killed, it will be tough and hard, if you stew it ever so long, and ever so gently. In cold weather, the night before the day you dress it, bring it into a place of which the temperature is not less than 45 degrees of Fahrenheit’s thermometer.

The size of the boiling-pots should be adapted to what they are to contain: the larger the saucepan the more room it takes upon the fire, and a larger quantity of water requires a proportionate increase of fire to boil it.

A little pot
Is soon hot.

In small families we recommend block tin saucepans, &c. as lightest and safest. If proper care is taken of them, and they are well dried after they are cleaned, they are by far the cheapest; the purchase of a new tin saucepan being little more than the expense of tinning a copper one.

Let the covers of your boiling-pots fit close, not only to prevent unnecessary evaporation of the water, but to prevent the escape of the nutritive matter, which must then remain either in the meat or in the broth; and the smoke is prevented from insinuating itself under the edge of the lid, and so giving the meat a bad taste. See observations on Saucepans, in chapter 7.

If you let meat or poultry remain in the water after it is done enough, it will become sodden, and lose its flavour.

Beef and mutton a little under-done (especially very large joints, which will make the better hash or broil,) is not a great fault; by some people it is preferred: but lamb, pork, and veal are uneatable if not thoroughly boiled; but do not over-do them.

A trivet or fish-drainer put on the bottom of the boiling-pot, raising the contents about an inch and a half from the bottom, will prevent that side of the meat which comes next the bottom from being done too much, and the lower part of the meat will be as delicately done as the other part; and this will enable you to take out the contents of the pot, without sticking a fork, &c. into it. If you have not a trivet, use four skewers, or a soup-plate laid the wrong side upwards.

Take care of the liquor you have boiled poultry or meat in; in five minutes you may make it into excellent soup. (See obs. to No. 555 and No. 229.)

The good housewife never boils a joint without converting the broth into some sort of soup (read No. 5, and chapter 7). If the liquor be too salt, only use half the quantity, and the[70] rest water. Wash salted meat well with cold water before you put it into the boiler.

An estimation of the LOSS OF WEIGHT which takes place in cooking animal food.From Mr. Tilloch’s Philosophical Magazine.

“It is well known, that in whatever way the flesh of animals is prepared for food, a considerable diminution takes place in its weight. We do not recollect, however, to have any where seen a statement of the loss which meat sustains in the various culinary processes, although it is pretty obvious that a series of experiments on the subject would not be without their use in domestic economy.

“We shall here give the result of a series of experiments which were actually made on this subject in a public establishment; premising that, as they were not undertaken from mere curiosity, but, on the contrary, to serve a purpose of practical utility, absolute accuracy was not attended to. Considering, however, the large quantities of provisions which were actually examined, it is presumed that the results may be safely depended upon for any practical purpose. It would, no doubt, have been desirable to have known not only the whole diminution of weight, but also the parts which were separated from the meat in the form of aqueous vapour, jelly, fat, &c.; but the determination of these did not fall within the scope of the inquiry.

lbs. oz.
28 pieces of beef, weighing 280 0
Lost in boiling 73 14

“Hence, the weight lost by beef in boiling was in this case about 261/2lbs. in 100lbs.

lbs. oz.
19 pieces of beef, weighing 190 0
Lost in roasting 61 2

“The weight lost by beef in roasting appears to be 32 per cent.

lbs. oz.
9 pieces of beef, weighing 90 0
Lost in baking 27 0

“Weight lost by beef in baking 30 per cent.

[71]

lbs. oz.
27 legs of mutton, weighing 260 0
Lost in boiling, and by having
the shank-bone taken off
62 4

“The shank-bones were estimated at 4 ounces each; therefore the loss by boiling was 55lbs. 8oz.

“The loss of weight in legs of mutton in boiling is 211/3 per cent.

lbs. oz.
35 shoulders of mutton, weighing 350 0
Lost in roasting 109 10

“The loss of weight in shoulders of mutton by roasting, is about 311/3 per cent.

lbs. oz.
16 loins of mutton, weighing 141 0
Lost in roasting 49 14

“Hence, loins of mutton lose by roasting about 351/2 per cent.

lbs. oz.
10 necks of mutton, weighing 100 0
Lost in roasting 32 6

“The loss in necks of mutton by roasting is about 321/3 per cent.

“We shall only draw two practical inferences from the foregoing statement.—1st, In respect of economy, it is more profitable to boil meat than to roast it. 2dly, Whether we roast or boil meat, it loses by being cooked from one-fifth to one-third of its whole weight.”

The loss of roasting arises from the melting out of the fat, and evaporating the water; but the nutritious matters remain condensed in the cooked solid.

In boiling, the loss arises partly from the fat melted out, but chiefly from gelatine and osmazome being extracted and dissolved by the water in which the meat is boiled; there is, therefore, a real loss of nourishment, unless the broth be used; when this mode of cooking becomes the most economical.71-*[72]

The sauces usually sent to table with boiled meat, &c.

These are to be sent up in boats, and never poured over the meat, &c.

Gravy for boiled meat (No. 327.)
Parsley and butter (No. 261.)
Chervil (No. 264.)
Caper (No. 274.)
Oyster (No. 278.)
Liver and parsley (No. 287.)
Celery (No. 289.)
Onion (No. 296, &c.)
Shallot (No. 295.)
Wow wow (No. 328.)
Curry (No. 348.)

BAKING.

The following observations were written expressly for this work by Mr. Turner, English and French bread and biscuit baker.

“Baking is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways of dressing a dinner in small families; and, I may say, that the oven is often the only kitchen a poor man has, if he wishes to enjoy a joint of meat at home with his family.

“I don’t mean to deny the superior excellence of roasting to baking; but some joints, when baked, so nearly approach to the same when roasted, that I have known them to be carried to the table, and eaten as such with great satisfaction.

“Legs and loins of pork, legs of mutton, fillets of veal, and many other joints, will bake to great advantage, if the meat be good; I mean well-fed, rather inclined to be fat: if the meat be poor, no baker can give satisfaction.

“When baking a poor joint of meat, before it has been half baked I have seen it start from the bone, and shrivel up scarcely to be believed.

“Besides those joints above mentioned, I shall enumerate a few baked dishes which I can particularly recommend.

“A pig, when sent to the baker prepared for baking, should have its ears and tail covered with buttered paper properly fastened on, and a bit of butter tied up in a piece of linen to baste the back with, otherwise it will be apt to blister: with a proper share of attention from the baker, I consider this way equal to a roasted one.

[73]“A goose prepared the same as for roasting, taking care to have it on a stand, and when half done to turn the other side upwards. A duck the same.

“A buttock of beef the following way is particularly fine. After it has been in salt about a week, to be well washed, and put into a brown earthen pan with a pint of water; cover the pan tight with two or three thicknesses of cap or foolscap paper: never cover any thing that is to be baked with brown paper, the pitch and tar that is in brown paper will give the meat a smoky, bad taste: give it four or five hours in a moderately heated oven.

“A ham (if not too old) put in soak for an hour, taken out and wiped, a crust made sufficient to cover it all over, and baked in a moderately heated oven, cuts fuller of gravy, and of a finer flavour, than a boiled one. I have been in the habit of baking small cod-fish, haddock, and mackerel, with a dust of flour, and some bits of butter put on them; eels, when large and stuffed; herrings and sprats, in a brown pan, with vinegar and a little spice, and tied over with paper. A hare, prepared the same as for roasting, with a few pieces of butter, and a little drop of milk put into the dish, and basted several times, will be found nearly equal to roasting; or cut it up, season it properly, put it into a jar or pan, and cover it over and bake it in a moderate oven for about three hours. In the same manner, I have been in the habit of baking legs and shins of beef, ox cheeks, &c. prepared with a seasoning of onions, turnips, &c.: they will take about four hours: let them stand till cold, to skim off the fat; then warm it up all together, or part, as you may want it.

“All these I have been in the habit of baking for the first families.

“The time each of the above articles should take depends much upon the state of the oven, and I do consider the baker a sufficient judge; if they are sent to him in time, he must be very neglectful if they are not ready at the time they are ordered.”

For receipts for making bread, French rolls, muffins, crumpets, Sally Lunn, &c., see the Appendix.

66-* “The process by which food is most commonly prepared for the table, BOILING, is so familiar to every one, and its effects are so uniform, and apparently so simple, that few, I believe, have taken the trouble to inquire how or in what manner those effects are produced; and whether any, and what improvements in that branch of cookery are possible. So little has this matter been an object of inquiry, that few, very few indeed, I believe, among the millions of persons who for so many ages have been daily employed in this process, have ever given themselves the trouble to bestow one serious thought on the subject.

Boiling cannot be carried on without a very great expense of fuel; but any boiling-hot liquid (by using proper means for confining the heat) may be kept boiling-hot for any length of time almost without any expense of fuel at all.

The waste of fuel in culinary processes, which arises from making liquids boil unnecessarily, or when nothing more would be necessary than to keep them boiling-hot, is enormous; I have not a doubt but that much more than half the fuel used in all the kitchens, public and private, in the whole world, is wasted precisely in this manner.

“But the evil does not stop here. This unscientific and slovenly manner of cooking renders the process much more laborious and troublesome than otherwise it would be; and, (what by many will be considered of more importance than either the waste of fuel or the increase of labour to the cook) the food is rendered less savoury, and very probably less nourishing and less wholesome.

“It is natural to suppose that many of the finer and more volatile parts of food (those which are best calculated to act on the organs of taste), must be carried off with the steam when the boiling is violent.”—Count Rumford’s 10th Essay, pp. 3, 6.

67-* If, unfortunately, this should happen, the cook must carefully take it off when she dishes up, either with a clean sponge or a paste-brush.

67-† Cooks, however, as well as doctors, disagree; for some say, that “all sorts of fresh meat should be put in when the water boils.” I prefer the above method for the reason given; gentle stewing renders meat, &c. tender, and still leaves it sapid and nutritive.

71-* The diminution of weight by boiling and roasting is not all lost, the FAT SKIMMINGS and the DRIPPINGS, nicely clarified, will well supply the place of lard and for frying. See No. 83, and the receipt for CHEAP SOUP (No. 229).


[74]

CHAPTER II.
ROASTING.

In all studies, it is the best practice to begin with the plainest and easiest parts; and so on, by degrees, to such as are more difficult: we, therefore, treated of plain boiling, and we now proceed to roasting: we shall then gradually unravel to our culinary students the art (and mystery, until developed in this work) of making, with the least trouble and expense, the most highly finished soups, sauces, and made-dishes.

Let the young cook never forget that cleanliness is the chief cardinal virtue of the kitchen; the first preparation for roasting is to take care that the spit be properly cleaned with sand and water; nothing else. When it has been well scoured with this, dry it with a clean cloth. If spits are wiped clean as soon as the meat is drawn from them, and while they are hot, a very little cleaning will be required. The less the spit is passed through the meat the better;74-* and, before you spit it, joint it properly, especially necks and loins, that the carver may separate them easily and neatly, and take especial care it be evenly balanced on the spit, that its motion may be regular, and the fire operate equally on each part of it; therefore, be provided with balancing-skewers and cookholds, and see it is properly jointed.

Roasting should be done by the radiant heat of a clear, glowing fire, otherwise it is in fact baked: the machines the economical grate-makers call ROASTERS, are, in plain English, ovens.

Count Rumford was certainly an exact economist of fuel, when he contrived these things; and those philosophers who try all questions “according to Cocker” may vote for baked victuals; but the rational epicure, who has been accustomed to enjoy beef well roasted, will soon be convinced that the[75] poet who wrote our national ballad at the end of this chapter, was not inspired by Sir Benjamin Thompson’s cookery.

All your attention in roasting will be thrown away, if you do not take care that your meat, especially beef, has been kept long enough to be tender. See “ADVICE TO COOKS,” and obs. to No. 68.

Make up the fire in time; let it be proportioned to the dinner to be dressed, and about three or four inches longer at each end than the thing to be roasted, or the ends of the meat cannot be done nice and brown.

A cook must be as particular to proportion her fire to the business she has to do, as a chemist: the degree of heat most desirable for dressing the different sorts of food ought to be attended to with the utmost precision.

The fire that is but just sufficient to receive the noble sirloin (No. 19), will parch up a lighter joint.

From half an hour to an hour before you begin to roast, prepare the fire by putting a few coals on, which will be sufficiently lighted by the time you wish to make use of your fire; between the bars, and on the top, put small or large coals, according to the bulk of the joint, and the time the fire is required to be strong; after which, throw the cinders (wetted) at the back.

Never put meat down to a burned-up fire, if you can possibly avoid it; but should the fire become fierce, place the spit at a considerable distance, and allow a little more time.

Preserve the fat,75-* by covering it with paper, for this purpose called “kitchen-paper,” and tie it on with fine twine; pins and skewers can by no means be allowed; they are so many taps to let out the gravy: besides, the paper often starts from them and catches fire, to the great injury of the meat.

If the thing to be roasted be thin and tender, the fire should be little and brisk: when you have a large joint to roast, make up a sound, strong fire, equally good in every part of the grate, or your meat cannot be equally roasted, nor have that uniform colour which constitutes the beauty of good roasting.

Give the fire a good stirring before you lay the joint down; examine it from time to time while the spit is going round; keep it clear at the bottom, and take care there are no smoky coals in the front, which will spoil the look and taste of the meat, and hinder it from roasting evenly.

[76]When the joint to be roasted is thicker at one end than the other, place the spit slanting, with the thickest part nearest the fire.

Do not put meat too near the fire at first; the larger the joint, the farther it must be kept from the fire: if once it gets scorched, the outside will become hard, and acquire a disagreeable, empyreumatic taste; and the fire being prevented from penetrating into it, the meat will appear done before it is little more than half-done, besides losing the pale brown colour, which it is the beauty of roasted meat to have.

From 14 to 10 inches is the usual distance at which meat is put from the grate, when first put down. It is extremely difficult to offer any thing like an accurate general rule for this, it depends so much upon the size of the fire, and of that of the thing to be roasted.

Till some culinary philosopher shall invent a thermometer to ascertain the heat of the fire, and a graduated spit-rack to regulate the distance from it, the process of roasting is attended by so many ever-varying circumstances, that it must remain among those which can only be performed well, by frequent practice and attentive observation.

If you wish your jack to go well, keep it as clean as possible, oil it, and then wipe it: if the oil is not wiped off again it will gather dust; to prevent this, as soon as you have done roasting, cover it up. Never leave the winders on while the jack is going round, unless you do it, as Swift says, “that it may fly off, and knock those troublesome servants on the head who will be crowding round your kitchen fire.”

Be very careful to place the dripping-pan at such a distance from the fire as just to catch the drippings: if it is too near, the ashes will fall into it, and spoil the drippings76-* (which we shall hereafter show will occasionally be found an excellent substitute for butter or lard). To clarify drippings, see (No. 83,) and pease and dripping soup (No. 229), savoury and salubrious, for only a penny per quart. If it is too far from the fire to catch them, you will not only lose your drippings, but the meat will be blackened and spoiled by the fœtid smoke, which will arise when the fat falls on the live cinders.

A large dripping-pan is convenient for several purposes. It should not be less than 28 inches long and 20 inches wide, and have a covered well on the side from the fire, to collect the drippings; this will preserve them in the most delicate[77] state: in a pan of the above size you may set fried fish, and various dishes, to keep hot.

This is one of Painter’s and Hawke’s contrivances, near Norfolk-street, Strand.

The time meat will take roasting will vary according to the time it has been kept, and the temperature of the weather; the same weight77-* will be twenty minutes or half an hour longer in cold weather,77-† than it will be in warm; and if fresh killed, than if it has been kept till it is tender.

A good meat-screen is a great saver of fuel. It should be on wheels, have a flat top, and not be less than about three feet and a half wide, and with shelves in it, about one foot deep; it will then answer all the purposes of a large Dutch oven, plate-warmer, hot hearth, &c. Some are made with a door behind: this is convenient, but the great heat they are exposed to soon shrinks the materials, and the currents of air through the cracks cannot be prevented, so they are better without the door. We have seen one, which had on the top of it a very convenient hot closet, which is a great acquisition in kitchens, where the dinner waits after it is dressed.

Every body knows the advantage of slow boiling. Slow roasting is equally important.

It is difficult to give any specific rule for time; but if your fire is made as before directed, your meat-screen sufficiently large to guard what you are dressing from currents of air, and the meat is not frosted, you cannot do better than follow the old general rule of allowing rather more than a quarter of an hour to the pound; a little more or less, according to the temperature of the weather, in proportion as the piece is thick or thin, the strength of the fire, the nearness of the meat to it, and the frequency with which you baste it; the more it is basted the less time it will take, as it keeps the meat soft and mellow on the outside, and the fire acts with more force upon it.

Reckon the time, not to the hour when dinner is ordered, but to the moment the roasts will be wanted. Supposing there are a dozen people to sip soup and eat fish first, you may allow them ten or fifteen minutes for the former, and about as long for the latter, more or less, according to the temptations the “BON GOUT” of these preceding courses has to attract their attention.

[78]When the joint is half done, remove the spit and dripping-pan back, and stir up your fire thoroughly, that it may burn clear and bright for the browning; when the steam from the meat draws towards the fire,78-* it is a sign of its being done enough; but you will be the best judge of that, from the time it has been down, the strength of the fire you have used, and the distance your spit has been from it.

Half an hour before your meat is done, make some gravy (see Receipt, No. 326); and just before you take it up, put it nearer the fire to brown it. If you wish to froth it, baste it, and dredge it with flour carefully: you cannot do this delicately nice without a very good light. The common fault seems to be using too much flour. The meat should have a fine light varnish of froth, not the appearance of being covered with a paste. Those who are particular about the froth use butter instead of drippings; (see receipt to roast a turkey, No. 57)—

“And send up what you roast with relish-giving froth,”

says Dr. King, and present such an agreeable appearance to the eye, that the palate may be prepossessed in its favour at first sight; therefore, have the whole course dished, before roasts are taken from the fire.

A good cook is as anxiously attentive to the appearance and colour of her roasts, as a court beauty is to her complexion at a birthday ball. If your meat does not brown so much, or so evenly as you wish, take two ounces of Glaze, i. e. portable soup, put four table-spoonfuls of water, and let it warm and dissolve gradually by the side of the fire. This will be done in about a quarter of an hour; put it on the meat equally all over with a paste-brush the last thing before it goes to table.

Though roasting is one of the most common, and is generally considered one of the most easy and simple processes of cookery, it requires more unremitting attention to perform it perfectly well than it does to make most made-dishes.

That made-dishes are the most difficult preparations, deserves to be reckoned among the culinary vulgar errors; in plain roasting and boiling it is not easy to repair a mistake once made; and all the discretion and attention of a steady, careful cook, must be unremittingly upon the alert.78-†[79]

A diligent attention to time, the distance of the meat from, and judicious management of, the fire, and frequent bastings,79-* are all the general rules we can prescribe. We shall deliver particular rules for particular things, as the several articles occur, and do our utmost endeavours to instruct our reader as completely as words can describe the process, and teach

“The management of common things so well,
That what was thought the meanest shall excel:
That cook’s to British palates most complete,
Whose sav’ry skill gives zest to common meat:
For what are soups, your ragoûts, and your sauce,
Compared to the fare of old England,
And old English roast beef!”

* Take notice, that the TIME given in the following receipts is calculated for those who like meat thoroughly roasted. (See N.B. preceding No. 19.)

Some good housewives order very large joints to be rather under-done, as they then make a better hash or broil.

To make gravy for roast, see No. 326.

N.B. Roasts must not be put on, till the soup and fish are taken off the table.

[80]

DREDGINGS.

1. Flour mixed with grated bread.

2. Sweet herbs dried and powdered, and mixed with grated bread.

3. Lemon-peel dried and pounded, or orange-peel, mixed with flour.

4. Sugar finely powdered, and mixed with pounded cinnamon, and flour or grated bread.

5. Fennel-seeds, corianders, cinnamon, and sugar, finely beaten, and mixed with grated bread or flour.

6. For young pigs, grated bread or flour, mixed with beaten nutmeg, ginger, pepper, sugar, and yelks of eggs.

7. Sugar, bread, and salt, mixed.

BASTINGS.

1. Fresh butter.

2. Clarified suet.

3. Minced sweet herbs, butter, and claret, especially for mutton and lamb.

4. Water and salt.

5. Cream and melted butter, especially for a flayed pig.

6. Yelks of eggs, grated biscuit, and juice of oranges.

74-* Small families have not always the convenience of roasting with a spit; a remark upon ROASTING BY A STRING is necessary. Let the cook, before she puts her meat down to the fire, pass a strong skewer through each end of the joint: by this means, when it is about half-done, she can with ease turn the bottom upwards; the gravy will then flow to the part which has been uppermost, and the whole joint be deliciously gravyful.

A BOTTLE JACK, as it is termed by the furnishing ironmongers, is a valuable instrument for roasting.

A Dutch oven is another very convenient utensil for roasting light joints, or warming them up.

75-* If there is more FAT than you think will be eaten with the lean, trim it off; it will make an excellent PUDDING (No. 551, or 554): or clarify it (No. 83).

76-* This the good housewife will take up occasionally, and pass through a sieve into a stone pan; by leaving it all in the dripping-pan until the meat is taken up, it not only becomes very strong, but when the meat is rich, and yields much of it, it is apt to be spilt in basting. To CLARIFY DRIPPINGS, see No. 83.

77-* Insist upon the butcher fixing a TICKET of the weight to each joint.

77-† If the meat is frozen, the usual practice is to put it into cold water till it is thawed, then dry and roast it as usual; but we recommend you to bring it into the kitchen the night before, or early in the morning of the day you want to roast it, and the warm air will thaw it much better.

78-* When the steam begins to arise, it is a proof that the whole joint is thoroughly saturated with heat; any unnecessary evaporation is a waste of the best nourishment of the meat.

78-† A celebrated French writer has given us the following observations on roasting:—

“The art of roasting victuals to the precise degree, is one of the most difficult in this world; and you may find half a thousand good cooks sooner than one perfect roaster. (See ‘Almanach des Gourmands,’ vol. i. p. 37.) In the mansions of the opulent, they have, besides the master kitchener, a roaster, (perfectly independent of the former,) who is exclusively devoted to the spit.

“All erudite gourmands know that these two important functions cannot be performed by one artist; it is quite impossible at the same time to superintend the operations of the spit and stewpan.”—Further on, the same author observes: “No certain rules can be given for roasting, the perfection of it depending on many circumstances which are continually changing; the age and size (especially the thickness) of the pieces, the quality of the coals, the temperature of the atmosphere, the currents of air in the kitchen, the more or less attention of the roaster; and, lastly, the time of serving. Supposing the dinner ordered to be on table at a certain time, if the fish and soup are much liked, and detained longer than the roaster has calculated; or, on the contrary, if they are despatched sooner than is expected, the roasts will in one case be burnt up, in the other not done enough—two misfortunes equally to be deplored. The first, however, is without a remedy; five minutes on the spit, more or less, decides the goodness of this mode of cookery. It is almost impossible to seize the precise instant when it ought to be eaten; which epicures in roasts express by saying, ‘It is done to a turn.’ So that there is no exaggeration in saying, the perfect roaster is even more rare than the professed cook.

“In small families, where the cook is also the roaster, it is almost impossible the roasts should be well done: the spit claims exclusive attention, and is an imperious mistress who demands the entire devotion of her slave. But how can this be, when the cook is obliged, at the same time, to attend her fish and soup-kettles, and watch her stewpans and all their accompaniments?—it is morally and physically impossible: if she gives that delicate and constant attention to the roasts which is indispensably requisite, the rest of the dinner must often be spoiled; and most cooks would rather lose their character as a roaster, than neglect the made-dishes and ‘entremets,’ &c., where they think they can display their culinary science,—than sacrifice these to the roasts, the perfection of which will only prove their steady vigilance and patience.”

79-* Our ancestors were very particular in their BASTINGS and DREDGINGS, as will be seen by the following quotation from May’sAccomplished Cook,” London, 1665, p. 136. “The rarest ways of dressing of all manner of roast meats, either flesh or fowl, by sea or land, and divers ways of braiding or dredging meats to prevent the gravy from too much evaporating.”


CHAPTER III.
FRYING.

Frying is often a convenient mode of cookery; it may be performed by a fire which will not do for roasting or boiling; and by the introduction of the pan between the meat and the fire, things get more equally dressed.

The Dutch oven or bonnet is another very convenient utensil for small things, and a very useful substitute for the jack, the gridiron, or frying-pan.

A frying-pan should be about four inches deep, with a perfectly flat and thick bottom, 12 inches long and 9 broad, with perpendicular sides, and must be half filled with fat: good frying is, in fact, boiling in fat. To make sure that the pan is quite clean, rub a little fat over it, and then make it warm, and wipe it out with a clean cloth.

Be very particular in frying, never to use any oil, butter, lard, or drippings, but what is quite clean, fresh, and free from salt. Any thing dirty spoils the look; any thing bad-tasted or stale, spoils the flavour; and salt prevents its browning.

Fine olive oil is the most delicate for frying; but the best oil is expensive, and bad oil spoils every thing that is dressed with it.

For general purposes, and especially for fish, clean fresh[81] lard is not near so expensive as oil or clarified butter, and does almost as well. Butter often burns before you are aware of it; and what you fry will get a dark and dirty appearance.

Cooks in large kitchens, where there is a great deal of frying, commonly use mutton or beef suet clarified (see No. 84): if from the kidney, all the better.

Dripping, if nicely clean and fresh, is almost as good as any thing; if not clean, it may be easily clarified (see No. 83). Whatever fat you use, after you have done frying, let it remain in the pan for a few minutes, and then pour it through a sieve into a clean basin; it will do three or four times as well as it did at first, i. e. if it has not burned: but, Mem. the fat you have fried fish in must not be used for any other purpose.

To know when the fat is of a proper heat, according to what you are to fry, is the great secret in frying.

To fry fish, parsley, potatoes, or any thing that is watery, your fire must be very clear, and the fat quite hot; which you may be pretty sure of, when it has done hissing, and is still. We cannot insist too strongly on this point: if the fat is not very hot, you cannot fry fish either to a good colour, or firm and crisp.

To be quite certain, throw a little bit of bread into the pan; if it fries crisp, the fat is ready; if it burns the bread, it is too hot.

The fire under the pan must be clear and sharp, otherwise the fat is so long before it becomes ready, and demands such attendance to prevent the accident of its catching fire,81-* that the patience of cooks is exhausted, and they frequently, from ignorance or impatience, throw in what they are going to fry before the fat is half hot enough. Whatever is so fried will be pale and sodden, and offend the palate and stomach not less than the eye.

Have a good light to fry by, that you may see when you have got the right colour: a lamp fixed on a stem, with a loaded foot, which has an arm that lengthens out, and slides up and down like a reading candlestick, is a most useful appendage to kitchen fireplaces, which are very seldom light enough for the nicer operations of cookery.

After all, if you do not thoroughly drain the fat from what[82] you have fried, especially from those things that are full dressed in bread crumbs,82-* or biscuit powder, &c., your cooking will do you no credit.

The dryness of fish depends much upon its having been fried in fat of a due degree of heat; it is then crisp and dry in a few minutes after it is taken out of the pan: when it is not, lay it on a soft cloth before the fire, turning it occasionally, till it is. This will sometimes take 15 minutes: therefore, always fry fish as long as this before you want them, for fear you may find this necessary.

To fry fish, see receipt to fry soles, (No. 145) which is the only circumstantial account of the process that has yet been printed. If the cook will study it with a little attention, she must soon become an accomplished frier.

Frying, though one of the most common of culinary operations, is one that is least commonly performed perfectly well.

81-* If this unfortunately happens, be not alarmed, but immediately wet a basket of ashes and throw them down the chimney, and wet a blanket and hold it close all round the fireplace; as soon as the current of air is stopped, the fire will be extinguished; with a CHARCOAL STOVE there is no danger, as the diameter of the pan exceeds that of the fire.


CHAPTER IV.
BROILING.

“And as now there is nought on the fire that is spoiling,
We’ll give you just two or three hints upon broiling;
How oft you must turn a beefsteak, and how seldom
A good mutton chop, for to have ’em both well done;
And for skill in such cookery your credit ’t will fetch up,
If your broils are well-seasoned with good mushroom catchup.”

Cleanliness is extremely essential in this mode of cookery.

Keep your gridiron quite clean between the bars, and bright on the top: when it is hot, wipe it well with a linen cloth: just before you use it, rub the bars with clean mutton-suet, to prevent the meat from being marked by the gridiron.

Take care to prepare your fire in time, so that it may burn quite clear: a brisk and clear fire is indispensable, or you cannot give your meat that browning which constitutes the[83] perfection of this mode of cookery, and gives a relish to food it cannot receive any other way.

The chops or slices should be from half to three-quarters of an inch in thickness; if thicker, they will be done too much on the outside before the inside is done enough.

Be diligently attentive to watch the moment that any thing is done: never hasten any thing that is broiling, lest you make smoke and spoil it.

Let the bars of the gridiron be all hot through, but yet not burning hot upon the surface: this is the perfect and fine condition of the gridiron.

As the bars keep away as much heat as their breadth covers, it is absolutely necessary they should be thoroughly hot before the thing to be cooked be laid on them.

The bars of gridirons should be made concave, and terminate in a trough to catch the gravy and keep the fat from dropping into the fire and making a smoke, which will spoil the broil.

Upright gridirons are the best, as they can be used at any fire without fear of smoke; and the gravy is preserved in the trough under them.

N.B. Broils must be brought to table as hot as possible; set a dish to heat when you put your chops on the gridiron, from whence to the mouth their progress must be as quick as possible.

When the fire is not clear, the business of the gridiron may be done by the Dutch oven or bonnet.

82-* When you want a great many BREAD CRUMBS, divide your loaf (which should be two days old) into three equal parts; take the middle or crumb piece, the top and bottom will do for table: in the usual way of cutting, the crust is wasted.

Oatmeal is a very satisfactory, and an extremely economical substitute for bread crumbs. See No. 145.


CHAPTER V.
VEGETABLES.

There is nothing in which the difference between an elegant and an ordinary table is more seen than in the dressing of vegetables, more especially greens. They may be equally as fine at first, at one place as at another; but their look and taste are afterward very different, entirely from the careless way in which they have been cooked.

They are in greatest perfection when in greatest plenty, i. e. when in full season.

By season, I do not mean those early days, that luxury in the buyers, and avarice in the sellers, force the various vege[84]tables; but that time of the year in which by nature and common culture, and the mere operation of the sun and climate, they are in most plenty and perfection.

Potatoes and pease are seldom worth eating before midsummer; unripe vegetables are as insipid and unwholesome as unripe fruits.

As to the quality of vegetables, the middle size are preferred to the largest or the smallest; they are more tender, juicy, and full of flavour, just before they are quite full-grown. Freshness is their chief value and excellence, and I should as soon think of roasting an animal alive, as of boiling a vegetable after it is dead.

The eye easily discovers if they have been kept too long; they soon lose their beauty in all respects.

Roots, greens, salads, &c. and the various productions of the garden, when first gathered, are plump and firm, and have a fragrant freshness no art can give them again, when they have lost it by long keeping; though it will refresh them a little to put them into cold spring water for some time before they are dressed.

To boil them in soft water will preserve the colour best of such as are green; if you have only hard water, put to it a tea-spoonful of carbonate of potash.84-*

Take care to wash and cleanse them thoroughly from dust, dirt, and insects: this requires great attention. Pick off all the outside leaves, trim them nicely, and, if not quite fresh gathered and have become flaccid, it is absolutely necessary to restore their crispness before cooking them, or they will be tough and unpleasant: lay them in a pan of clean water, with a handful of salt in it, for an hour before you dress them.

“Most vegetables being more or less succulent, their full proportion of fluids is necessary for their retaining that state of crispness and plumpness which they have when growing. On being cut or gathered, the exhalation from their surface continues, while, from the open vessels of the cut surface, there is often great exudation or evaporation; and thus their natural moisture is diminished, the tender leaves become flaccid, and the thicker masses or roots lose their plumpness. This is not only less pleasant to the eye, but is a real injury to the nutritious powers of the vegetable; for in this flaccid and shrivelled state its fibres are less easily divided in chewing, and the water which exists in vegetable substances, in the form of their respective natural juices, is directly nutri[85]tious. The first care in the preservation of succulent vegetables, therefore, is to prevent them from losing their natural moisture.”—Suppl. to Edin. Encyclop. vol. iv. p. 335.

They should always be boiled in a sauce-pan by themselves, and have plenty of water; if meat is boiled with them in the same pot, they will spoil the look and taste of each other.

If you wish to have vegetables delicately clean, put on your pot, make it boil, put a little salt in it, and skim it perfectly clean before you put in the greens, &c.; which should not be put in till the water boils briskly: the quicker they boil, the greener they will be. When the vegetables sink, they are generally done enough, if the water has been kept constantly boiling. Take them up immediately, or they will lose their colour and goodness. Drain the water from them thoroughly before you send them to table.

This branch of cookery requires the most vigilant attention.

If vegetables are a minute or two too long over the fire, they lose all their beauty and flavour.

If not thoroughly boiled tender, they are tremendously indigestible, and much more troublesome during their residence in the stomach, than under-done meats.85-*

To preserve or give colour in cookery, many good dishes are spoiled; but the rational epicure who makes nourishment the main end of eating, will be content to sacrifice the shadow to enjoy the substance. Vide Obs. to No. 322.

Once for all, take care your vegetables are fresh: for as the fishmonger often suffers for the sins of the cook, so the cook often gets undeservedly blamed instead of the green-grocer.

Vegetables, in this metropolis, are often kept so long, that no art can make them either look or eat well.

Strong-scented vegetables should be kept apart; leeks, or celery, laid among cauliflowers, &c. will quickly spoil them.

“Succulent vegetables are best preserved in a cool, shady, and damp place.

“Potatoes, turnips, carrots, and similar roots, intended to be stored up, should never be cleaned from the earth adhering to them, till they are to be dressed.

“They must be protected from the action of the air and[86] frost, by laying them in heaps, burying them in sand or earth, &c., or covering them with straw or mats.

“The action of frost destroys the life of the vegetable, and it speedily rots.”—Suppl. to Edin. Encyclop. vol. iv. p. 335.

Mem.—When vegetables are quite fresh gathered, they will not require so much boiling, by at least a third of the time, as when they have been gathered the usual time those are that are brought to public markets.

84-* Peàrlash is a sub-carbonate, and will answer the purpose. It is a common article in the kitchen of the American housekeeper. A.

85-*Cauliflowers and other vegetables are often boiled only crisp to preserve their beauty. For the look alone they had better not be boiled at all, and almost as well for the use, as in this crude state they are scarcely digestible by the strongest stomach. On the other hand, when over-boiled, they become vapid, and in a state similar to decay, in which they afford no sweet purifying juices to the body, but load it with a mass of mere feculent matter.”—Domestic Management, 12mo. 1813, p. 69.


CHAPTER VI.
FISH.

This department of the business of the kitchen requires considerable experience, and depends more upon practice than any other. A very few moments, more or less, will thoroughly spoil fish;86-* which, to be eaten in perfection, must never be put on the table till the soup is taken off.

So many circumstances operate on this occasion, that it is almost impossible to write general rules.

There are decidedly different opinions, whether fish should be put into cold, tepid, or boiling water.

We believe, for some of the fame the Dutch cooks have acquired, they are a little indebted to their situation affording them a plentiful supply of fresh fish for little more than the trouble of catching it; and that the superior excellence of the fish in Holland, is because none are used, unless they are brought alive into the kitchen (mackerel excepted, which die the moment they are taken out of the water). The Dutch are as nice about this as Seneca says the Romans86-† were; who, complaining of the luxury of the times, says,[87] “They are come to that daintiness, that they will not eat a fish, unless upon the same day that it is taken, that it may taste of the sea, as they express it.”

On the Dutch flat coast, the fish are taken with nets: on our rocky coast, they are mostly caught by bait and hook, which instantly kills them. Fish are brought alive by land to the Dutch markets, in water casks with air-holes in the top. Salmon, and other fish, are thus preserved in rivers, in a well-hole in the fishing-boat.

All kinds of fish are best some time before they begin to spawn; and are unfit for food for some time after they have spawned.

Fish, like animals, are fittest for the table when they are just full grown; and what has been said in Chapter V. respecting vegetables, applies equally well to fish.

The most convenient utensil to boil fish in, is a turbot-kettle. This should be 24 inches long, 22 wide, and 9 deep. It is an excellent vessel to boil a ham in, &c. &c.

The good folks of this metropolis are so often disappointed by having fish which has been kept too long, that they are apt to run into the other extreme, and suppose that fish will not dress well unless it is absolutely alive. This is true of lobsters, &c. (No. 176), and may be of fresh-water fish, but certainly not of some sea-fish.

Several respectable fishmongers and experienced cooks have assured the editor, that they are often in danger of losing their credit by fish too fresh, and especially turbot and cod, which, like meat, require a certain time before they are in the best condition to be dressed. They recommend them to be put into cold water, salted in proportion of about a quarter of a pound of salt to a gallon of water. Sea-water is best to boil sea-fish in. It not only saves the expense of salt, but the flavour is better. Let them boil slowly till done; the sign of which is, that the skin of the fish rises up, and the eyes turn white.

It is the business of the fishmonger to clean them, &c. but the careful cook will always wash them again.

Garnish with slices of lemon, finely scraped horseradish, fried oysters (No. 183), smelts (No. 173), whitings (No. 153), or strips of soles, as directed in No. 145.

[88]The liver, roe, and chitterlings should be placed so that the carver may observe them, and invite the guests to partake of them.

N.B. Fish, like meat, requires more cooking in cold than in warm weather. If it becomes FROZEN,88-* it must be thawed by the means we have directed for meat, in the 2d chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.

[Fish are plenty and good, and in great variety, in all the towns and cities on the extensive coast of the United States. Some of the interior towns are also supplied with fish peculiar to the lakes and rivers of this country. A.]

FISH SAUCES.

The melted butter (No. 256) for fish, should be thick enough to adhere to the fish, and, therefore, must be of the thickness of light batter, as it is to be diluted with essence of anchovy (No. 433), soy (No. 436), mushroom catchup (No. 439). Cayenne (No. 404), or Chili vinegar (No. 405), lemons or lemon-juice, or artificial lemon-juice, (see No. 407*), &c. which are expected at all well-served tables.

Cooks, who are jealous of the reputation of their taste, and housekeepers who value their health, will prepare these articles at home: there are quite as many reasons why they should, as there are for the preference usually given to home-baked bread and home-brewed beer, &c.

N.B. The liver of the fish pounded and mixed with butter, with a little lemon-juice, &c. is an elegant and inoffensive relish to fish (see No. 288). Mushroom sauce extempore (No. 307), or the soup of mock turtle (No. 247), will make an excellent fish sauce.

On the comparatively nutritive qualities of fish, see N.B. to No. 181.

86-* When the cook has large dinners to prepare, and the time of serving uncertain, she will get more credit by FRIED (see No. 145), or stewed (see No. 164), than by BOILED fish. It is also cheaper, and much sooner carved (see No. 145).

Mr. Ude, page 238 of his cookery, advises, “If you are obliged to wait after the fish is done, do not let it remain in the water, but keep the water boiling, and put the fish over it, and cover it with a damp cloth; when the dinner is called for, dip the fish again in the water, and serve it up.”

The only circumstantial instructions yet printed for FRYING FISH, the reader will find in No. 145; if this be carefully and nicely attended to, you will have delicious food.

86-† They had salt-water preserves for feeding different kinds of sea-fish; those in the ponds of Lucullus, at his death, sold for 25,000l. sterling. The prolific power of fish is wonderful: the following calculations are from Petit, Block, and Leuwenhoeck:—

Eggs.
A salmon of 20 pounds weight contained 27,850
A middling-sized pike 148,000
A mackerel 546,681
A cod 9,344,000

See Cours Gastronomiques, 18mo. 1806, p. 241.

88-* Fish are very frequently sent home frozen by the fishmonger, to whom an ice-house is now as necessary an appendage (to preserve fish,) as it is to a confectioner.


[89]

CHAPTER VII.
BROTHS AND SOUPS.

The cook must pay continual attention to the condition of her stew-pans89-* and soup-kettles, &c. which should be examined every time they are used. The prudent housewife will carefully examine the condition of them herself at least once a month. Their covers also must be kept perfectly clean and well tinned, and the stew-pans not only on the inside, but about a couple of inches on the outside: many mischiefs arise from their getting out of repair; and if not kept nicely tinned, all your good work will be in vain; the broths and soups will look green and dirty, taste bitter and poisonous, and will be spoiled both for the eye and palate, and your credit will be lost.

The health, and even life of the family, depends upon this, and the cook may be sure her employers had rather pay the tinman’s bill than the doctor’s; therefore, attention to this cannot fail to engage the regard of the mistress, between whom and the cook it will be my utmost endeavour to promote perfect harmony.

If a servant has the misfortune to scorch or blister the tinning of her pan,89-† which will happen sometimes to the most careful cook, I advise her, by all means, immediately to acquaint her employers, who will thank her for candidly mentioning an accident; and censure her deservedly if she conceal it.

Take care to be properly provided with sieves and tammy cloths, spoons and ladles. Make it a rule without an exception, never to use them till they are well cleaned and thoroughly dried, nor any stewpans, &c. without first washing them out with boiling water, and rubbing them well with a dry cloth and a little bran, to clean them from grease, sand, &c., or any bad smell they may have got since they were last used: never neglect this.

Though we do not suppose our cook to be such a naughty[90] slut as to wilfully neglect her broth-pots, &c., yet we may recommend her to wash them immediately, and take care they are thoroughly dried at the fire, before they are put by, and to keep them in a dry place, for damp will rust and destroy them very soon: attend to this the first moment you can spare after the dinner is sent up.

Never put by any soup, gravy, &c. in metal utensils; in which never keep any thing longer than is absolutely necessary for the purposes of cookery; the acid, vegetables, fat, &c. employed in making soups, &c. are capable of dissolving such utensils; therefore stone or earthen vessels should be used for this purpose.

Stew-pans, soup-pots, and preserving pans, with thick and round bottoms (such as sauce-pans are made with), will wear twice as long, and are cleaned with half the trouble, as those whose sides are soldered to the bottom, of which sand and grease get into the joined part, and cookeys say that it is next to an impossibility to dislodge it, even if their nails are as long as Nebuchadnezzar’s. The Editor claims the credit bf having first suggested the importance of this construction of these utensils.

Take care that the lids fit as close as possible, that the broth, soup, and sauces, &c. may not waste by evaporation. They are good for nothing, unless they fit tight enough to keep the steam in and the smoke out.

Stew-pans and sauce-pans should be always bright on the upper rim, where the fire does not burn them; but to scour them all over is not only giving the cook needless trouble, but wearing out the vessels. See observations on sauce-pans in Chapter I.

Cultivate habits of regularity and cleanliness, &c. in all your business, which you will then get through easily and comfortably. I do not mean the restless spirit of Molidusta, “the Tidy One,” who is anon, anon, Sir, frisking about in a whirlpool of bustle and confusion, and is always dirty, under pretence of being always cleaning.

Lean, juicy beef, mutton, or veal, form the basis of broth; procure those pieces which afford the richest succulence, and as fresh killed as possible.90-*

Stale meat will make broth grouty and bad tasted, and fat meat is wasted. This only applies to those broths which are required to be perfectly clear: we shall show hereafter (in[91] No. 229), that fat and clarified drippings may be so combined with vegetable mucilage, as to afford, at the small cost of one penny per quart, a nourishing and palatable soup, fully adequate to satisfy appetite and support strength: this will open a new source to those benevolent housekeepers, who are disposed to relieve the poor, will show the industrious classes how much they have it in their power to assist themselves, and rescue them from being objects of charity dependent on the precarious bounty of others, by teaching them how they may obtain a cheap, abundant, salubrious, and agreeable aliment for themselves and families.

This soup has the advantage of being very easily and very soon made, with no more fuel than is necessary to warm a room. Those who have not tasted it, cannot imagine what a salubrious, savoury, and satisfying meal is produced by the judicious combination of cheap homely ingredients.

Scotch barley broth (No. 204) will furnish a good dinner of soup and meat for fivepence per head, pease soup (No. 221) will cost only sixpence per quart, ox-tail soup (No. 240) or the same portable soup (No. 252), for fivepence per quart, and (No. 224) an excellent gravy soup for fourpence halfpenny per quart, duck-giblet soup (No. 244) for threepence per quart, and fowls’ head soup in the same manner for still less (No. 239), will give you a good and plentiful dinner for six people for two shillings and twopence. See also shin of beef stewed (No. 493), and à-la-mode beef (No. 502).

BROTH HERBS, SOUP ROOTS, AND SEASONINGS.

[93]The above materials, wine, and mushroom catchup (No. 439), combined in various proportions, will make an endless variety93-* of excellent broths and soups, quite as pleasant to the palate, and as useful and agreeable to the stomach, as consuming pheasants and partridges, and the long list of inflammatory, piquante, and rare and costly articles, recommended by former cookery-book makers, whose elaborately compounded soups are like their made dishes; in which, though variety is aimed at, every thing has the same taste, and nothing its own.

The general fault of our soups seems to be the employment of an excess of spice, and too small a portion of roots and herbs.93-†

Besides the ingredients I have enumerated, many culinary scribes indiscriminately cram into almost every dish (in such inordinate quantities, one would suppose they were working for the asbestos palate of an Indian fire-eater) anchovies, garlic,93-‡ bay-leaves, and that hot, fiery spice, Cayenne93-§ pepper; this, which the French call (not undeservedly) piment enragé (No. 404), has, somehow or other, unaccountably acquired a character for being very wholesome; while the milder peppers and spices are cried down, as destroying the sensibility of the palate and stomach, &c., and being the source of a thousand mischiefs. We should just as soon recommend alcohol as being less intoxicating than wine.

The best thing that has been said in praise of peppers is, “that with all kinds of vegetables, as also with soups (especially vegetable soups) and fish, either black or Cayenne pepper may be taken freely: they are the most useful stimulants to old stomachs, and often supersede the cravings for[94] strong drinks; or diminish the quantity otherwise required.” See Sir A. Carlisle on Old Age, London, 1817. A certain portion of condiment is occasionally serviceable to excite and keep up the languid action of feeble and advanced life: we must increase the stimulus of our aliment as the inirritability of our system increases. We leave those who love these things to use them as they like; their flavours can be very extemporaneously produced by chilly-juice, or essence of Cayenne (No. 405), eschalot wine (No. 402), and essence of anchovy (No. 433).

There is no French dinner without soup, which is regarded as an indispensable overture; it is commonly followed by “le coup d’Après,” a glass of pure wine, which they consider so wholesome after soup, that their proverb says, the physician thereby loses a fee. Whether the glass of wine be so much more advantageous for the patient than it is for his doctor, we know not, but believe it an excellent plan to begin the banquet with a basin of good soup, which, by moderating the appetite for solid animal food, is certainly a salutiferous custom. Between the roasts and the entremets they introduce “le coup du Milieu” or a small glass of Jamaica rum, or essence of punch (see No. 471), or Curacao (No. 474).

The introduction of liqueurs is by no means a modern custom: our ancestors were very fond of a highly spiced stimulus of this sort, commonly called Ipocrasse, which generally made a part of the last course, or was taken immediately after dinner.

The crafte to make ypocras.

“Take a quarte of red wyne, an ounce of synamon, and halfe an ounce of gynger; a quarter of an ounce of greynes (probably of paradise) and long pepper, and halfe a pounde of sugar; and brose (bruise) all this (not too small), and then put them in a bage (bag) of wullen clothe, made, therefore, with the wynee; and lete it hange over a vessel, till the wynee be run thorowe.”—An extract from Arnold’s Chronicle.

It is a custom which almost universally prevails in the northern parts of Europe, to present a dram or glass of liqueur, before sitting down to dinner: this answers the double purpose of a whet to the appetite, and an announcement that dinner is on the point of being served up. Along with the dram, are presented on a waiter, little square pieces[95] of cheese, slices of cold tongue, dried tongue, and dried toast, accompanied with fresh caviar.

We again caution the cook to avoid over-seasoning, especially with predominant flavours, which, however agreeable they may be to some, are extremely disagreeable to others. See page 50.

Zest (No. 255), soy (No. 436), cavice, coratch, anchovy (No. 433), curry powder (No. 455), savoury ragoût powder (No. 457), soup herb powder (No. 459 and 460), browning (No. 322), catchups (No. 432), pickle liquor, beer, wine, and sweet herbs, and savoury spice (No. 460), are very convenient auxiliaries to finish soups, &c.

The proportion of wine (formerly sack, then claret, now Madeira or port) should not exceed a large wine-glassful to a quart of soup. This is as much as can be admitted, without the vinous flavour becoming remarkably predominant; though not only much larger quantities of wine (of which claret is incomparably the best, because it contains less spirit and more flavour, and English palates are less acquainted with it), but even véritable eau de vie is ordered in many books, and used by many (especially tavern cooks). So much are their soups overloaded with relish, that if you will eat enough of them they will certainly make you drunk, if they don’t make you sick: all this frequently arises from an old cook measuring the excitability of the eater’s palates by his own, which may be so blunted by incessant tasting, that to awaken it, requires wine instead of water, and Cayenne and garlic for black pepper and onion.

Old cooks are as fond of spice, as children are of sugar, and season soup, which is intended to constitute a principal part of a meal, as highly as sauce, of which only a spoonful may be relish enough for a plate of insipid viands. (See obs. to No. 355.) However, we fancy these large quantities of wine, &c. are oftener ordered in cookery books than used in the kitchen: practical cooks have the health of their employers too much at heart, and love “sauce à la langue” too well to overwine their soup, &c.

Truffles and morels95-* are also set down as a part of most receipts. These, in their green state, have a very rich high flavour, and are delicious additions to some dishes, or sent up as a stew by themselves when they are fresh and fine; but in this state they are not served up half a dozen times in a year at the first tables in the kingdom: when dried they become mere “chips in pottage,” and serve only to[96] soak up good gravy, from which they take more taste than they give.

The art of composing a rich soup is so to proportion the several ingredients one to another, that no particular taste be stronger than the rest, but to produce such a fine harmonious relish that the whole is delightful. This requires that judicious combination of the materials which constitutes the “chef d’œuvre” of culinary science.

In the first place, take care that the roots and herbs be perfectly well cleaned; proportion the water to the quantity of meat and other ingredients, generally a pound of meat to a quart of water for soups, and double that quantity for gravies. If they stew gently, little more water need be put in at first than is expected at the end; for when the pot is covered quite close, and the fire gentle, very little is wasted.

Gentle stewing is incomparably the best; the meat is more tender, and the soup better flavoured.

It is of the first importance that the cover of a soup-kettle should fit very close, or the broth will evaporate before you are aware of it. The most essential parts are soon evaporated by quick boiling, without any benefit, except to fatten the fortunate cook who inhales them. An evident proof that these exhalations96-* possess the most restorative qualities is, that THE COOK, who is in general the least eater, is, as generally, the fattest person in the family, from continually being surrounded by the quintessence of all the food she dresses; whereof she sends to HER MASTER only the fibres and calcinations, who is consequently thin, gouty, and the victim of diseases arising from insufficient nourishment.

It is not only the fibres of the meat which nourish us, but the juices they contain, and these are not only extracted but exhaled, if it be boiled fast in an open vessel. A succulent soup can never be made but in a well-closed vessel, which preserves the nutritive parts by preventing their dissipation. This is a fact of which every intelligent person will soon perceive the importance.

Place your soup-pot over a moderate fire, which will make[97] the water hot without causing it to boil for at least half an hour; if the water boils immediately, it will not penetrate the meat, and cleanse it from the clotted blood, and other matters which ought to go off in scum; the meat will be hardened all over by violent heat; will shrink up as if it was scorched, and give hardly any gravy: on the contrary, by keeping the water a certain time heating without boiling, the meat swells, becomes tender, its fibres are dilated, and it yields a quantity of scum, which must be taken off as soon as it appears.

It is not till after a good half hour’s hot infusion that we may mend the fire, and make the pot boil: still continue to remove the scum; and when no more appears, put in the vegetables, &c. and a little salt. These will cause more scum to rise, which must be taken off immediately; then cover the pot very closely, and place it at a proper distance from the fire, where it will boil very gently, and equally, and by no means fast.

By quick and strong boiling the volatile and finest parts of the ingredients are evaporated, and fly off with the steam, and the coarser parts are rendered soluble; so you lose the good, and get the bad.

Soups will generally take from three to six hours.

Prepare your broths and soups the evening before you want them. This will give you more time to attend to the rest of your dinner the next day; and when the soup is cold, the fat may be much more easily and completely removed from the surface of it. When you decant it, take care not to disturb the settlings at the bottom of the vessel, which are so fine that they will escape through a sieve, or even through a TAMIS, which is the best strainer, the soups appear smoother and finer, and it is much easier cleaned than any sieve. If you strain it while it is hot, pass it through a clean tamis or napkin, previously soaked in cold water; the coldness of this will coagulate the fat, and only suffer the pure broth to pass through.

The full flavour of the ingredients can only be extracted by very long and slow simmering; during which take care to prevent evaporation, by covering the pot as close as possible: the best stew-pot is a digester.

Clear soups must be perfectly transparent; thickened soups, about the consistence of rich cream; and remember that thickened soups require nearly double the quantity of seasoning. The piquance of spice, &c. is as much blunted by the flour and butter, as the spirit of rum is by the addition of sugar and acid: so they are less salubrious, without being[98] more savoury, from the additional quantity of spice, &c. that is smuggled into the stomach.

To thicken and give body to soups and sauces, the following materials are used: they must be gradually mixed with the soup till thoroughly incorporated with it; and it should have at least half an hour’s gentle simmering after: if it is at all lumpy, pass it through a tamis or a fine sieve. Bread raspings, bread, isinglass, potato mucilage (No. 448), flour, or fat skimmings and flour (see No. 248), or flour and butter, barley (see No. 204), rice, or oatmeal and water rubbed well together, (see No. 257, in which this subject is fully explained.)

To give that glutinous quality so much admired in mock turtle, see No. 198, and note under No. 247, No. 252, and N.B. to No. 481.

To their very rich gravies, &c. the French add the white meat of partridges, pigeons, or fowls, pounded to a pulp, and rubbed through a sieve. A piece of beef, which has been boiled to make broth, pounded in the like manner with a bit of butter and flour, see obs. to No. 485* and No. 503, and gradually incorporated with the gravy or soup, will be found a satisfactory substitute for these more expensive articles.

Meat from which broth has been made (No. 185, and No. 252), and all its juice has been extracted, is then excellently well prepared for POTTING, (see No. 503), and is quite as good, or better, than that which has been baked till it is dry;98-* indeed, if it be pounded, and seasoned in the usual manner, it will be an elegant and savoury luncheon, or supper, and costs nothing but the trouble of preparing it, which is very little, and a relish is procured for sandwiches, &c. (No. 504) of what heretofore has been by the poorest housekeeper considered the perquisite of the CAT.

Keep some spare broth lest your soup-liquor waste in boiling, and get too thick, and for gravy for your made dishes, various sauces, &c.; for many of which it is a much better basis than melted butter.

The soup of mock turtle, and the other thickened soups, (No. 247), will supply you with a thick gravy sauce for poultry, fish, ragoûts, &c.; and by a little management of this sort, you may generally contrive to have plenty of good gravies and good sauces with very little trouble or expense. See also Portable Soup (No. 252).

[99]If soup is too thin or too weak, take off the cover of your soup-pot, and let it boil till some of the watery part of it has evaporated, or else add some of the thickening materials we have before mentioned; and have at hand some plain browning: see No. 322, and the obs. thereon. This simple preparation is much better than any of the compounds bearing that name; as it colours sauce or soup without much interfering with its flavour, and is a much better way of colouring them than burning the surface of the meat.

When soups and gravies are kept from day to day, in hot weather, they should be warmed up every day, and put into fresh-scalded tureens or pans, and placed in a cool cellar; in temperate weather every other day may be enough.

We hope we have now put the common cook into possession of the whole arcana of soup-making, without much trouble to herself, or expense to her employers. It need not be said in future that an Englishman only knows how to make soup in his stomach, by swilling down a large quantity of ale or porter, to quench the thirst occasioned by the meat he eats. John Bull may now make his soup “secundùm artem,” and save his principal viscera a great deal of trouble.

*** In the following receipts we have directed the spices99-* and flavouring to be added at the usual time; but it would greatly diminish the expense, and improve the soups, if the agents employed to give them a zest were not put in above fifteen minutes before the finish, and half the quantity of spice, &c. would do. A strong heat soon dissipates the spirit of the wine, and evaporates the aroma and flavour of the spices and herbs, which are volatile in the heat of boiling water.

In ordering the proportions of meat, butter, wine, &c. the proper quantity is set down, and less will not do: we have carried economy quite as far as possible without “spoiling the broth for a halfpenny worth of salt.”

I conclude these remarks with observing, that some persons imagine that soup tends to relax the stomach. So far from being prejudicial, we consider the moderate use of such liquid nourishment to be highly salutary. Does not our food and drink, even though cold, become in a few minutes a kind of warm soup in the stomach? and therefore soup, if not eaten too hot, or in too great a quantity, and of proper quality, is attended with great advantages, especially to those who drink but little.

[100]Warm fluids, in the form of soup, unite with our juices much sooner and better than those that are cold and raw: on this account, RESTORATIVE SOUP is the best food for those who are enfeebled by disease or dissipation, and for old people, whose teeth and digestive organs are impaired.

“Half subtilized to chyle, the liquid food
Readiest obeys th’ assimilating powers.”

After catching cold, in nervous headaches, cholics, indigestions, and different kinds of cramp and spasms in the stomach, warm broth is of excellent service.

After intemperate feasting, to give the stomach a holyday for a day or two by a diet on mutton broth (No. 564, or No. 572), or vegetable soup (No. 218), &c. is the best way to restore its tone. “The stretching any power to its utmost extent weakens it. If the stomach be every day obliged to do as much as it can, it will every day be able to do less. A wise traveller will never force his horse to perform as much as he can in one day upon a long journey.”—Father Feyjoo’s Rules, p. 85.

To WARM SOUPS, &c. (No. 485.)

N.B. With the PORTABLE SOUP (No. 252), a pint of broth may be made in five minutes for threepence.

89-* We prefer the form of a stew-pan to the soup-pot; the former is more convenient to skim: the most useful size is 12 inches diameter by 6 inches deep: this we would have of silver, or iron, or copper, lined (not plated) with silver.

89-† This may be always avoided by browning your meat in the frying-pan; it is the browning of the meat that destroys the stew-pan.

90-* In general, it has been considered the best economy to use the cheapest and most inferior meats for soup, &c., and to boil it down till it is entirely destroyed, and hardly worth putting into the hog-tub. This is a false frugality: buy good pieces of meat, and only stew them till they are done enough to be eaten.

91-* Mushroom catchup, made as No. 439, or No. 440, will answer all the purposes of mushrooms in soup or sauce, and no store-room should be without a stock of it.

91-†

All cooks agree in this opinion,
No savoury dish without an ONION.

Sliced onions fried, (see No. 299, and note under No. 517), with some butter and flour, till they are browned (and rubbed through a sieve), are excellent to heighten the colour and flavour of brown soups and sauces, and form the basis of most of the relishes furnished by the “Restaurateurs”—as we guess from the odour which ascends from their kitchens, and salutes our olfactory nerves “en passant.”

The older and drier the onion, the stronger its flavour; and the cook will regulate the quantity she uses accordingly.

92-* Burnet has exactly the same flavour as cucumber. See Burnet vinegar (No. 399).

92-† The concentration of flavour in CELERY and CRESS SEED is such, that half a drachm of it (finely pounded), or double the quantity if not ground or pounded, costing only one-third of a farthing, will impregnate half a gallon of soup with almost as much relish as two or three heads of the fresh vegetable, weighing seven ounces, and costing twopence. This valuable acquisition to the soup-pot deserves to be universally known. See also No. 409, essence of CELERY. This is the most frugal relish we have to introduce to the economist: but that our judgment in palates may not be called in question by our fellow-mortals, who, as the Craniologists say, happen to have the organ of taste stronger than the organ of accumulativeness, we must confess, that, with the flavour it does not impart the delicate sweetness, &c. of the fresh vegetable; and when used, a bit of sugar should accompany it.

92-‡ See No. 419, No. 420, and No. 459. Fresh green BASIL is seldom to be procured. When dried, much of its fine flavour is lost, which is fully extracted by pouring wine on the fresh leaves (see No. 397).

To procure and preserve the flavour of SWEET AND SAVOURY HERBS, celery, &c. these must be dried, &c. at home (see No. 417* and No. 461).

92-§ See No. 421 and No. 457. Sir Hans Sloane, in the Phil. Trans. Abr. vol. xi. p. 667, says, “Pimento, the spice of Jamaica, or ALLSPICE, so called, from having a flavour composed as it were of cloves, cinnamon, nutmegs, and pepper, may deservedly be counted the best and most temperate, mild, and innocent of common spices, almost all of which it far surpasses, by promoting the digestion of meat, and moderately heating and strengthening the stomach, and doing those friendly offices to the bowels, we generally expect from spices.” We have always been of the same opinion as Sir Hans, and believe the only reason why it is the least esteemed spice is, because it is the cheapest. “What folks get easy they never enjoy.”

92-‖ If you have not fresh orange or lemon-juice, or Coxwell’s crystallized lemon acid, the artificial lemon juice (No. 407) is a good substitute for it.

92-¶ The juice of the SEVILLE ORANGE is to be preferred to that of the LEMON, the flavour is finer, and the acid milder.

93-* The erudite editor of the “Almanach des Gourmands,” vol. ii. p. 30, tells us, that ten folio volumes would not contain the receipts of all the soups that have been invented in that grand school of good eating,—the Parisian kitchen.

93-†Point de Légumes, point de Cuisinière,” is a favourite culinary adage of the French kitchen, and deserves to be so: a better soup may be made with a couple of pounds of meat and plenty of vegetables, than our common cooks will make you with four times that quantity of meat; all for want of knowing the uses of soup roots, and sweet and savoury herbs.

93-‡ Many a good dish is spoiled, by the cook not knowing the proper use of this, which is to give a flavour, and not to be predominant over the other ingredients: a morsel mashed with the point of a knife, and stirred in, is enough. See No. 402.

93-§ Foreigners have strange notions of English taste, on which one of their culinary professors has made the following comment: “the organ of taste in these ISLANDERS is very different from our delicate palates; and sauce that would excoriate the palate of a Frenchman, would be hardly piquante enough to make any impression on that of an Englishman; thus they prefer port to claret,” &c. As far as concerns our drinking, we wish there was not quite so much truth in Monsieur’s remarks, but the characteristic of the French and English kitchen is sauce without substance, and substance without sauce.

To make Cayenne of English chillies, of infinitely finer flavour than the Indian, see No. 404.

95-* We tried to make catchup of these by treating them like mushrooms (No. 439), but did not succeed.

96-* “A poor man, being very hungry, staid so long in a cook’s shop, who was dishing up meat, that his stomach was satisfied with only the smell thereof. The choleric cook demanded of him to pay for his breakfast; the poor man denied having had any, and the controversy was referred to the deciding of the next man that should pass by, who chanced to be the most notorious idiot in the whole city: he, on the relation of the matter, determined that the poor man’s money should be put between two empty dishes, and the cook should be recompensed with the jingling of the poor man’s money, as he was satisfied with the smell of the cook’s meat.” This is affirmed by credible writers as no fable, but an undoubted truth.—Fuller’s Holy State, lib. iii. c. 12, p. 20.

98-* If the gravy be not completely drained from it, the article potted will very soon turn sour.

99-* Economists recommend these to be pounded; they certainly go farther, as they call it; but we think they go too far, for they go through the sieve, and make the soup grouty.


CHAPTER VIII.
GRAVIES AND SAUCES.


“The spirit of each dish, and ZEST of all,
Is what ingenious cooks the relish call;
For though the market sends in loads of food,
They are all tasteless, till that makes them good.”
King’s Art of Cookery.


Ex parvis componere magna.

It is of as much importance that the cook should know how to make a boat of good gravy for her poultry, &c. as that it should be sent up of proper complexion, and nicely frothed.

In this chapter, we shall endeavour to introduce to her all[101] the materials101-* which give flavour in sauce, which is the essence of soup, and intended to contain more relish in a tea-spoonful than the former does in a table-spoonful.

We hope to deserve as much praise from the economist as we do from the bon vivant; as we have taken great pains to introduce to him the methods of making substitutes for those ingredients, which are always expensive, and often not to be had at all. Many of these cheap articles are as savoury and as salutary as the dearer ones, and those who have large families and limited incomes, will, no doubt, be glad to avail themselves of them.

The reader may rest assured, that whether he consults this book to diminish the expense or increase the pleasures of hospitality, he will find all the information that was to be obtained up to 1826, communicated in the most unreserved and intelligible manner.

A great deal of the elegance of cookery depends upon the accompaniments to each dish being appropriate and well adapted to it.

We can assure our readers, no attention has been wanting on our part to render this department of the work worthy of their perusal; each receipt is the faithful narrative of actual and repeated experiments, and has received the most deliberate consideration before it was here presented to them. It is given in the most circumstantial manner, and not in the technical and mysterious language former writers on these subjects seem to have preferred; by which their directions are useless and unintelligible to all who have not regularly served an apprenticeship at the stove.

Thus, instead of accurately enumerating the quantities, and explaining the process of each composition, they order a ladleful of stock, a pint of consommé, and a spoonful of cullis; as if a private-family cook had always at hand a soup-kettle full of stock, a store of consommé, and the larder of Albion house, and the spoons and pennyworths were the same in all ages.

It will be to very little purpose that I have taken so much pains to teach how to manage roasts and boils, if a cook cannot or will not make the several sauces that are usually sent up with them.

The most homely fare may be made relishing, and the most excellent and independent improved by a well-made[102] sauce;102-* as the most perfect picture may, by being well varnished.

We have, therefore, endeavoured to give the plainest directions how to produce, with the least trouble and expense102-† possible, all the various compositions the English kitchen affords; and hope to present such a wholesome and palatable variety as will suit all tastes and all pockets, so that a cook may give satisfaction in all families. The more combinations of this sort she is acquainted with, the better she will comprehend the management of every one of them.

We have rejected some outlandish farragoes, from a conviction that they were by no means adapted to an English palate. If they have been received into some English books, for the sake of swelling the volume, we believe they will never be received by an Englishman’s stomach, unless for the reason they were admitted into the cookery book, i. e. because he has nothing else to put into it.

However “les pompeuses bagatelles de la Cuisine Masquée” may tickle the fancy of demi-connoisseurs, who, leaving the substance to pursue the shadow, prefer wonderful and whimsical metamorphoses, and things extravagantly expensive to those which are intrinsically excellent; in whose mouth mutton can hardly hope for a welcome, unless accompanied by venison sauce; or a rabbit, any chance for a race down the red lane, without assuming the form of a frog or a spider; or pork, without being either “goosified” or “lambi[103]fied” (see No. 51); and game and poultry in the shape of crawfish or hedgehogs; these travesties rather show the patience than the science of the cook, and the bad taste of those who prefer such baby-tricks to nourishing and substantial plain cookery.

I could have made this the biggest book with half the trouble it has taken me to make it the best: concentration and perspicuity have been my aim.

As much pains have been taken in describing, in the most intelligible manner, how to make, in the easiest, most agreeable, and economical way, those common sauces that daily contribute to the comfort of the middle ranks of society; as in directing the preparation of those extravagant and elaborate double relishes, the most ingenious and accomplished “officers of the mouth” have invented for the amusement of profound palaticians, and thorough-bred grands gourmands of the first magnitude: these we have so reduced the trouble and expense of making, as to bring them within the reach of moderate fortunes; still preserving all that is valuable of their taste and qualities; so ordering them, that they may delight the palate, without disordering the stomach, by leaving out those inflammatory ingredients which are only fit for an “iron throat and adamantine bowels,” and those costly materials which no rational being would destroy, for the wanton purpose of merely giving a fine name to the compositions they enter into, to whose excellence they contribute nothing else. For instance, consuming two partridges to make sauce for one: half a pint of game gravy (No. 329,) will be infinitely more acceptable to the unsophisticated appetite of Englishmen, for whose proper and rational recreation we sat down to compose these receipts; whose approbation we have done our utmost to deserve, by devoting much time to the business of the kitchen; and by repeating the various processes that we thought admitted of the smallest improvement.

We shall be fully gratified, if our book is not bought up with quite so much avidity by those high-bred epicures, who are unhappily so much more nice than wise, that they cannot eat any thing dressed by an English cook; and vote it barbarously unrefined and intolerably ungenteel, to endure the sight of the best bill of fare that can be contrived, if written in the vulgar tongue of old England.103-*[104]

Let your sauces each display a decided character; send up your plain sauces (oyster, lobster, &c.) as pure as possible: they should only taste of the materials from which they take their name.

The imagination of most cooks is so incessantly on the hunt for a relish, that they seem to think they cannot make sauce sufficiently savoury without putting into it every thing that ever was eaten; and supposing every addition must be an improvement, they frequently overpower the natural flavour of their PLAIN SAUCES, by overloading them with salt and spices, &c.: but, remember, these will be deteriorated by any addition, save only just salt enough to awaken the palate. The lover of “piquance” and compound flavours, may have recourse to “the Magazine of Taste,” No. 462.

On the contrary, of COMPOUND SAUCES; the ingredients should be so nicely proportioned, that no one be predominant; so that from the equal union of the combined flavours such a fine mellow mixture is produced, whose very novelty cannot fail of being acceptable to the persevering gourmand, if it has not pretensions to a permanent place at his table.

An ingenious cook will form as endless a variety of these compositions as a musician with his seven104-* notes, or a painter with his colours; no part of her business offers so fair and frequent an opportunity to display her abilities: SPICES, HERBS, &c. are often very absurdly and injudiciously jumbled together.

Why have clove and allspice, or mace and nutmeg, in the same sauce; or marjoram, thyme, and savoury; or onions, leeks, eschalots, and garlic? one will very well supply the place of the other, and the frugal cook may save something considerable by attending to this, to the advantage of her employers, and her own time and trouble. You might as well, to make soup, order one quart of water from the Thames, another from the New River, a third from Hampstead, and a fourth from Chelsea, with a certain portion of spring and rain water.

In many of our receipts we have fallen in with the fashion of ordering a mixture of spices, &c., which the above hint will enable the culinary student to correct.

Pharmacy is now much more simple; COOKERY may be[105] made so too. A prescription which is now compounded with five ingredients, had formerly fifty in it: people begin to understand that the materia medica is little more than a collection of evacuants and stimuli.”—Boswell’s Life of Johnson.

The ragoûts of the last century had infinitely more ingredients than we use now; the praise given to Will. Rabisha for his Cookery, 12mo. 1673, is

“To fry and fricassee, his way’s most neat,
For he compounds a thousand sorts of meat.”

To become a perfect mistress of the art of cleverly extracting and combining flavours,105-* besides the gift of a good taste, requires all the experience and skill of the most accomplished professor, and, especially, an intimate acquaintance with the palate she is working for.

Send your sauces to table as hot as possible.

Nothing can be more unsightly than the surface of a sauce in a frozen state, or garnished with grease on the top. The best way to get rid of this, is to pass it through a tamis or napkin previously soaked in cold water; the coldness of the napkin will coagulate the fat, and only suffer the pure gravy to pass through: if any particles of fat remain, take them off by applying filtering paper, as blotting paper is applied to writing.

Let your sauces boil up after you put in wine, anchovy, or thickening, that their flavours may be well blended with the other ingredients;105-† and keep in mind that the “chef-d’œuvre” of COOKERY is, to entertain the mouth without offending the stomach.

N.B. Although I have endeavoured to give the particular quantity of each ingredient used in the following sauces, as they are generally made; still the cook’s judgment must direct her to lessen or increase either of the ingredients, according to the taste of those she works for, and will always be on the alert to ascertain what are the favourite accompaniments desired with each dish. See Advice to Cooks, page 50.

When you open a bottle of catchup (No. 439), essence of anchovy (No. 433), &c., throw away the old cork, and stop it closely with a new cork that will fit it very tight. Use only the best superfine velvet taper-corks.

[106]Economy in corks is extremely unwise: in order to save a mere trifle in the price of the cork, you run the risk of losing the valuable article it is intended to preserve.

It is a vulgar error that a bottle must be well stopped, when the cork is forced down even with the mouth of it; it is rather a sign that the cork is too small, and it should be redrawn and a larger one put in.

To make bottle-cement.

Half a pound of black resin, same quantity of red sealing-wax, quarter oz. bees’ wax, melted in an earthen or iron pot; when it froths up, before all is melted and likely to boil over, stir it with a tallow candle, which will settle the froth till all is melted and fit for use. Red wax, 10d. per lb. may be bought at Mr. Dew’s Blackmore-street, Clare-market.

N.B. This cement is of very great use in preserving things that you wish to keep a long time, which without its help would soon spoil, from the clumsy and ineffectual manner in which the bottles are corked.

101-* See, in pages 91, 92, A CATALOGUE OF THE INGREDIENTS now used in soups, sauces, &c.

102-* “It is the duty of a good sauce,” says the editor of the Almanach des Gourmands (vol. v. page 6), “to insinuate itself all round and about the maxillary gland, and imperceptibly awaken into activity each ramification of the organs of taste: if not sufficiently savoury, it cannot produce this effect, and if too piquante, it will paralyze, instead of exciting, those delicious titillations of tongue and vibrations of palate, that only the most accomplished philosophers of the mouth can produce on the highly-educated palates of thrice happy grands gourmands.”

102-† To save time and trouble is the most valuable frugality: and if the mistress of a family will condescend to devote a little time to the profitable and pleasant employment of preparing some of the STORE SAUCES, especially Nos. 322. 402. 404. 413. 429. 433. 439. 454; these, both epicures and economists will avail themselves of the advantage now given them, of preparing at home.

By the help of these, many dishes may be dressed in half the usual time, and with half the trouble and expense, and flavoured and finished with much more certainty than by the common methods.

A small portion of the time which young ladies sacrifice to torturing the strings of their piano-forte, employed in obtaining domestic accomplishments, might not make them worse wives, or less agreeable companions to their husbands. This was the opinion 200 years ago.

“To speak, then, of the knowledge which belongs unto our British housewife, I hold the most principal to be a perfect skill in COOKERY: she that is utterly ignorant therein, may not, by the lawes of strict justice, challenge the freedom of marriage, because indeede she can perform but half her vow: she may love and obey, but she cannot cherish and keepe her husband.”—G. Markham’s English Housewife, 4to. 1637, p. 62.

We hope our fair readers will forgive us, for telling them that economy in a wife, is the most certain charm to ensure the affection and industry of a husband.

103-* Though some of these people seem at last to have found out, that an Englishman’s head may be as full of gravy as a Frenchman’s, and willing to give the preference to native talent, retain an Englishman or woman as prime minister of their kitchen; still they seem ashamed to confess it, and commonly insist as a “sine quâ non,” that their English domestics should understand the “parlez vous;” and notwithstanding they are perfectly initiated in all the minutiæ of the philosophy of the mouth, consider them uneligible, if they cannot scribble a bill of fare in pretty good bad French.

104-* The principal agents now employed to flavour soups and sauces are, MUSHROOMS (No. 439), ONIONS (No. 420), ANCHOVY (No. 433), LEMON-JUICE and PEEL, or VINEGAR, WINE, (especially good CLARET), SWEET HERBS, and SAVOURY SPICES.—Nos. 420-422, and 457. 459, 460.

105-* If your palate becomes dull by repeatedly tasting, the best way to refresh it is to wash your mouth well with milk.

105-† Before you put eggs or cream into a sauce, have all your other ingredients well boiled, and the sauce or soup of proper thickness; because neither eggs nor cream will contribute to thicken it.—After you have put them in, do not set the stew-pan on the stove again, but hold it over the fire, and shake it round one way till the sauce is ready.


CHAPTER IX.
MADE DISHES.

Under this general head we range our receipts for HASHES, STEWS, and RAGOUTS,106-* &c. Of these there are a great multitude, affording the ingenious cook an inexhaustible store of variety: in the French kitchen they count upwards of 600, and are daily inventing new ones.

We have very few general observations to make, after what we have already said in the two preceding chapters on sauces, soups, &c., which apply to the present chapter, as they form the principal part of the accompaniment of most of these dishes. In fact, MADE DISHES are nothing more than meat, poultry (No. 530), or fish (Nos. 146, 158, or 164), stewed very gently till they are tender, with a thickened sauce poured over them.

[107]Be careful to trim off all the skin, gristle, &c. that will not be eaten; and shape handsomely, and of even thickness, the various articles which compose your made dishes: this is sadly neglected by common cooks. Only stew them till they are just tender, and do not stew them to rags; therefore, what you prepare the day before it is to be eaten, do not dress quite enough the first day.

We have given receipts for the most easy and simple way to make HASHES, &c. Those who are well skilled in culinary arts can dress up things in this way, so as to be as agreeable as they were the first time they were cooked. But hashing is a very bad mode of cookery: if meat has been done enough the first time it is dressed, a second dressing will divest it of all its nutritive juices; and if it can be smuggled into the stomach by bribing the palate with piquante sauce, it is at the hazard of an indigestion, &c.

I promise those who do me the honour to put my receipts into practice, that they will find that the most nutritious and truly elegant dishes are neither the most difficult to dress, the most expensive, nor the most indigestible. In these compositions experience will go far to diminish expense: meat that is too old or too tough for roasting, &c., may by gentle stewing be rendered savoury and tender. If some of our receipts do differ a little from those in former cookery books, let it be remembered we have advanced nothing in this work that has not been tried, and experience has proved correct.

N.B. See No. 483, an ingenious and economical system of French cookery, written at the request of the editor by an accomplished English lady, which will teach you how to supply your table with elegant little made dishes, &c. at as little expense as plain cookery.

106-* Sauce for ragoûts, &c., should be thickened till it is of the consistence of good rich cream, that it may adhere to whatever it is poured over. When you have a large dinner to dress, keep ready-mixed some fine-sifted flour and water well rubbed together till quite smooth, and about as thick as butter. See No. 257.


[108]

THE
COOK’S ORACLE.


BOILING.

[Read the first chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.]

Leg of Mutton.—(No. 1.)

Cut off the shank bone, and trim the knuckle, put it into lukewarm water for ten minutes, wash it clean, cover it with cold water, and let it simmer very gently, and skim it carefully. A leg of nine pounds will take two and a half or three hours, if you like it thoroughly done, especially in very cold weather.

For the accompaniments, see the following receipt.

N.B. The tit-bits with an epicure are the “knuckle,” the kernel, called the “pope’s eye,” and the “gentleman’s” or “cramp bone,” or, as it is called in Kent, the “CAW CAW,” four of these and a bounder furnish the little masters and mistresses of Kent with their most favourite set of playthings.

A leg of mutton stewed very slowly, as we have directed the beef to be (No. 493), will be as agreeable to an English appetite as the famous “gigot108-* de sept heures” of the French kitchen is to a Parisian palate.

When mutton is very large, you may divide it, and roast the fillet, i. e. the large end, and boil the knuckle end; you may also cut some fine cutlets off the thick end of the leg, and so have two or three good hot dinners. See Mrs. Makeitdo’s receipt how to make a leg of mutton last a week, in “the housekeeper’s leger,” printed for Whittaker, Ave-Maria Lane.

The liquor the mutton is boiled in, you may convert into good soup in five minutes, (see N.B. to No. 218,) and Scotch barley broth (No. 204). Thus managed, a leg of mutton is a most economical joint.

[109]

Neck of Mutton.—(No. 2.)

Put four or five pounds of the best end of a neck (that has been kept a few days) into as much cold soft water as will cover it, and about two inches over; let it simmer very slowly for two hours: it will look most delicate if you do not take off the skin till it has been boiled.

For sauce, that elegant and innocent relish, parsley and butter (No. 261), or eschalot (No. 294 or 5), or caper sauce (No. 274), mock caper sauce (No. 275), and onion sauce (No. 298), turnips (No. 130), or spinage (No. 121), are the usual accompaniments to boiled mutton.

Lamb.—(No. 3.)

A leg of five pounds should simmer very gently for about two hours, from the time it is put on, in cold water. After the general rules for boiling, in the first chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery, we have nothing to add, only to send up with it spinage (No. 122), broccoli (No. 126), cauliflower (No. 125), &c., and for sauce, No. 261.

Veal.—(No. 4.)

This is expected to come to table looking delicately clean; and it is so easily discoloured, that you must be careful to have clean water, a clean vessel, and constantly catch the scum as soon and as long as it rises, and attend to the directions before given in the first chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery. Send up bacon (No. 13), fried sausages (No. 87), or pickled pork, greens, (No. 118 and following Nos.) and parsley and butter (No. 261), onion sauce (No. 298).

N.B. For receipts to cook veal, see from No. 512 to No. 521.

Beef bouilli,—(No. 5.)

In plain English, is understood to mean boiled beef; but its culinary acceptation, in the French kitchen, is fresh beef dressed without boiling, and only very gently simmered by a slow fire.

Cooks have seldom any notion, that good soup can be made without destroying a great deal of meat; however, by a judicious regulation of the fire, and a vigilant attendance on the soup-kettle, this may be accomplished. You shall have a tureen of such soup as will satisfy the most fastidious palate, and the meat make its appearance at table, at the[110] same time, in possession of a full portion of nutritious succulence.

This requires nothing more than to stew the meat very slowly (instead of keeping the pot boiling a gallop, as common cooks too commonly do), and to take it up as soon as it is done enough. See “Soup and bouilli” (No. 238), “Shin of beef stewed” (No. 493), “Scotch barley broth” (No. 204).

Meat cooked in this manner affords much more nourishment than it does dressed in the common way, is easy of digestion in proportion as it is tender, and an invigorating, substantial diet, especially valuable to the poor, whose laborious employments require support.

If they could get good eating put within their reach, they would often go to the butcher’s shop, when they now run to the public-house.

Among the variety of schemes that have been suggested for bettering the condition of the poor, a more useful or extensive charity cannot be devised, than that of instructing them in economical and comfortable cookery, except providing them with spectacles.

“The poor in Scotland, and on the Continent, manage much better. Oatmeal porridge (Nos. 205 and 572) and milk, constitute the breakfast and supper of those patterns of industry, frugality, and temperance, the Scottish peasantry.

“When they can afford meat, they form with it a large quantity of barley broth (No. 204), with a variety of vegetables, by boiling the whole a long time, enough to serve the family for several days.

“When they cannot afford meat, they make broth of barley and other vegetables, with a lump of butter (see No. 229), all of which they boil for many hours, and this with oat cakes forms their dinner.” Cochrane’s Seaman’s Guide, p. 34.

The cheapest method of making a nourishing soup is least known to those who have most need of it. (See No. 229.)

Our neighbours the French are so justly famous for their skill in the affairs of the kitchen, that the adage says, “as many Frenchmen as many cooks:” surrounded as they are by a profusion of the most delicious wines and most seducing liqueurs, offering every temptation and facility to render drunkenness delightful: yet a tippling Frenchman is a “rara avis;” they know how so easily and completely to keep life in repair by good eating, that they require little or no adjustment from drinking.

[111]This accounts for that “toujours gai,” and happy equilibrium of spirits, which they enjoy with more regularity than any people. Their stomach, being unimpaired by spirituous liquors, embrace and digest vigorously the food they sagaciously prepare for it, and render easily assimilable by cooking it sufficiently, wisely contriving to get the difficult part of the work of the stomach done by fire and water.

To salt Meat.—(No. 6.)

In the summer season, especially, meat is frequently spoiled by the cook forgetting to take out the kernels; one in the udder of a round of beef, in the fat in the middle of the round, those about the thick end of the flank, &c.: if these are not taken out, all the salt in the world will not keep the meat.

The art of salting meat is to rub in the salt thoroughly and evenly into every part, and to fill all the holes full of salt where the kernels were taken out, and where the butcher’s skewers were.

A round of beef of 25 pounds will take a pound and a half of salt to be rubbed in all at first, and requires to be turned and rubbed every day with the brine; it will be ready for dressing in four or five days,111-* if you do not wish it very salt.

In summer, the sooner meat is salted after it is killed the better; and care must be taken to defend it from the flies.

In winter, it will eat the shorter and tenderer, if kept a few days (according to the temperature of the weather) until its fibre has become short and tender, as these changes do not take place after it has been acted upon by the salt.

In frosty weather, take care the meat is not frozen, and warm the salt in a frying-pan. The extremes of heat111-† and cold are equally unfavourable for the process of salting. In the former, the meat changes before the salt can affect it: in the latter, it is so hardened, and its juices are so congealed, that the salt cannot penetrate it.

If you wish it red, rub it first with saltpetre, in the proportion of half an ounce, and the like quantity of moist sugar, to a pound of common salt. (See Savoury salt beef, No. 496.)

[112]You may impregnate meat with a very agreeable vegetable flavour, by pounding some sweet herbs (No. 459,) and an onion with the salt. You may make it still more relishing by adding a little ZEST (No. 255), or savoury spice (No. 457).

To pickle Meat.

“Six pounds of salt, one pound of sugar, and four ounces of saltpetre, boiled with four gallons of water, skimmed, and allowed to cool, forms a very strong pickle, which will preserve any meat completely immersed in it. To effect this, which is essential, either a heavy board or a flat stone must be laid upon the meat. The same pickle may be used repeatedly, provided it be boiled up occasionally with additional salt to restore its strength, diminished by the combination of part of the salt with the meat, and by the dilution of the pickle by the juices of the meat extracted. By boiling, the albumen, which would cause the pickle to spoil, is coagulated, and rises in the form of scum, which must be carefully removed.”—See Supplement to Encyclop. Britan. vol. iv. p. 340.

Meat kept immersed in pickle gains weight. In one experiment by Messrs. Donkin and Gamble, there was a gain of three per cent., and in another of two and a half; but in the common way of salting, when the meat is not immersed in pickle, there is a loss of about one pound, or one and a half, in sixteen. See Dr. Wilkinson’s account of the preserving power of PYRO-LIGNEOUS ACID, &c. in the Philosophical Magazine for 1821, No. 273, p. 12.

An H-bone of 10 or 12 pounds weight will require about three-quarters of a pound of salt, and an ounce of moist sugar, to be well rubbed into it. It will be ready in four or five days, if turned and rubbed every day.

The time meat requires salting depends upon the weight of it, and how much salt is used: and if it be rubbed in with a heavy hand, it will be ready much sooner than if only lightly rubbed.

N. B. Dry the salt, and rub it with the sugar in a mortar.

Pork requires a longer time to cure (in proportion to its weight) than beef. A leg of pork should be in salt eight or ten days; turn it and rub it every day.

Salt meat should be well washed before it is boiled, especially if it has been in salt long, that the liquor in which the meat is boiled, may not be too salt to make soup of. (No. 218, &c. and No. 555.)

If it has been in salt a long time, and you fear that it will[113] be too salt, wash it well in cold water, and soak it in lukewarm water for a couple of hours. If it is very salt, lay it in water the night before you intend to dress it.

A Round of salted Beef.—(No. 7.)

As this is too large for a moderate family, we shall write directions for the dressing half a round. Get the tongue side.

Skewer it up tight and round, and tie a fillet of broad tape round it, to keep the skewers in their places.

Put it into plenty of cold water, and carefully catch the scum as soon as it rises: let it boil till all the scum is removed, and then put the boiler on one side of the fire, to keep simmering slowly till it is done.

Half a round of 15lbs. will take about three hours: if it weighs more, give it more time.

When you take it up, if any stray scum, &c. sticks to it that has escaped the vigilance of your skimmer, wash it off with a paste-brush: garnish the dishes with carrots and turnips. Send up carrots (No. 129), turnips (No. 130), and parsnips, or greens (No. 118), &c. on separate dishes. Pease pudding (No. 555), and MY PUDDING (No. 551), are all very proper accompaniments.

N.B. The outside slices, which are generally too much salted and too much boiled, will make a very good relish as potted beef (No. 503). For using up the remains of a joint of boiled beef, see also Bubble and Squeak (No. 505).

H-Bone of Beef,—(No. 8.)

Is to be managed in exactly the same manner as the round, but will be sooner boiled, as it is not so solid. An H-bone of 20lbs. will be done enough in about four hours; of 10lbs. in three hours, more or less, as the weather is hotter or colder. Be sure the boiler is big enough to allow it plenty of water-room: let it be well covered with water: set the pot on one side of the fire to boil gently: if it boils quick at first, no art can make it tender after. The slower it boils, the better it will look, and the tenderer it will be. The same accompanying vegetables as in the preceding receipt. Dress plenty of carrots, as cold carrots are a general favourite with cold beef.

Mem.—Epicures say, that the soft, fat-like marrow, which lies on the back, is delicious when hot, and the hard fat about the upper corner is best when cold.

To make PERFECTLY GOOD PEASE SOUP in ten minutes, of[114] the liquor in which the beef has been boiled, see N.B. to No. 218.

Obs.—In “Mrs. Mason’s Ladies’ Assistant,” this joint is called haunch-bone; in “Henderson’s Cookery,” edge-bone; in “Domestic Management,” aitch-bone; in “Reynold’s Cookery,” ische-bone; in “Mrs. Lydia Fisher’s Prudent Housewife,” ach-bone; in “Mrs. M’Iver’s Cookery,” hook-bone. We have also seen it spelled each-bone and ridge-bone; and we have also heard it called natch-bone.

N.B. Read the note under No. 7; and to make perfectly good pease soup of the pot-liquor, in ten minutes, see Obs. to No. 218, No. 229, and No. 555.

Ribs of Beef salted and rolled.—(No. 9.)

Briskets, and the various other pieces, are dressed in the same way. “Wow-wow” sauce (No. 328,) is an agreeable companion.

Half a Calf’s Head.—(No. 10.)

Cut it in two, and take out the brains: wash the head well in several waters, and soak it in warm water for a quarter of an hour before you dress it. Put the head into a saucepan, with plenty of cold water: when it is coming to a boil, and the scum rises, carefully remove it.

Half a calf’s head (without the skin) will take from an hour and a half to two hours and a quarter, according to its size; with the skin on, about an hour longer. It must be stewed very gently till it is tender: it is then extremely nutritive, and easy of digestion.

Put eight or ten sage leaves (some cooks use parsley instead, or equal parts of each) into a small sauce-pan: boil them tender (about half an hour); then chop them very fine, and set them ready on a plate.

Wash the brains well in two waters; put them into a large basin of cold water, with a little salt in it, and let them soak for an hour; then pour away the cold, and cover them with hot water; and when you have cleaned and skinned them, put them into a stew-pan with plenty of cold water: when it boils, take the scum off very carefully, and boil gently for 10 or 15 minutes: now chop them (not very fine); put them into a sauce-pan with the sage leaves and a couple of table-spoonfuls of thin melted butter, and a little salt (to this some cooks add a little lemon-juice), and stir them well together; and as soon as they are well warmed (take care they don’t[115] burn), skin the tongue,115-* trim off the roots, and put it in the middle of a dish, and the brains round it: or, chop the brains with an eschalot, a little parsley, and four hard-boiled eggs, and put them into a quarter of a pint of bechamel, or white sauce (No. 2 of 364). A calf’s cheek is usually attended by a pig’s cheek, a knuckle of ham or bacon (No. 13, or No. 526), or pickled pork (No. 11), and greens, broccoli, cauliflowers, or pease; and always by parsley and butter (see No. 261, No. 311, or No. 343).

If you like it full dressed, score it superficially, beat up the yelk of an egg, and rub it over the head with a feather; powder it with a seasoning of finely minced (or dried and powdered) winter savoury or lemon-thyme (or sage), parsley, pepper, and salt, and bread crumbs, and give it a brown with a salamander, or in a tin Dutch oven: when it begins to dry, sprinkle a little melted butter over it with a paste-brush.

You may garnish the dish with broiled rashers of bacon (No. 526 or 527).

Obs.—Calf’s head is one of the most delicate and favourite dishes in the list of boiled meats; but nothing is more insipid when cold, and nothing makes so nice a hash; therefore don’t forget to save a quart of the liquor it was boiled in to make sauce, &c. for the hash (see also No. 520). Cut the head and tongue into slices, trim them neatly, and leave out the gristles and fat; and slice some of the bacon that was dressed to eat with the head, and warm them in the hash.

Take the bones and the trimmings of the head, a bundle of sweet herbs, an onion, a roll of lemon-peel, and a blade of bruised mace: put these into a sauce-pan with the quart of liquor you have saved, and let it boil gently for an hour; pour it through a sieve into a basin, wash out your stew-pan, add a table-spoonful of flour to the brains and parsley and butter you have left, and pour it into the gravy you have made with the bones and trimmings; let it boil up for ten minutes, and then strain it through a hair-sieve; season it with a table-spoonful of white wine, or of catchup (No. 439), or sauce superlative (No. 429): give it a boil up, skim it, and then put in the brains and the slices of head and bacon; as soon as they are thoroughly warm (it must not boil) the hash is ready. Some cooks egg, bread-crumb, and fry the finest pieces of the head, and lay them round the hash.

N.B. You may garnish the edges of the dish with slices[116] of bacon toasted in a Dutch oven (see Nos. 526 and 527), slices of lemon and fried bread.

To make gravy for hashes, &c. see No. 360.

Pickled Pork,—(No. 11.)

Takes more time than any other meat. If you buy your pork ready salted, ask how many days it has been in salt; if many, it will require to be soaked in water for six hours before you dress it. When you cook it, wash and scrape it as clean as possible; when delicately dressed, it is a favourite dish with almost every body. Take care it does not boil fast; if it does, the knuckle will break to pieces, before the thick part of the meat is warm through; a leg of seven pounds takes three hours and a half very slow simmering. Skim your pot very carefully, and when you take the meat out of the boiler, scrape it clean.

Some sagacious cooks (who remember to how many more nature has given eyes than she has given tongues and brains), when pork is boiled, score it in diamonds, and take out every other square; and thus present a retainer to the eye to plead for them to the palate; but this is pleasing the eye at the expense of the palate. A leg of nice pork, nicely salted, and nicely boiled, is as nice a cold relish as cold ham; especially if, instead of cutting into the middle when hot, and so letting out its juices, you cut it at the knuckle: slices broiled, as No. 487, are a good luncheon, or supper. To make pease pudding, and pease soup extempore, see N.B. to Nos. 218 and 555.

Mem.—Some persons who sell pork ready salted have a silly trick of cutting the knuckle in two; we suppose that this is done to save their salt; but it lets all the gravy out of the leg; and unless you boil your pork merely for the sake of the pot-liquor, which in this case receives all the goodness and strength of the meat, friendly reader, your oracle cautions you to buy no leg of pork which is slit at the knuckle.

If pork is not done enough, nothing is more disagreeable; if too much, it not only loses its colour and flavour, but its substance becomes soft like a jelly.

It must never appear at table without a good pease pudding (see No. 555), and, if you please, parsnips (No. 128); they are an excellent vegetable, and deserve to be much more popular; or carrots (No. 129), turnips, and greens, or mashed potatoes, &c. (No. 106.)

Obs.—Remember not to forget the mustard-pot (No. 369, No. 370, and No. 427).

[117]

Pettitoes, or Sucking-Pig’s Feet.—(No. 12.)

Put a thin slice of bacon at the bottom of a stew-pan with some broth, a blade of mace, a few pepper-corns, and a bit of thyme; boil the feet till they are quite tender; this will take full twenty minutes; but the heart, liver, and lights will be done enough in ten, when they are to be taken out, and minced fine.

Put them all together into a stew-pan with some gravy; thicken it with a little butter rolled in flour; season it with a little pepper and salt, and set it over a gentle fire to simmer for five minutes, frequently shaking them about.

While this is doing, have a thin slice of bread toasted very lightly; divide it into sippets, and lay them round the dish: pour the mince and sauce into the middle of it, and split the feet, and lay them round it.

N.B. Pettitoes are sometimes boiled and dipped in batter, and fried a light brown.

Obs.—If you have no gravy, put into the water you stew the pettitoes in an onion, a sprig of lemon thyme, or sweet marjoram, with a blade of bruised mace, a few black peppers, and a large tea-spoonful of mushroom catchup (No. 439), and you will have a very tolerable substitute for gravy. A bit of No. 252 will be a very great improvement to it.

Bacon.—(No. 13.)

Cover a pound of nice streaked bacon (as the Hampshire housewives say, that “has been starved one day, and fed another”) with cold water, let it boil gently for three-quarters of an hour; take it up, scrape the under-side well, and cut off the rind: grate a crust of bread not only on the top, but all over it, as directed for the ham in the following receipt, and put it before the fire for a few minutes: it must not be there too long, or it will dry it and spoil it.

Two pounds will require about an hour and a half, according to its thickness; the hock or gammon being very thick, will take more.

Obs.—See Nos. 526 and 527: when only a little bacon is wanted, these are the best ways of dressing it.

The boiling of bacon is a very simple subject to comment, upon; but our main object is to teach common cooks the art of dressing common food in the best manner.

Bacon is sometimes as salt as salt can make it, therefore before it is boiled it must be soaked in warm water for an[118] hour or two, changing the water once; then pare off the rusty and smoked part, trim it nicely on the under side, and scrape the rind as clean as possible.

Mem.—Bacon is an extravagant article in housekeeping; there is often twice as much dressed as need be: when it is sent to table as an accompaniment to boiled poultry or veal, a pound and a half is plenty for a dozen people. A good German sausage is a very economical substitute for bacon; or fried pork sausages (No. 87).

Ham,—(No. 14.)

Though of the bacon kind, has been so altered and hardened in the curing, that it requires still more care.

Ham is generally not half-soaked; as salt as brine, and hard as flint; and it would puzzle the stomach of an ostrich to digest it.

Mem.—The salt, seasoning, and smoke, which preserve it before it is eaten, prevent its solution after; and unless it be very long and very gently stewed, the strongest stomach will have a tough job to extract any nourishment from it. If it is a very dry Westphalia ham, it must be soaked, according to its age and thickness, from 12 to 24 hours; for a green Yorkshire or Westmoreland ham, from four to eight hours will be sufficient. Lukewarm water will soften it much sooner than cold, when sufficiently soaked, trim it nicely on the underside, and pare off all the rusty and smoked parts till it looks delicately clean.

lb. oz.
A ham weighed before it was soaked 13
After 12 4
Boiled 13 4
Trimmed for table 10 12

Give it plenty of water-room, and put it in while the water is cold; let it heat very gradually, and let it be on the fire an hour and a half before it comes to a boil; let it be well skimmed, and keep it simmering very gently: a middling-sized ham of fifteen pounds will be done enough in about four or five hours, according to its thickness.

If not to be cut till cold, it will cut the shorter and tenderer for being boiled about half an hour longer. In a very small family, where a ham will last a week or ten days, it is best economy not to cut it till it is cold, it will be infinitely more juicy.

Pull off the skin carefully, and preserve it as whole as possible; it will form an excellent covering to keep the ham[119] moist; when you have removed the skin, rub some bread raspings through a hair-sieve, or grate a crust of bread; put it into the perforated cover of the dredging-box, and shake it over it, or glaze it; trim the knuckle with a fringe of cut writing-paper. You may garnish with spinage or turnips, &c.

Obs. To pot ham (No. 509), is a much more useful and economical way of disposing of the remains of the joint, than making essence of it (No. 352). To make soup of the liquor it is boiled in, see N.B. to No. 555.

Tongue.—(No. 15.)

A tongue is so hard, whether prepared by drying or pickling, that it requires much more cooking than a ham; nothing of its weight takes so long to dress it properly.

A tongue that has been salted and dried should be put to soak (if it is old and very hard, 24 hours before it is wanted) in plenty of water; a green one fresh from the pickle requires soaking only a few hours: put your tongue into plenty of cold water; let it be an hour gradually warming; and give it from three and a half to four hours’ very slow simmering, according to the size, &c.

Obs. When you choose a tongue, endeavour to learn how long it has been dried or pickled, pick out the plumpest, and that which has the smoothest skin, which denotes its being young and tender.

The roots, &c. make an excellent relish potted, like No. 509, or pease soup (No. 218).

N.B. Our correspondent, who wished us, in this edition, to give a receipt to roast a tongue, will find an answer in No. 82.

Turkeys, Capons, Fowls, Chickens, &c.—(No. 16.)

Are all boiled exactly in the same manner, only allowing time, according to their size. For the stuffing, &c. (Nos. 374, 375, and 377), some of it made into balls, and boiled or fried, make a nice garnish, and are handy to help; and you can then reserve some of the inside stuffing to eat with the cold fowl, or enrich the hash (Nos. 530 and 533).

A chicken will take about 20 minutes.
A fowl 40
A fine five-toed fowl or a capon, about an hour.
A small turkey, an hour and a half.
A large one, two hours or more.

[120]Chickens or fowls should be killed at least one or two days before they are to be dressed.

Turkeys (especially large ones) should not be dressed till they have been killed three or four days at least, in cold weather six or eight, or they will neither look white nor eat tender.120-*

Turkeys, and large fowls, should have the strings or sinews of the thighs drawn out.

Truss them with the legs outward, they are much easier carved.

Fowls for boiling should be chosen as white as possible; if their complexion is not so fair as you wish, veil them in No. 2 of No. 364; those which have black legs should be roasted. The best use of the liver is to make sauce (No. 287).

Poultry must be well washed in warm water; if very dirty from the singeing, &c. rub them with a little white soap; but thoroughly rinse it off, before you put them into the pot.

Make a good and clear fire; set on a clean pot, with pure and clean water, enough to well cover the turkey, &c.; the slower it boils, the whiter and plumper it will be. When there rises any scum, remove it; the common method of some (who are more nice than wise) is to wrap them up in a cloth, to prevent the scum attaching to them; which, if it does, by your neglecting to skim the pot, there is no getting it off afterward, and the poulterer is blamed for the fault of the cook.

If there be water enough, and it is attentively skimmed, the fowl will both look and eat much better this way than when it has been covered up in the cleanest cloth, and the colour and flavour of your poultry will be preserved in the most delicate perfection.

Obs. Turkey deserves to be accompanied by tongue (No. 15), or ham (No. 14); if these are not come-at-able, don’t forget pickled pork (No. 11), or bacon and greens (Nos. 83, 526, and 527), or pork sausages (No. 87), parsley and butter (No. 261); don’t pour it over, but send it up in a boat; liver (No. 287), egg (No. 267), or oyster sauce (No. 278). To warm cold turkey, &c. see No. 533, and following.

To grill the gizzard and rump, No. 538. Save a quart of[121] the liquor the turkey was boiled in; this, with the bones and trimmings, &c. will make good gravy for a hash, &c.

Rabbits.—(No. 17.)

Truss your rabbits short, lay them in a basin of warm water for ten minutes, then put them into plenty of water, and boil them about half an hour; if large ones, three quarters; if very old, an hour: smother them with plenty of white onion sauce (No. 298), mince the liver, and lay it round the dish, or make liver sauce (No. 287), and send it up in a boat.

Obs. Ask those you are going to make liver sauce for, if they like plain liver sauce, or liver and parsley, or liver and lemon sauce (Nos. 287 and 288).

N.B. It will save much trouble to the carver, if the rabbits be cut up in the kitchen into pieces fit to help at table, and the head divided, one-half laid at each end, and slices of lemon and the liver, chopped very finely, laid on the sides of the dish.

At all events, cut off the head before you send it to table, we hardly remember that the thing ever lived if we don’t see the head, while it may excite ugly ideas to see it cut up in an attitude imitative of life; besides, for the preservation of the head, the poor animal sometimes suffers a slower death.

Tripe.—(No. 18.)

Take care to have fresh tripe; cleanse it well from the fat, and cut it into pieces about two inches broad and four long; put it into a stew-pan, and cover it with milk and water, and let it boil gently till it is tender.

If the tripe has been prepared as it usually is at the tripe shops, it will be enough in about an hour, (this depends upon how long it has been previously boiled at the tripe shop); if entirely undressed, it will require two or three hours, according to the age and quality of it.

Make some onion sauce in the same manner as you do for rabbits (No. 298), or boil (slowly by themselves) some Spanish or the whitest common onions you can get; peel them before you boil them; when they are tender, which a middling-sized onion will be in about three-quarters of an hour, drain them in a hair-sieve, take off the top skins till they look nice and white, and put them with the tripe into a tureen or soup-dish, and take off the fat if any floats on the surface.

Obs. Rashers of bacon (Nos. 526 and 527), or fried sausages (No. 87), are a very good accompaniment to boiled[122] tripe, cow-heels (No. 198), or calf’s feet, see Mr. Mich. Kelly’s sauce (No. 311*), or parsley and butter (No. 261), or caper sauce (No. 274), with a little vinegar and mustard added to them, or salad mixture (No. 372 or 453).

Tripe holds the same rank among solids, that water-gruel does among soups, and the former is desirable at dinner, when the latter is welcome at supper. Read No. 572.

Cow-Heel,—(No. 18.*)

In the hands of a skilful cook, will furnish several good meals; when boiled tender (No. 198), cut it into handsome pieces, egg and bread-crumb them, and fry them a light brown; lay them round a dish, and put in the middle of it sliced onions fried, or the accompaniments ordered for tripe. The liquor they were boiled in will make soups (No. 229, 240*, or No. 555).

N.B. We give no receipts to boil venison, geese, ducks, pheasants, woodcocks, and peacocks, &c. as our aim has been to make a useful book, not a big one (see No. 82).

108-* The gigot is the leg with part of the loin.

111-* If not to be cut till cold, two days longer salting will not only improve its flavour, but the meat will keep better.

111-† In the West Indies they can scarcely cure beef with pickle, but easily preserve it by cutting it into thin slices and dipping them in sea-water, and then drying them quickly in the sun; to which they give the name of jerked beef.—Brownrigg on Salt, 8vo. p. 762.

115-* This, salted, makes a very pretty supper-dish.

120-* Baker, in his Chronicle, tells us the turkey did not reach England till A. D. 1524, about the 15th of Henry the 8th; he says,

Turkies, carps, hoppes, piccarell, and beere,
Came into England all in one year.”


ROASTING.

N.B.—If the time we have allowed for roasting appears rather longer than what is stated in former works, we can only say, we have written from actual experiments, and that the difference may be accounted for, by common cooks generally being fond of too fierce a fire, and of putting things too near to it.

Our calculations are made for a temperature of about fifty degrees of Fahrenheit.

Slow roasting is as advantageous to the tenderness and favour of meat as slow boiling, of which every body understands the importance. See the account of Count Rumford’s shoulder of mutton.

The warmer the weather, and the staler killed the meat is, the less time it will require to roast it.

Meat that is very fat, requires more time than we have stated.

Beef is in proper season throughout the whole year.

Sirloin of Beef.—(No. 19.)

The noble sirloin122-* of about fifteen pounds (if much thicker, the outside will be done too much before the inside is enough), will require to be before the fire about three and a half or four hours; take care to spit it evenly, that it may[123] not be heavier on one side than the other; put a little clean dripping into the dripping-pan, (tie a sheet of paper over it to preserve the fat,123-*) baste it well as soon as it is put down, and every quarter of an hour all the time it is roasting, till the last half hour; then take off the paper, and make some gravy for it (No. 326); stir the fire and make it clear: to brown and froth it, sprinkle a little salt over it, baste it with butter, and dredge it with flour; let it go a few minutes longer, till the froth rises, take it up, put it on the dish, &c.

Garnish it with hillocks of horseradish, scraped as fine as possible with a very sharp knife, (Nos. 458 and 399*). A Yorkshire pudding is an excellent accompaniment (No. 595, or No. 554).

Obs. The inside of the sirloin must never be cut123-† hot, but reserved entire for the hash, or a mock hare (No. 66*). (For various ways of dressing the inside of the sirloin, No. 483; for the receipt to hash or broil beef, No. 484, and Nos. 486 and 487; and for other ways of employing the remains of a joint of cold beef, Nos. 503, 4, 5, 6).

Ribs of Beef.—(No. 20).

The first three ribs, of fifteen or twenty pounds, will take three hours, or three and a half: the fourth and fifth ribs will lake as long, managed in the same way as the sirloin.[124] Paper the fat, and the thin part, or it will be done too much, before the thick part is done enough.

N.B. A pig-iron placed before it on the bars of the grate answers every purpose of keeping the thin part from being too much done.

Obs. Many persons prefer the ribs to the sirloin.

Ribs of Beef boned and rolled.—(No. 21.)

When you have kept two or three ribs of beef till quite tender, take out the bones, and skewer it as round as possible (like a fillet of veal): before they roll it, some cooks egg it, and sprinkle it with veal stuffing (No. 374). As the meat is more in a solid mass, it will require more time at the fire than in the preceding receipt; a piece of ten or twelve pounds weight will not be well and thoroughly roasted in less than four and a half or five hours.

For the first half hour, it should not be less than twelve inches from the fire, that it may get gradually warm to the centre: the last half hour before it will be finished, sprinkle a little salt over it; and if you wish to froth it, flour it, &c.

MUTTON.124-*—(No. 23.)

As beef requires a large, sound fire, mutton must have a brisk and sharp one. If you wish to have mutton tender, it should be hung almost as long as it will keep;124-† and then[125] good eight-tooth, i. e. four years old mutton, is as good eating as venison, if it is accompanied by Nos. 329 and 346.

The leg, haunch, and saddle will be the better for being hung up in a cool airy place for four or five days at least; in temperate weather, a week; in cold weather, ten days.

If you think your mutton will not be tender enough to do honour to the spit, dress it as a “gigot de sept heures.” See N.B. to No. 1 and No. 493.

A Leg,—(No. 24.)

Of eight pounds, will take about two hours: let it be well basted, and frothed in the same manner as directed in No. 19. To hash mutton, No. 484. To broil it, No. 487, &c.

A Chine or Saddle,—(No. 26.)

(i. e. the two loins) of ten or eleven pounds, two hours and a half: it is the business of the butcher to take off the skin and skewer it on again, to defend the meat from extreme heat, and preserve its succulence; if this is neglected, tie a sheet of paper over it (baste the strings you tie it on with directly, or they will burn): about a quarter of an hour before you think it will be done, take off the skin or paper, that it may get a pale brown colour, then baste it and flour it lightly to froth it. We like No. 346 for sauce.

N.B. Desire the butcher to cut off the flaps and the tail and chump end, and trim away every part that has not indisputable pretensions to be eaten. This will reduce a saddle of eleven pounds weight to about six or seven pounds.

A Shoulder,—(No. 27.)

Of seven pounds, an hour and a half. Put the spit in close to the shank-bone, and run it along the blade-bone.

N.B. The blade-bone is a favourite luncheon or supper relish, scored, peppered and salted, and broiled, or done in a Dutch oven.

A Loin,125-*—(No. 28.)

Of mutton, from an hour and a half to an hour and three quarters. The most elegant way of carving this, is to cut it lengthwise, as you do a saddle: read No. 26.

[126]N.B. Spit it on a skewer or lark spit, and tie that on the common spit, and do not spoil the meat by running the spit through the prime part of it.

A Neck,—(No. 29.)

About the same time as a loin. It must be carefully jointed, or it is very difficult to carve. The neck and breast are, in small families, commonly roasted together; the cook will then crack the bones across the middle before they are put down to roast: if this is not done carefully, they are very troublesome to carve. Tell the cook, when she takes it from the spit, to separate them before she sends them to table.

Obs.—If there is more fat than you think will be eaten with the lean, cut it off, and it will make an excellent suet pudding (No. 551, or No. 554).

N.B. The best way to spit this is to run iron skewers across it, and put the spit between them.

A Breast,—(No. 30.)

An hour and a quarter.

To grill a breast of mutton, see Obs. to No. 38.

A Haunch,—(No. 31.)

(i. e. the leg and part of the loin) of mutton: send up two sauce-boats with it; one of rich mutton gravy, made without spice or herbs (No. 347), and the other of sweet sauce (No. 346). It generally weighs about 15 pounds, and requires about three hours and a half to roast it.

Mutton, venison fashion.—(No. 32.)

Take a neck of good four or five years old Southdown wether mutton, cut long in the bones; let it hang (in temperate weather) at least a week: two days before you dress it, take allspice and black pepper, ground and pounded fine, a quarter of an ounce each; rub them together, and then rub your mutton well with this mixture twice a day. When you dress it, wash off the spice with warm water, and roast in paste, as we have ordered the haunch of venison. (No. 63).

Obs.—Persevering and ingenious epicures have invented many methods to give mutton the flavour of venison. Some say that mutton, prepared as above, may be mistaken for venison; others, that it is full as good. The refined palate of a grand gourmand (in spite of the spice and wine the meat has been fuddled and rubbed with) will perhaps still protest[127] against “Welch venison;” and indeed we do not understand by what conjuration allspice and claret can communicate the flavour of venison to mutton. We confess our fears that the flavour of venison (especially of its fat) is inimitable; but believe you may procure prime eight-toothed wether mutton, keep it the proper time, and send it to table with the accompaniments (Nos. 346 and 347, &c.) usually given to venison, and a rational epicure will eat it with as much satisfaction as he would “feed on the king’s fallow deer.”

VEAL.—(No. 33.)

Veal requires particular care to roast it a nice brown. Let the fire be the same as for beef; a sound large fire for a large joint, and a brisker for a smaller; put it at some distance from the fire to soak thoroughly, and then draw it near to finish it brown.

When first laid down, it is to be basted; baste it again occasionally. When the veal is on the dish, pour over it half a pint of melted butter (No. 256): if you have a little brown gravy by you, add that to the butter (No. 326). With those joints which are not stuffed, send up forcemeat (No. 374, or No. 375) in balls, or rolled into sausages, as garnish to the dish, or fried pork sausages (No. 87); bacon (No. 13, or No. 526, or No. 527), and greens, are also always expected with veal.

Fillet of Veal,—(No. 34.)

Of from twelve to sixteen pounds, will require from four to five hours at a good fire; make some stuffing or forcemeat (No. 374 or 5), and put it in under the flap, that there may be some left to eat cold, or to season a hash;127-* brown it, and pour good melted butter (No. 266) over it, as directed in No. 33.

Garnish with thin slices of lemon and cakes or balls of stuffing, or No. 374, or No. 375, or duck stuffing (No. 61), or fried pork sausages (No. 87), curry sauce (No. 348), bacon (No. 13), and greens, &c.

N.B. Potted veal (No. 533).

Obs.—A bit of the brown outside is a favourite with the epicure in roasts. The kidney, cut out, sliced, and broiled (No. 358), is a high relish, which some bons vivants are fond of.

[128]

A Loin,—(No. 35.)

Is the best part of the calf, and will take about three hours roasting. Paper the kidney fat, and the back: some cooks send it up on a toast, which is eaten with the kidney and the fat of this part, which is as delicate as any marrow. If there is more of it than you think will be eaten with the veal, before you roast it cut it out; it will make an excellent suet pudding: take care to have your fire long enough to brown the ends; same accompaniments as No. 34.

A Shoulder,—(No. 36.)

From three hours to three hours and a half; stuff it with the forcemeat ordered for the fillet of veal, in the under side, or balls made of No. 374.

Neck, best end,—(No. 37.)

Will take two hours; same accompaniments as No. 34. The scrag part is best made into a pie, or broth.

Breast,—(No. 38.)

From an hour and a half to two hours. Let the caul remain till it is almost done, then take it off to brown it; baste, flour, and froth it.

Obs.—This makes a savoury relish for a luncheon or supper: or, instead of roasting, boil it enough; put it in a cloth between two pewter dishes, with a weight on the upper one, and let it remain so till cold; then pare and trim, egg, and crumb it, and broil, or warm it in a Dutch oven; serve with it capers (No. 274), or wow wow sauce (No. 328). Breast of mutton may be dressed the same way.

Veal Sweetbread.—(No. 39.)

Trim a fine sweetbread (it cannot be too fresh); parboil it for five minutes, and throw it into a basin of cold water. Roast it plain, or

Beat up the yelk of an egg, and prepare some fine bread-crumbs: when the sweetbread is cold, dry it thoroughly in a cloth; run a lark-spit or a skewer through it, and tie it on the ordinary spit; egg it with a paste-brush; powder it well with bread-crumbs, and roast it.

For sauce, fried bread-crumbs round it, and melted butter, with a little mushroom catchup (No. 439), and lemon[129]-juice (Nos. 307, 354, or 356), or serve them on buttered toast, garnished with egg sauce (No. 267), or with gravy (No. 329).

Obs.—Instead of spitting them, you may put them into a tin Dutch oven, or fry them (Nos. 88, 89, or 513).

LAMB,—(No. 40.)

Is a delicate, and commonly considered tender meat; but those who talk of tender lamb, while they are thinking of the age of the animal, forget that even a chicken must be kept a proper time after it has been killed, or it will be tough picking.

Woful experience has warned us to beware of accepting an invitation to dinner on Easter Sunday, unless commanded by a thorough-bred gourmand; our incisores, molares, and principal viscera have protested against the imprudence of encountering young, tough, stringy mutton, under the misnomen of grass lamb. The proper name for “Easter grass lamb” is “hay mutton.”

To the usual accompaniments of roasted meat, green mint sauce (No. 303), a salad (Nos. 372 and 138*), is commonly added; and some cooks, about five minutes before it is done, sprinkle it with a little fresh gathered and finely minced parsley, or No. 318: lamb, and all young meats, ought to be thoroughly done; therefore do not take either lamb or veal off the spit till you see it drop white gravy.

Grass lamb is in season from Easter to Michaelmas.

House lamb from Christmas to Lady-day.

Sham lamb, see Obs. to following receipt.

N.B. When green mint cannot be got, mint vinegar (No. 398) is an acceptable substitute for it; and crisp parsley (No. 318), on a side plate, is an admirable accompaniment.

Hind-Quarter,—(No. 41).

Of eight pounds, will take from an hour and three-quarters to two hours: baste and froth it in the same way as directed in No. 19.

Obs.—A quarter of a porkling is sometimes skinned, cut, and dressed lamb-fashion, and sent up as a substitute for it. The leg and the loin of lamb, when little, should be roasted together; the former being lean, the latter fat, and the gravy is better preserved.

[130]

Fore-Quarter,—(No. 42.)

Of ten pounds, about two hours.

N.B. It is a pretty general custom, when you take off the shoulder from the ribs, to squeeze a Seville orange over them, and sprinkle them with a little pepper and salt.

Obs.—This may as well be done by the cook before it comes to table; some people are not remarkably expert at dividing these joints nicely.

Leg,—(No. 43.)

Of five pounds, from an hour to an hour and a half.

Shoulder,—(No. 44.)

With a quick fire, an hour.

See Obs. to No. 27.

Ribs,—(No. 45.)

About an hour to an hour and a quarter: joint it nicely, crack the ribs across, and divide them from the brisket after it is roasted.

Loin,—(No. 46.)

An hour and a quarter.

Neck,—(No. 47.)

An hour.

Breast,—(No. 48.)

Three-quarters of an hour.

PORK.—(No. 49.)

The prime season for pork is from Michaelmas to March.

Take particular care it be done enough: other meats under-done are unpleasant, but pork is absolutely uneatable; the sight of it is enough to appal the sharpest appetite, if its gravy has the least tint of redness.

Be careful of the crackling; if this be not crisp, or if it be burned, you will be scolded.

For sauces, No. 300, No. 304, and No. 342.

Obs.—Pease pudding (No. 555) is as good an accompaniment to roasted, as it is to boiled pork; and most palates are pleased with the savoury powder set down in No. 51, or[131] bread-crumbs, mixed with sage and onion, minced very fine, or zest (No. 255) sprinkled over it.

N.B. “The western pigs, from Berks, Oxford, and Bucks, possess a decided superiority over the eastern, of Essex, Sussex, and Norfolk; not to forget another qualification of the former, at which some readers may smile, a thickness of the skin; whence the crackling of the roasted pork is a fine gelatinous substance, which may be easily masticated; while the crackling of the thin-skinned breeds is roasted into good block tin, the reduction of which would almost require teeth of iron.”—Moubray on Poultry, 1816, page 242.

A Leg,—(No. 50.)

Of eight pounds, will require about three hours: score the skin across in narrow stripes (some score it in diamonds), about a quarter of an inch apart; stuff the knuckle with sage and onion, minced fine, and a little grated bread, seasoned with pepper, salt, and the yelk of an egg. See Duck Stuffing, (No. 61.)

Do not put it too near the fire: rub a little sweet oil on the skin with a paste-brush, or a goose-feather: this makes the crackling crisper and browner than basting it with dripping; and it will be a better colour than all the art of cookery can make it in any other way; and this is the best way of preventing the skin from blistering, which is principally occasioned by its being put too near the fire.

Leg of Pork roasted without the Skin, commonly called Mock Goose.131-*—(No. 51.)

Parboil it; take off the skin, and then put it down to roast; baste it with butter, and make a savoury powder of finely minced, or dried and powdered sage, ground black pepper, salt, and some bread-crumbs, rubbed together through a colander; you may add to this a little very finely minced onion: sprinkle it with this when it is almost roasted. Put half a pint of made gravy into the dish, and goose stuffing (No. 378) under the knuckle skin; or garnish the dish with balls of it fried or boiled.

[132]

The Griskin,—(No. 52.)

Of seven or eight pounds, may be dressed in the same manner. It will take an hour and a half roasting.

A Bacon Spare-Rib,—(No. 53.)

Usually weighs about eight or nine pounds, and will take from two to three hours to roast it thoroughly; not exactly according to its weight, but the thickness of the meat upon it, which varies very much. Lay the thick end nearest to the fire.

A proper bald spare-rib of eight pounds weight (so called because almost all the meat is pared off), with a steady fire, will be done in an hour and a quarter. There is so little meat on a bald spare-rib, that if you have a large, fierce fire, it will be burned before it is warm through. Joint it nicely, and crack the ribs across as you do ribs of lamb.

When you put it down to roast, dust on some flour, and baste it with a little butter; dry a dozen sage leaves, and rub them through a hair-sieve, and put them into the top of a pepper-box; and about a quarter of an hour before the meat is done, baste it with butter; dust the pulverized sage, or the savoury powder in No. 51; or sprinkle with duck stuffing (No. 61).

Obs.—Make it a general rule never to pour gravy over any thing that is roasted; by so doing, the dredging, &c. is washed off, and it eats insipid.

Some people carve a spare-rib by cutting out in slices the thick part at the bottom of the bones. When this meat is cut away, the bones may be easily separated, and are esteemed very sweet picking.

Apple sauce (No. 304), mashed potatoes (No. 106), and good mustard (No. 370,) are indispensable.

Loin,—(No. 54.)

Of five pounds, must be kept at a good distance from the fire on account of the crackling, and will take about two hours; if very fat, half an hour longer.

Stuff it with duck stuffing (No. 378). Score the skin in stripes, about a quarter of an inch apart, and rub it with salad oil, as directed in No. 50. You may sprinkle over it some of the savoury powder recommended for the mock goose (No. 51).

[133]

A Chine.—(No. 55.)

If parted down the back-bone so as to have but one side, a good fire will roast it in two hours; if not parted, three hours.

N.B. Chines are generally salted and boiled.

A Sucking-Pig,133-*—(No. 56.)

Is in prime order for the spit when about three weeks old.

It loses part of its goodness every hour after it is killed; if not quite fresh, no art can make the crackling crisp.

To be in perfection, it should be killed in the morning to be eaten at dinner: it requires very careful roasting. A sucking-pig, like a young child, must not be left for an instant.

The ends must have much more fire than the middle: for this purpose is contrived an iron to hang before the middle part, called a pig-iron. If you have not this, use a common flat iron, or keep the fire fiercest at the two ends.

For the stuffing, take of the crumb of a stale loaf about five ounces; rub it through a colander; mince fine a handful of sage (i. e. about two ounces), and a large onion (about an ounce and a half133-†). Mix these together with an egg, some pepper and salt, and a bit of butter as big as an egg. Fill the belly of the pig with this, and sew it up: lay it to the fire, and baste it with salad oil till it is quite done. Do not leave it a moment: it requires the most vigilant attendance.

Roast it at a clear, brisk fire at some distance. To gain the praise of epicurean pig-eaters, the crackling must be nicely crisped and delicately lightly browned, without being either blistered or burnt.

A small, three weeks old pig will be done enough133-‡ in about an hour and a half.

Before you take it from the fire, cut off the head, and part that and the body down the middle: chop the brains very fine, with some boiled sage leaves, and mix them with good[134] veal gravy, made as directed in No. 192, or beef gravy (No. 329), or what runs from the pig when you cut its head off. Send up a tureenful of gravy (No. 329) besides. Currant sauce is still a favourite with some of the old school.

Lay your pig back to back in the dish, with one half of the head on each side, and the ears one at each end, which you must take care to make nice and crisp; or you will get scolded, and deservedly, as the silly fellow was who bought his wife a pig with only one ear.

When you cut off the pettitoes, leave the skin long round the ends of the legs. When you first lay the pig before the fire, rub it all over with fresh butter or salad oil: ten minutes after, and the skin looks dry; dredge it well with flour all over, let it remain on an hour, then rub it off with a soft cloth.

N. B. A pig is a very troublesome subject to roast; most persons have them baked. Send a quarter of a pound of butter, and beg the baker to baste it well.

Turkey, Turkey Poults, and other Poultry.—(No. 57.)

A fowl and a turkey require the same management at the fire, only the latter will take longer time.

Many a Christmas dinner has been spoiled by the turkey having been hung up in a cold larder, and becoming thoroughly frozen; Jack Frost has ruined the reputation of many a turkey-roaster: therefore, in very cold weather, remember the note in the 5th page of the 3d chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.

Let them be carefully picked, &c. and break the breast-bone (to make them look plump), twist up a sheet of clean writing-paper, light it, and thoroughly singe the turkey all over, turning it about over the flame.

Turkeys, fowls, and capons have a much better appearance, if, instead of trussing them with the legs close together, and the feet cut off, the legs are extended on each side of the bird, and the toes only cut off with a skewer through each foot, to keep them at a proper distance.

Be careful, when you draw it, to preserve the liver, and not to break the gall-bag, as no washing will take off the bitter taste it gives, where it once touches.

Prepare a nice, clear, brisk fire for it.

Make stuffing according to No. 374, or 376; stuff it under the breast, where the craw was taken out, and make some into balls, and boil or fry them, and lay them round the dish; they are handy to help, and you can then reserve some of the inside stuffing to eat with the cold turkey, or to enrich a hash (No. 533).

[135]Score the gizzard, dip it into the yelk of an egg or melted butter, and sprinkle it with salt and a few grains of Cayenne; put it under one pinion and the liver under the other; cover the liver with buttered paper, to prevent it from getting hardened or burnt.

When you first put a turkey down to roast, dredge it with flour; then put about an ounce of butter into a basting-ladle, and as it melts, baste the bird therewith.

Keep it at a distance from the fire for the first half hour, that it may warm gradually; then put it nearer, and when it is plumped up, and the steam draws in towards the fire, it is nearly enough; then dredge it lightly with flour, and put a bit of butter into your basting-ladle, and as it melts, baste the turkey with it; this will raise a finer froth than can be produced by using the fat out of the pan.

A very large turkey will require about three hours to roast it thoroughly; a middling-sized one, of eight or ten pounds (which is far nicer eating than the very large one), about two hours; a small one may be done in an hour and a half.

Turkey poults are of various sizes, and will take about an hour and a half; they should be trussed, with their legs twisted under like a duck, and the head under the wing like a pheasant.

Fried pork sausages (No. 87) are a very savoury and favourite accompaniment to either roasted or boiled poultry. A turkey thus garnished is called “an alderman in chains.”

Sausage-meat is sometimes used as stuffing, instead of the ordinary forcemeat. (No. 376, &c.)

Mem. If you wish a turkey, especially a very large one, to be tender, never dress it till at least four or five days (in cold weather, eight or ten) after it has been killed. “No man who understands good living will say, on such a day I will eat that turkey; but will hang it up by four of the large tail-feathers, and when, on paying his morning visit to the larder, he finds it lying upon a cloth prepared to receive it when it falls, that day let it be cooked.”

Hen turkeys are preferable to cocks for whiteness and tenderness, and the small fleshy ones with black legs are most esteemed.

Send up with them oyster (No. 278), egg (No. 267), bread (No. 221), and plenty of gravy sauce (No. 329). To hash turkey, No. 533.

Mem. Some epicures are very fond of the gizzard and rump, peppered and salted, and broiled. (See No. 538, “how to dress a devil with véritable sauce d’enfer!!”)

[136]

Capons or Fowls,—(No. 58.)

Must be killed a couple of days in moderate, and more in cold weather, before they are dressed, or they will eat tough: a good criterion of the ripeness of poultry for the spit, is the ease with which you can then pull out the feathers; when a fowl is plucked, leave a few to help you to ascertain this.

They are managed exactly in the same manner, and sent up with the same sauces as a turkey, only they require proportionably less time at the fire.

A full-grown five-toed fowl, about an hour and a quarter.

A moderate-sized one, an hour.

A chicken, from thirty to forty minutes.

Here, also, pork sausages fried (No. 87) are in general a favourite accompaniment, or turkey stuffing; see forcemeats (Nos. 374, 5, 6, and 7); put in plenty of it, so as to plump out the fowl, which must be tied closely (both at the neck and rump), to keep in the stuffing.

Some cooks put the liver of the fowl into this forcemeat, and others mince it and pound it, and rub it up with flour and melted butter (No. 287).

When the bird is stuffed and trussed, score the gizzard nicely, dip it into melted butter, let it drain, and then season it with Cayenne and salt; put it under one pinion, and the liver under the other; to prevent their getting hardened or scorched, cover them with double paper buttered.

Take care that your roasted poultry be well browned; it is as indispensable that roasted poultry should have a rich brown complexion, as boiled poultry should have a delicate white one.

Obs. “The art of fattening poultry for the market is a considerable branch of rural economy in some convenient situations, and consists in supplying them with plenty of healthy food, and confining them; and ducks and geese must be prevented from going into water, which prevents them from becoming fat, and they also thereby acquire a rancid, fishy taste. They are put into a dark place, and crammed with a paste made of barley meal, mutton-suet, and some treacle or coarse sugar mixed with milk, and are found to be completely ripe in a fortnight. If kept longer, the fever that is induced by this continued state of repletion renders them red and unsaleable, and frequently kills them.” But exercise is as indispensable to the health of poultry as other creatures; without it, the fat will be all accumulated in the cellular membrane, instead of being dispersed through[137] its system. See Moubray on breeding and fattening domestic Poultry, 12mo. 1819.

Fowls which are fattened artificially are by some epicures preferred to those called barn-door fowls; whom we have heard say, that they should as soon think of ordering a barn-door for dinner as a barn-door fowl.

The age of poultry makes all the difference: nothing is tenderer than a young chicken; few things are tougher than an old cock or hen, which is only fit to make broth. The meridian of perfection of poultry is just before they have come to their full growth, before they have begun to harden.

For sauces, see No. 305, or liver and parsley, No. 287, and those ordered in the last receipt. To hash it, No. 533.

Goose.—(No. 59.)

When a goose is well picked, singed, and cleaned, make the stuffing with about two ounces of onion,137-* and half as much green sage, chop them very fine, adding four ounces, i. e. about a large breakfast-cupful of stale bread-crumbs, a bit of butter about as big as a walnut, and a very little pepper and salt (to this some cooks add half the liver,137-† parboiling it first), the yelk of an egg or two, and incorporating the whole well together, stuff the goose; do not quite fill it,[138] but leave a little room for the stuffing to swell; spit it, tie it on the spit at both ends, to prevent its swinging round, and to keep the stuffing from coming out. From an hour and a half to an hour and three-quarters, will roast a fine full-grown goose. Send up gravy and apple sauce with it (see Nos. 300, 304, 329, and 341). To hash it, see No. 530.

For another stuffing for geese, see No. 378.

Obs. “Goose-feeding in the vicinity of the metropolis is so large a concern, that one person annually feeds for market upwards of 5000.” “A goose on a farm in Scotland, two years since, of the clearly ascertained age of 89 years, healthy and vigorous, was killed by a sow while sitting over her eggs; it was supposed she might have lived many years, and her fecundity appeared to be permanent. Other geese have been proved to reach the age of 70 years.” Moubray on Poultry, p. 40.

It appears in Dr. Stark’s Experiments on Diet, p. 110, that “when he fed upon roasted goose, he was more vigorous both in body and mind than with any other diet.”

The goose at Michaelmas is as famous in the mouths of the million, as the minced-pie at Christmas; but for those who eat with delicacy, it is by that time too full-grown.

The true period when the goose is in its highest perfection, is when it has just acquired its full growth, and not begun to harden. If the March goose is insipid, the Michaelmas goose is rank; the fine time is between both, from the second week in June to the first in September: the leg is not the most tender part of a goose. See Mock Goose (No. 51).

Green Goose.—(No. 60.)

Geese are called green till they are about four months old.

The only difference between roasting these and a full-grown goose, consists in seasoning it with pepper and salt instead of sage and onion, and roasting it for forty or fifty minutes only.

Obs. This is one of the least desirable of those insipid premature productions, which are esteemed dainties.

Duck.—(No. 61.)

Mind your duck is well cleaned, and wiped out with a clean cloth: for the stuffing, take an ounce of onion and half an ounce of green sage; chop them very fine, and mix them with two ounces, i. e. about a breakfast-cupful, of bread-crumbs, a bit of butter about as big as a walnut, a very little[139] black pepper and salt, (some obtuse palates may require warming with a little Cayenne, No. 404,) and the yelk of an egg to bind it; mix these thoroughly together, and put into the duck. For another stuffing, see No. 378. From half to three-quarters of an hour will be enough to roast it, according to the size: contrive to have the feet delicately crisp, as some people are very fond of them; to do this nicely you must have a sharp fire. For sauce, green pease (No. 134), bonne bouche (No. 341), gravy sauce (No. 329), and sage and onion sauce (No. 300).

To hash or stew ducks, see No. 530.

N.B. If you think the raw onion will make too strong an impression upon the palate, parboil it. Read Obs. to No. 59.

To ensure ducks being tender, in moderate weather kill them a few days before you dress them.

Haunch of Venison.—(No. 63.)

To preserve the fat, make a paste of flour and water, as much as will cover the haunch; wipe it with a dry cloth in every part; rub a large sheet of paper all over with butter, and cover the venison with it; then roll out the paste about three-quarters of an inch thick; lay this all over the fat side, and cover it well with three or four sheets of strong white paper, and tie it securely on with packthread: have a strong, close fire, and baste your venison as soon as you lay it down to roast (to prevent the paper and string from burning); it must be well basted all the time.

A buck haunch generally weighs from 20 to 25 pounds; will take about four hours and a half roasting in warm, and longer in cold weather: a haunch of from 19 to 18 pounds will be done in about three or three and a half.

A quarter of an hour before it is done, the string must be cut, and the paste carefully taken off; now baste it with butter, dredge it lightly with flour, and when the froth rises, and it has got a very light brown colour, garnish the knuckle-bone with a ruffle of cut writing-paper, and send it up, with good, strong (but unseasoned) gravy (No. 347) in one boat, and currant-jelly sauce in the other, or currant-jelly in a side plate (not melted): see for sauces, Nos. 344, 5, 6, and 7. Mem.the alderman’s walk” is the favourite part.

Obs. Buck venison is in greatest perfection from midsummer to Michaelmas, and doe from November to January.

[140]

Neck and Shoulder of Venison,—(No. 64.)

Are to be managed in the same way as the haunch; only they do not require the coat or paste, and will not take so much time.

The best way to spit a neck is to put three skewers through it, and put the spit between the skewers and the bones.

A Fawn,—(No. 65.)

Like a sucking-pig, should be dressed almost as soon as killed. When very young, it is trussed, stuffed, and spitted the same way as a hare: but they are better eating when of the size of a house lamb, and are then roasted in quarters; the hind-quarter is most esteemed.

They must be put down to a very quick fire, and either basted all the time they are roasting, or be covered with sheets of fat bacon; when done, baste it with butter, and dredge it with a little salt and flour, till you make a nice froth on it.

N.B. We advise our friends to half roast a fawn as soon as they receive it, and then make a hash of it like No. 528.

Send up venison sauce with it. See the preceding receipt, or No. 344, &c.

A Kid.—(No. 65*.)

A young sucking-kid is very good eating; to have it in prime condition, the dam should be kept up, and well fed, &c.

Roast it like a fawn or hare.

Hare.—(No. 66.)

Inter quadrupedes gloria prima lepus.”—Martial.

The first points of consideration are, how old is the hare? and how long has it been killed? When young, it is easy of digestion, and very nourishing; when old, the contrary in every respect.

To ascertain the age, examine the first joint of the forefoot; you will find a small knob, if it is a leveret, which disappears as it grows older; then examine the ears, if they tear easily, it will eat tender; if they are tough, so will be the hare, which we advise you to make into soup (No. 241), or stew or jug it (No. 523).

When newly killed, the body is stiff; as it grows stale, it becomes limp.

As soon as you receive a hare, take out the liver, parboil[141] it, and keep it for the stuffing; some are very fond of it. Do not use it if it be not quite fresh and good. Some mince it, and send it up as a garnish in little hillocks round the dish. Wipe the hare quite dry, rub the inside with pepper, and hang it up in a dry, cool place.

Paunch and skin141-* your hare, wash it, and lay it in a large pan of cold water four or five hours, changing the water two or three times; lay it in a clean cloth, and dry it well, then truss it.

To make the stuffing, see No. 379. Do not make it too thin; it should be of cohesive consistence: if it is not sufficiently stiff, it is good for nothing. Put this into the belly, and sew it up tight.

Cut the neck-skin to let the blood out, or it will never appear to be done enough; spit it, and baste it with drippings,141-† (or the juices of the back will be dried up before the upper joints of the legs are half done,) till you think it is nearly done, which a middling-sized hare will be in about an hour and a quarter. When it is almost roasted enough, put a little bit of butter into your basting-ladle, and baste it with this, and flour it, and froth it nicely.

Serve it with good gravy (No. 329, or No. 347), and currant-jelly. For another stuffing, see receipt No. 379. Some cooks cut off the head and divide it, and lay one half on each side the hare.

Cold roast hare will make excellent soup (No. 241), chopped to pieces, and stewed in three quarts of water for a couple of hours; the stuffing will be a very agreeable substitute for sweet herbs and seasoning. See receipt for hare soup (No. 241), hashed hare (No. 529), and mock hare, next receipt.

Mock Hare.—(No. 66.*)

Cut out the fillet (i. e. the inside lean) of a sirloin of beef, leaving the fat to roast with the joint. Prepare some nice stuffing, as directed for a hare in No. 66, or 379; put this on the beef, and roll it up with tape, put a skewer through it, and tie that on a spit.

[142]Obs. If the beef is of prime quality, has been kept till thoroughly tender, and you serve with it the accompaniments that usually attend roast hare (Nos. 329, 344, &c.), or stew it, and serve it with a rich thickened sauce garnished with forcemeat balls (No. 379), the most fastidious palate will have no reason to regret that the game season is over.

To make this into hare soup, see No. 241.

Rabbit.—(No. 67.)

If your fire is clear and sharp, thirty minutes will roast a young, and forty a full-grown rabbit.

When you lay it down, baste it with butter, and dredge it lightly and carefully with flour, that you may have it frothy, and of a fine light brown. While the rabbit is roasting, boil its liver142-* with some parsley; when tender, chop them together, and put half the mixture into some melted butter, reserving the other half for garnish, divided into little hillocks. Cut off the head, and lay half on each side of the dish.

Obs. A fine, well-grown (but young) warren rabbit, kept some time after it has been killed, and roasted with a stuffing in its belly, eats very like a hare, to the nature of which it approaches. It is nice, nourishing food when young, but hard and unwholesome when old. For sauces, Nos. 287, 298, and 329.

Pheasant.—(No. 68.)

Requires a smart fire, but not a fierce one. Thirty minutes will roast a young bird, and forty or fifty a full-grown pheasant. Pick and draw it, cut a slit in the back of the neck, and take out the craw, but don’t cut the head off; wipe the inside of the bird with a clean cloth, twist the legs close to the body, leave the feet on, but cut the toes off; don’t turn the head under the wing, but truss it like a fowl, it is much easier to carve; baste it, butter and froth it, and prepare sauce for it (Nos. 321 and 329). See the instructions in receipts to roast fowls and turkeys, Nos. 57 and 58.

Obs. We believe the rarity of this bird is its best recommendation; and the character given it by an ingenious French author is just as good as it deserves. “Its flesh is naturally tough, and owes all its tenderness and succulence to the long time it is kept before it is cooked;” until it is “bien mortifiée,” it is uneatable142-†. Therefore, instead of “sus per col,” suspend[143] it by one of the long tail-feathers, and the pheasant’s falling from it is the criterion of its ripeness and readiness for the spit.

Our president of the committee of taste (who is indefatigable in his endeavours to improve the health, as well as promote the enjoyment, of his fellow-students in the school of good living, and to whom the epicure, the economist, and the valetudinarian are equally indebted for his careful revision of this work, and especially for introducing that salutary maxim into the kitchen, that “the salubrious is ever a superior consideration to the savoury,” and indeed, the rational epicure only relishes the latter when entirely subordinate to the former), has suggested to us, that the detachment of the feather cannot take place until the body of the bird has advanced more than one degree beyond the state of wholesome haut-goût, and become “trop mortifiée;” and that to enjoy this game in perfection, you must have a brace of birds killed the same day; these are to be put in suspense as above directed, and when one of them drops, the hour is come that the spit should be introduced to his companion:—

Ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum.

Mock Pheasant.—(No. 69.)

If you have only one pheasant, and wish for a companion for it, get a fine young fowl, of as near as may be the same size as the bird to be matched, and make game of it by trussing it like a pheasant, and dressing it according to the above directions. Few persons will discover the pheasant from the fowl, especially if the latter has been kept four or five days.

The peculiar flavour of the pheasant (like that of other game) is principally acquired by long keeping.

Guinea and Pea Fowls,—(No. 69*.)

Are dressed in the same way as pheasants.

Partridges,—(No. 70.)

Are cleaned and trussed in the same manner as a pheasant (but the ridiculous custom of tucking the legs into each[144] other makes them very troublesome to carve); the breast is so plump, it will require almost as much roasting; send up with them rich sauce (No. 321*), or bread sauce (No. 321), and good gravy (No. 329).

*** If you wish to preserve them longer than you think they will keep good undressed, half roast them, they will then keep two or three days longer; or make a pie of them.

Black Cock (No. 71), Moor Game (No. 72), and Grouse, (No. 73.)

Are all to be dressed like partridges; the black cock will take as much as a pheasant, and moor game and grouse as the partridge. Send up with them currant-jelly and fried bread-crumbs (No. 320).

Wild Ducks.—(No. 74.)

For roasting a wild duck, you must have a clear, brisk fire, and a hot spit; it must be browned upon the outside, without being sodden within. To have it well frothed and full of gravy is the nicety. Prepare the fire by stirring and raking it just before the bird is laid down, and fifteen or twenty minutes will do it in the fashionable way; but if you like it a little more done, allow it a few minutes longer; if it is too much, it will lose its flavour.

For the sauce, see No. 338 and No. 62.

Widgeons and Teal,—(No. 75.)

Are dressed exactly as the wild duck; only that less time is requisite for a widgeon, and still less for a teal.

Woodcock.—(No. 76.)

Woodcocks should not be drawn, as the trail is by the lovers of “haut goût” considered a “bonne bouche;” truss their legs close to the body, and run an iron skewer through each thigh, close to the body, and tie them on a small bird spit; put them to roast at a clear fire; cut as many slices of bread as you have birds, toast or fry them a delicate brown, and lay them in the dripping-pan under the birds to catch the trail;144-* baste them with butter, and froth[145] them with flour; lay the toast on a hot dish, and the birds on the toast; pour some good beef gravy into the dish, and send some up in a boat, see Obs. to No. 329: twenty or thirty minutes will roast them. Garnish with slices of lemon.

Obs.—Some epicures like this bird very much under-done, and direct that a woodcock should be just introduced to the cook, for her to show it the fire, and then send it up to table.

Snipes,—(No. 77.)

Differ little from woodcocks, unless in size; they are to be dressed in the same way, but require about five minutes less time to roast them.

For sauce, see No. 338.

Pigeons.—(No. 78.)

When the pigeons are ready for roasting, if you are desired to stuff them, chop some green parsley very fine, the liver, and a bit of butter together, with a little pepper and salt, or with the stuffing ordered for a fillet of veal (No. 374 or No. 375), and fill the belly of each bird with it. They will be done enough in about twenty or thirty minutes; send up parsley and butter (No. 261,) in the dish under them, and some in a boat, and garnish with crisp parsley (No. 318), or fried bread crumbs (No. 320), or bread sauce (No. 321), or gravy (No. 329).

Obs.—When pigeons are fresh they have their full relish; but it goes entirely off with a very little keeping; nor is it in any way so well preserved as by roasting them: when they are put into a pie they are generally baked to rags, and taste more of pepper and salt than of any thing else.

A little melted butter may be put into the dish with them, and the gravy that runs from them will mix with it into fine sauce. Pigeons are in the greatest perfection from midsummer to Michaelmas; there is then the most plentiful and best food for them; and their finest growth is just when they are full feathered. When they are in the pen-feathers, they are flabby; when they are full grown, and have flown some time, they are tough. Game and poultry are best when they[146] have just done growing, i. e. as soon as nature has perfected her work.

This was the secret of Solomon, the famous pigeon-feeder of Turnham Green, who is celebrated by the poet Gay, when he says,

“That Turnham Green, which dainty pigeons fed,
But feeds no more, for Solomon is dead.”

Larks and other small Birds.—(No. 80.)

These delicate little birds are in high season in November. When they are picked, gutted, and cleaned, truss them; brush them with the yelk of an egg, and then roll them in bread-crumbs: spit them on a lark-spit, and tie that on to a larger spit; ten or fifteen minutes at a quick fire will do them enough; baste them with fresh butter while they are roasting, and sprinkle them with bread-crumbs till they are well covered with them.

For the sauce, fry some grated bread in clarified butter, see No. 259, and set it to drain before the fire, that it may harden: serve the crumbs under the larks when you dish them, and garnish them with slices of lemon.

Wheatears,—(No. 81.)

Are dressed in the same way as larks.

Lobster.—(No. 82.)

See receipt for boiling (No. 176).

We give no receipt for roasting lobster, tongue, &c. being of opinion with Dr. King, who says,

“By roasting that which our forefathers boiled,
And boiling what they roasted, much is spoiled.”

122-* This joint is said to owe its name to king Charles the Second, who, dining upon a loin of beef, and being particularly pleased with it, asked the name of the joint; said for its merit it should be knighted, and henceforth called Sir-Loin.

123-* “In the present fashion of FATTENING CATTLE, it is more desirable to roast away the fat than to preserve it. If the honourable societies of agriculturists, at the time they consulted a learned professor about the composition of manures, had consulted some competent authority on the nature of animal substances, the public might have escaped the overgrown corpulency of the animal flesh, which every where fills the markets.”—Domestic Management, 12mo. 1813, p. 182.

“Game, and other wild animals proper for food, are of very superior qualities to the tame, from the total contrast of the circumstances attending them. They have a free range of exercise in the open air, and choose their own food, the good effects of which are very evident in a short, delicate texture of flesh, found only in them. Their juices and flavour are more pure, and their fat, when it is in any degree, as in venison, and some other instances, differs as much from that of our fatted animals, as silver and gold from the grosser metals. The superiority of Welch mutton and Scotch Beef is owing to a similar cause.”—Ibid., p. 150.

If there is more FAT than you think will be eaten with the meat; cut it off; it will make an excellent PUDDING (No. 554); or clarify it, (No. 84) and use it for frying: for those who like their meat done thoroughly, and use a moderate fire for roasting, the fat need not be covered with paper.

If your beef is large, and your family small, cut off the thin end and salt it, and cut out and dress the fillet (i. e. commonly called the inside) next day as MOCK HARE (No. 66*): thus you get three good hot dinners. See also No. 483, on made dishes. For SAUCE for cold beef, see No. 359, cucumber vinegar, No. 399, and horseradish vinegar, Nos. 399* and 458.

123-† “This joint is often spoiled for the next day’s use, by an injudicious mode of carving. If you object to the outside, take the brown off, and help the next: by the cutting it only on one side, you preserve the gravy in the meat, and the goodly appearance also; by cutting it, on the contrary, down the middle of this joint, all the gravy runs out, it becomes dry, and exhibits a most unseemly aspect when brought to table a second time.”—From Ude’s Cookery, 8vo. 1818, p. 109.

124-* Dean Swift’s receipt to roast mutton.

To Geminiani’s beautiful air—“Gently touch the warbling lyre.”

“Gently stir and blow the fire,
Lay the mutton down to roast,
Dress it quickly, I desire,
In the dripping put a toast,
That I hunger may remove;—
Mutton is the meat I love.

“On the dresser see it lie;
Oh! the charming white and red!
Finer meat ne’er met the eye,
On the sweetest grass it fed;
Let the jack go swiftly round,
Let me have it nicely brown’d.

“On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean,
Pickles get and salad both,
Let them each be fresh and green.
With small beer, good ale, and wine,
O, ye gods! how I shall dine!”

124-† See the chapter of ADVICE TO COOKS.

125-* Common cooks very seldom brown the ends of necks and loins; to have this done nicely, let the fire be a few inches longer at each end than the joint that is roasting, and occasionally place the spit slanting, so that each end may get sufficient fire; otherwise, after the meat is done, you must take it up, and put the ends before the fire.

127-* To MINCE or HASH VEAL see No. 511, or 511*, and to make a RAGOUT of cold veal, No. 512.

131-* Priscilla Haslehurst, in her Housekeeper’s Instructor, 8vo. Sheffield, 1819, p. 19, gives us a receipt “to goosify a shoulder of lamb.” “Un grand Cuisinier,” informed me that “to lambify” the leg of a porkling is a favourite metamorphosis in the French kitchen, when house lamb is very dear.

133-* Mons. Grimod designates this “Animal modeste, ennemi du faste, et le roi des animaux immondes.” Maitland, in p. 758, of vol. ii. of his History of London, reckons that the number of sucking-pigs consumed in the city of London in the year 1725, amounted to 52,000.

133-† Some delicately sensitive palates desire the cook to parboil the sage and onions (before they are cut), to soften and take off the rawness of their flavour; the older and drier the onion, the stronger will be its flavour; and the learned Evelyn orders these to be edulcorated by gentle maceration.

133-‡ An ancient culinary sage says, “When you see a pig’s eyes drop out, you may be satisfied he has had enough of the fire!” This is no criterion that the body of the pig is done enough, but arises merely from the briskness of the fire before the head of it.

137-* If you think the flavour of raw onions too strong, cut them in slices, and lay them in cold water for a couple of hours, or add as much apple or potato as you have of onion.

137-† Although the whole is rather too luscious for the lingual nerves of the good folks of Great Britain, the livers of poultry are considered a very high relish by our continental neighbours; and the following directions how to procure them in perfection, we copy from the recipe of “un Vieil Amateur de Bonne Chère.”

“The liver of a duck, or a goose, which has submitted to the rules and orders that men of taste have invented for the amusement of his sebaceous glands, is a superlative exquisite to the palate of a Parisian epicure; but, alas! the poor goose, to produce this darling dainty, must endure sad torments. He must be crammed with meat, deprived of drink, and kept constantly before a hot fire: a miserable martyrdom indeed! and would be truly intolerable if his reflections on the consequences of his sufferings did not afford him some consolation; but the glorious prospect of the delightful growth of his liver gives him courage and support; and when he thinks how speedily it will become almost as big as his body, how high it will rank on the list of double relishes, and with what ecstasies it will be eaten by the fanciers “des Foies gras,” he submits to his destiny without a sigh. The famous Strasburg pies are made with livers thus prepared, and sell for an enormous price.”

However incredible this ordonnance for the obesitation of a goose’s liver may appear at first sight, will it not seem equally so to after-ages, that in this enlightened country, in 1821, we encouraged a folly as much greater, as its operation was more universal? Will it be believed, that it was then considered the acme of perfection in beef and mutton, that it should be so over-fattened, that a poor man, to obtain one pound of meat that he could eat, must purchase another which he could not, unless converted into a suet pudding: moreover, that the highest premiums were annually awarded to those who produced sheep and oxen in the most extreme stale of morbid obesity?!!

——“expensive plans
For deluging of dripping-pans.”

141-* This, in culinary technicals, is called casing it upon the same principle that “eating, drinking, and sleeping,” are termed non-naturals.

141-† Mrs. Charlotte Mason, in her “Complete System of Cookery,” page 283, says, she has “tried all the different things recommended to baste a hare with, and never found any thing so good as small beer;” others order milk; drippings we believe is better than any thing. To roast a hare nicely, so as to preserve the meat on the back, &c. juicy and nutritive, requires as much attention as a sucking-pig.

Instead of washing, a “grand Cuisinier” says, it is much better to wipe a hare with a thin, dry cloth, as so much washing, or indeed washing at all, takes away the flavour.

142-* Liver sauce, Nos. 287 and 288.

142-† “They are only fit to be eaten when the blood runs from the bill, which is commonly about 6 or 7 days after they have been killed, otherwise it will have no more savour than a common fowl.”—Ude’s Cookery, 8vo. 1819, page 216.

“Gastronomers, who have any sort of aversion to a peculiar taste in game, properly kept, had better abstain from this bird, since it is worse than a common fowl, if not waited for till it acquires the fumet it ought to have. Whole republics of maggots have often been found rioting under the wings of pheasants; but being radically dispersed, and the birds properly washed with vinegar, every thing went right, and every guest, unconscious of the culinary ablutions, enjoyed the excellent flavour of the Phasian birds.”—Tabella Cibaria, p. 55.

144-* “This bird has so insinuated itself into the favour of refined gourmands, that they pay it the same honours as the grand Lama, making a ragoût of its excrements, and devouring them with ecstasy.”—Vide Almanach des Gourmands, vol. i. p. 56.

That exercise produces strength and firmness of fibre is excellently well exemplified in the woodcock and the partridge. The former flies most—the latter walks; the wing of the woodcock is always very tough,—of the partridge very tender hence the old doggerel distich,—

“If the partridge had but the woodcock’s thigh,
He’d be the best bird that e’er doth fly.”

The breast of all birds is the most juicy and nutritious part.


FRYING.

To clarify Drippings.—(No. 83.)

Put your dripping into a clean sauce-pan over a stove or slow fire; when it is just going to boil, skim it well, let it boil, and then let it stand till it is a little cooled; then pour it through a sieve into a pan.

[147]Obs.—Well-cleansed drippings,147-* and the fat skimmings147-† of the broth-pot, when fresh and sweet, will baste every thing as well as butter, except game and poultry, and should supply the place of butter for common fries, &c.; for which they are equal to lard, especially if you repeat the clarifying twice over.

N.B. If you keep it in a cool place, you may preserve it a fortnight in summer, and longer in winter. When you have done frying, let the dripping stand a few minutes to settle, and then pour it through a sieve into a clean basin or stone pan, and it will do a second and a third time as well as it did the first; only the fat you have fried fish in must not be used for any other purpose.

To clarify Suet to fry with.—(No. 84.)

Cut beef or mutton suet into thin slices, pick out all the veins and skins, &c., put it into a thick and well-tinned sauce-pan, and set it over a very slow stove, or in an oven, till it is melted; you must not hurry it; if not done very slowly it will acquire a burnt taste, which you cannot get rid of; then strain it through a hair-sieve into a clean brown[148] pan: when quite cold, tie a paper over it, and keep it for use. Hog’s lard is prepared in the same way.

Obs.—The waste occasioned by the present absurd fashion of over-feeding cattle till the fat is nearly equal to the lean, may, by good management, be in some measure prevented, by cutting off the superfluous part, and preparing it as above, or by making it into puddings; see Nos. 551 and 554, or soup, No. 229.

Steaks.—(No. 85.)

Cut the steaks rather thinner than for broiling. Put some butter, or No. 83, into an iron frying-pan, and when it is hot, lay in the steaks, and keep turning them till they are done enough. For sauce, see No. 356, and for the accompaniments, No. 94.

Obs. Unless the fire be prepared on purpose, we like this way of cooking them; the gravy is preserved, and the meat is more equally dressed, and more evenly browned; which makes it more relishing, and invites the eye to encourage the appetite.

Beef-steaks and Onions.—(No. 86. See also No. 501.)

Fry the steaks according to the directions given in the preceding receipt; and have ready for them some onions prepared as directed in No. 299.

For stewed rump-steaks, see Nos. 500 and 501.

Sausages,—(No. 87.)

Are best when quite fresh made. Put a bit of butter, or dripping (No. 83), into a clean frying-pan; as soon as it is melted (before it gets hot) put in the sausages, and shake the pan for a minute, and keep turning them (be careful not to break or prick them in so doing); fry them over a very slow fire till they are nicely browned on all sides; when they are done, lay them on a hair-sieve, placed before the fire for a couple of minutes to drain the fat from them. The secret of frying sausages is, to let them get hot very gradually; they then will not burst, if they are not stale.

The common practice to prevent their bursting, is to prick them with a fork; but this lets the gravy out.

You may froth them by rubbing them with cold fresh butter, and lightly dredge them with flour, and put them in a cheese-toaster or Dutch oven for a minute.

Some over-economical cooks insist that no butter or lard,[149] &c. is required, their own fat being sufficient to fry them: we have tried it; the sausages were partially scorched, and had that piebald appearance that all fried things have when sufficient fat is not allowed.

Obs. Poached eggs (No. 548), pease-pudding (No. 555), and mashed potatoes (No. 106) are agreeable accompaniments to sausages; and sausages are as welcome with boiled or roasted poultry or veal, or boiled tripe (No. 18); so are ready-dressed German sausages (see Mem. to No. 13); and a convenient, easily digestible, and invigorating food for the aged, and those whose teeth are defective; as is also No. 503. For sauce No. 356; to make mustard, Nos. 369 and 370.

N.B. Sausages, when finely chopped, are a delicate “bonne bouche;” and require very little assistance from the teeth to render them quite ready for the stomach.

Sweetbreads full-dressed.—(No. 88.)

Parboil them, and let them get cold; then cut them in pieces, about three-quarters of an inch thick; dip them in the yelk of an egg, then in fine bread-crumbs (some add spice, lemon-peel, and sweet herbs); put some clean dripping (No. 83) into a frying-pan: when it boils, put in the sweetbreads, and fry them a fine brown. For garnish, crisp parsley; and for sauce, mushroom catchup and melted butter, or anchovy sauce, or Nos. 356, 343, or 343*, or bacon or ham, as Nos. 526 and 527.

Sweetbreads plain.—(No. 89.)

Parboil and slice them as before, dry them on a clean cloth, flour them, and fry them a delicate brown; take care to drain the fat well from them, and garnish them with slices of lemon, and sprigs of chervil or parsley, or crisp parsley (No. 318). For sauce, No. 356, or No. 307, and slices of ham or bacon, as No. 526, or No. 527, or forcemeat balls made as Nos. 375 and 378.

*** Take care to have a fresh sweetbread; it spoils sooner than almost any thing, therefore should be parboiled as soon as it comes in. This is called blanching, or setting it; mutton kidneys (No. 95) are sometimes broiled and sent up with sweetbreads.

Veal Cutlets.—(No. 90 and No. 521.)

Let your cutlets be about half an inch thick; trim them,[150] and flatten them with a cleaver; you may fry them in fresh butter, or good drippings (No. 83); when brown on one side, turn them and do the other; if the fire is very fierce, they must change sides oftener. The time they will take depends on the thickness of the cutlet and the heat of the fire; half an inch thick will take about fifteen minutes. Make some gravy, by putting the trimmings into a stew-pan with a little soft water, an onion, a roll of lemon-peel, a blade of mace, a sprig of thyme and parsley, and a bay leaf; stew over a slow fire an hour, then strain it; put an ounce of butter into a stew-pan; as soon as it is melted, mix with it as much flour as will dry it up, stir it over the fire for a few minutes, then add the gravy by degrees till it is all mixed, boil it for five minutes, and strain it through a tamis sieve, and put it to the cutlets; you may add some browning (No. 322), mushroom (No. 439), or walnut catchup, or lemon pickle, &c.: see also sauces, Nos. 343 and 348. Or,

Cut the veal into pieces about as big as a crown-piece, beat them with a cleaver, dip them in eggs beat up with a little salt, and then in fine bread-crumbs; fry them a light brown in boiling lard; serve under them some good gravy or mushroom sauce (No. 307), which may be made in five minutes. Garnish with slices of ham or rashers of bacon (Nos. 526 and 527), or pork sausages (No. 87).

Obs. Veal forcemeat or stuffing (Nos. 374, 375, and 378), pork sausages (No. 87), rashers of bacon (Nos. 526 and 527), are very relishing accompaniments, fried and sent up in the form of balls or cakes, and laid round as a garnish.

Lamb, or Mutton Chops,—(No. 92.)

Are dressed in the same way, and garnished with crisp parsley (No. 318) and slices of lemon.

If they are bread-crumbed and covered with buttered writing-paper, and then broiled, they are called “maintenon cutlets.”

Pork Chops.—(No. 93.)

Cut the chops about half an inch thick; trim them neatly (few cooks have any idea how much credit they get by this); put a frying-pan on the fire, with a bit of butter; as soon as it is hot, put in your chops, turning them often till brown all over, they will be done enough in about fifteen minutes;[151] take one upon a plate and try it; if done, season it with a little finely-minced onion, powdered sage, and pepper and salt. For gravy and sauce, see Nos. 300, 304, 341, and 356.

Obs. A little powdered sage, &c. strewed over them, will give them a nice relish, or the savoury powder in No. 51, or forcemeat sausages like No. 378.

Do not have them cut too thick, about three chops to an inch and a quarter; trim them neatly, beat them flat, have ready some sweet herbs, or sage and onion chopped fine, put them in a stew-pan with a bit of butter about as big as a walnut, let them have one fry, beat two eggs on a plate with a little salt, add to them the herbs, mix it all well together, dip the chops in one at a time all over, and then with bread-crumbs fry them in hot lard or drippings till they are a light brown.

Obs. Veal, lamb, or mutton chops, are very good dressed in like manner.

To fry fish, see No. 145.

N.B. To fry eggs and omelets, and other things, see No. 545, and the Index.

147-* Mrs. Melroe, in her Economical Cookery, page 7, tells us, she has ascertained from actual experiments, that “the drippings of roast meat, combined with wheat flour, oatmeal, barley, pease, or potato-starch, will make delicious soup, agreeable and savoury to the palate, and nutritive and serviceable to the stomach; and that while a joint is roasting, good soup may be made from the drippings of the FAT, which is the essence of meat, as seeds are of vegetables, and impregnates SOUP with the identical taste of meat.”

“Writers on cookery give strict directions to carefully skim off the fat, and in the next sentence order butter (a much more expensive article) to be added: instead of this, when any fat appears at the top of your soup or stew, do not skim it off, but unite it with the broth by means of the vegetable mucilages, flour, oatmeal, ground barley, or potato-starch; when suspended the soup is equally agreeable to the palate nutritive to the stomach,” &c.

“Cooks bestow a great deal of pains to make gravies; they stew and boil lean meat for hours, and, after all, their cookery tastes more of pepper and salt than any thing else. If they would add the bulk of a chesnut of solid fat to a common-sized sauce-boatful of gravy, it will give it more sapidity than twenty hours’ stewing lean meat would, unless a larger quantity was used than is warranted by the rules of frugality.” See Nos. 205 and 229.

“The experiments of Dr. Stark on the nourishing powers of different substances, go very far to prove that three ounces of the fat of boiled beef are equal to a pound of the lean. Dr. Pages, the traveller, confirms this opinion: ‘Being obliged,’ says he, ‘during the journey from North to South America by land, to live solely on animal food, I experienced the truth of what is observed by hunters, who live solely on animal food, viz. that besides their receiving little nourishment from the leaner parts of it, it soon becomes offensive to the taste; whereas the fat is both more nutritive, and continues to be agreeable to the palate. To many stomachs fat is unpleasant and indigestible, especially when converted into oil by heat; this may be easily prevented, by the simple process of combining the fat completely with water, by the intervention of vegetable mucilage, as in melting butter, by means of flour, the butter and water are united into a homogeneous fluid.’”—From Practical Economy, by a Physician. Callow, 1801.

147-† See note at the foot of No. 201.


BROILING.

Chops or Steaks.151-*—(No. 94.)

To stew them, see No. 500, ditto with onions, No. 501.

Those who are nice about steaks, never attempt to have them, except in weather which permits the meat to be hung till it is tender, and give the butcher some days’ notice of their wish for them.

If, friendly reader, you wish to entertain your mouth with a superlative beef-steak, you must have the inside of the sirloin cut into steaks. The next best steaks are those cut[152] from the middle of a rump, that has been killed at least four days in moderate weather, and much longer in cold weather, when they can be cut about six inches long, four inches wide, and half an inch thick: do not beat them, which vulgar trick breaks the cells in which the gravy of the meat is contained, and it becomes dry and tasteless.

N.B. If your butcher sends steaks which are not tender, we do not insist that you should object to let him be beaten.

Desire the butcher to cut them of even thickness; if he does not, divide the thicker from the thinner pieces, and give them time accordingly.

Take care to have a very clear, brisk fire; throw a little salt on it; make the gridiron hot, and set it slanting, to prevent the fat from dropping into the fire, and making a smoke. It requires more practice and care than is generally supposed to do steaks to a nicety; and for want of these little attentions, this very common dish, which every body is supposed capable of dressing, seldom comes to table in perfection.

Ask those you cook for, if they like it under, or thoroughly done; and what accompaniments they like best; it is usual to put a table-spoonful of catchup (No. 439), or a little minced eschalot, or No. 402, into a dish before the fire; while you are broiling, turn the steak, &c. with a pair of steak-tongs, it will be done in about ten or fifteen minutes; rub a bit of butter over it, and send it up garnished with pickles and finely-scraped horse-radish. Nos. 135, 278, 299, 255, 402, 423, 439, and 356, are the sauces usually composed for chops and steaks.

N.B. Macbeth’s receipt for beef-steaks is the best—

——“when ’t is done, ’t were well
If ’t were done quickly.

Obs.Le véritable BIFTECK, comme il se fait en Angleterre,” as Mons. Beauvilliers calls (in his l’Art du Cuisinier, tom. i. 8vo. Paris, 1814, p. 122) what he says we call “romesteck,” is as highly esteemed by our French neighbours, as their “ragoûts” are by our countrymen, who

——“post to Paris go,
Merely to taste their soups, and mushrooms know.”
King’s Art of Cookery, p. 79.

These lines were written before the establishment of Albion house, Aldersgate Street, where every luxury that nature and art produce is served of the primest quality, and in the most scientific manner, in a style of princely magnificence and perfect comfort: the wines, liqueurs, &c. are superlative,[153] and every department of the business of the banquet is conducted in the most liberal manner.

The French author whom we have before so often quoted, assures les amateurs de bonne chère on the other side of the water, it is well worth their while to cross the channel to taste this favourite English dish, which, when “mortifiée à son point” and well dressed, he says, is superior to most of the subtle double relishes of the Parisian kitchen. Almanach des Gourmands, vol. i. p. 27.

Beef is justly accounted the most nutritious animal food, and is entitled to the same rank among solid, that brandy is among liquid stimuli.

The celebrated Trainer, Sir Thomas Parkyns, of Bunny Park, Bart., in his book on Wrestling, 4to. 3d edit. 1727, p. 10, &c., greatly prefers beef-eaters to sheep-biters, as he called those who ate mutton.

When Humphries the pugilist was trained by Ripsham, the keeper of Ipswich jail, he was at first fed on beef, but got so much flesh, it was changed for mutton, roasted or broiled: when broiled, great part of the nutritive juices of the meat is extracted.

The principles upon which training153-* is conducted, resolve themselves into temperance without abstemiousness, and exercise without fatigue.

Kidneys.—(No. 95.)

Cut them through the long way, score them, sprinkle a little pepper and salt on them, and run a wire skewer through them to keep them from curling on the gridiron, so that they may be evenly broiled.

Broil them over a very clear fire, turning them often till they are done; they will take about ten or twelve minutes, if the fire is brisk: or fry them in butter, and make gravy for them in the pan (after you have taken out the kidneys), by putting in a tea-spoonful of flour; as soon as it looks brown, put in as much water as will make gravy; they will take five minutes more to fry than to broil. For sauce, Nos. 318, 355, and 356.

Obs. Some cooks chop a few parsley-leaves very fine, and mix them with a bit of fresh butter and a little pepper and salt, and put a little of this mixture on each kidney.

[154]

A Fowl or Rabbit, &c.—(No. 97.)

We can only recommend this method of dressing when the fire is not good enough for roasting.

Pick and truss it the same as for boiling, cut it open down the back, wipe the inside clean with a cloth, season it with a little pepper and salt, have a clear fire, and set the gridiron at a good distance over it, lay the chicken on with the inside towards the fire (you may egg it and strew some grated bread over it), and broil it till it is a fine brown: take care the fleshy side is not burned. Lay it on a hot dish; pickled mushrooms, or mushroom sauce (No. 305), thrown over it, or parsley and butter (No. 261), or melted butter flavoured with mushroom catchup (No. 307).

Garnish it with slices of lemon; and the liver and gizzard slit and notched, seasoned with pepper and salt, and broiled nicely brown, with some slices of lemon. For grill sauce, see No. 355.

N.B. “It was a great mode, and taken up by the court party in Oliver Cromwell’s time, to roast half capons, pretending they had a more exquisite taste and nutriment than when dressed whole.” See Joan Cromwell’s Kitchen, London, 1664, page 39.

Pigeons,—(No. 98.)

To be worth the trouble of picking, must be well grown, and well fed.

Clean them well, and pepper and salt them; broil them over a clear, slow fire; turn them often, and put a little butter on them: when they are done, pour over them, either stewed (No. 305) or pickled mushrooms, or catchup and melted butter (No. 307, or No. 348 or 355).

Garnish with fried bread-crumbs or sippets (No. 319): or, when the pigeons are trussed as for boiling, flat them with a cleaver, taking care not to break the skin of the backs or breasts. Season them with pepper and salt, a little bit of butter, and a tea-spoonful of water, and tie them close at both ends; so that when they are brought to table, they bring their sauce with them. Egg and dredge them well with grated bread (mixed with spice and sweet herbs, if you please); then lay them on the gridiron, and turn them frequently: if your fire is not very clear, lay them on a sheet of paper well buttered, to keep them from getting smoked. They are much better broiled whole.

The same sauce as in the preceding receipt, or No. 343 or 348.

Veal Cutlets (No. 521 and No. 90). Pork Chops (No. 93).

151-* The season for these is from the 29th of September to the 25th of March; to ensure their being tender when out of season, STEW THEM as in receipt No. 500.

TO WARM UP COLD RUMP-STEAKS.

Lay them in a stew-pan, with one large onion cut in quarters, six berries of allspice, the same of black pepper, cover the steaks with boiling water, let them stew gently one hour, thicken the liquor with flour and butter rubbed together on a plate; if a pint of gravy, about one ounce of flour, and the like weight of butter, will do; put it into the stew-pan, shake it well over the fire for five minutes, and it is ready; lay the steaks and onions on a dish and pour the gravy through a sieve over them.

153-* See “The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life,” by the editor of “The Cook’s Oracle.” Published by G. B. Whittaker, No. 13, Ave-Maria Lane.


[155]

VEGETABLES.

Sixteen Ways of dressing Potatoes.155-*—(No. 102.)

The vegetable kingdom affords no food more wholesome, more easily procured, easily prepared, or less expensive, than the potato: yet, although this most useful vegetable is dressed almost every day, in almost every family, for one plate of potatoes that comes to table as it should, ten are spoiled.

Be careful in your choice of potatoes: no vegetable varies so much in colour, size, shape, consistence, and flavour.

The reddish-coloured are better than the white, but the yellowish-looking ones are the best. Choose those of a moderate size, free from blemishes, and fresh, and buy them in the mould. They must not be wetted till they are cleaned to be cooked. Protect them from the air and frost, by laying them in heaps in a cellar, covering them with mats, or burying them in sand or in earth. The action of frost is most destructive: if it be considerable, the life of the vegetable is destroyed, and the potato speedily rots.

Wash them, but do not pare or cut them, unless they are very large. Fill a sauce-pan half full of potatoes of equal size155-† (or make them so by dividing the larger ones), put to them as much cold water as will cover them about an inch: they are sooner boiled, and more savoury, than when drowned in water. Most boiled things are spoiled by having too little water, but potatoes are often spoiled by too much: they must merely be covered, and a little allowed for waste in boiling, so that they may be just covered at the finish.

Set them on a moderate fire till they boil; then take them off, and put them by the side of the fire to simmer slowly till they are soft enough to admit a fork (place no dependence on the usual test of their skins’ cracking, which, if they are boiled fast, will happen to some potatoes when they are not half done, and the insides quite hard). Then pour the water[156] off (if you let the potatoes remain in the water a moment after they are done enough, they will become waxy and watery), uncover the sauce-pan, and set it at such a distance from the fire as will secure it from burning; their superfluous moisture will evaporate, and the potatoes will be perfectly dry and mealy.

You may afterward place a napkin, folded up to the size of the sauce-pan’s diameter, over the potatoes, to keep them hot and mealy till wanted.

Obs.—This method of managing potatoes is in every respect equal to steaming them; and they are dressed in half the time.

There is such an infinite variety of sorts and sizes of potatoes, that it is impossible to say how long they will take doing: the best way is to try them with a fork. Moderate-sized potatoes will generally be done enough in fifteen or twenty minutes. See Obs. to No. 106.

Cold Potatoes fried.—(No. 102*.)

Put a bit of clean dripping into a frying-pan: when it is melted, slice in your potatoes with a little pepper and salt; put them on the fire; keep stirring them: when they are quite hot, they are ready.

Obs.—This is a very good way of re-dressing potatoes, or see No. 106.

Potatoes boiled and broiled.—(No. 103.)

Dress your potatoes as before directed, and put them on a gridiron over a very clear and brisk fire: turn them till they are brown all over, and send them up dry, with melted butter in a cup.

Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings.—(No. 104.)

Peel large potatoes; slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping. Take care that your fat and frying-pan are quite clean; put it on a quick fire, watch it, and as soon as the lard boils, and is still, put in the slices of potato, and keep moving them till they are crisp. Take them up, and lay them to drain on a sieve: send them up with a very little salt sprinkled over them.

[157]

Potatoes fried whole.—(No. 105.)

When nearly boiled enough, as directed in No. 102, put them into a stew-pan with a bit of butter, or some nice clean beef-drippings; shake them about often (for fear of burning them), till they are brown and crisp; drain them from the fat.

Obs.—It will be an elegant improvement to the last three receipts, previous to frying or broiling the potatoes, to flour them and dip them in the yelk of an egg, and then roll them in fine-sifted bread-crumbs; they will then deserve to be called POTATOES FULL DRESSED.

Potatoes mashed.—(No. 106. See also No. 112.)

When your potatoes are thoroughly boiled, drain them quite dry, pick out every speck, &c., and while hot, rub them through a colander into a clean stew-pan. To a pound of potatoes put about half an ounce of butter, and a table-spoonful of milk: do not make them too moist; mix them well together.

Obs.—After Lady-day, when the potatoes are getting old and specky, and in frosty weather, this is the best way of dressing them. You may put them into shapes or small tea-cups; egg them with yelk of egg, and brown them very slightly before a slow fire. See No. 108.

Potatoes mashed with Onions.—(No. 107.)

Prepare some boiled onions by putting them through a sieve, and mix them with potatoes. In proportioning the onions to the potatoes, you will be guided by your wish to have more or less of their flavour.

Obs.—See note under No. 555.

Potatoes escalloped.—(No. 108.)

Mash potatoes as directed in No. 106; then butter some nice clean scollop-shells, patty-pans, or tea-cups or saucers; put in your potatoes; make them smooth at the top; cross a knife over them; strew a few fine bread-crumbs on them; sprinkle them with a paste-brush with a few drops of melted butter, and then set them in a Dutch oven; when they are browned on the top, take them carefully out of the shells and brown the other side.

Colcannon.—(No. 108*.)

Boil potatoes and greens, or spinage, separately; mash the[158] potatoes; squeeze the greens dry; chop them quite fine, and mix them with the potatoes, with a little butter, pepper, and salt; put it into a mould, buttering it well first; let it stand in a hot oven for ten minutes.

Potatoes roasted.—(No. 109.)

Wash and dry your potatoes (all of a size), and put them in a tin Dutch oven, or cheese-toaster: take care not to put them too near the fire, or they will get burned on the outside before they are warmed through.

Large potatoes will require two hours to roast them.

N.B. To save time and trouble, some cooks half boil them first.

This is one of the best opportunities the BAKER has to rival the cook.

Potatoes roasted under Meat.—(No. 110.)

Half boil large potatoes, drain the water from them, and put them into an earthen dish, or small tin pan, under meat that is roasting, and baste them with some of the dripping: when they are browned on one side, turn them and brown the other; send them up round the meat, or in a small dish.

Potato Balls.—(No. 111.)

Mix mashed potatoes with the yelk of an egg; roll them into balls; flour them, or egg and bread-crumb them; and fry them in clean drippings, or brown them in a Dutch oven.

Potato Balls Ragoût,—(No. 112.)

Are made by adding to a pound of potatoes a quarter of a pound of grated ham, or some sweet herbs, or chopped parsley, an onion or eschalot, salt, pepper, and a little grated nutmeg, or other spice, with the yelk of a couple of eggs: they are then to be dressed as No. 111.

Obs.—An agreeable vegetable relish, and a good supper-dish.

Potato Snow.—(No. 114.)

The potatoes must be free from spots, and the whitest you can pick out; put them on in cold water; when they begin to crack strain the water from them, and put them[159] into a clean stew-pan by the side of the fire till they are quite dry, and fall to pieces; rub them through a wire sieve on the dish they are to be sent up in, and do not disturb them afterward.

Potato Pie.—(No. 115.)

Peel and slice your potatoes very thin into a pie-dish; between each layer of potatoes put a little chopped onion (three-quarters of an ounce of onion is sufficient for a pound of potatoes); between each layer sprinkle a little pepper and salt; put in a little water, and cut about two ounces of fresh butter into little bits, and lay them on the top: cover it close with puff paste. It will take about an hour and a half to bake it.

N.B. The yelks of four eggs (boiled hard) may be added; and when baked, a table-spoonful of good mushroom catchup poured in through a funnel.

Obs.—Cauliflowers divided into mouthfuls, and button onions, seasoned with curry powder, &c. make a favourite vegetable pie.

New Potatoes.—(No. 116.)

The best way to clean new potatoes is to rub them with a coarse cloth or flannel, a or scrubbing-brush, and proceed as in No. 102.

N.B. New potatoes are poor, watery, and insipid, till they are full two inches in diameter: they are not worth the trouble of boiling before midsummer day.

Obs.—Some cooks prepare sauces to pour over potatoes, made with butter, salt, and pepper, or gravy, or melted butter and catchup; or stew the potatoes in ale, or water seasoned with pepper and salt; or bake them with herrings or sprats, mixed with layers of potatoes, seasoned with pepper, salt, sweet herbs, vinegar, and water; or cut mutton or beef into slices, and lay them in a stew-pan, and on them potatoes and spices, then another layer of the meat alternately, pouring in a little water, covering it up very close, and slewing slowly.

Potato mucilage (a good substitute for arrow-root), No. 448.159-*[160]

Jerusalem Artichokes,—(No. 117.)

Are boiled and dressed in the various ways we have just before directed for potatoes.

N.B. They should be covered with thick melted butter, or a nice white or brown sauce.

Cabbage.—(No. 118.)

Pick cabbages very clean, and wash them thoroughly; then look them over carefully again; quarter them if they are very large. Put them into a sauce-pan with plenty of boiling water; if any scum rises, take it off; put a large spoonful of salt into the sauce-pan, and boil them till the stalks feel tender. A young cabbage will take about twenty minutes or half an hour; when full grown, near an hour: see that they are well covered with water all the time, and that no smoke or dirt arises from stirring the fire. With careful management, they will look as beautiful when dressed as they did when growing.

Obs.—Some cooks say, that it will much ameliorate the flavour of strong old cabbages to boil them in two waters; i. e. when they are half done, to take them out, and put them directly into another sauce-pan of boiling water, instead of continuing them in the water into which they were first put.

Boiled Cabbage fried.—(No. 119.)

See receipt for Bubble and Squeak.

Savoys,—(No. 120.)

Are boiled in the same manner; quarter them when you send them to table.

Sprouts and young Greens.—(No. 121.)

The receipt we have written for cabbages will answer as well for sprouts, only they will be boiled enough in fifteen or twenty minutes.

Spinage.—(No. 122.)

Spinage should be picked a leaf at a time, and washed in three or four waters; when perfectly clean, lay it on a sieve or colander, to drain the water from it.

[161]Put a sauce-pan on the fire three parts filled with water, and large enough for the spinage to float in it; put a small handful of salt in it; let it boil; skim it, and then put in the spinage; make it boil as quick as possible till quite tender, pressing the spinage down frequently that it may be done equally; it will be done enough in about ten minutes, if boiled in plenty of water: if the spinage is a little old, give it a few minutes longer. When done, strain it on the back of a sieve; squeeze it dry with a plate, or between two trenchers; chop it fine, and put it into a stew-pan with a bit of butter and a little salt: a little cream is a great improvement, or instead of either some rich gravy. Spread it in a dish, and score it into squares of proper size to help at table.

Obs.—Grated nutmeg, or mace, and a little lemon-juice, is a favourite addition with some cooks, and is added when you stir it up in the stew-pan with the butter garnished. Spinage is frequently served with poached eggs and fried bread.

Asparagus.—(No. 123.)

Set a stew-pan with plenty of water in it on the fire; sprinkle a handful of salt in it; let it boil, and skim it; then put in your asparagus, prepared thus: scrape all the stalks till they are perfectly clean; throw them into a pan of cold water as you scrape them; when they are all done, tie them up in little bundles, of about a quarter of a hundred each, with bass, if you can get it, or tape (string cuts them to pieces); cut off the stalks at the bottom that they may be all of a length, leaving only just enough to serve as a handle for the green part; when they are tender at the stalk, which will be in from twenty to thirty minutes, they are done enough. Great care must be taken to watch the exact time of their becoming tender; take them up just at that instant, and they will have their true flavour and colour: a minute or two more boiling destroys both.

While the asparagus is boiling, toast a round of a quartern loaf, about half an inch thick; brown it delicately on both sides; dip it lightly in the liquor the asparagus was boiled in, and lay it in the middle of a dish: melt some butter (No. 256); then lay in the asparagus upon the toast, which must project beyond the asparagus, that the company may see there is a toast.

Pour no butter over them, but send some up in a boat, or white sauce (No. 2 of No. 364).

[162]

Sea Kale,—(No. 124.)

Is tied up in bundles, and dressed in the same way as asparagus.

Cauliflower.—(No. 125.)

Choose those that are close and white, and of the middle size; trim off the outside leaves; cut the stalk off flat at the bottom; let them lie in salt and water an hour before you boil them.

Put them into boiling water with a handful of salt in it; skim it well, and let it boil slowly till done, which a small one will be in fifteen, a large one in about twenty minutes; take it up the moment it is enough, a minute or two longer boiling will spoil it.

N.B. Cold cauliflowers and French beans, carrots and turnips, boiled so as to eat rather crisp, are sometimes dressed as a salad (No. 372 or 453).

Broccoli.—(No. 126.)

Set a pan of clean cold water on the table, and a saucepan on the fire with plenty of water, and a handful of salt in it.

Broccoli is prepared by stripping off all the side shoots, leaving the top; peel off the skin of the stalk with a knife; cut it close off at the bottom, and put it into the pan of cold water.

When the water in the stew-pan boils, and the broccoli is ready, put it in; let it boil briskly till the stalks feel tender, from ten to twenty minutes; take it up with a slice, that you may not break it; let it drain, and serve up.

If some of the heads of broccoli are much bigger than the others, put them on to boil first, so that they may get all done together.

Obs.—It makes a nice supper-dish served upon a toast, like asparagus. It is a very delicate vegetable, and you must take it up the moment it is done, and send it to table hot.

Red Beet-roots,—(No. 127.)

Are not so much used as they deserve; they are dressed in the same way as parsnips, only neither scraped nor cut till after they are boiled; they will take from an hour and a half to three hours in boiling, according to their size: to be sent to table with salt fish, boiled beef, &c. When young, large,[163] and juicy, it is a very good variety, an excellent garnish, and easily converted into a very cheap and pleasant pickle.

Parsnips,—(No. 128.)

Are to be cooked just in the same manner as carrots. They require more or less time according to their size; therefore match them in size: and you must try them by thrusting a fork into them as they are in the water; when that goes easily through, they are done enough. Boil them from an hour to two hours, according to their size and freshness.

Obs. Parsnips are sometimes sent up mashed in the same way as turnips, and some cooks quarter them before they boil them.163-*

Carrots.—(No. 129.)

Let them be well washed and brushed, not scraped. An hour is enough for young spring carrots; grown carrots must be cut in half, and will take from an hour and a half to two hours and a half. When done, rub off the peels with a clean coarse cloth, and slice them in two or four, according to their size. The best way to try if they are done enough, is to pierce them with a fork.

Obs. Many people are fond of cold carrot with cold beef; ask if you shall cook enough for some to be left to send up with the cold meat.

Turnips.—(No. 130.)

Peel off half an inch of the stringy outside. Full-grown turnips will take about an hour and a half gentle boiling; if you slice them, which most people do, they will be done sooner; try them with a fork; when tender, take them up, and lay them on a sieve till the water is thoroughly drained from them. Send them up whole; do not slice them.

N.B. To very young turnips leave about two inches of the green top. See No. 132.

To mash Turnips.—(No. 131.)

When they are boiled quite tender, squeeze them as dry as possible between two trenchers; put them into a saucepan; mash them with a wooden spoon, and rub them through[164] a colander; add a little bit of butter; keep stirring them till the butter is melted and well mixed with them, and they are ready for table.

Turnip-tops,—(No. 132.)

Are the shoots which grow out (in the spring) of the old turnip-roots. Put them into cold water an hour before they are to be dressed; the more water they are boiled in, the better they will look; if boiled in a small quantity of water they will taste bitter: when the water boils, put in a small handful of salt, and then your vegetables; if fresh and young, they will be done in about twenty minutes; drain them on the back of a sieve.

French Beans.—(No. 133.)

Cut off the stalk end first, and then turn to the point and strip off the strings. If not quite fresh, have a bowl of spring-water, with a little salt dissolved in it, standing before you, and as the beans are cleaned and stringed, throw them in. When all are done, put them on the fire in boiling water, with some salt in it; after they have boiled fifteen or twenty minutes, take one out and taste it; as soon as they are tender take them up; throw them into a colander or sieve to drain.

To send up the beans whole is much the best method when they are thus young, and their delicate flavour and colour are much better preserved. When a little more grown, they must be cut across in two after stringing; and for common tables they are split, and divided across; cut them all the same length; but those who are nice never have them at such a growth as to require splitting.

When they are very large they look pretty cut into lozenges.

Obs. See N.B. to No. 125.

Green Pease.164-*—(No. 134.)

Young green pease, well dressed, are among the most delicious delicacies of the vegetable kingdom. They must be young; it is equally indispensable that they be fresh gathered, and cooked as soon as they are shelled for they soon lose both their colour and sweetness.

[165]If you wish to feast upon pease in perfection, you must have them gathered the same day they are dressed, and put on to boil within half an hour after they are shelled.

Pass them through a riddle, i. e. a coarse sieve, which is made for the purpose of separating them. This precaution is necessary, for large and small pease cannot be boiled together, as the former will take more time than the latter.

For a peck of pease, set on a sauce-pan with a gallon of water in it; when it boils, put in your pease, with a table-spoonful of salt; skim it well, keep them boiling quick from twenty to thirty minutes, according to their age and size. The best way to judge of their being done enough, and indeed the only way to make sure of cooking them to, and not beyond, the point of perfection, or, as pea-eaters say, of “boiling them to a bubble,” is to take them out with a spoon and taste them.

When they are done enough, drain them on a hair-sieve. If you like them buttered, put them into a pie-dish, divide some butter into small bits, and lay them on the pease; put another dish over them, and turn them over and over; this will melt the butter through them; but as all people do not like buttered pease, you had better send them to table plain, as they come out of the sauce-pan, with melted butter (No. 256) in a sauce-tureen. It is usual to boil some mint with the pease; but if you wish to garnish the pease with mint, boil a few sprigs in a sauce-pan by themselves. See Sage and Onion Sauce (No. 300), and Pea Powder (No. 458); to boil Bacon (No. 13), Slices of Ham and Bacon (No. 526), and Relishing Rashers of Bacon (No. 527).

N.B. A peck of young pease will not yield more than enough for a couple of hearty pea-eaters; when the pods are full, it may serve for three.

Mem. Never think of purchasing pease ready-shelled, for the cogent reasons assigned in the first part of this receipt.

Cucumbers stewed.—(No. 135.)

Peel and cut cucumbers in quarters, take out the seeds, and lay them on a cloth to drain off the water: when they are dry, flour and fry them in fresh butter; let the butter be quite hot before you put in the cucumbers; fry them till they are brown, then take them out with an egg-slice, and lay them on a sieve to drain the fat from them (some cooks fry sliced onions, or some small button onions, with them, till they are a delicate light-brown colour, drain them from the fat, and then put them into a stew-pan with as much gravy[166] as will cover them): stew slowly till they are tender; take out the cucumbers with a slice, thicken the gravy with flour and butter, give it a boil up, season it with pepper and salt, and put in the cucumbers; as soon as they are warm, they are ready.

The above, rubbed through a tamis, or fine sieve, will be entitled to be called “cucumber sauce.” See No. 399, Cucumber Vinegar. This is a very favourite sauce with lamb or mutton-cutlets, stewed rump-steaks, &c. &c.: when made for the latter, a third part of sliced onion is sometimes fried with the cucumber.166-*

Artichokes.—(No. 136.)

Soak them in cold water, wash them well, then put them into plenty of boiling water, with a handful of salt, and let them boil gently till they are tender, which will take an hour and a half, or two hours: the surest way to know when they are done enough, is to draw out a leaf; trim them and drain them on a sieve; and send up melted butter with them, which some put into small cups, so that each guest may have one.

Stewed Onions.—(No. 137.)

The large Portugal onions are the best: take off the top-coats of half a dozen of these (taking care not to cut off the tops or tails too near, or the onions will go to pieces), and put them into a stew-pan broad enough to hold them without laying them atop of one another, and just cover them with good broth.

Put them over a slow fire, and let them simmer about two hours; when you dish them, turn them upside down, and pour the sauce over.

Young onions stewed, see No. 296.

Salads.—(No. 138*, also No. 372).

Those who desire to see this subject elaborately illustrated, we refer to “Evelyn’s Acetaria,” a discourse of Sallets, a 12mo. of 240 pages. London, 1699.

[167]Mr. E. gives us “an account of seventy-two herbs proper and fit to make sallet with;” and a table of thirty-five, telling their seasons and proportions. “In the composure of a sallet, every plant should come in to bear its part, like the notes in music: thus the comical Master Cook introduced by Damoxenus, when asked, ‘what harmony there was in meats?’ ‘the very same,’ says he, ‘as the 3d, 5th, and 8th have to one another in music: the main skill lies in this, not to mingle’ (‘sapores minimè consentientes’). ‘Tastes not well joined, inelegant,’ as our Paradisian bard directs Eve, when dressing a sallet for her angelical guest, in Milton’s Paradise Lost.”

He gives the following receipt for the oxoleon:—

“Take of clear and perfectly good oyl-olive three parts; of sharpest vinegar (sweetest of all condiments, for it incites appetite, and causes hunger, which is the best sauce), limon, or juice of orange, one part; and therein let steep some slices of horseradish, with a little salt. Some, in a separate vinegar, gently bruise a pod of Ginny pepper, and strain it to the other; then add as much mustard as will lie upon a half-crown piece. Beat and mingle these well together with the yelk of two new-laid eggs boiled hard, and pour it over your sallet, stirring it well together. The super-curious insist that the knife with which sallet herb is cut must be of silver. Some who are husbands of their oyl, pour at first the oyl alone, as more apt to communicate and diffuse its slipperiness, than when it is mingled and beaten with the acids, which they pour on last of all; and it is incredible how small a quantity of oyl thus applied is sufficient to imbue a very plentiful assembly of sallet herbs.”

Obs. Our own directions to prepare and dress salads will be found under No. 372.

155-* “Next to bread, there is no vegetable article, the preparation of which, as food, deserves to be more attended to, than the potato.”—Sir John Sinclair’s Code of Health, vol. i. p. 354.

“By the analysis of potato, it appears that 16 ounces contained 111/2 ounces of water, and the 41/2 ounces of solid parts remaining, afforded scarce a drachm of earth.”—Parmentier’s Obs. on Nutritive Vegetables, 8vo. 1783, p. 112.

155-† Or the small ones will be done to pieces before the large ones are boiled enough.

159-* Sweet potatoes, otherwise called Carolina potatoes, are the roots of the Convolvulus batatas, a plant peculiar to and principally cultivated in America. It delights in a warm climate, but is raised in Connecticut, New-York, and all the states of the Union south of New-York. It is an excellent vegetable for the dinner-table, and is brought on boiled. It has an advantage over common potatoes, as it may be eaten cold; and it is sometimes cut into thin slices and brought to the tea-table, as a delicate relish, owing to its agreeable nutritious sweetness. A.

163-* After parsnips are boiled, they should be put into the frying-pan and browned a little. Some people do not admire this vegetable, on account of its sickish sweetness. It is, however, a wholesome, cheap, and nourishing vegetable, best calculated for the table in winter and spring. Its sweetness may be modified by mashing with a few potatoes. A.

164-* These, and all other fruits and vegetables, &c., by Mr. Appert’s plan, it is said, may be preserved for twelve months. See Appert’s Book, 12mo. 1812. We have eaten of several specimens of preserved pease, which looked pretty enough,—but flavour they had none at all.

166-* Cucumbers may be cut into quarters and boiled like asparagus, and served up with toasted bread and melted butter. This is a most delicate way of preparing cucumbers for the dinner-table, and they are a most luscious article, and so rich and savoury that a small quantity will suffice.

The ordinary method of cutting cucumbers into slices with raw onions, served up in vinegar, and seasoned with salt and pepper, is most vulgar and most unwholesome. In their season they are cheap and plenty; and as they are crude and unripe they require the stomach of an ostrich to digest them. They cause much sickness in their season, creating choleras, cramps, and dysenteries. If stewed or boiled as above directed, they would be more nutritious and wholesome. A.


FISH.

See Obs. on Codfish after No. 149.

Turbot to boil.—(No. 140).

This excellent fish is in season the greatest part of the summer; when good, it is at once firm and tender, and abounds with rich gelatinous nutriment.

[168]Being drawn, and washed clean, if it be quite fresh, by rubbing it lightly with salt, and keeping it in a cold place, you may in moderate weather preserve it for a couple of days.168-*

An hour or two before you dress it, soak it in spring-water with some salt in it, then score the skin across the thickest part of the back, to prevent its breaking on the breast, which will happen from the fish swelling, and cracking the skin, if this precaution be not used. Put a large handful of salt into a fish-kettle with cold water, lay your fish on a fish-strainer, put it in, and when it is coming to a boil, skim it well; then set the kettle on the side of the fire, to boil as gently as possible for about fifteen or twenty minutes (if it boils fast, the fish will break to pieces); supposing it a middling-sized turbot, and to weigh eight or nine pounds.

Rub a little of the inside red coral spawn of the lobster through a hair sieve, without butter; and when the turbot is dished, sprinkle the spawn over it. Garnish the dish with sprigs of curled parsley, sliced lemon, and finely-scraped horseradish.

If you like to send it to table in full dress, surround it with nicely-fried smelts (No. 173), gudgeons are often used for this purpose, and may be bought very cheap when smelts are very dear; lay the largest opposite the broadest part of the turbot, so that they may form a well-proportioned fringe for it; or oysters (No. 183*); or cut a sole in strips, crossways, about the size of a smelt; fry them as directed in No. 145, and lay them round. Send up lobster sauce (No. 284); two boats of it, if it is for a large party.

N.B. Cold turbot, with No. 372 for sauce; or take off the fillets that are left as soon as the turbot returns from table, and they will make a side dish for your next dinner, warmed in No. 364—2.

Obs. The thickest part is the favourite; and the carver of[169] this fish must remember to ask his friends if they are fin-fanciers. It will save a troublesome job to the carver, if the cook, when the fish is boiled, cuts the spine-bone across the middle.

A Brill,—(No. 143.)

Is dressed the same way as a turbot.

Soles to boil.—(No. 144.)

A fine, fresh, thick sole is almost as good eating as a turbot.

Wash and clean it nicely; put it into a fish-kettle with a handful of salt, and as much cold water as will cover it; set it on the side of the fire, take off the scum as it rises, and let it boil gently; about five minutes (according to its size) will be long enough, unless it be very large. Send it up on a fish-drainer, garnished with slices of lemon and sprigs of curled parsley, or nicely-fried smelts (No. 173), or oysters (No. 183).

Obs. Slices of lemon are a universally acceptable garnish with either fried or broiled fish: a few sprigs of crisp parsley may be added, if you wish to make it look very smart; and parsley, or fennel and butter, are excellent sauces (see Nos. 261 and 265), or chervil sauce (No. 264), anchovy (No. 270).

N.B. Boiled soles are very good warmed up like eels, Wiggy’s way (No. 164), or covered with white sauce (No. 364—2; and see No. 158).

Soles, or other Fish, to fry.—(No. 145.)

Soles are generally to be procured good from some part of the coast, as some are going out of season, and some coming in, both at the same time; a great many are brought in well-boats alive, that are caught off Dover and Folkstone, and some are brought from the same places by land-carriage. The finest soles are caught off Plymouth, near the Eddystone, and all the way up the channel, and to Torbay; and frequently weigh eight or ten pounds per pair: they are generally brought by water to Portsmouth, and thence by land; but the greatest quantity are caught off Yarmouth and the Knole, and off the Forelands.

Be sure they are quite fresh, or the cleverest cook cannot make them either look or eat well.

An hour before you intend to dress them, wash them[170] thoroughly, and wrap them in a clean cloth, to make them perfectly dry, or the bread-crumbs will not stick to them.

Prepare some bread-crumbs,170-* by rubbing some stale bread through a colander; or, if you wish the fish to appear very delicate and highly-finished, through a hair-sieve; or use biscuit powder.

Beat the yelk and white of an egg well together, on a plate, with a fork; flour your fish, to absorb any moisture that may remain, and wipe it off with a clean cloth; dip them in the egg on both sides all over, or, what is better, egg them with a paste-brush; put the egg on in an even degree over the whole fish, or the bread-crumbs will not stick to it even, and the uneven part will burn to the pan. Strew the bread-crumbs all over the fish, so that they cover every part, take up the fish by the head, and shake off the loose crumbs. The fish is now ready for the frying-pan.

Put a quart or more of fresh sweet olive-oil, or clarified butter (No. 259), dripping (No. 83), lard,170-† or clarified drippings (No. 83); be sure they are quite sweet and perfectly clean (the fat ought to cover the fish): what we here order is for soles about ten inches long; if larger, cut them into pieces the proper size to help at table; this will save much time and trouble to the carver: when you send them to table, lay them in the same form they were before they were cut, and you may strew a little curled parsley over them: they are much easier managed in the frying-pan, and require less fat: fry the thick part a few minutes before you put in the thin, you can by this means only fry the thick part enough, without frying the thin too much. Very large soles should be boiled (No. 144), or fried in fillets (No. 147). Soles cut in pieces, crossways, about the size of a smelt, make a very pretty garnish for stewed fish and boiled fish.

Set the frying-pan over a sharp and clear fire; watch it, skim it with an egg-slice, and when it boils,170-‡ i. e. when it has done bubbling, and the smoke just begins to rise from the surface, put in the fish: if the fat is not extremely hot, it is impossible to fry fish of a good colour, or to keep[171] them firm and crisp. (Read the 3d chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.)

The best way to ascertain the heat of the fat, is to try it with a bit of bread as big as a nut; if it is quite hot enough, the bread will brown immediately. Put in the fish, and it will be crisp and brown on the side next the fire, in about four or five minutes; to turn it, stick a two-pronged fork near the head, and support the tail with a fish-slice, and fry the other side nearly the same length of time.

Fry one sole at a time, except the pan is very large, and you have plenty of fat.

When the fish are fried, lay them on a soft cloth (old tablecloths are best), near enough the fire to keep them warm; turn them every two or three minutes, till they are quite dry on both sides; this common cooks commonly neglect. It will take ten or fifteen minutes,171-* if the fat you fried them in was not hot enough; when it is, they want very little drying. When soles are fried, they will keep very good in a dry place for three or four days; warm them by hanging them on the hooks in a Dutch oven, letting them heat very gradually, by putting it some distance from the fire for about twenty minutes, or in good gravy, as eels, Wiggy’s way (Nos. 164, 299, 337, or 356).

Obs. There are several general rules in this receipt which apply to all fried fish: we have been very particular and minute in our directions; for, although a fried sole is so frequent and favourite a dish, it is very seldom brought to table in perfection.171-†

Soles to stew.—(No. 146.)

These are half fried, and then done the same as eels, Wiggy’s way. See No. 164.

Fillets of Soles, brown or white.—(No. 147.)

Take off the fillets very nicely, trim them neatly, and[172] press them dry between a soft cloth; egg, crumb, and fry them, &c. as directed in No. 145, or boil them, and serve them with No. 364—2.

N.B. This is one of the best ways of dressing very large soles. See also No. 164.

Skate,172-*—(No. 148.)

Is very good when in good season, but no fish so bad when it is otherwise: those persons that like it firm and dry, should have it crimped; but those that like it tender, should have it plain, and eat it not earlier than the second day, and if cold weather, three or four days old it is better: it cannot be kept too long, if perfectly sweet. Young skate eats very fine crimped and fried. See No. 154.

Cod boiled.—(No. 149.)

Wash and clean the fish, and rub a little salt in the inside of it (if the weather is very cold, a large cod is the better for being kept a day): put plenty of water in your fish-kettle, so that the fish may be well covered; put in a large handful of salt; and when it is dissolved, put in your fish; a very small fish will require from fifteen to twenty minutes after the water boils, a large one about half an hour; drain it on the fish-plate; dish it with a garnish of the roe, liver, chitterlings, &c. or large native oysters, fried a light brown (see No. 183*), or smelts (No. 173), whitings (No. 153), the tail172-† of the cod cut in slices, or bits the size and shape of[173] oysters, or split it, and fry it. Scolloped oysters (No. 182), oyster sauce (No. 278), slices of cod cut about half an inch thick, and fried as soles (No. 145), are very nice.

Mem.—The SOUNDS (the jelly parts about the jowl), the palate, and the tongue are esteemed exquisites by piscivorous epicures, whose longing eyes will keep a sharp look-out for a share of their favourite “bonne bouche:” the carver’s reputation depends much on his equitable distribution of them.173-*

Salt Fish boiled.—(No. 150.)

Salt fish requires soaking, according to the time it has been in salt; trust not to those you buy it of, but taste a bit of one of the flakes; that which is hard and dry requires two nights’ soaking, changing the water two or three times; the intermediate day, lay it on a stone floor: for barrelled cod less time will do; and for the best Dogger-bank split fish, which has not been more than a fortnight or three weeks in salt, still less will be needful.

Put it into plenty of cold water, and let it simmer very gently till it is enough; if the water boils, the fish will be tough and thready.173-† For egg sauce, see No. 267; and to boil red beet-root, No. 127; parsnips, No. 128; Carrots, No. 129. Garnish salt fish with the yelks of eggs cut into quarters.

Obs.—Our favourite vegetable accompaniment is a dish of equal parts of red beet-root and parsnips.

N.B. Salted fish differs in quality quite as much as it does in price.

[174]

Slices of Cod boiled.—(No. 151.)

Half an hour before you dress them, put them into cold spring-water with some salt in it.

Lay them at the bottom of a fish-kettle, with as much cold spring-water as will cover them, and some salt; set it on a quick fire, and when it boils, skim it, and set it on one side of the fire to boil very gently, for about ten minutes, according to its size and thickness. Garnish with scraped horseradish, slices of lemon, and a slice of the liver on one side, and chitterling on the other. Oyster sauce (No. 278), and plain butter.

Obs.—Slices of cod (especially the tail, split) are very good, fried like soles (No. 145), or stewed in gravy like eels (No. 164, or No. 364—2).174-*

Fresh Sturgeon.—(No. 152.)

The best mode of dressing this, is to have it cut in thin slices like veal cutlets, and broiled, and rubbed over with a bit of butter and a little pepper, and served very hot, and eaten with a squeeze of lemon-juice. Great care, however, must be taken to cut off the skin before it is broiled, as the oil in the skin, if burned, imparts a disgusting flavour to the fish. The flesh is very fine, and comes nearer to veal, perhaps, than even turtle.

Sturgeon is frequently plentiful and reasonable in the London shops. We prefer this mode of dressing it to the more savoury one of stewing it in rich gravy, like carp, &c. which overpowers the peculiar flavour of the fish.174-†

Whitings fried.—(No. 153.)

Skin174-‡ them, preserve the liver (see No. 228), and fasten their tails to their mouths; dip them in egg, then in bread-crumbs, and fry them in hot lard (read No. 145), or split them, and fry them like fillets of soles (No. 147).

A three-quart stew-pan, half full of fat, is the best utensil to fry whitings. They will be done enough in about five[175] minutes; but it will sometimes require a quarter of an hour to drain the fat from them and dry them (if the fat you put them into was not hot enough), turning them now and then with a fish-slice.

Obs.—When whitings are scarce, the fishmongers can skin and truss young codlings, so that you can hardly tell the difference, except that a codling wears a beard, and a whiting does not: this distinguishing mark is sometimes cut off; however, if you turn up his jowl, you may see the mark where the beard was, and thus discover whether he be a real whiting, or a shaved codling.

Skate fried.—(No. 154.)

After you have cleaned the fish, divide it into fillets; dry them on a clean cloth; beat the yelk and white of an egg thoroughly together, dip the fish in this, and then in fine bread-crumbs; fry it in hot lard or drippings till it is of a delicate brown colour; lay it on a hair-sieve to drain; garnish with crisp parsley (No. 318), and some like caper sauce, with an anchovy in it.

Plaice or Flounders, fried or boiled.—(No. 155.)

Flounders are perhaps the most difficult fish to fry very nicely. Clean them well, flour them, and wipe them with a dry cloth to absorb all the water from them; flour or egg and bread-crumb them, &c. as directed in No. 145.

To boil Flounders.

Wash and clean them well, cut the black side of them the same as you do turbot, then put them into a fish-kettle, with plenty of cold water and a handful of salt; when they come to a boil, skim them clean, and let them stand by the side of the fire for five minutes, and they are ready.

Obs.—Eaten with plain melted butter and a little salt, you have the sweet delicate flavour of the flounder, which is overpowered by any sauce.

Water Souchy,175-*—(No. 156.)

Is made with flounders, whitings, gudgeons, or eels. These[176] must be quite fresh, and very nicely cleaned; for what they are boiled in, is the sauce for them.

Wash, gut, and trim your fish, cut them into handsome pieces, and put them into a stew-pan with just as much water as will cover them, with some parsley, or parsley-roots sliced, an onion minced fine, and a little pepper and salt (to this some cooks add some scraped horseradish and a bay leaf); skim it carefully when it boils; when your fish is done enough (which it will be in a few minutes), send it up in a deep dish, lined with bread sippets, and some slices of bread and butter on a plate.

Obs.—Some cooks thicken the liquor the fish has been stewing in with flour and butter, and flavour it with white wine, lemon-juice, essence of anchovy, and catchup; and boil down two or three flounders, &c. to make a fish broth to boil the other fish in, observing, that the broth cannot be good unless the fish are boiled too much.

Haddock boiled.—(No. 157.)

Wash it well, and put it on to boil, as directed in No. 149; a haddock of three pounds will take about ten minutes after the kettle boils.

Haddocks, salted a day or two, are eaten with egg sauce, or cut in fillets, and fried. Or, if small, very well broiled, or baked, with a pudding in their belly, and some good gravy.

Obs. A piscivorous epicure protests that “Haddock is the poorest fish that swims, and has neither the delicacy of the whiting, nor the juicyness of the cod.”176-*

Findhorn Haddocks.—(No. 157*.)

Let the fish be well cleaned, and laid in salt for two hours; let the water drain from them, and then wet them with the pyroligneous acid; they may be split or not: they are then to be hung in a dry situation for a day or two, or a week or two, if you please; when broiled, they have all the flavour of the Findhorn haddock, and will keep sweet for a long time.

The pyroligneous acid, applied in the same way to beef or mutton, gives the fine smoke flavour, and may be kept for a considerable length of time.

Scotch way of dressing haddocks.—A haddock is quite like a different fish in London and in Edinburgh, which arises[177] chiefly from the manner in which they are treated: a haddock should never appear at table with its head and skin on. For boiling, they are all the better for lying a night in salt; of course they do not take so long to boil without the skin, and require to be well skimmed to preserve the colour. After lying in salt for a night, if you hang them up for a day or two, they are very good broiled and served with cold butter. For frying, they should be split and boned very carefully, and divided into convenient pieces, if too large to halve merely; egg and crumb them, and fry in a good deal of lard; they resemble soles when dressed in this manner. There is another very delicate mode of dressing them; you split the fish, rub it well with butter, and do it before the fire in a Dutch oven.

To stew Cod’s Skull, Sole, Carp, Trout, Perch, Eel, or Flounder.No. 158. (See also No. 164.)

When the fish has been properly washed, lay it in a stew-pan, with half a pint of claret or port wine, and a quart of good gravy (No. 329); a large onion, a dozen berries of black pepper, the same of allspice, and a few cloves, or a bit of mace: cover the fish-kettle close, and let it stew gently for ten or twenty minutes, according to the thickness of the fish: take the fish up, lay it on a hot dish, cover it up, and thicken the liquor it was stewed in with a little flour, and season it with pepper, salt, essence of anchovy, mushroom catchup, and a little Chili vinegar; when it has boiled ten minutes, strain it through a tamis, and pour it over the fish: if there is more sauce than the dish will hold, send the rest up in a boat.

The river trout comes into season in April, and continues till July; it is a delicious fish; those caught near Uxbridge come to town quite alive.

The eels and perch from the same water are very fine.

Obs.—These fish are very nice plain boiled, with No. 261, or No. 264, for sauce; some cooks dredge them with flour, and fry them a light brown before they put them on to stew, and stuff them with No. 374, or some of the stuffings following.

To dress them maigre.

Put the fish into a stew-pan, with a large onion, four cloves, fifteen berries of allspice, and the same of black pepper; just cover them with boiling water, set it where they will simmer gently for ten or twenty minutes, accord[178]ing to the size of the fish; strain off the liquor in another stew-pan, leaving the fish to keep warm till the sauce is ready.

Rub together on a plate as much flour and butter as will make the sauce as thick as a double cream. Each pint of sauce season with a glass of wine, half as much mushroom catchup, a tea-spoonful of essence of anchovy, and a few grains of Cayenne; let it boil a few minutes, put the fish on a deep dish, strain the gravy over it; garnish it with sippets of bread toasted or fried (No. 319).

N.B. The editor has paid particular attention to the above receipt, and also to No. 224, which Catholics, and those whose religious tenets do not allow them to eat meat on maigre days, will find a very satisfactory substitute for the meat gravy soup (No. 200).

For sauce for maigre dishes, see Nos. 225, 305, and 364—2.

Obs. Mushroom catchup (No. 439) and onions (No. 402) supply the place of meat better than any thing; if you have not these, wine, spice (No. 457), curry powder (No. 455), aromatic roots and herbs, anchovy and soy, or oyster catchup (No. 441), variously combined, and thickened with flour and butter, are convenient substitutes.

Maigre Fish Pies.

Salt-fish pie. The thickest part must be chosen, and put in cold water to soak the night before wanted; then boil it well, take it up, take away the bones and skin, and if it is good fish it will be in fine layers; set it on a fish-drainer to get cold: in the mean time, boil four eggs hard, peel and slice them very thin, the same quantity of onion sliced thin; line the bottom of a pie-dish with fish forcemeat (No. 383), or a layer of potatoes sliced thin, then a layer of onions, then of fish, and of eggs, and so on till the dish is full; season each layer with a little pepper, then mix a tea-spoonful of made mustard, the same of essence of anchovy, a little mushroom catchup, in a gill of water, put it in the dish, then put on the top an ounce of fresh butter broke in bits; cover it with puff paste, and bake it one hour.

Fresh cod may be done in the same way, by adding a little salt.

All fish for making pies, whether soles, flounders, herrings, salmon, lobster, eels, trout, tench, &c. should be dressed first; this is the most economical way for Catholic families,[179] as what is boiled one day will make excellent pies or patties the next.

If you intend it for pies, take the skin off, and the bones out; lay your salmon, soles, turbot, or codfish, in layers, and season each layer with equal quantities of pepper, allspice, mace, and salt, till the dish is full. Save a little of the liquor that the fish was boiled in; set it on the fire with the bones and skin of the fish, boil it a quarter of an hour, then strain it through a sieve, let it settle, and pour it in the dish; cover it with puff-paste; bake it about an hour and a quarter. Shrimps, prawns, or oysters added, will improve the above; if for patties, they must be cut in small pieces, and dressed in a bechamel sauce (No. 364).

Cod-sounds for a pie should be soaked at least twenty-four hours, then well washed, and put on a cloth to dry. Put in a stew-pan two ounces of fresh butter, with four ounces of sliced onions; fry them of a nice brown, then put in a small table-spoonful of flour, and add half a pint of boiling water; when smooth, put in about ten cod-sounds, and season them with a little pepper, a glass of white wine, a tea-spoonful of essence of anchovy, the juice of half a lemon; stir it well together, put it in a pie-dish, cover it with paste, and bake it one hour.

Perch, Roach, Dace, Gudgeons, &c. fried.—(No. 159.)

Wash the fish well, wipe them on a dry cloth, flour them lightly all over, and fry them ten minutes (No. 145) in hot lard or drippings; lay them on a hair-sieve to drain; send them up on a hot dish, garnished with sprigs of green parsley. Anchovy sauce, Nos. 270 and 433.

Perch boiled.179-*—(No. 160.)

Clean them carefully, and put them in a fish-kettle, with as much cold spring-water as will cover them, with a handful of salt; set them on a quick fire till they boil; when they boil, set them on one side to boil gently for about ten minutes, according to their size.

Salmon, Herrings, Sprats, Mackerel, &c. pickled.—(No. 161.)

Cut the fish into proper pieces; do not take off the scales; make a brine strong enough to bear an egg, in which boil the fish; it must be boiled in only just liquor enough to cover it;[180] do not overboil it. When the fish is boiled, lay it slantingly to drain off all the liquor; when cold, pack it close in the kits, and fill them up with equal parts of the liquor the salmon was boiled in (having first well skimmed it), and best vinegar (No. 24); let them rest for a day; fill up again, striking the sides of the kit with a cooper’s adze, until the kit will receive no more; then head them down as close as possible.

Obs. This is in the finest condition when fresh. Salmon is most plentiful about midsummer; the season for it is from February to September. Some sprigs of fresh-gathered young fennel are the accompaniments.

N.B. The three indispensable marks of the goodness of pickled salmon are, 1st, The brightness of the scales, and their sticking fast to the skin; 2dly, The firmness of the flesh; and, 3dly, Its fine, pale-red rose colour. Without these it is not fit to eat, and was either stale before it was pickled, or has been kept too long after.

The above was given us as the actual practice of those who pickle it for the London market.

N.B. Pickled salmon warmed by steam, or in its pickle liquor, is a favourite dish at Newcastle.

Salmon180-* boiled.—(No. 162.)

Put on a fish-kettle, with spring-water enough to well cover the salmon you are going to dress, or the salmon will neither look nor taste well: (boil the liver in a separate saucepan.) When the water boils, put in a handful of salt:[181] take off the scum as soon as it rises; have the fish well washed; put it in, and if it is thick, let it boil very gently. Salmon requires almost as much boiling as meat; about a quarter of an hour to a pound of fish: but practice only can perfect the cook in dressing salmon. A quarter of a salmon will take almost as long boiling as half a one: you must consider the thickness, not the weight: ten pounds of fine full-grown salmon will be done in an hour and a quarter. Lobster Sauce, No. 284.

Obs. The thinnest part of the fish is the fattest; and if you have a “grand gourmand” at table, ask him if he is for thick or thin.

The Thames salmon is preferred in the London market; and some epicures pretend to be able to distinguish by the taste, in which reach of the river it was caught!!!

N.B. If you have any left, put it into a pie-dish, and cover it with an equal portion of vinegar and pump-water, and a little salt: it will be ready in three days.

Fresh Salmon broiled.—(No. 163.)

Clean the salmon well, and cut it into slices about an inch and a half thick; dry it thoroughly in a clean cloth; rub it over with sweet oil, or thick melted butter, and sprinkle a little salt over it: put your gridiron over a clear fire, at some distance; when it is hot wipe it clean; rub it with sweet oil or lard; lay the salmon on, and when it is done on one side, turn it gently and broil the other. Anchovy sauce, &c.

Obs. An oven does them best.

Soles or Eels,181-* &c. &c. stewed Wiggy’s way.—(No. 164.)

Take two pounds of fine silver181-† eels: the best are those that are rather more than a half-crown piece in circumference, quite fresh, full of life, and “as brisk as an eel:” such as have been kept out of water till they can scarce stir, are good for nothing: gut them, rub them with salt till the slime is cleaned from them, wash them in several different waters, and divide them into pieces about four inches long.

Some cooks, after skinning them, dredge them with a little flour, wipe them dry, and then egg and crumb them, and fry[182] them in drippings till they are brown, and lay them to dry on a hair sieve.

Have ready a quart of good beef gravy (No. 329); it must be cold when you put the eels into it: set them on a slow fire to simmer very gently for about a quarter of an hour, according to the size of the eels; watch them, that they are not done too much; take them carefully out of the stew-pan with a fish-slice, so as not to tear their coats, and lay them on a dish about two inches deep.

Or, if for maigre days, when you have skinned your eels, throw the skins into salt and water; wash them well; then put them into a stew-pan with a quart of water, two onions, with two cloves stuck in each, and one blade of mace; let it boil twenty minutes, and strain it through a sieve into a basin.

Make the sauce about as thick as cream, by mixing a little flour with it; put in also two table-spoonfuls of port wine, and one of mushroom catchup, or cavice: stir it into the sauce by degrees, give it a boil, and strain it to the fish through a sieve.

N.B. If mushroom sauce (Nos. 225, 305, or 333), or white sauce (No. 364—2), be used instead of beef gravy, this will be one of the most relishing maigre dishes we know.

Obs. To kill eels instantly, without the horrid torture of cutting and skinning them alive, pierce the spinal marrow, close to the back part of the skull, with a sharp-pointed skewer: if this be done in the right place, all motion will instantly cease. The humane executioner does certain criminals the favour to hang them before he breaks them on the wheel.

To fry Eels.—(No. 165.)

Skin and gut them, and wash them well in cold water, cut them in pieces four inches long, season them with pepper and salt; beat an egg well on a plate, dip them in the egg, and then in fine bread-crumbs; fry them in fresh, clean lard; drain them well from the fat; garnish with crisp parsley. For sauce, plain and melted butter, sharpened with lemon-juice, or parsley and butter.

Spitchocked Eels.—(No. 166.)

This the French cooks call the English way of dressing eels.

Take two middling-sized silver eels, leave the skin on, scour them with salt, and wash them, cut off the heads, slit[183] them on the belly side, and take out the bones and guts, and wash and wipe them nicely; then cut them into pieces about three inches long, and wipe them quite dry; put two ounces of butter into a stew-pan with a little minced parsley, thyme, sage, pepper, and salt, and a very little chopped eschalot; set the stew-pan over the fire; when the butter is melted, stir the ingredients together, and take it off the fire, mix the yelks of two eggs with them, and dip the eel in, a piece at a time, and then roll them in bread-crumbs, making as much stick to them as you can; then rub the gridiron with a bit of suet, set it high over a very clear fire, and broil your eels of a fine crisp brown. Dish them with crisp parsley, and send up with plain butter in a boat, and anchovy and butter.

Obs. We like them better with the skin off; it is very apt to offend delicate stomachs.

Mackerel boiled.183-*—(No. 167.)

This fish loses its life as soon as it leaves the sea, and the fresher it is the better.

Wash and clean them thoroughly (the fishmongers seldom do this sufficiently), put them into cold water with a handful of salt in it; let them rather simmer than boil; a small mackerel will be done enough in about a quarter of an hour; when the eye starts and the tail splits, they are done; do not let them stand in the water a moment after; they are so delicate that the heat of the water will break them.

This fish, in London, is rarely fresh enough to appear at table in perfection; and either the mackerel is boiled too much, or the roe183-† too little. The best way is to open a slit opposite the middle of the roe, you can then clean it properly; this will allow the water access, and the roe will then be done as soon as the fish, which it seldom is otherwise; some sagacious gourmands insist upon it they must be taken out and boiled separately. For sauce, see Nos. 263, 265, and 266; and you may garnish them with pats of minced fennel.

[184]N.B. The common notion is, that mackerel are in best condition when fullest of roe; however, the fish at that time is only valuable for its roe, the meat of it has scarcely any flavour.

Mackerel generally make their appearance off the Land’s End about the beginning of April; and as the weather gets warm they gradually come round the coast, and generally arrive off Brighton about May, and continue for some months, until they begin to shoot their spawn.

After they have let go their roes, they are called shotten mackerel, and are not worth catching; the roe, which was all that was good of them, being gone.

It is in the early season, when they have least roe, that the flesh of this fish is in highest perfection. There is also an after-season, when a few fine large mackerel are taken, (i. e. during the herring season, about October,) which some piscivorous epicures are very partial to; these fish having had time to fatten and recover their health, are full of high flavour, and their flesh is firm and juicy: they are commonly called silver mackerel, from their beautiful appearance, their colour being almost as bright when boiled as it was the moment they were caught.

Mackerel broiled.—(No. 169.)

Clean a fine large mackerel, wipe it on a dry cloth, and cut a long slit down the back; lay it on a clean gridiron, over a very clear, slow fire; when it is done on one side, turn it; be careful that it does not burn; send it up with fennel sauce (No. 265); mix well together a little finely minced fennel and parsley, seasoned with a little pepper and salt, a bit of fresh butter, and when the mackerel are ready for the table, put some of this into each fish.

Mackerel baked.184-*—(No. 170.)

Cut off their heads, open them, and take out the roes and clean them thoroughly; rub them on the inside with a little pepper and salt, put the roes in again, season them (with a mixture of powdered allspice, black pepper, and salt, well rubbed together), and lay them close in a baking-pan, cover them with equal quantities of cold vinegar and water, tie them down with strong white paper doubled, and bake[185] them for an hour in a slow oven. They will keep for a fortnight.

Pickled Mackerel, Herrings, or Sprats.—(No. 171.)

Procure them as fresh as possible, split them, take off the heads, and trim off the thin part of the belly, put them into salt and water for one hour, drain and wipe your fish, and put them into jars or casks, with the following preparation, which is enough for three dozen mackerel. Take salt and bay-salt, one pound each, saltpetre and lump-sugar, two ounces each; grind and pound the salt, &c. well together, put the fish into jars or casks, with a layer of the preparation at the bottom, then a layer of mackerel with the skin-side downwards, so continue alternately till the cask or jar is full; press it down and cover it close. In about three months they will be fit for use.

Sprats broiled.—(No. 170*—Fried, see No. 173.)

If you have not a sprat gridiron, get a piece of pointed iron wire as thick as packthread, and as long as your gridiron is broad; run this through the heads of your sprats, sprinkle a little flour and salt over them, put your gridiron over a clear, quick fire, turn them in about a couple of minutes; when the other side is brown, draw out the wire, and send up the fish with melted butter in a cup.

Obs. That sprats are young herrings, is evident by their anatomy, in which there is no perceptible difference. They appear very soon after the herrings are gone, and seem to be the spawn just vivified.

Sprats stewed.—(No. 170**.)

Wash and dry your sprats, and lay them as level as you can in a stew-pan, and between every layer of sprats put three peppercorns, and as many allspice, with a few grains of salt; barely cover them with vinegar, and stew them one hour over a slow fire; they must not boil: a bay-leaf is sometimes added. Herrings or mackerel may be stewed the same way.

To fry sprats, see No. 173.

Herrings broiled.—(No. 171*.)

Wash them well, then dry them with a cloth, dust them with flour, and broil them over a slow fire till they are well done. Send up melted butter in a boat.

[186]Obs. For a particular account of herrings, see Solas Dodd’s Natural Hist. of Herrings, in 178 pages, 8vo. 1752.

Red Herrings, and other dried Fish,—(No. 172.)

“Should be cooked in the same manner as now practised by the poor in Scotland. They soak them in water until they become pretty fresh; they are then hung up in the sun and wind, on a stick through their eyes, to dry; and then boiled or broiled. In this way they eat almost as well as if they were new caught.” See the Hon. John Cochrane’s Seaman’s Guide, 8vo. 1797, p. 34.

“Scotch haddocks should be soaked all night. You may boil or broil them; if you broil, split them in two.

“All the different sorts of dried fish, except stock fish, are salted, dried in the sun in prepared kilns, or by the smoke of wood fires, and require to be softened and freshened, in proportion to their bulk, nature, or dryness; the very dry sort, as cod, whiting, &c. should be steeped in lukewarm water, kept as near as possible to an equal degree of heat. The larger fish should be steeped twelve hours, the smaller about two; after which they should be taken out and hung up by the tails until they are dressed. The reason for hanging them up is, that they soften equally as in the steeping, without extracting too much of the relish, which would render them insipid. When thus prepared, the small fish, as whiting, tusks, &c. should be floured and laid on the gridiron; and when a little hardened on one side, must be turned and basted with sweet oil upon a feather; and when basted on both sides, and well heated through, taken up. A clear charcoal fire is the best for cooking them, and the fish should be kept at a good distance, to broil gradually. When they are done enough they will swell a little in the basting, and you must not let them fall again. If boiled, as the larger fish generally are, they should be kept just simmering over an equal fire, in which way half an hour will do the largest fish, and five minutes the smallest.

“Dried salmon, though a large fish, does not require more steeping than a whiting; and when laid on the gridiron should be moderately peppered. To herring and to all kinds of broiled salt fish, sweet oil is the best basting.”

The above is from Macdonald’s London Family Cook, 8vo. 1808, p. 139.

Obs. Dr. Harte, in his Essay on Diet, 1633, fol. p. 91, protests, “a red herring doth nourish little, and is hard of con[187]coction, but very good to make a cup of good drink relish well, and may be well called ‘the drunkard’s delight.’”

Smelts, Gudgeons, Sprats, or other small Fish, fried.—(No. 173.)

Clean and dry them thoroughly in a cloth, fry them plain, or beat an egg on a plate, dip them in it, and then in very fine bread-crumbs that have been rubbed through a sieve; the smaller the fish, the finer should be the bread-crumbs—biscuit powder is still better; fry them in plenty of clean lard or drippings; as soon as the lard boils and is still, put in the fish; when they are delicately browned, they are done; this will hardly take two minutes. Drain them on a hair-sieve, placed before the fire, turning them till quite dry. Obs. Read No. 145.

“Smelts are allowed to be caught in the Thames, on the first of November, and continue till May. The Thames smelts are the best and sweetest, for two reasons; they are fresher and richer than any other you can get: they catch them much more plentiful and larger in Lancashire and Norfolk, but not so good: a great many are brought to town from Norfolk, but barely come good, as they are a fish which should always be eaten fresh; indeed, all river fish should be eaten fresh, except salmon, which, unless crimped, eats better the second or third day: but all Thames fish, particularly, should be eaten very fresh; no fish eats so bad kept.”

Potted Prawns, Shrimps, or Cray-fish.—(No. 175.)

Boil them in water with plenty of salt in it. When you have picked them, powder them with a little beaten mace, or grated nutmeg, or allspice, and pepper and salt; add a little cold butter, and pound all well together in a marble mortar till of the consistence of paste. Put it into pots covered with clarified butter, and cover them over with wetted bladder.

Lobster.187-*—(No. 176.)

Buy these alive; the lobster merchants sometimes keep them till they are starved, before they boil them; they are then watery, have not half their flavour, and like other persons that die of a consumption, have lost the calf of their legs.

[188]Choose those that (as an old cook says, are “heavy and lively,” and) are full of motion, which is the index of their freshness.

Those of the middle size are the best. Never take them when the shell is incrusted, which is a sign they are old. The male lobster is preferred to eat, and the female (on account of the eggs) to make sauce of. The hen lobster is distinguished by having a broader tail than the male, and less claws.

Set on a pot, with water salted in the proportion of a table-spoonful of salt to a quart of water; when the water boils, put it in, and keep it boiling briskly from half an hour to an hour, according to its size; wipe all the scum off it, and rub the shell with a very little butter or sweet oil; break off the great claws, crack them carefully in each joint, so that they may not be shattered, and yet come to pieces easily; cut the tail down the middle, and send up the body whole. For sauce, No. 285. To pot lobster, No. 178.

*** These fish come in about April, and continue plentiful till the oyster season returns; after that time they begin to spawn, and seldom open solid.

Crab.—(No. 177.)

The above observations apply to crabs, which should neither be too small nor too large. The best size are those which measure about eight inches across the shoulders.

*** Crabs appear and disappear about the same time as lobsters. The cromer crabs are most esteemed; but numbers are brought from the Isle of Wight.

Potted Lobster or Crab.188-*—(No. 178).

This must be made with fine hen lobsters, when full of spawn: boil them thoroughly (No. 176); when cold, pick out all the solid meat, and pound it in a mortar: it is usual to add, by degrees, (a very little) finely-pounded mace, black or Cayenne pepper, salt, and, while pounding, a little butter. When the whole is well mixed, and beat to the consistence of paste, press it down hard in a preserving-pot, pour clarified butter over it, and cover it with wetted bladder.

Obs.—Some put lobster without pounding it, and only cut it or pull it into such pieces as if it was prepared for sauce, and mince it with the spawn and soft parts and seasoning,[189] and press it together as close as possible; in packing it, place the coral and spawn, &c. in layers, so that it may look regular and handsome when cut out. If you intend it as store (see N.B. to No. 284, to make sauce with), this is the best way to do it; but if for sandwiches, &c. the first is the best, and will keep much longer.

Dressed or buttered lobsters and crabs, are favourite ornamental dishes with those who deck their table merely to please the eye. Our apology for not giving such receipts will be found in Obs. to No. 322.

OYSTERS.189-*—(No. 181.)

The common189-† Colchester and Feversham oysters are brought to market on the 5th of August; the Milton, or, as they are commonly called, the melting natives,189-‡ do not come in till the beginning of October, continue in season till the 12th of May, and approach the meridian of their perfection about Christmas.

Some piscivorous gourmands think that oysters are not best when quite fresh from their beds, and that their flavour is too brackish and harsh, and is much ameliorated by giving them a feed.

To FEED189-§ oysters.—Cover them with clean water, with a pint of salt to about two gallons (nothing else, no oatmeal, flour, nor any other trumpery); this will cleanse them from the mud and sand, &c. of the bed; after they have lain in it twelve hours, change it for fresh salt and water, and in twelve hours more they will be in prime order for the mouth, and remain so two or three days: at the time of high water you may see them open their shells, in expectation of receiving their usual food. This process of feeding oysters is only employed when a great many come up together.

The real Colchester, or Pyfleet barrelled oysters, that are packed at the beds, are better without being put in water:[190] they are carefully and tightly packed, and must not be disturbed till wanted for table. These, in moderate weather, will keep good for a week or ten days.

If an oyster opens his mouth in the barrel, he dies immediately.

To preserve the lives of barrelled oysters, put a heavy weight on the wooden top of the barrel, which is to be placed on the surface of the oysters. This is to be effected by removing the first hoop; the staves will then spread and stand erect, making a wide opening for the head of the barrel to fall down closely on the remaining fish, keeping them close together.

Mem.—The oysters which are commonly sold as barrelled oysters, are merely the smallest natives, selected from the stock, and put into the tub when ordered; and, instead of being of superior quality, are often very inferior. To immature animals there is the same objection as to unripe vegetables.

Obs.—Common people are indifferent about the manner of opening oysters, and the time of eating them after they are opened; nothing, however, is more important in the enlightened eyes of the experienced oyster-eater.

Those who wish to enjoy this delicious restorative in its utmost perfection, must eat it the moment it is opened, with its own gravy in the under shell; if not eaten while absolutely alive, its flavour and spirit are lost.

The true lover of an oyster will have some regard for the feelings of his little favourite, and will never abandon it to the mercy of a bungling operator, but will open it himself, and contrive to detach the fish from the shell so dexterously, that the oyster is hardly conscious he has been ejected from his lodging, till he feels the teeth of the piscivorous gourmand tickling him to death.

N.B. Fish is less nutritious than flesh: as a proof, when the trainer of Newmarket wishes to waste a jockey, he is not allowed meat, nor even pudding, if fish can be had. The white kinds of fish, turbots, soles, whiting, cod, haddock, flounders, smelts, &c. are less nutritious than the oily, fat fish, such as eels, salmon, herrings, sprats, &c.: the latter, however, are more difficult to digest, and often disturb weak stomachs, so that they are obliged to call in the assistance of Cayenne, Cognac, &c.

Shell-fish have long held a high rank in the catalogue of easily digestible and speedily restorative foods; of these the oyster certainly deserves the best character, but we think it has acquired not a little more reputation for these qualities[191] than it deserves; a well-dressed chop191-* or steak, see No. 94, will invigorate the heart in a much higher ratio; to recruit the animal spirits, and support strength, there is nothing equal to animal food; when kept till properly tender, none will give so little trouble to the digestive organs, and so much substantial excitement to the constitution. See note under No. 185.

See Dr. Wallis and Mr. Tyson’s Papers on men’s feeding on flesh, in Phil. Trans. vol. xxii. p. 769 to 774; and Porphyry on Abstinence from Animal Food, translated by Thomas Taylor, 8vo. 1823.

We could easily say as much in praise of mutton as Mr. Ritson has against it, in his “Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food, as a Moral Duty,” 8vo. London, 1802, p. 102. He says, “The Pagan priests were the first eaters of animal food; it corrupted their taste, and so excited them to gluttony, that when they had eaten the same thing repeatedly, their luxurious appetites called for variety. He who had devoured the sheep, longed to masticate the shepherd!!!

“Nature seems to have provided other animals for the food of man, from the astonishing increase of those which instinct points out to him as peculiarly desirable for that purpose. For instance; so quick is the produce of pigeons, that, in the space of four years, 14,760 may come from a single pair; and in the like period, 1,274,840 from a couple of rabbits, this is nothing to the millions of eggs in the milt of a codfish.”

Scolloped Oysters.—(No. 182.) A good way to warm up any cold fish.

Stew the oysters slowly in their own liquor for two or three minutes, take them out with a spoon, beard them, and skim the liquor, put a bit of butter into a stew-pan; when it is melted, add as much fine bread-crumbs as will dry it up, then put to it the oyster liquor, and give it a boil up, put the oysters into scollop-shells that you have buttered, and strewed with bread-crumbs, then a layer of oysters, then of bread-crumbs, and then some more oysters; moisten it with the oyster liquor, cover them with bread-crumbs, put about[192] half a dozen little bits of butter on the top of each, and brown them in a Dutch oven.

Obs. Essence of anchovy, catchup, Cayenne, grated lemon-peel, mace, and other spices, &c. are added by those who prefer piquance to the genuine flavour of the oyster.

Cold fish may be re-dressed the same way.

N.B. Small scollop-shells, or saucers that hold about half a dozen oysters, are the most convenient.

Stewed Oysters.—(No. 182*.)

Large oysters will do for stewing, and by some are preferred; but we love the plump, juicy natives. Stew a couple of dozen of these in their own liquor; when they are coming to a boil, skim well, take them up and beard them; strain the liquor through a tamis-sieve, and lay the oysters on a dish. Put an ounce of butter into a stew-pan; when it is melted, put to it as much flour as will dry it up, the liquor of the oysters, and three table-spoonfuls of milk or cream, and a little white pepper and salt; to this some cooks add a little catchup, or finely-chopped parsley, grated lemon-peel, and juice; let it boil up for a couple of minutes, till it is smooth, then take it off the fire, put in the oysters, and let them get warm (they must not themselves be boiled, or they will become hard); line the bottom and sides of a hash-dish with bread-sippets, and pour your oysters and sauce into it. See Obs. to receipt No. 278.

Oysters fried.192-*—(No. 183.)

The largest and finest oysters are to be chosen for this purpose; simmer them in their own liquor for a couple of minutes, take them out and lay them on a cloth to drain, beard them and then flour them, egg and bread-crumb them, put them into boiling fat, and fry them a delicate brown.

Obs. An elegant garnish for made dishes, stewed rump-steaks, boiled or fried fish, &c.; but they are too hard and dry to be eaten.

168-* “I have ascertained, by many years’ observation, that a turbot kept two or three days is much better eating than a very fresh one.”—Ude’s Cookery, p. 238.

Turbots. The finest brought to the London market are caught off the Dutch coast, or German Ocean, and are brought in well-boats alive. The commencement of the season is generally about March and April, and continues all the summer. Turbots, like other fish, do not spawn all at the same time; therefore, there is always good and bad nearly all the year round. For this year or two past, there has been an immense quantity brought to London, from all parts, and of all qualities: a great many from a new fishery off Hartlepool, which are very handsome-looking turbot, but by no means equal to what are caught off the Dutch coast. Many excellent turbots are caught off Dover and Dungeness; and a large quantity brought from Scotland, packed in ice, which are of a very inferior quality, and are generally to be bought for about one-fourth the price of good turbots.

Brills are generally caught at the same place as turbots, and are generally of the same quality as the turbot, from the different parts.”

170-* A large pair of soles will take the fourth part of a quartern loaf, which now costs twopence halfpenny. Oatmeal is a good substitute for bread-crumbs, and costs comparatively nothing!!

170-† The FAT will do two or three times, if strained through a hair-sieve, and put by; if you do not find it enough, put a little fresh to it. Read No. 83, and the 3d chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery.

170-‡ This requires a heat of upwards of 600 degrees of Fahrenheit’s thermometer:—FRYING is, in fact, boiling in fat.

171-* If you are in haste, lay the sole on a clean, soft cloth, cover it with it, and gently press it upon the fish, to suck up the fat from its surface.

171-† The very indifferent manner in which the operation of frying fish is usually performed, we suppose, produced the following jeu d’esprit, which appeared in The Morning Chronicle:—

“The King’s bench reports have cook’d up an odd dish,
An action for damages, fry versus fish.
But, sure, if for damages action could lie,
It certainly must have been fish against fry.”

The author of The Cook’s Cookery, 8vo. page 116, does not seem to think this fish can be too fresh; for he commences his directions with, “If you can, get a cod hot out of the sea,” &c.

172-* The skate comes to the New-York market in the spring, but is not esteemed, as we have many better fish. The part about the flap or side-fin is best. A.

172-† The TAIL is so much thinner than the thick part of the body, that, if boiled together, the former will be boiled too much, before the latter is done enough; therefore it should be dressed separate; and the best way of cooking it is to fry it in slices or fillets. See No. 151.

Cod generally comes into good season in October, when, if the weather is cold, it eats as fine as at any time in the year; towards the latter end of January and February, and part of March, they are mostly poor; but the latter end of March, April, and May, they are generally particularly fine; having shot their spawn, they come in fine order. The Dogger-bank cod are the most esteemed, as they generally cut in large, fine flakes; the north-country cod, which are caught off the Orkney Isles, are generally very stringy, or what is commonly called woolly, and sell at a very inferior price, but are caught in much greater abundance than the Dogger cod. The cod are all caught with hook, and brought alive in well-boats to the London markets. The cod cured on the Dogger-bank is remarkably fine, and seldom cured above two or three weeks before brought to market; the barrel cod is commonly cured on the coast of Scotland and Yorkshire. There is a great deal of inferior cured salt-fish brought from Newfoundland and Iceland.

“The SKULL of a Dogger-bank cod is one of those concatenations of tit-bits which some epicures are fond of, either baked or boiled: it is composed of lots of pretty playthings or such finery, but will not do for those who want a good meal: it may be bought for about 2s.: either boil it whole, or cut it into pieces, flour and dry them, and then egg and crumb, and fry them, or stew it (No. 158).

“The TAIL of a cod cut in fillets or slices, and fried, makes a good dish, and is generally to be bought at a very reasonable rate; if boiled, it is soft and watery. The skull and tail of a cod is a favourite and excellent Scotch dish, stewed, and served up with anchovy or oyster sauce, with the liquor it is boiled in, in a tureen.

Ling is brought to the London market in the same manner as cod, but is very inferior to it, either fresh or salt.”

173-* There are several species of codfish sold alive in the New-York markets: of these, the common cod is the best, and is in season from November till spring. The price varies from three to six cents the pound, as the market is well or scantily supplied. The head and shoulders of a large cod, boiled, is the best part to grace the dinner-table. It is full of rich gelatinous matter, which is savoury and easy of digestion. Cod’s sounds and tongues are found on the stalls of the fishmongers in the winter season. They are rich and nourishing, and may be prepared to garnish the dish, or served up separately boiled. A.

173-† “In the sea-port towns of the New-England states in North America, it has been a custom, time immemorial, among people of fashion, to dine one day in the week (Saturday) on salt fish; and a long habit of preparing the same dish has, as might have been expected, led to very considerable improvements in the art of cooking it. I have often heard foreigners declare, that they never tasted salt fish dressed in such perfection: the secret of cooking it, is to keep it for several hours in water that is just scalding hot, but which is never made actually to boil.”—Count Rumford’s 10th Essay, p. 18.

174-* That part of a cod which is near the tail, is considered, in America, as the poorest part of the fish. A.

174-† Sturgeons, though sea-fish, ascend the fresh water rivers, and in the Hudson are taken 80 miles above the salt water. They were formerly called Albany beef, having been in plenty and cheap in the market of that city. They are not, however, esteemed even there; and since the running of the steamboats, and the quickness of their passages, all the valuable fish of the sea-coast are found in that inland city. A.

174-‡ The French do not flay them, but split them, dip them in flour, and fry them in hot dripping.

175-* One of my culinary counsellors says, the heading of this receipt should be, “How to dress a good dish of fish while the cloth is laying.” If the articles are ready, twelve minutes will do it, with very little trouble or expense. For richer stewed fish, see No. 164.

176-* Our experience goes to substantiate the same point. A.

179-* The perch of New-York are a small fresh-water fish, and seldom boiled, being better calculated for frying or broiling, as a relish at breakfast. A.

180-* Salmon. The earliest that comes in season to the London market is brought from the Severn, and begins to come into season the beginning of November, but very few so early, perhaps not above one in fifty, as many of them will not shoot their spawn till January, or after, and then continue in season till October, when they begin to get very thin and poor. The principal supply of salmon is from different parts of Scotland, packed in ice, and brought by water: if the vessels have a fair wind, they will be in London in three days; but it frequently happens that they are at sea perhaps a fortnight, when the greater part of the fish is perished, and has, for a year or two past, sold as low as twopence per pound, and up to as much as eighteen pence per pound at the same time, owing to its different degrees of goodness. This accounts for the very low prices at which the itinerant fishmongers cry their “delicate salmon,” “dainty fresh salmon,” and “live cod,” “new mackerel,” &c. &c.

“Salmon gwilts, or salmon peel, are the small salmon which run from about five or six pounds to ten pounds, are very good fish, and make handsome dishes of fish, sent to table crooked in the form of an S.

“Berwick trout are a distinct fish from the gwilts, and are caught in the river Tweed, and dressed in the same manner as the gwilt.

“Calvered salmon is the salmon caught in the Thames, and cut into slices alive; and some few salmon are brought from Oxford to London alive, and cut. A few slices make a handsome, genteel dish, but it is generally very expensive; sometimes 15s. per pound.”

[Fresh salmon comes to the New-York market from the eastern states, and mostly from Maine. It is also occasionally brought from the lakes and rivers of the northern part of New-York in winter. A.]

181-* Small fish and fillets of whiting, turbots, brills, &c. and slices of cod, or the head or tail of it, are excellent dressed the same way.

181-† The yellow eels taste muddy; the whiteness of the belly of the fish is not the only mark to know the best; the right colour of the back is a very bright coppery hue: the olive-coloured are inferior; and those tending to a green are worse.

183-* There are several species of mackerel in their season in the New-York market. That which arrives in the spring is most esteemed, and in greatest plenty. Spring mackerel is a migrating fish, and succeeds the shad, or commences its run along the coast of New-Jersey and Long Island, just before the shad disappears. It does not ascend the rivers, but continues its course north-eastward in immense shoals, and is taken by the fishermen with the hook and line, while sailing in smacks along the coast, from the mouth of the Delaware to Nova Scotia. These fish are kept in cars, and sold alive in the markets. They are mostly broiled, and brought to the breakfast-table. The larger ones sometimes grace the dining-table. They may be boiled, but are best when stuffed and baked in an oven. A.

183-† The roe of the male fish is soft, like the brains of a calf; that of the female is full of small eggs, and called hard roe.

184-* Mackerel of large size may be stuffed like a fowl, leaving the head on, and baked in an oven. A.

187-* Lobsters are in great plenty and perfection in the New-York markets. They are taken in Long Island Sound, and along the rocky shores of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. A.

188-* Crabs are not esteemed as a delicacy by epicures unless they are soft, when they are fried whole. In July and August they shed their coats, and in this state may be cooked and eaten without being incommoded with their shells. A.

189-* Oyster sauce, No. 278; preserved oysters, No. 280.

189-† Those are called common oysters, which are picked up on the French coast, and laid in the Colchester beds.

These are never so fine and fat as the natives, and seldom recover the shock their feelings receive from being transported from their native place: delicate little creatures, they are as exquisite in their own taste as they are to the taste of others!

189-‡ Oysters are thus called, that are born, as well as bred and fed, in this country, and are mostly spit in the Burnham and Mersey rivers: they do not come to their finest condition till they are near four years old.

189-§ Will Rabisha, in his receipt to “broil oysters,” (see his Cookery, page 144,) directs, that while they are undergoing this operation, they should be fed with white wine and grated bread.

In Boyle’s Works, 4to. 1772, vol. ii. p. 450, there is a very curious chapter on the eating of oysters.

191-* “Animal food being composed of the most nutritious parts of the food on which the animal lived, and having already been digested by the proper organs of an animal, requires only solution and mixture; whereas vegetable food must be converted into a substance of an animal nature, by the proper action of our own viscera, and consequently requires more labour of the stomach, and other digestive organs.”—Burton on the Non-naturals, page 213.

192-* New-York and other places on the sea-coast of the United States, afford oysters in great plenty and perfection, and the various methods of preparing them are well known. A.


[193]

BROTHS, GRAVIES, AND SOUPS.

Beef Broth.193-*—(No. 185.)

Wash a leg or shin of beef very clean, crack the bone in two or three places (this you should desire the butcher to do for you), add thereto any trimmings you have of meat, game, or poultry (i. e. heads, necks, gizzards, feet, &c.), and cover them with cold water; watch and stir it up well from the bottom, and the moment it begins to simmer, skim it carefully; your broth must be perfectly clear and limpid, on this depends the goodness of the soups, sauces, and gravies, of which it is the basis: then add some cold water to make the remaining scum rise, and skim it again; when the scum is done rising, and the surface of the broth is quite clear, put in one moderate-sized carrot, a head of celery, two turnips, and two onions, it should not have any taste of sweet herbs, spice, or garlic, &c.; either of these flavours can easily be added immediately after, if desired, by Nos. 420, 421, 422, &c. cover it close, set it by the side of the fire, and let it simmer very gently (so as not to waste the broth) for four or five hours, or more, according to the weight of the meat; strain it through a sieve into a clean and dry stone pan, and set it in the coldest place you have.

Obs. This is the foundation for all sorts of soups and sauce, brown or white.

Stew no longer than the meat is thoroughly done to eat, and you will obtain excellent broth, without depriving the meat of its nutritious succulence: to boil it to rags, as is the common practice, will not enrich your broths, but make them thick and grouty.

The meat,193-† when gently stewed for only four or five hours[194] till it is just tender, remains abundantly sapid and nourishing, and will afford a relishing and wholesome meal for half a dozen people; or make potted beef (No. 503): or when you have strained off the broth, cover the meat again with water, and let it go on boiling for four hours longer, and make what some cooks call “second stock;” it will produce some very good glaze, or portable soup; see No. 252, and the Obs. thereon.

Beef Gravy.194-*—(No. 186.)

Cover the bottom of a stew-pan that is well tinned and quite clean, with a slice of good ham, or lean bacon, four or five pounds of gravy beef cut into half-pound pieces, a carrot, an onion with two cloves stuck in it, and a head of celery; put a pint of broth or water to it, cover it close, and set it over a moderate fire till the water is reduced to as little as will just save the ingredients from burning; then turn it all about, and let it brown slightly and equally all over; then put in three quarts of boiling water;194-† when it boils up, skim it carefully, and wipe off with a clean cloth what sticks round the edge and inside of the stew-pan, that your gravy may be delicately clean and clear. Set it by the side of a fire, where it will stew gently (to keep it clear, and that it may not be reduced too much) for about four hours: if it has not boiled too fast, there should be two quarts of good gravy; strain through a silk, or tamis-sieve; take very particular care to skim it well, and set it in a cold place.

Strong savoury Gravy (No. 188), alias “Brown Sauce,” aliasGrand Espagnol.

Take a stew-pan that will hold four quarts, lay a slice or two of ham or bacon (about a quarter of an inch thick) at the bottom (undressed is the best), and two pounds of beef or veal, a carrot, a large onion with four cloves stuck in it, one head of celery, a bundle of parsley, lemon-thyme, and savoury, about as big round as your little finger, when tied close, a few leaves of sweet basil (one bay-leaf, and an es[195]chalot, if you like it), a piece of lemon-peel, and a dozen corns of allspice;195-* pour on this half a pint of water, cover it close, and let it simmer gently on a slow fire for half an hour, in which time it will be almost dry; watch it very carefully, and let it catch a nice brown colour; turn the meat, &c. let it brown on all sides; add three pints of boiling water,195-† and boil for a couple of hours. It is now rich gravy. To convert it into

Cullis, or thickened Gravy.—(No. 189.)

To a quart of gravy, put a table-spoonful of thickening (No. 257), or from one to two table-spoonfuls of flour, according to the thickness you wish the gravy to be, into a basin, with a ladleful of the gravy; stir it quick; add the rest by degrees, till it is all well mixed; then pour it back into a stew-pan, and leave it by the side of the fire to simmer for half an hour longer, that the thickening may thoroughly incorporate with the gravy, the stew-pan being only half covered, stirring it every now and then; a sort of scum will gather on the top, which it is best not to take off till you are ready to strain it through a tamis.195-‡

Take care it is neither of too pale nor too dark a colour; if it is not thick enough, let it stew longer, till it is reduced to the desired thickness; or add a bit of glaze, or portable soup to it, see No. 252: if it is too thick, you can easily thin it with a spoonful or two of warm broth, or water. When your sauce is done, stir it in the basin you put it into once or twice, while it is cooling.

Veal Broth.—(No. 191.)

A knuckle of veal is best; manage it as directed in the receipt for beef broth (No. 185), only take care not to let it catch any colour, as this and the following and richer preparation of veal, are chiefly used for white soups, sauces, &c.

To make white sauce, see No. 364.

Veal Gravy.—(No. 192.)

About three pounds of the nut of the leg of veal, cut into[196] half-pound slices, with a quarter of a pound of ham in small dice; proceed as directed for the beef gravy (No. 186), but watch the time of putting in the water; if this is poured in too soon, the gravy will not have its true flavour, if it be let alone till the meat sticks too much to the pan, it will catch too brown a colour.

Knuckle of Veal, or Shin or Leg of Beef, Soup.—(No. 193.)

A knuckle of veal of six pounds weight will make a large tureen of excellent soup, and is thus easily prepared: cut half a pound of bacon into slices about half an inch thick, lay it at the bottom of a soup-kettle, or deep stew-pan, and on this place the knuckle of veal, having first chopped the bone in two or three places; furnish it with two carrots, two turnips, a head of celery, two large onions, with two or three cloves stuck in one of them, a dozen corns of black, and the same of Jamaica pepper, and a good bundle of lemon-thyme, winter savoury, and parsley. Just cover the meat with cold water, and set it over a quick fire till it boils; having skimmed it well, remove your soup-kettle to the side of the fire; let it stew very gently till it is quite tender, i. e. about four hours; then take out the bacon and veal, strain the soup, and set it by in a cool place till you want it, when you must take off the fat from the surface of your liquor, and decant it (keeping back the settlings at the bottom) into a clean pan.

If you like a thickened soup, put three table-spoonfuls of the fat you have taken off the soup into a small stew-pan, and mix it with four table-spoonfuls of flour, pour a ladleful of soup to it, and mix it with the rest by degrees, and boil it up till it is smooth.

Cut the meat and gristle of the knuckle and the bacon into mouthfuls, and put them into the soup, and let them get warm.

Obs. You may make this more savoury by adding catchup (No. 439), &c. Shin of beef may be dressed in the same way; see Knuckle of Veal stewed with Rice (No. 523).

Mutton Broth.—(No. 194.)

Take two pounds of scrag of mutton; to take the blood out, put it into a stew-pan, and cover it with cold water; when the water becomes milk-warm, pour it off; then put it in four or five pints of water, with a tea-spoonful of salt, a table-spoonful of best grits, and an onion; set it on a slow fire, and when you have taken all the scum off, put in two or[197] three turnips; let it simmer very slowly for two hours, and strain it through a clean sieve.

This usual method of making mutton broth with the scrag, is by no means the most economical method of obtaining it; for which see Nos. 490 and 564.

Obs. You may thicken broth by boiling with it a little oatmeal, rice, Scotch or pearl barley; when you make it for a sick person, read the Obs. on Broths, &c. in the last page of the 7th chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery, and No. 564.

Mock Mutton Broth, without Meat, in five minutes.—(No. 195.)

Boil a few leaves of parsley with two tea-spoonfuls of mushroom catchup, in three-quarters of a pint of very thin gruel197-* (No. 572). Season with a little salt.

Obs. This is improved by a few drops of eschalot wine (No. 402), and the same of essence of sweet herbs (No. 419). See also Portable Soup (No. 252).

The Queen’s Morning “Bouillon de Santé,”—(No. 196.)

Sir Kenelm Digby, in his “Closet of Cookery,” p. 149, London, 1669, informs us, was made with “a brawny hen, or young cock, a handful of parsley, one sprig of thyme, three of spearmint, a little balm, half a great onion, a little pepper and salt, and a clove, with as much water as will cover them; and this boiled to less than a pint for one good porringerful.”

Ox-heel Jelly.—(No. 198.)

Slit them in two, and take away the fat between the claws. The proportion of water to each heel is about a quart: let it simmer gently for eight hours (keeping it clean skimmed); it will make a pint and a half of strong jelly, which is frequently used to make calves’ feet jelly (No. 481), or to add to mock turtle and other soups. See No. 240*. This jelly evaporated, as directed in No. 252, will give about three ounces and a half of strong glaze. An unboiled heel costs one shilling and threepence: so this glaze, which is very inferior in flavour to No. 252, is quite as expensive as that is.

N.B. To dress the heels, see No. 18.

Obs. Get a heel that has only been scalded, not one of[198] those usually sold at the tripe-shops, which have been boiled till almost all the gelatine is extracted.

Clear Gravy Soups.—(No. 200.)

Cut half a pound of ham into slices, and lay them at the bottom of a large stew-pan or stock-pot, with two or three pounds of lean beef, and as much veal; break the bones, and lay them on the meat; take off the outer skin of two large onions and two turnips; wash, clean, and cut into pieces a couple of large carrots, and two heads of celery; and put in three cloves and a large blade of mace. Cover the stew-pan close, and set it over a smart fire. When the meat begins to stick to the bottom of the stew-pan, turn it; and when there is a nice brown glaze at the bottom of the stew-pan, cover the meat with hot water: watch it, and when it is coming to boil put in half a pint of cold water; take off the scum; then put in half a pint more cold water, and skim it again, and continue to do so till no more scum rises. Now set it on one side of the fire to boil gently for about four hours; strain it through a clean tamis or napkin (do not squeeze it, or the soup will be thick) into a clean stone pan; let it remain till it is cold, and then remove all the fat. When you decant it, be careful not to disturb the settlings at the bottom of the pan.

The broth should be of a fine amber colour, and as clear as rock water. If it is not quite so bright as you wish it, put it into a stew-pan; break two whites and shells of eggs into a basin; beat them well together; put them into the soup: set it on a quick fire, and stir it with a whisk till it boils; then set it on one side of the fire to settle for ten minutes; run it through a fine napkin into a basin, and it is ready.

However, if your broth is carefully skimmed, &c. according to the directions above given, it will be clear enough without clarifying; which process impairs the flavour of it in a higher proportion than it improves its appearance.

Obs.—This is the basis of almost all gravy soups, which are called by the name of the vegetables that are put into them.

Carrots, turnips, onions, celery, and a few leaves of chervil, make what is called spring soup, or soup santé; to this a pint of green pease, or asparagus pease, or French beans cut into pieces, or a cabbage lettuce, are an improvement.

With rice or Scotch barley, with macaroni or vermicelli, or celery, cut into lengths, it will be the soup usually called by those names.

[199]Or turnips scooped round, or young onions, will give you a clear turnip or onion soup; and all these vegetables mixed together, soup GRESSI.

The gravy for all these soups may be produced extempore with No. 252.

The roots and vegetables you use must be boiled first, or they will impregnate the soup with too strong a flavour.

The seasoning for all these soups is the same, viz. salt and a very little Cayenne pepper.

N.B. To make excellent vegetable gravy soup for 41/2d. a quart, see No. 224.

Scotch Barley Broth;—a good and substantial dinner for fivepence per head.—(No. 204.)

Wash three-quarters of a pound of Scotch barley in a little cold water; put it in a soup-pot with a shin or leg of beef, of about ten pounds weight, sawed into four pieces (tell the butcher to do this for you); cover it well with cold water; set it on the fire: when it boils skim it very clean, and put in two onions of about three ounces weight each; set it by the side of the fire to simmer very gently about two hours; then skim all the fat clean off, and put in two heads of celery, and a large turnip cut into small squares; season it with salt, and let it boil an hour and a half longer, and it is ready: take out the meat (carefully with a slice, and cover it up, and set it by the fire to keep warm), and skim the broth well before you put it in the tureen.

s. d.
Shin of beef of 10lbs 2 0
3/4 pound of barley 0 41/2
2 onions, of about 3 oz. weight each 0 01/2
Celery 0 1
Large turnip 0 1
2 7

Thus you get four quarts of good soup at 8d. per quart, besides another quart to make sauce for the meat, in the following manner:

Put a quart of the soup into a basin; put about an ounce of flour into a stew-pan, and pour the broth to it by degrees, stirring it well together; set it on the fire, and stir it till it boils; then (some put in a glass of port wine, or mushroom catchup, No. 439) let it boil up, and it is ready.

Put the meat in a ragoût dish, and strain the sauce through[200] a sieve over the meat; you may put to it some capers, or minced gherkins or walnuts, &c.

If the beef has been stewed with proper care in a very gentle manner, and be taken up at “the critical moment when it is just tender,” you will obtain an excellent and savoury meal for eight people for fivepence; i. e. for only the cost of the glass of port wine.

If you use veal, cover the meat with No. 364—2.

Obs.—This is a most frugal, agreeable, and nutritive meal; it will neither lighten the purse, nor lie heavy on the stomach, and will furnish a plentiful and pleasant soup and meat for eight persons. So you may give a good dinner for 5d. per head!!! See also Nos. 229 and 239.

N.B. If you will draw your purse-strings a little wider, and allow 1d. per mouth more, prepare a pint of young onions as directed in No. 296, and garnish the dish with them, or some carrots or turnips cut into squares; and for 6d. per head you will have as good a RAGOUT as “le Cuisinier Impérial de France” can give you for as many shillings. Read Obs. to No. 493.

You may vary the flavour by adding a little curry powder (No. 455), ragoût (No. 457, &c.), or any of the store sauces and flavouring essences between Nos. 396 and 463; you may garnish the dish with split pickled mangoes, walnuts, gherkins, onions, &c. See Wow wow Sauce, No. 328.

If it is made the evening before the soup is wanted, and suffered to stand till it is cold, much fat200-* may be removed from the surface of the soup, which is, when clarified (No. 83), useful for all the purposes that drippings are applied to.

Scotch Soups.—(No. 205.)

The three following receipts are the contribution of a friend at Edinburgh.

Winter Hotch-potch.

Take the best end of a neck or loin of mutton; cut it into neat chops; cut four carrots, and as many turnips into slices; put on four quarts of water, with half the carrots and turnips, and a whole one of each, with a pound of dried green pease, which must be put to soak the night before; let it boil two hours, then take out the whole carrot and tur[201]nip; bruise and return them; put in the meat, and the rest of the carrot and turnip, some pepper and salt, and boil slowly three-quarters of an hour; a short time before serving, add an onion cut small and a head of celery.

Cocky-leeky Soup.

Take a scrag of mutton, or shank of veal, three quarts of water (or liquor in which meat has been boiled), and a good-sized fowl, with two or three leeks cut in pieces about an inch long, pepper and salt; boil slowly about an hour: then put in as many more leeks, and give it three-quarters of an hour longer: this is very good, made of good beef-stock, and leeks put in it twice.

Lamb Stove, or Lamb Stew.

Take a lamb’s head and lights; open the jaws of the head, and wash them thoroughly; put them in a pot with some beef-stock, made with three quarts of water, and two pounds of shin of beef, strained; boil very slowly for an hour; wash and string two or three good handfuls of spinach (or spinage); put it in twenty minutes before serving; add a little parsley, and one or two onions, a short time before it comes off the fire; season with pepper and salt, and serve all together in a tureen.

Scotch Brose.—(No. 205*.)

“This favourite Scotch dish is generally made with the liquor meat has been boiled in.

“Put half a pint of oatmeal into a porringer with a little salt, if there be not enough in the broth, of which add as much as will mix it to the consistence of hasty-pudding, or a little thicker; lastly, take a little of the fat that swims on the broth, and put it on the crowdie, and eat it in the same way as hasty-pudding.”

Obs.—This Scotsman’s dish is easily prepared at very little expense, and is pleasant-tasted and nutritious. To dress a haggies, see No. 488*, and Minced Collops, following it.

N.B. For various methods of making and flavouring oatmeal gruel, see No. 572.

Carrot Soup.—(No. 212.)

Scrape and wash half a dozen large carrots; peel off the red outside (which is the only part used for this soup); put it into a gallon stew-pan, with one head of celery, and an[202] onion, cut into thin pieces; take two quarts of beef, veal, or mutton broth, or if you have any cold roast-beef bones (or liquor, in which mutton or beef has been boiled), you may make very good broth for this soup: when you have put the broth to the roots, cover the stew-pan close, and set it on a slow stove for two hours and a half, when the carrots will be soft enough (some cooks put in a tea-cupful of bread-crumbs); boil for two or three minutes; rub it through a tamis, or hair-sieve, with a wooden spoon, and add as much broth as will make it a proper thickness, i. e. almost as thick as pease soup: put it into a clean stew-pan; make it hot; season it with a little salt, and send it up with some toasted bread, cut into pieces half an inch square. Some put it into the soup; but the best way is to send it up on a plate, as a side-dish.

Obs. This is neither expensive nor troublesome to prepare. In the kitchens of some opulent epicures, to make this soup make a little stronger impression on the gustatory organs of “grands gourmands,” the celery and onions are sliced, and fried in butter of a light brown, the soup is poured into the stew-pan to them, and all is boiled up together. But this must be done very carefully with butter, or very nicely clarified fat; and the “grand cuisinier” adds spices, &c. “ad libitum.”

Turnip and Parsnip Soups,—(No. 213.)

Are made in the same manner as the carrot soup (No. 212.)

Celery Soup.—(No. 214.)

Split half a dozen heads of celery into slips about two inches long; wash them well; lay them on a hair-sieve to drain, and put them into three quarts of No. 200 in a gallon soup-pot; set it by the side of the fire to stew very gently till the celery is tender (this will take about an hour). If any scum rises, take it off; season with a little salt.

Obs. When celery cannot be procured, half a drachm of the seed, pounded fine, which may be considered as the essence of celery (costs only one-third of a farthing, and can be had at any season), put in a quarter of an hour before the soup is done, and a little sugar, will give as much flavour to half a gallon of soup as two heads of celery weighing seven ounces, and costing 2d.; or add a little essence of celery, No. 409.

[203]

Green Pease Soup.—(No. 216.)

A peck of pease will make you a good tureen of soup. In shelling them, put the old ones in one basin, and the young ones in another, and keep out a pint of them, and boil them separately to put into your soup when it is finished: put a large saucepan on the fire half full of water; when it boils, put the pease in, with a handful of salt; let them boil till they are done enough, i. e. from twenty to thirty minutes, according to their age and size; then drain them in a colander, and put them into a clean gallon stew-pan, and three quarts of plain veal or mutton broth (drawn from meat without any spices or herbs, &c. which would overpower the flavour of the soup); cover the stew-pan close, and set it over a slow fire to stew gently for an hour; add a tea-cupful of bread-crumbs, and then rub it through a tamis into another stew-pan; stir it with a wooden spoon, and if it is too thick, add a little more broth: have ready boiled as for eating, a pint of young pease, and put them into the soup; season with a little salt and sugar.

N.B. Some cooks, while this soup is going on, slice a couple of cucumbers (as you would for eating); take out the seeds; lay them on a cloth to drain, and then flour them, and fry them a light brown in a little butter; put them into the soup the last thing before it goes to table.

Obs. If the soup is not green enough, pound a handful of pea-hulls or spinage, and squeeze the juice through a cloth into the soup: some leaves of mint may be added, if approved.

Plain green Pease Soup without Meat.—(No. 217.)

Take a quart of green pease (keep out half a pint of the youngest; boil them separately, and put them in the soup when it is finished); put them on in boiling water; boil them tender, and then pour off the water, and set it by to make the soup with: put the pease into a mortar, and pound them to a mash; then put them into two quarts of the water you boiled the pease in; stir all well together; let it boil up for about five minutes, and then rub it through a hair-sieve or tamis. If the pease are good, it will be as thick and fine a vegetable soup as need be sent to table.

Pease Soup.—(No. 218.)

The common way of making pease soup203-* is—to a quart[204] of split pease put three quarts of cold soft water, not more, (or it will be what “Jack Ros-bif” calls “soup maigre,”) notwithstanding Mother Glasse orders a gallon (and her ladyship’s directions have been copied by almost every cookery-book maker who has strung receipts together since), with half a pound of bacon (not very fat), or roast-beef bones, or four anchovies: or, instead of the water, three quarts of the liquor in which beef, mutton, pork, or poultry has been boiled, tasting it first, to make sure it is not too salt.204-*

Wash two heads of celery;204-† cut it, and put it in, with two onions peeled, and a sprig of savoury, or sweet marjoram, or lemon-thyme; set it on the trivet, and let it simmer very gently over a slow fire, stirring it every quarter of an hour (to keep the pease from sticking to, and burning at, the bottom of the soup-pot) till the pease are tender, which will be in about three hours. Some cooks now slice a head of celery, and half an ounce of onions, and fry them in a little butter, and put them into the soup till they are lightly browned; then work the whole through a coarse hair-sieve, and then through a fine sieve, or (what is better) through a tamis, with the back of a wooden spoon: put it into a clean stew-pan, with half a tea-spoonful of ground black pepper;204-‡ let it boil again for ten minutes, and if any fat arises, skim it off.

Send up on a plate, toasted bread cut into little pieces a quarter of an inch square, or cut a slice of bread (that has been baked two days) into dice, not more than half an inch square; put half a pound of perfectly clean drippings or lard into an iron frying-pan; when it is hot, fry the bread; take care and turn it about with a slice, or by shaking of the pan as it is frying, that it may be on each side of a delicate light brown, (No. 319;) take it up with a fish-slice, and lay it on a sheet of paper to drain the fat: be careful that this is done nicely: send these up in one side-dish, and dried and powdered mint or savoury, or sweet marjoram, &c. in another.

Those who are for a double relish, and are true lovers of “haut goût,” may have some bacon cut into small squares like the bread, and fried till it is crisp, or some little lumps of boiled pickled pork; or put cucumber fried into this soup, as you have directions in No. 216.

[205]Obs. The most economical method of making pease soup, is to save the bones of a joint of roast beef, and put them into the liquor in which mutton, or beef, or pork, or poultry, has been boiled, and proceed as in the above receipt. A hock, or shank-bone of ham, a ham-bone, the root of a tongue, or a red or pickled herring, are favourite additions with some cooks; others send up rice or vermicelli with pease soup.205-*

N.B. To make pease soup extempore, see No. 555.

If you wish to make soup the same day you boil meat or poultry, prepare the pease the same as for pease pudding (No. 555), to which you may add an onion and a head of celery, when you rub the pease through the sieve; instead of putting eggs and butter, add some of the liquor from the pot to make it a proper thickness; put it on to boil for five minutes, and it is ready.

Obs. This latter is by far the easiest and the best way of making pease soup.

Pease soup may be made savoury and agreeable to the palate, without any meat, by incorporating two ounces of fresh and nicely-clarified beef, mutton, or pork drippings (see No. 83), with two ounces of oatmeal, and mixing this well into the gallon of soup, made as above directed: see also No. 229.

Pease Soup and pickled Pork.—(No. 220.)

A couple of pounds of the belly part of pickled pork will make very good broth for pease soup, if the pork be not too salt; if it has been in salt more than two days, it must be laid in water the night before it is used.

Put on the ingredients mentioned in No. 218, in three quarts of water; boil gently for two hours, then put in the pork, and boil very gently till it is done enough to eat; this will take about an hour and a half, or two hours longer, according to its thickness; when done, wash the pork clean in hot water, send it up in a dish, or cut it into mouthfuls, and put it into the soup in the tureen, with the accompaniments ordered in No. 218.

[206]Obs. The meat being boiled no longer than to be done enough to be eaten, you get excellent soup, without any expense of meat destroyed.

“In Canada, the inhabitants live three-fourths of the year on pease soup, prepared with salt pork, which is boiled till the fat is entirely dissolved among the soup, giving it a rich flavour.”—The Hon. J. Cochrane’s Seaman’s Guide, 8vo. 1797, p. 31.

Plain Pease Soup.—(No. 221.)

To a quart of split pease, and two heads of celery, (and most cooks would put a large onion,) put three quarts of broth or soft water; let them simmer gently on a trivet over a slow fire for three hours, stirring up every quarter of an hour to prevent the pease burning at the bottom of the soup-kettle (if the water boils away, and the soup gets too thick, add some boiling water to it); when they are well softened, work them through a coarse sieve, and then through a fine sieve or a tamis; wash out your stew-pan, and then return the soup into it, and give it a boil up; take off any scum that comes up, and it is ready. Prepare fried bread, and dried mint, as directed in No. 218, and send them up with it on two side dishes.

Obs. This is an excellent family soup, produced with very little trouble or expense.

Most of the receipts for pease soup are crowded with ingredients which entirely overpower the flavour of the pease. See No. 555.

Asparagus Soup.—(No. 222.)

This is made with the points of asparagus, in the same manner as the green pease soup (No. 216 or 17) is with pease: let half the asparagus be rubbed through a sieve, and the other cut in pieces about an inch long, and boiled till done enough, and sent up in the soup: to make two quarts, there must be a pint of heads to thicken it, and half a pint cut in; take care to preserve these green and a little crisp. This soup is sometimes made by adding the asparagus heads to common pease soup.

Obs. Some cooks fry half an ounce of onion in a little butter, and rub it through a sieve, and add it with the other ingredients; the haut goût of the onion will entirely overcome the delicate flavour of the asparagus, and we protest against all such combinations.

[207]

Maigre, or Vegetable Gravy Soup.207-*—(No. 224.)

Put into a gallon stew-pan three ounces of butter; set it over a slow fire; while it is melting, slice four ounces of onion; cut in small pieces one turnip, one carrot, and a head of celery; put them in the stewpan, cover it close, let it fry till they are lightly browned; this will take about twenty-five minutes: have ready, in a sauce-pan, a pint of pease, with four quarts of water; when the roots in the stew-pan are quite brown, and the pease come to a boil, put the pease and water to them; put it on the fire; when it boils, skim it clean, and put in a crust of bread about as big as the top of a twopenny loaf, twenty-four berries of allspice, the same of black pepper, and two blades of mace; cover it close, let it simmer gently for one hour and a half; then set it from the fire for ten minutes; then pour it off very gently (so as not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the stew-pan) into a large basin; let it stand (about two hours) till it is quite clear: while this is doing, shred one large turnip, the red part of a large carrot, three ounces of onion minced, and one large head of celery cut into small bits; put the turnips and carrots on the fire in cold water, let them boil five minutes, then drain them on a sieve, then pour off the soup clear into a stew-pan, put in the roots, put the soup on the fire, let it simmer gently till the herbs are tender (from thirty to forty minutes), season it with salt and a little Cayenne, and it is ready.

You may add a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup (No. 439).

Obs. You will have three quarts of soup, as well coloured, and almost as well flavoured, as if made with gravy meat.

N.B. To make this it requires nearly five hours. To fry the herbs requires twenty-five minutes; to boil all together, one hour and a half; to settle, at the least, two hours; when clear, and put on the fire again, half an hour more.

FISH SOUPS.—(No. 225.)

Eel Soup.

To make a tureenful, take a couple of middling-sized onions, cut them in half, and cross your knife over them two or three times; put two ounces of butter into a stew-pan[208] when it is melted, put in the onions, stir them about till they are lightly browned; cut into pieces three pounds of unskinned eels, put them into your stew-pan, and shake them over the fire for five minutes; then add three quarts of boiling water, and when they come to a boil, take the scum off very clean; then put in a quarter of an ounce of the green leaves (not dried) of winter savoury, the same of lemon thyme, and twice the quantity of parsley, two drachms of allspice, the same of black pepper; cover it close, and let it boil gently for two hours; then strain it off, and skim it very clean. To thicken it, put three ounces of butter into a clean stew-pan; when it is melted, stir in as much flour as will make it of a stiff paste, then add the liquor by degrees; let it simmer for ten minutes, and pass it through a sieve; then put your soup on in a clean stew-pan, and have ready some little square pieces of fish fried of a nice light brown, either eels, soles, plaice, or skate will do; the fried fish should be added about ten minutes before the soup is served up. Forcemeat balls (Nos. 375, 378, &c.) are sometimes added.

Obs. Excellent fish soups may be made with a cod’s skull, or skate, or flounders, &c. boiled in no more water than will just cover them, and the liquor thickened with oatmeal, &c.

Cheap Soups.—(No. 229.)

Among the variety of schemes that have been suggested for “bettering the condition of the poor,” a more useful or extensive charity cannot be devised, than that of instructing them in economical cookery: it is one of the most-important objects to which the attention of any real well-wisher to the public interest can possibly be directed.

The best and cheapest method of making a nourishing soup, is least known to those who have most need of it; it will enable those who have small incomes and large families to make the most of the little they possess, without pinching their children of that wholesome nourishment which is necessary for the purpose of rearing them up to maturity in health and strength.

The labouring classes seldom purchase what are called the coarser pieces of meat, because they do not know how to dress them, but lay out their money in pieces for roasting, &c., of which the bones, &c. enhance the price of the actual meat to nearly a shilling per pound, and the diminution of weight by roasting amounts to 32 per cent. This,[209] for the sake of saving time, trouble, and fire, is generally sent to an oven to be baked; the nourishing parts are evaporated and dried up, its weight is diminished nearly one-third, and all that a poor man can afford to purchase with his week’s earnings, perhaps does not half satisfy the appetites of himself and family for a couple of days.

If a hard-working man cannot get a comfortable meal at home, he soon finds his way to the public-house, the poor wife contents herself with tea and bread and butter, and the children are half starved.

Dr. Kitchiner’s receipt to make a cheap, nutritive, and palatable soup, fully adequate to satisfy appetite and support strength, will open a new source to those benevolent housekeepers who are disposed to relieve the poor; will show the industrious classes how much they have it in their power to assist themselves; and rescue them from being dependent on the precarious bounty of others, by teaching them how they may obtain an abundant, salubrious, and agreeable aliment for themselves and families, for one penny per quart. See page 210.

For various economical soups, see Nos. 204, 239, 240, 224, 221, and Obs. to Nos. 244 and 252, and Nos. 493 and 502.

Obs. Dripping intended for soup should be taken out of the pan almost as soon as it has dropped from the meat; if it is not quite clean, clarify it. See receipt, No. 83.

Dripping thus prepared is a very different thing from that which has remained in the dripping-pan all the time the meat has been roasting, and perhaps live coals have dropped into it.209-*

Distributing soup does not answer half so well as teaching people how to make it, and improve their comfort at home: the time lost in waiting at the soup-house is seldom less than three hours; in which time, by any industrious occupation,[210] however poorly paid, they could earn more money than the quart of soup is worth.

Dr. Kitchiner’s Receipt to make a Gallon of Barley Broth for a Groat. See also No. 204.

Put four ounces of Scotch barley (previously washed in cold water), and four ounces of sliced onions, into five quarts of water; boil gently for one hour, and pour it into a pan; then put into the saucepan from one to two ounces of clean beef or mutton drippings, or melted suet, (to clarify these, see No. 83) or two or three ounces of fat bacon minced; when melted, stir into it four ounces of oatmeal; rub these together till you make a paste (if this be properly managed, the whole of the fat will combine with the barley broth, and not a particle appear on the surface to offend the most delicate stomach); now add the barley broth, at first a spoonful at a time, then the rest by degrees, stirring it well together till it boils. To season it, put a drachm of finely-pounded celery, or cress-seed, or half a drachm of each, and a quarter of a drachm of finely-pounded Cayenne (No. 404), or a drachm and a half of ground black pepper, or allspice, into a tea-cup, and mix it up with a little of the soup, and then pour it into the rest; stir it thoroughly together; let it simmer gently a quarter of an hour longer, season it with salt, and it is ready.

The flavour may be varied by doubling the portion of onions, or adding a clove of garlic or eschalot, and leaving out the celery-seed (No. 572), or put in shredded roots as in No. 224; or, instead of oatmeal, thicken it with ground rice, or pease, &c., and make it savoury with fried onions.

This preparation, excellent as it is, would, without variety, soon become less agreeable.

Nothing so completely disarms poverty of its sting, as the means of rendering a scanty pittance capable of yielding a comfortable variety.

Change of flavour is absolutely necessary, not merely as a matter of pleasure and comfort, but of health; toujours perdrix is a true proverb.

This soup will be much improved, if, instead of water, it be made with the liquor meat has been boiled in; at tripe, cow-heel, and cook-shops, this may be had for little or nothing.

This soup has the advantage of being very soon and easily made, with no more fuel than is necessary to warm[211] a room; those who have not tasted it, cannot imagine what a savoury and satisfying meal is produced by the combination of these cheap and homely ingredients.

If the generally-received opinion be true, that animal and vegetable foods afford nourishment in proportion to the quantity of oil, jelly, and mucilage, that can be extracted from them, this soup has strong claims to the attention of rational economists.

Craw-fish Soup.—(No. 235.)

This soup is sometimes made with beef, or veal broth, or with fish, in the following manner:

Take flounders, eels, gudgeons, &c., and set them on to boil in cold water; when it is pretty nigh boiling, skim it well; and to three quarts put in a couple of onions, and as many carrots cut to pieces, some parsley, a dozen berries of black and Jamaica pepper, and about half a hundred craw-fish; take off the small claws and shells of the tails; pound them fine, and boil them with the broth about an hour; strain off, and break in some crusts of bread to thicken it, and, if you can get it, the spawn of a lobster; pound it, and put it to the soup; let it simmer very gently for a couple of minutes; put in your craw-fish to get hot, and the soup is ready.

Obs.—One of my predecessors recommends craw-fish pounded alive, to sweeten the sharpness of the blood. Vide Clermont’s Cookery, p. 5, London, 1776.

Un des grands hommes de bouche de France” says, “Un bon coulis d’ecrevisses est le paradis sur la terre, et digne de la table des dieux; and of all the tribe of shell-fish, which our industry and our sensuality bring from the bottom of the sea, the river, or the pond, the craw-fish is incomparably the most useful and the most delicious.”

Lobster Soup.—(No. 237.)

You must have three fine lively211-* young hen lobsters, and boil them, see No. 176; when cold, split the tails; take out the fish, crack the claws, and cut the meat into mouthfuls: take out the coral, and soft part of the body; bruise part of the coral in a mortar; pick out the fish from the chines; beat part of it with the coral, and with this make forcemeat balls, finely-flavoured with mace or nutmeg, a little grated lemon-[212]peel, anchovy, and Cayenne; pound these with the yelk of an egg.

Have three quarts of veal broth; bruise the small legs and the chine, and put them into it, to boil for twenty minutes, then strain it; and then to thicken it, take the live spawn and bruise it in a mortar with a little butter and flour; rub it through a sieve, and add it to the soup with the meat of the lobsters, and the remaining coral; let it simmer very gently for ten minutes; do not let it boil, or its fine red colour will immediately fade; turn it into a tureen; add the juice of a good lemon, and a little essence of anchovy.

Soup and Bouilli.—(No. 238. See also No. 5.)

The best parts for this purpose are the leg or shin, or a piece of the middle of a brisket of beef, of about seven or eight pounds weight; lay it on a fish-drainer, or when you take it up put a slice under it, which will enable you to place it on the dish entire; put it into a soup-pot or deep stew-pan, with cold water enough to cover it, and a quart over; set it on a quick fire to get the scum up, which remove as it rises; then put in two carrots, two turnips, two leeks, or two large onions, two heads of celery, two or three cloves, and a fagot of parsley and sweet herbs; set the pot by the side of the fire to simmer very gently, till the meat is just tender enough to eat: this will require about four or five hours.

Put a large carrot, a turnip, a large onion, and a head or two of celery, into the soup whole; take them out as soon as they are done enough; lay them on a dish till they are cold; then cut them into small squares: when the beef is done, take it out carefully: to dish it up, see No. 204, or No. 493: strain the soup through a hair-sieve into a clean stew-pan; take off the fat, and put the vegetables that are cut into the soup, the flavour of which you may heighten by adding a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup.

If a thickened soup is preferred, take four large table-spoonfuls of the clear fat from the top of the pot, and four spoonfuls of flour; mix it smooth together; then by degrees stir it well into the soup, which simmer for ten minutes longer at least; skim it well, and pass it through a tamis, or fine sieve, and add the vegetables and seasoning the same as directed in the clear soup.

Keep the beef hot, and send it up (as a remove to the[213] soup) with finely-chopped parsley sprinkled on the top, and a sauce-boat of No. 328.

Ox-head Soup,—(No. 239.)

Should be prepared the day before it is to be eaten, as you cannot cut the meat off the head into neat mouthfuls unless it is cold: therefore, the day before you want this soup, put half an ox-cheek into a tub of cold water to soak for a couple of hours; then break the bones that have not been broken at the butcher’s, and wash it very well in warm water; put it into a pot, and cover it with cold water; when it boils, skim it very clean, and then put in one head of celery, a couple of carrots, a turnip, two large onions, two dozen berries of black pepper, same of allspice, and a bundle of sweet herbs, such as marjoram, lemon-thyme, savoury, and a handful of parsley; cover the soup-pot close, and set it on a slow fire; take off the scum, which will rise when it is coming to a boil, and set it by the fireside to stew very gently for about three hours; take out the head, lay it on a dish, pour the soup through a fine sieve into a stone-ware pan, and set it and the head by in a cool place till the next day: then cut the meat into neat mouthfuls, skim and strain off the broth, put two quarts of it and the meat into a clean stew-pan, let it simmer very gently for half an hour longer, and it is ready. If you wish it thickened (which we do not recommend, for the reasons given in the 7th chapter of the Rudiments of Cookery), put two ounces of butter into a stew-pan; when it is melted, throw in as much flour as will dry it up; when they are all well mixed together, and browned by degrees, pour to this your soup, and stir it well together; let it simmer for half an hour longer; strain it through a hair-sieve into a clean stew-pan, and put to it the meat of the head; let it stew half an hour longer, and season it with Cayenne pepper, salt, and a glass of good wine, or a table-spoonful of brandy. See Ox-cheek stewed, No. 507.

Obs.—Those who wish this soup still more savoury, &c. for the means of making it so, we refer to No. 247.

N.B. This is an excellent and economical soup. See also Nos. 204 and 229.

If you serve it as soup for a dozen people, thicken one tureen, and send up the meat in that; and send up the other as a clear gravy soup, with some of the carrots and turnips shredded, or cut into shapes.

[214]

Ox-tail Soup.—(No. 240.)

Three tails, costing about 7d. each, will make a tureen of soup (desire the butcher to divide them at the joints); lay them to soak in warm water, while you get ready the vegetables.

Put into a gallon stew-pan eight cloves, two or three onions, half a drachm of allspice, and the same of black pepper, and the tails;214-* cover them with cold water; skim it carefully, when and as long as you see any scum rise; then cover the pot as close as possible, and set it on the side of the fire to keep gently simmering till the meat becomes tender and will leave the bones easily, because it is to be eaten with a spoon, without the assistance of a knife or fork; see N.B. to No. 244; this will require about two hours: mind it is not done too much: when perfectly tender, take out the meat and cut it off the bones, in neat mouthfuls; skim the broth, and strain it through a sieve; if you prefer a thickened soup, put flour and butter, as directed in the preceding receipt; or put two table-spoonfuls of the fat you have taken off the broth into a clean stew-pan, with as much flour as will make it into a paste; set this over the fire, and stir them well together; then pour in the broth by degrees, stirring it, and mixing it with the thickening; let it simmer for another half hour, and when you have well skimmed it, and it is quite smooth, then strain it through a tamis into a clean stew-pan, put in the meat, with a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup (No. 439), a glass of wine, and season it with salt.

For increasing the piquance of this soup, read No. 247.

Obs.—See N.B. to No. 244; if the meat is cut off the bones, you must have three tails for a tureen, see N.B. to No. 244: some put an ox-cheek or tails in an earthen pan, with all the ingredients as above, and send them to a slow oven for five or six hours.

To stew ox-tails, see No. 531.

Ox-heel Soup,—(No. 240*.)

Must be made the day before it is to be eaten. Procure an ox-heel undressed, or only scalded (not one that has been already boiled, as they are at the tripe-shops, till almost all the gelatinous parts are extracted), and two that have been boiled as they usually are at the tripe-shops.

Cut the meat off the boiled heels into neat mouthfuls, and[215] set it by on a plate; put the trimmings and bones into a stew-pan, with three quarts of water, and the unboiled heel cut into quarters; furnish a stew-pan with two onions, and two turnips pared and sliced; pare off the red part of a couple of large carrots, add a couple of eschalots cut in half, a bunch of savoury or lemon-thyme, and double the quantity of parsley; set this over, or by the side of a slow, steady fire, and keep it closely covered and simmering very gently (or the soup liquor will evaporate) for at least seven hours: during which, take care to remove the fat and scum that will rise to the surface of the soup, which must be kept as clean as possible.

Now strain the liquor through a sieve, and put two ounces of butter into a clean stew-pan; when it is melted, stir into it as much flour as will make it a stiff paste; add to it by degrees the soup liquor; give it a boil up; strain it through a sieve, and put in the peel of a lemon pared as thin as possible, and a couple of bay-leaves, and the meat of the boiled heels; let it go on simmering for half an hour longer, i. e. till the meat is tender. Put in the juice of a lemon, a glass of wine, and a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, and the soup is ready for the tureen.

Obs. Those who are disposed to make this a more substantial dish, may introduce a couple of sets of goose or duck giblets, or ox-tails, or a pound of veal cutlets, cut into mouthfuls.

Hare, Rabbit, or Partridge Soup.—(No. 241.)

An old hare, or birds, when so tough as to defy the teeth in any other form, will make very good soup.

Cut off the legs and shoulders; divide the body crossways, and stew them very gently in three quarts of water, with one carrot, about one ounce of onion, with four cloves, two blades of pounded mace, twenty-four black peppers, and a bundle of sweet herbs, till the hare is tender (most cooks add to the above a couple of slices of ham or bacon, and a bay leaf, &c., but my palate and purse both plead against such extravagance; the hare makes sufficiently savoury soup without them): the time this will take depends very much upon its age, and how long it has been kept before it is dressed: as a general rule, about three hours: in the mean time, make a dozen and a half of nice forcemeat balls (as big as nutmegs) of No. 379; when the hare is quite tender, take the meat off the back, and the upper joint of the legs; cut it into neat mouthfuls, and lay it aside; cut the rest of the meat[216] off the legs, shoulders, &c., mince it and pound it in a mortar, with an ounce of butter, and two or three table-spoonfuls of flour moistened with a little soup; rub this through a hair-sieve, and put it into the soup to thicken it; let it simmer slowly half an hour longer, skimming it well; put it through the tamis into the pan again; and put in the meat with a glass of claret or port wine, and a table-spoonful of currant jelly to each quart of soup; season it with salt, put in the forcemeat balls, and when all is well warmed, the soup is ready.

Obs. Cold roast hare will make excellent soup. Chop it in pieces, and stew it in water (according to the quantity of hare) for about an hour, and manage it as in the above receipt: the stuffing of the hare will be a substitute for sweet herbs and seasoning.

N.B. This soup may be made with mock hare, see No. 66.

Game Soup.—(No. 242.)

In the game season, it is easy for a cook to give her master a very good soup at a very little expense, by taking all the meat off the breasts of any cold birds which have been left the preceding day, and pounding it in a mortar, and beating to pieces the legs and bones, and boiling them in some broth for an hour. Boil six turnips; mash them, and strain them through a tamis-cloth with the meat that has been pounded in a mortar; strain your broth, and put a little of it at a time into the tamis to help you to strain all of it through. Put your soup-kettle near the fire, but do not let it boil: when ready to dish your dinner, have six yelks of eggs mixed with half a pint of cream; strain through a sieve; put your soup on the fire, and as it is coming to boil, put in the eggs, and stir well with a wooden spoon: do not let it boil, or it will curdle.

Goose or Duck Giblet Soup.216-*—(No. 244.)

Scald and pick very clean a couple sets of goose, or four of duck giblets (the fresher the better); wash them well in warm water, in two or three waters; cut off the noses and split the heads; divide the gizzards and necks into mouthfuls. If the gizzards are not cut into pieces before they are done enough, the rest of the meat, &c. will be done too much; and knives and forks have no business in a soup-plate. Crack the bones of the legs, and put them into a stew-pan; cover them with cold water: when they boil, take off the[217] scum as it rises; then put in a bundle of herbs, such as lemon-thyme, winter savoury, or marjoram, about three sprigs of each, and double the quantity of parsley, an onion, twenty berries of allspice, the same of black pepper; tie them all up in a muslin bag, and set them to stew very gently till the gizzards are tender: this will take from an hour and a half to two hours, according to the size and age of the giblets: take them up with a skimmer, or a spoon full of holes, put them into the tureen, and cover down close to keep warm till the soup is ready.

To thicken the soup. Melt an ounce and a half of butter in a clean stew-pan; stir in as much flour as will make it into a paste; then pour to it by degrees a ladleful of the giblet liquor; add the remainder by degrees; let it boil about half an hour, stirring it all the while for fear it should burn; skim it, and strain it through a fine sieve into a basin; wash out the stew-pan; then return the soup into it, and season it with a glass of wine, a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, and a little salt; let it have one boil up; and then put the giblets in to get hot, and the soup is ready.

Obs. Thus managed, one set of goose, or two of duck giblets (which latter may sometimes be had for 3d.), will make a quart of healthful, nourishing soup: if you think the giblets alone will not make the gravy savoury enough, add a pound of beef or mutton, or bone of a knuckle of veal, and heighten its “piquance” by adding a few leaves of sweet basil, the juice of half a Seville orange or lemon, and half a glass of wine, and a little of No. 343* to each quart of soup.

Those who are fond of forcemeat may slip the skin off the neck, and fill it with No. 378; tie up the other end tight; put it into the soup about half an hour before you take it up, or make some nice savoury balls of the duck stuffing, No. 61.

Obs. Bespeak the giblets a couple of days before you desire to have them: this is a favourite soup when the giblets are done till nicely tender, but yet not overboiled. Giblets may be had from July to January; the fresher they are the better.

N.B. This is rather a family-dish than a company one; the bones cannot be well picked without the help of alive pincers.

Since Tom Coryat introduced forks, A. D. 1642, it has not been the fashion to put “pickers and stealers” into soup.

[218]

Mock Mock Turtle,—(No. 245.)

As made by Elizabeth Lister (late cook to Dr. Kitchiner), bread and biscuit baker, No. 6 Salcombe Place, York Terrace, Regent’s Park. Goes out to dress dinners on reasonable terms.

Line the bottom of a stew-pan that will hold five pints, with an ounce of nice lean bacon or ham, a pound and a half of lean gravy beef, a cow-heel, the inner rind of a carrot, a sprig of lemons-thyme, winter savoury, three times the quantity of parsley, a few green leaves of sweet basil,218-* and two eschalots; put in a large onion, with four cloves stuck in it, eighteen corns of allspice, the same of black pepper; pour on these a quarter of a pint of cold water, cover the stew-pan, and set it on a slow fire, to boil gently for a quarter of an hour; then, for fear the meat should catch, take off the cover, and watch it; and when it has got a good brown colour, fill up the stew-pan with boiling water, and let it simmer very gently for two hours: if you wish to have the full benefit of the meat, only stew it till it is just tender, cut it into mouthfuls, and put it into the soup. To thicken it, pour two or three table-spoonfuls of flour, a ladleful of the gravy, and stir it quick till it is well mixed; pour it back into the stew-pan where the gravy is, and let it simmer gently for half an hour longer; skim it, and then strain it through a tamis into the stew-pan: cut the cow-heel into pieces about an inch square, squeeze through a sieve the juice of a lemon, a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, a tea-spoonful of salt, half a tea-spoonful of ground black pepper, as much grated nutmeg as will lie on a sixpence, and a glass of Madeira or sherry wine; let it all simmer together for five minutes longer.

Forcemeat or egg balls may be added if you please; you will find a receipt for these, No. 380, &c.

*** A pound of veal cutlets, or the belly part of pickled pork, or nice double tripe cut into pieces about an inch square, and half an inch thick, and rounded and trimmed neatly from all skin, gristle, &c. and stewed till they are tender, will be a great addition.

[219]

Mock Turtle,—(No. 247.)

Is the “bonne bouche” which “the officers of the mouth” of old England219-* prepare, when they choose to rival “les grands cuisiniers de France” in a “ragoût sans pareil.”

The following receipt is an attempt (and the committee of taste pronounced it a successful one), to imitate the excellent and generally approved mock turtle made by Messrs. Birch, Cornhill.

Endeavour to have the head and the broth ready for the soup,219-† the day before it is to be eaten.

It will take eight hours to prepare it properly.

hours.
Cleaning and soaking the head 1
To parboil it to cut up 1
Cooling, nearly 1
Making the broth and finishing the soup 5
8

Get a calf’s head with the skin on (the fresher the better); take out the brains, wash the head several times in cold water, let it soak for about an hour in spring-water, then lay it in a stew-pan, and cover it with cold water, and half a gallon over; as it becomes warm, a great deal of scum will rise, which must be immediately removed; let it boil gently for one hour, take it up, and when almost cold, cut the head into pieces about an inch and a half by an inch and a quarter, and the tongue into mouthfuls, or rather make a side-dish of the tongue and brains, as in No. 10.

When the head is taken out, put in the stock meat,219-‡ about five pounds of knuckle of veal, and as much beef; add to the stock all the trimmings and bones of the head, skim it well,[220] and then cover it close, and let it boil five hours (reserve a couple of quarts of this to make gravy sauces, &c. see No. 307); then strain it off, and let it stand till the next morning; then take off the fat, set a large stew-pan on the fire with half a pound of good fresh butter, twelve ounces of onions sliced, and four ounces of green sage; chop it a little; let these fry one hour; then rub in half a pound of flour, and by degrees add your broth till it is the thickness of cream; season it with a quarter of an ounce of ground allspice and half an ounce of black pepper ground very fine, salt to your taste, and the rind of one lemon peeled very thin; let it simmer very gently for one hour and a half, then strain it through a hair-sieve; do not rub your soup to get it through the sieve, or it will make it grouty; if it does not run through easily, knock your wooden-spoon against the side of your sieve; put it in a clean stew-pan with the head, and season it by adding to each gallon of soup half a pint of wine; this should be Madeira, or, if you wish to darken the colour of your soup, claret, and two table-spoonfuls of lemon-juice, see No. 407*; let it simmer gently till the meat is tender; this may take from half an hour to an hour: take care it is not over-done; stir it frequently to prevent the meat sticking to the bottom of the stew-pan, and when the meat is quite tender the soup is ready.

A head weighing twenty pounds, and ten pounds of stock meat, will make ten quarts of excellent soup, besides the two quarts of stock you have put by for made dishes, &c.

Obs. If there is more meat on the head than you wish to put in the soup, prepare it for a pie, and, with the addition of a calf’s foot boiled tender, it will make an excellent ragoût pie; season it with zest, and a little minced onion, put in half a tea-cupful of stock, cover it with puff paste, and bake it one hour: when the soup comes from table, if there is a deal of meat and no soup, put it into a pie-dish, season it a little, and add some little stock to it; then cover it with paste, bake it one hour, and you have a good mock turtle pie.

This soup was eaten by the committee of taste with unanimous applause, and they pronounced it a very satisfactory substitute220-* for “the far-fetch’d and dear-bought”[221] turtle; which is entirely indebted for its title of “sovereign of savouriness,” to the rich soup with which it is surrounded.

Without its paraphernalia of subtle double relishes, a “starved turtle,” has not more intrinsic sapidity than a “fatted calf.” Friendly reader, it is really neither half so wholesome, nor half so toothsome. See Essence of Turtle, No. 343*, and Obs. to No. 493. To warm this soup, see No. 485.

To season it, to each gallon of soup put two table-spoonfuls of lemon-juice, see No. 407*, same of mushroom catchup (No. 439), and one of essence of anchovy (No. 433), half a pint of wine (this should be Madeira, or, if you wish to darken the colour of your soup, claret), a tea-spoonful of curry powder (No. 455), or a quarter of a drachm of Cayenne, and the peel of a lemon pared as thin as possible; let it simmer five minutes more, take out the lemon-peel, and the soup is ready for the tureen.

While the soup is doing, prepare for each tureen a dozen and a half of mock turtle forcemeat balls (to make these, see No. 375 or No. 376, No. 390 to No. 396); we prefer the stuffing ordered in No. 61, and a dozen egg balls; and put them into the tureen. Brain balls, or cakes, are a very elegant addition, and are made by boiling the brains for ten minutes, then putting them in cold water, and cutting them into pieces about as big as a large nutmeg; take savoury, or lemon-thyme dried and finely-powdered, nutmeg grated, and pepper and salt, and pound them all together; beat up an egg, dip the brains in it, and then roll them in this mixture, and make as much of it as possible stick to them; dip them in the egg again, and then in finely-grated and sifted bread-crumbs; fry them in hot fat, and send them up as a side-dish.

A veal sweetbread, prepared as in No. 89, not too much done or it will break, cut into pieces the same size as you cut the calf’s head, and put in the soup, just to get warm before it goes to table, is a superb “bonne bouche;” and pickled tongue, stewed till very tender, and cut into mouthfuls, is a favourite addition. We order the meat to be cut into mouthfuls, that it may be eaten with a spoon: the knife and fork have no business in a soup-plate.

*** Some of our culinary contemporaries order the haut goût of this (as above directed, sufficiently relishing) soup[222] to be combustibled and bedevilled with a copious addition of anchovies, mushrooms, truffles, morelles, curry-powder, artichoke bottoms, salmon’s head and liver, or the soft part of oysters or lobsters, soles cut in mouthfuls, a bottle of Madeira, a pint of brandy, &c.; and to complete their surfeiting and burn-gullet olio, they put in such a tremendous quantity of Cayenne pepper, that only a fire-proof palate, lined with asbestos, or indurated by Indian diet, can endure it. See note under No. 493.

N.B. In helping this soup, the distributer of it should serve out the meat, forcemeat, and gravy, in equal parts; however trifling or needless this remark may appear, the writer has often suffered from the want of such a hint being given to the soup-server, who has sometimes sent a plate of mere gravy without meat, at others, of meat without gravy, and sometimes scarcely any thing but forcemeat balls.

Obs. This is a delicious soup, within the reach of those who “eat to live;” but if it had been composed expressly for those who only “live to eat,” I do not know how it could have been made more agreeable: as it is, the lover of good eating will “wish his throat a mile long, and every inch of it palate.”

N.B. Cucumber in a side-plate is a laudable vegetable accompaniment.

English Turtle.—(No. 248.)

See No. 502. “A-la-mode beef.”

Curry, or Mullaga-tawny222-* Soup.—(No. 249.)

Cut four pounds of a breast of veal into pieces, about two inches by one; put the trimmings into a stew-pan with two quarts of water, with twelve corns of black pepper, and the same of allspice; when it boils, skim it clean, and let it boil an hour and a half, then strain it off; while it is boiling, fry of a nice brown in butter the bits of veal and four onions; when they are done, put the broth to them; put it on the fire; when it boils, skim it clean; let it simmer half an hour; then[223] mix two spoonfuls of curry, and the same of flour, with a little cold water and a tea-spoonful of salt; add these to the soup, and simmer it gently till the veal is quite tender, and it is ready; or bone a couple of fowls or rabbits, and stew them in the manner directed above for the veal, and you may put in a bruised eschalot, and some mace and ginger, instead of black pepper and allspice.

Obs. Read No. 497.

Turtle223-* Soup.—(No. 250.)

As it is our wish that this work should be given to the public at the lowest possible price, the receipt for dressing a turtle is taken out, as a professed cook is always hired for the purpose of dressing it. The space this long receipt occupied is now filled with directions for making useful pickles. See No. 462.

Portable223-† Soup, or Glaze.—(No. 252.)

Desire the butcher to break the bones of a leg or a shin of beef, of ten pounds weight (the fresher killed the better); put it into a soup-pot (a digester223-‡ is the best utensil for this purpose) that will well hold it; just cover it with cold water, and set it on the fire to heat gradually till it nearly boils (this should be at least an hour); skim it attentively while[224] any scum rises; pour in a little cold water, to throw up the scum that may remain; let it come to a boil again, and again skim it carefully: when no more scum rises, and the broth appears clear (put in neither roots, nor herbs, nor salt), let it boil for eight or ten hours, and then strain it through a hair-sieve into a brown stone pan; set the broth where it will cool quickly; put the meat into a sieve, let it drain, make potted beef (No. 503), or it will be very acceptable to many poor families. Next day remove every particle of fat from the top of it, and pour it through a tamis, or fine sieve, as quietly as possible, into a stew-pan, taking care not to let any of the settlings at the bottom of the stone pan go into the stew-pan, which should be of thick copper, perfectly well tinned; add a quarter of an ounce of whole black pepper to it; let it boil briskly, with the stew-pan uncovered, on a quick fire; if any scum rises, take it off with a skimmer: when it begins to thicken, and is reduced to about a quart, put it into a smaller stew-pan; set it over a gentler fire, till it is reduced to the thickness of a very thick syrup; take care that it does not burn, a moment’s inattention now will lose you all your labour, and the soup will be spoiled: take a little of it out in a spoon and let it cool; if it sets into a strong jelly, it is done enough; if it does not, boil it a little longer till it does; have ready some little pots, such as are used for potted meats, about an inch and a half deep, taking care that they are quite dry; we recommend it to be kept in these pots, if it is for home consumption (the less it is reduced, the better is the flavour of the soup), if it be sufficiently concentrated to keep for six months; if you wish to preserve it longer, put it into such bladders as are used for German sausages, or if you prefer it in the form of cakes, pour it into a dish about a quarter of an inch deep; when it is cold, turn it out and weigh the cake, and divide it with a paste-cutter into pieces of half an ounce and an ounce each; place them in a warm room, and turn them frequently till they are thoroughly dried; this will take a week or ten days; turn them twice a day; when well hardened, and kept in a dry place, they may be preserved for several years in any climate.

This extract of meat makes excellent “tablettes de Bouillon,” for those who are obliged to endure long fasting.

If the surface becomes mouldy, wipe it with a little warm water; the mouldy taste does not penetrate the mass.

If, after several days’ drying, it does not become so hard as you wish, put it into a bainmarie stew-pan, or milk-boiler, till it is evaporated to the consistence you wish; or, set the pots in a cool oven, or in a cheese-toaster, at a considerable[225] distance from the fire: this is the only safe way of reducing it very much, without the risk of its burning, and acquiring an extremely disagreeable, acrid flavour, &c.

Obs. The uses of this concentrated essence of meat are numerous. It is equally economical and convenient for making extempore broths enumerated in the Obs. to No. 200, sauces and gravies for hashed or stewed meat, game, or poultry, &c.

You may thicken it and flavour it as directed in No. 329; to make gravy, sauces, &c. take double the quantity ordered for broth.

If you have time and opportunity, as there is no seasoning in the soup, either of roots, herbs, or spice, boil an onion with or without a bit of parsley and sweet herbs, and a few corns of allspice, or other spice, in the water you melt the soup in, which may be flavoured with mushroom catchup (No. 439), or eschalot wine (No. 402), essence of sweet herbs (No. 417), savoury spice (No. 421, or No. 457), essence of celery (No. 409), &c. or zest (No. 255); these may be combined in the proportions most agreeable to the palate of the eater, and are as portable as portable soup, for a very small portion will flavour a pint.

The editor adds nothing to the solution of this soup, but a very little ground black pepper and some salt.

N.B. If you are a careful manager, you need not always purchase meat on purpose to make this; when you dress a large dinner, you can make glaze at very small cost, by taking care of the trimmings and parings of the meat, game, and poultry, you use: wash them well, put them into a stew-pan, cover them with the liquor you have boiled meat in, and proceed as in the above receipt; and see Obs. on No. 185.

Mem. This portable soup is a most convenient article in cookery; especially in small families, where it will save a great deal of time and trouble. It is also economical, for no more will be melted than is wanted; so there is no waste.

Nine pounds of neck of beef, costing 2s. 71/2d. produced nine ounces of very nice soup; the bones, when boiled, weighed ten ounces.

Half an ox-cheek, costing 1s. 9d. and weighing 143/4 pounds, produced thirteen ounces; but not so firm or clear, and far inferior in flavour to that obtained from a shin of beef.

A sheep’s head, costing 9d., produced three ounces and a half.

Two pounds of lean meat, from the blade-bone of beef, produced hardly an ounce.

[226]The addition of an ounce of gum arabic, and two ounces of isinglass, to four ounces of the extract from a leg of beef, considerably diminished the consistence of the mass, without adding to its bulk.

It has been thought that the portable soup which is manufactured for sale, is partly made with ox-heels; but the experiment (No. 198) proves this cannot be, as an ounce of the jelly from ox-heel costs 5d. For the cheapest method of procuring a hard jelly, see N.B. to No. 481; nineteen bones, costing 41/2d. produced three ounces: almost as cheap as Salisbury glue.

A knuckle of veal, weighing 43/4 pounds, and costing 2s. 4d. produced five ounces.

A shin of beef, weighing nine pounds, and costing 1s. 101/2d. produced nine ounces of concentrated soup, sufficiently reduced to keep for several months. After the boiling, the bones in this joint weighed two pounds and a quarter, and the meat two pounds and a quarter.

The result of these experiments is, that the product from legs and shins of beef was almost as large in quantity, and of much superior quality and flavour, as that obtained from any of the other materials; the flavour of the product from mutton, veal, &c. is comparatively insipid.

As it is difficult to obtain this ready-made of good quality, and we could not find any proper and circumstantial directions for making it, which, on trial, answered the purpose, and it is really a great acquisition to the army and navy, to travellers, invalids, &c. the editor has bestowed some time, &c. in endeavouring to learn, and to teach, how it may be prepared in the easiest, most economical, and perfect manner.

The ordinary selling price is from 10s. to 12s., but you may make it according to the above receipt for 3s. 6d. per pound, i. e. for 21/2d. per ounce, which will make you a pint of broth.

Those who do not regard the expense, and like the flavour, may add the lean of ham, in the proportion of a pound to eight pounds of leg of beef.

It may also be flavoured, by adding to it, at the time you put the broth into the smaller stew-pan, mushroom catchup, eschalot wine, essences of spice or herbs, &c.; we prefer it quite plain; it is then ready to be converted, in an instant, into a basin of beef tea, for an invalid, and any flavour may be immediately communicated to it by the magazine of taste (No. 462).

[227]

To clarify Broth or Gravy.—(No. 252*.)

Put on the broth in a clean stew-pan; break the white and shell of an egg, beat them together, put them into the broth, stir it with a whisk; when it has boiled a few minutes, strain it through a tamis or a napkin.

Obs. A careful cook will seldom have occasion to clarify her broths, &c. if prepared according to the directions given in No. 200.

193-* In culinary technicals, is called FIRST STOCK, or long broth; in the French kitchen, “le grand bouillon.”

193-† A dog was fed on the richest broth, yet could not be kept alive; while another, which had only the meat boiled to a chip (and water), throve very well. This shows the folly of attempting to nourish men by concentrated soups, jellies, &c.—Sinclair, Code of Health, p. 356.

If this experiment be accurate, what becomes of the theoretic visions of those who have written about nourishing broths, &c.? The best test of the restorative quality of food, is a small quantity of it satisfying hunger, the strength of the pulse after it, and the length of time which elapses before appetite returns again. According to this rule, we give our verdict in favour of No. 19 or 24. See N.B. to No. 181.

This subject is fully discussed in The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life, by Diet, &c. published by G. B. Whittaker, 13 Ave-Maria lane.

194-* Called, in some cookery books, “SECOND STOCK;” in the French kitchen, “jus de bœuf.”

194-† A great deal of care is to be taken to watch the time of putting in the water: if it is poured in too soon, the gravy will not have its true flavour and colour: and if it be let alone till the meat sticks to the pan, it will get a burnt taste.

195-* Truffles, morells, and mushrooms, catchups and wines, &c. are added by those who are for the extreme of haut goût.

195-† The general rule is to put in about a pint of water to a pound of meat, if it only simmers very gently.

195-‡ A tamis is a worsted cloth, sold at the oil shops, made on purpose for straining sauces: the best way for using it is for two people to twist it contrary ways. This is a better way of straining sauce than through a sieve, and refines it much more completely.

197-* By this method, it is said, an ingenious cook long deceived a large family, who were all fond of weak mutton broth. Mushroom gravy, or catchup (No. 439), approaches the nature and flavour of meat gravy, more than any vegetable juice, and is the best substitute for it in maigre soups and extempore sauces, that culinary chemistry has yet produced.

200-* See “L’Art de Cuisinier,” par A. Beauvillier, Paris, 1814, p. 68. “I have learned by experience, that of all the fats that are used for frying, the pot top which is taken from the surface of the broth and stock-pot is by far the best.”

203-* To make pease pottage, double the quantity. Those who often make pease soup should have a mill, and grind the pease just before they dress them; a less quantity will suffice, and the soup will be much sooner made.

204-* If the liquor is very salt, the pease will never boil tender. Therefore, when you make pease soup with the liquor in which salted pork or beef has been boiled, tie up the pease in a cloth, and boil them first for an hour in soft water.

204-† Half a drachm of celery-seed, pounded fine, and put into the soup a quarter of an hour before it is finished, will flavour three quarts.

204-‡ Some put in dried mint rubbed to fine powder; but as every body does not like mint, it is best to send it up on a plate. See pease powder, No. 458, essence of celery, No. 409, and Nos. 457 and 459.

205-* My witty predecessor, Dr. Hunter (see Culina, page 97), says, “If a proper quantity of curry-powder (No. 455) be added to pease soup, a good soup might be made, under the title of curry pease soup. Heliogabalus offered rewards for the discovery of a new dish, and the British Parliament have given notoriety to inventions of much less importance than ‘curry pease soup.’”

N.B. Celery, or carrots, or turnips, shredded, or cut in squares (or Scotch barley,—in the latter case the soup must be rather thinner), or cut into bits about an inch long, and boiled separately, and thrown into the tureen when the soup is going to table, will give another agreeable variety, and may be called celery and pease soup. Read Obs. to No. 214

207-* The French call this “soup maigre;” the English acceptation of which is “poor and watery,” and does not at all accord with the French, which is, soups, &c. made without meat: thus, turtle, the richest dish that comes to an English table (if dressed without meat gravy), is a maigre dish.

209-* We copied the following receipt from The Morning Post, Jan. 1820.

Winter Soup.—(No. 227.)

  • 210 lbs of beef, fore-quarters,
  • 90 lbs. of legs of beef,
  • 3 bushels of best split pease,
  • 1 bushel of flour,
  • 12 bundles of leeks,
  • 6 bundles of celery,
  • 12 lbs. of salt,
  • 11 lbs. of black pepper.

These good ingredients will make 1000 quarts of nourishing and agreeable soup, at an expense (establishment avoided) of little less than 21/2d. per quart.

Of this, 2600 quarts a day have been delivered during the late inclement weather, and the cessation of ordinary employment, at two stations in the parish of Bermondsey, at one penny per quart, by which 600 families have been daily assisted, and it thankfully received. Such a nourishment and comfort could not have been provided by themselves separately for fourpence a quart, if at all, and reckoning little for their fire, nothing for their time.

211-* Read No. 176.

214-* Some lovers of haut goût fry the tails before they put them into the soup-pot.

216-* Fowls’ or turkeys’ heads make good and cheap soup in the same manner.

218-* To this fine aromatic herb, turtle soup is much indebted for its spicy flavour, and the high esteem it is held in by the good citizens of London, who, I believe, are pretty generally of the same opinion as Dr. Salmon. See his “Household Dictionary and Essay on Cookery,” 8vo. London, 1710, page 34, article ‘Basil.’ “This comforts the heart, expels melancholy, and cleanses the lungs.” See No. 307. “This plant gave the peculiar flavour to the original Fetter-lane sausages.”—Gray’s Supplement to the Pharmacopœia, 8vo. 1821 p. 52.

219-* “Tout le monde sait que tous les ragoûts qui portent le nom de TORTUE, sont d’origine Anglaise.”—Manuel des Amphitryons, 8vo. 1808, p. 229.

219-† Those who do not like the trouble, &c. of making mock turtle, may be supplied with it ready made, in high perfection, at Birch’s, in Cornhill. It is not poisoned with Cayenne pepper, which the turtle and mock turtle soup of most pastry cooks and tavern cooks is, and to that degree, that it acts like a blister on the coats of the stomach. This prevents our mentioning any other maker of this soup, which is often made with cow-heel, or the mere scalp of the calf’s head, instead of the head itself.

The following are Mr. Birch’s directions for warming this soup:—Empty the turtle into a broad earthen vessel, to keep cool: when wanted for table, to two quarts of soup add one gill of boiling water or veal broth, put it over a good, clear fire, keeping it gently stirred (that it may not burn); when it has boiled about three minutes, skim it, and put it in the tureen.

N.B. The broth or water, and the wine, to be put into the stew-pan before you put in the turtle.

219-‡ The reader may have remarked, that mock turtle and potted beef always come in season together.

See Obs. to No. 503*. This gravy meat will make an excellent savoury potted relish, as it will be impregnated with the flavour of the herbs and spice that are boiled with it.

220-* “Many gourmets and gastrologers prefer the copy to the original: we confess that when done as it ought to be, the mock turtle is exceedingly interesting.”—Tabella Cibaria, 1820, p. 30.

“Turtles often become emaciated and sickly before they reach this country, in which case the soup would be incomparably improved by leaving out the turtle, and substituting a good calf’s head.”—Supplement to Encyc. Brit. Edinburgh, vol. iv. p. 331.

[Very fine fat turtles are brought to New-York from the West Indies; and, during the warm weather, kept in crawls till wanted: of these they make soup, which surpasses any mock turtle ever made. A.]

222-* Mullaga-tawny signifies pepper water. The progress of inexperienced peripatetic palaticians has lately been arrested by these outlandish words being pasted on the windows of our coffee-houses. It has, we believe, answered the “restaurateur’s” purpose, and often excited John Bull to walk in and taste: the more familiar name of curry soup would, perhaps, not have had sufficient of the charms of novelty to seduce him from his much-loved mock turtle.

It is a fashionable soup, and a great favourite with our East Indian friends, and we give the best receipt we could procure for it.

223-* “The usual allowance at a turtle feast is six pounds live weight per head: at the Spanish dinner, at the City of London Tavern, in August, 1808, 400 guests attended, and 2500 pounds of turtle were consumed.”—See Bell’s Weekly Messenger for August 7th, 1808.

Epicure Quin used to say, it was “not safe to sit down to a turtle feast at one of the City Halls, without a basket-hilted knife and fork.”

We recommend our friends, before encountering such a temptation, to read our peptic precepts. Nothing is more difficult of digestion, or oftener requires the aid of peristaltic persuaders, than the glutinous callipash which is considered the “bonne bouche” of this soup. Turtle is generally spoiled by being over-dressed.

[In Philadelphia, an excellent turtle soup is made of a small native tortoise, called a terrapin, and the article terrapin soup. A.]

223-† “A pound of meat contains about an ounce of gelatinous matter; it thence follows, that 1500 pounds of the same meat, which is the whole weight of a bullock, would give only 94 pounds, which might be easily contained in an earthen jar.”—Dr. Hutton’s Rational Recreations, vol. iv. p. 194.

In what degree portable or other soup be nutritious, we know not, but refer the reader to our note under No. 185.

223-‡ This machine was invented by Dr. Denys Papin, F.R.S., about the year 1631, as appears by his essay on “The New Digester, or Engine for Softening Bones;” “by the help of which (he says) the oldest and hardest cow-beef may be made as tender and as savoury as young and choice meat.”

Although we have not yet found that they do what Dr. Papin says, “make old and tough meat young and tender,” they are, however, excellent things to make broths and soups in. Among a multitude of other admirable excellencies obtainable by his digester, Dr. Papin, in his 9th chapter, page 54, on the profit that a good engine may come to, says, “I have found that an old hat, very bad and loosely made, having imbibed the jelly of bones became very firm and stiff.”


GRAVIES AND SAUCES.

Melted Butter,

Is so simple and easy to prepare, that it is a matter of general surprise, that what is done so often in every English kitchen, is so seldom done right: foreigners may well say, that although we have only one sauce for vegetables, fish, flesh, fowl, &c. we hardly ever make that good.

It is spoiled nine times out of ten, more from idleness than from ignorance, and rather because the cook won’t than because she can’t do it; which can only be the case when housekeepers will not allow butter to do it with.

Good melted butter cannot be made with mere flour and water; there must be a full and proper proportion of butter. As it must be always on the table, and is the foundation of almost all our English sauces, we have,

  • Melted butter and oysters,
  • —— —— —— parsley,
  • —— —— —— anchovies,
  • —— —— —— eggs,
  • —— —— —— shrimps,
  • —— —— —— lobsters,
  • —— —— —— capers, &c. &c. &c.

I have tried every way of making it; and I trust, at last, that I have written a receipt, which, if the cook will carefully observe, she will constantly succeed in giving satisfaction.

In the quantities of the various sauces I have ordered, I have had in view the providing for a family of half-a-dozen moderate people.

Never pour sauce over meat, or even put it into the dish,[228] however well made, some of the company may have an antipathy to it; tastes are as different as faces: moreover, if it is sent up separate in a boat, it will keep hot longer, and what is left may be put by for another time, or used for another purpose.

Lastly. Observe, that in ordering the proportions of meat, butter, wine, spice, &c. in the following receipts, the proper quantity is set down, and that a less quantity will not do; and in some instances those palates which have been used to the extreme of piquance, will require additional excitement.228-* If we have erred, it has been on the right side, from an anxious wish to combine economy with elegance, and the wholesome with the toothsome.

Melted Butter.

Keep a pint stew-pan228-† for this purpose only.

Cut two ounces of butter into little bits, that it may melt more easily, and mix more readily; put it into the stew-pan with a large tea-spoonful (i. e. about three drachms) of flour, (some prefer arrow-root, or potato starch, No. 448), and two table-spoonfuls of milk.

When thoroughly mixed, add six table-spoonfuls of water; hold it over the fire, and shake it round every minute (all the while the same way), till it just begins to simmer; then let it stand quietly and boil up. It should be of the thickness of good cream.

N.B. Two table-spoonfuls of No. 439, instead of the milk, will make as good mushroom sauce as need be, and is a superlative accompaniment to either fish, flesh, or fowl.

Obs. This is the best way of preparing melted butter; milk mixes with the butter much more easily and more intimately than water alone can be made to do. This is of proper thickness to be mixed at table with flavouring essences,[229] anchovy, mushroom, or cavice, &c. If made merely to pour over vegetables, add a little more milk to it.

N.B. If the butter oils, put a spoonful of cold water to it, and stir it with a spoon; if it is very much oiled, it must be poured backwards and forwards from the stew-pan to the sauce-boat till it is right again.

Mem. Melted butter made to be mixed with flavouring essences, catchups, &c. should be of the thickness of light batter, that it may adhere to the fish, &c.

Thickening.—(No. 257.)

Clarified butter is best for this purpose; but if you have none ready, put some fresh butter into a stew-pan over a slow, clear fire; when it is melted, add fine flour sufficient to make it the thickness of paste; stir it well together with a wooden spoon for fifteen or twenty minutes, till it is quite smooth, and the colour of a guinea: this must be done very gradually and patiently; if you put it over too fierce a fire to hurry it, it will become bitter and empyreumatic: pour it into an earthen pan, and keep it for use. It will keep good a fortnight in summer, and longer in winter.

A large spoonful will generally be enough to thicken a quart of gravy.

Obs. This, in the French kitchen, is called roux. Be particularly attentive in making it; if it gets any burnt smell or taste, it will spoil every thing it is put into, see Obs. to No. 322. When cold, it should be thick enough to cut out with a knife, like a solid paste.

It is a very essential article in the kitchen, and is the basis of consistency in most made-dishes, soups, sauces, and ragoûts; if the gravies, &c. are too thin, add this thickening, more or less, according to the consistence you would wish them to have.

Mem. In making thickening, the less butter, and the more flour you use, the better; they must be thoroughly worked together, and the broth, or soup, &c. you put them to, added by degrees: take especial care to incorporate them well together, or your sauces, &c. will taste floury, and have a disgusting, greasy appearance: therefore, after you have thickened your sauce, add to it some broth, or warm water, in the proportion of two table-spoonfuls to a pint, and set it by the side of the fire, to raise any fat, &c. that is not thoroughly incorporated with the gravy, which you must carefully remove as it comes to the top. This is called cleansing, or finishing the sauce.

[230]*** Half an ounce of butter, and a table-spoonful of flour, are about the proportion for a pint of sauce to make it as thick as cream.

N.B. The fat skimmings off the top of the broth pot are sometimes substituted for butter (see No. 240); some cooks merely thicken their soups and sauces with flour, as we have directed in No. 245, or potato farina, No. 448.

Clarified Butter.—(No. 259.)

Put the butter in a nice, clean stew-pan, over a very clear, slow fire; watch it, and when it is melted, carefully skim off the buttermilk, &c. which will swim on the top; let it stand a minute or two for the impurities to sink to the bottom; then pour the clear butter through a sieve into a clean basin, leaving the sediment at the bottom of the stew-pan.

Obs. Butter thus purified will be as sweet as marrow, a very useful covering for potted meats, &c., and for frying fish equal to the finest Florence oil; for which purpose it is commonly used by Catholics, and those whose religious tenets will not allow them to eat viands fried in animal oil.

Burnt Butter.—(No. 260.)

Put two ounces of fresh butter into a small frying-pan; when it becomes a dark brown colour, add to it a table-spoonful and a half of good vinegar, and a little pepper and salt.

Obs. This is used as sauce for boiled fish, or poached eggs.

Oiled Butter.—(No. 260*.)

Put two ounces of fresh butter into a saucepan; set it at a distance from the fire, so that it may melt gradually, till it comes to an oil; and pour it off quietly from the dregs.

Obs. This will supply the place of olive oil; and by some is preferred to it either for salads or frying.

Parsley and Butter.—(No. 261.)

Wash some parsley very clean, and pick it carefully leaf by leaf; put a tea-spoonful of salt into half a pint of boiling water: boil the parsley about ten minutes; drain it on a sieve; mince it quite fine, and then bruise it to a pulp.

The delicacy and excellence of this elegant and innocent relish depends upon the parsley being minced very fine: put it into a sauce-boat, and mix with it, by degrees, about half a pint of good melted butter (No. 256); only do not put so[231] much flour to it, as the parsley will add to its thickness: never pour parsley and butter over boiled things, but send it up in a boat.

Obs. In French cookery-books this is called “melted butter, English fashion;” and, with the addition of a slice of lemon cut into dice, a little allspice and vinegar, “Dutch sauce.”

N.B. To preserve parsley through the winter: in May, June, or July, take fine fresh-gathered sprigs; pick, and wash them clean; set on a stew-pan half full of water; put a little salt in it; boil, and skim it clean, and then put in the parsley, and let it boil for a couple of minutes; take it out, and lay it on a sieve before the fire, that it may be dried as quick as possible; put it by in a tin box, and keep it in a dry place: when you want it, lay it in a basin, and cover it with warm water a few minutes before you use it.

Gooseberry Sauce.—(No. 263.)

Top and tail them close with a pair of scissors, and scald half a pint of green gooseberries; drain them on a hair-sieve, and put them into half a pint of melted butter, No. 256.

Some add grated ginger and lemon-peel, and the French, minced fennel; others send up the gooseberries whole or mashed, without any butter, &c.

Chervil, Basil, Tarragon, Burnet, Cress, and Butter.—(No. 264.)

This is the first time that chervil, which has so long been a favourite with the sagacious French cook, has been introduced into an English book. Its flavour is a strong concentration of the combined taste of parsley and fennel, but more aromatic and agreeable than either; and is an excellent sauce with boiled poultry or fish. Prepare it, &c. as we have directed for parsley and butter, No. 261.

Fennel and Butter for Mackerel, &c.—(No. 265.)

Is prepared in the same manner as we have just described in No. 261.

Obs. For mackerel sauce, or boiled soles, &c., some people take equal parts of fennel and parsley; others add a sprig of mint, or a couple of young onions minced very fine.

Mackerel-roe Sauce.—(No. 266.)

Boil the roes of mackerel (soft roes are best); bruise them with a spoon with the yelk of an egg, beat up with a very little pepper and salt, and some fennel and parsley boiled[232] and chopped very fine, mixed with almost half a pint of thin melted butter. See No. 256.

Mushroom catchup, walnut pickle, or soy may be added.

Egg Sauce.—(No. 267.)

This agreeable accompaniment to roasted poultry, or salted fish, is made by putting three eggs into boiling water, and boiling them for about twelve minutes, when they will be hard; put them into cold water till you want them. This will make the yelks firmer, and prevent their surface turning black, and you can cut them much neater: use only two of the whites; cut the whites into small dice, the yelks into bits about a quarter of an inch square; put them into a sauce-boat; pour to them half a pint of melted butter, and stir them together.

Obs. The melted butter for egg sauce need not be made quite so thick as No. 256. If you are for superlative egg sauce, pound the yelks of a couple of eggs, and rub them with the melted butter to thicken it.

N.B. Some cooks garnish salt fish with hard-boiled eggs cut in half.

Plum-pudding Sauce.—(No. 269.)

A glass of sherry, half a glass of brandy (or “cherry-bounce”), or Curaçoa (No. 474), or essence of punch (Nos. 471 and 479), and two tea-spoonfuls of pounded lump sugar (a very little grated lemon-peel is sometimes added), in a quarter of a pint of thick melted butter: grate nutmeg on the top.

See Pudding Catchup, No. 446.

Anchovy Sauce.—(No. 270.)

Pound three anchovies in a mortar with a little bit of butter; rub it through a double hair-sieve with the back of a wooden spoon, and stir it into almost half a pint of melted butter (No. 256); or stir in a table-spoonful of essence of anchovy, No. 433. To the above, many cooks add lemon-juice and Cayenne.

Obs. Foreigners make this sauce with good brown sauce (No. 329), or white sauce (No. 364); instead of melted butter, add to it catchup, soy, and some of their flavoured vinegars, (as elder or tarragon), pepper and fine spice, sweet herbs, capers, eschalots, &c. They serve it with most roasted meats.

[233]N.B. Keep your anchovies well covered; first tie down your jar with bladder moistened with vinegar, and then wiped dry; tie leather over that: when you open a jar, moisten the bladder, and it will come off easily; as soon as you have taken out the fish, replace the coverings; the air soon rusts and spoils anchovies. See No. 433, &c.

Garlic Sauce.—(No. 272.)

Pound two cloves of garlic with a piece of fresh butter, about as big as a nutmeg; rub it through a double hair-sieve, and stir it into half a pint of melted butter, or beef gravy or make it with garlic vinegar, Nos. 400, 401, and 402.

Lemon Sauce.—(No. 273.)

Pare a lemon, and cut it into slices twice as thick as a half-crown piece; divide these into dice, and put them into a quarter of a pint of melted butter, No. 256.

Obs.—Some cooks mince a bit of the lemon-peel (pared very thin) very fine, and add it to the above.

Caper Sauce.—(No. 274. See also No. 295.)

To make a quarter of a pint, take a table-spoonful of capers, and two tea-spoonfuls of vinegar.

The present fashion of cutting capers is to mince one-third of them very fine, and divide the others in half; put them into a quarter of a pint of melted butter, or good thickened gravy (No. 329); stir them the same way as you did the melted butter, or it will oil.

Obs.—Some boil, and mince fine a few leaves of parsley, or chervil, or tarragon, and add these to the sauce; others the juice of half a Seville orange, or lemon.

Mem.—Keep the caper bottle very closely corked, and do not use any of the caper liquor: if the capers are not well covered with it, they will immediately spoil; and it is an excellent ingredient in hashes, &c. The Dutch use it as a fish sauce, mixing it with melted butter.

Mock Caper Sauce.—(No. 275, or No. 295.)

Cut some pickled green pease, French beans, gherkins, or nasturtiums, into bits the size of capers; put them into half a pint of melted butter, with two tea-spoonfuls of lemon-juice, or nice vinegar.

[234]

Oyster Sauce.—(No. 278.)

Choose plump and juicy natives for this purpose: don’t take them out of their shell till you put them into the stew-pan, see Obs. to No. 181.

To make good oyster sauce for half a dozen hearty fish-eaters, you cannot have less than three or four dozen oysters. Save their liquor; strain it, and put it and them into a stew-pan: as soon as they boil, and the fish plump, take them off the fire, and pour the contents of the stew-pan into a sieve over a clean basin; wash the stew-pan out with hot water, and put into it the strained liquor, with about an equal quantity of milk, and about two ounces and a half of butter, with which you have well rubbed a large table-spoonful of flour; give it a boil up, and pour it through a sieve into a basin (that the sauce may be quite smooth), and then back again into the saucepan; now shave the oysters, and (if you have the honour of making sauce for “a committee of taste,” take away the gristly part also) put in only the soft part of them: if they are very large, cut them in half, and set them by the fire to keep hot: “if they boil after, they will become hard.”

If you have not liquor enough, add a little melted butter, or cream (see No. 388), or milk beat up with the yelk of an egg (this must not be put in till the sauce is done). Some barbarous cooks add pepper, or mace, the juice or peel of a lemon, horseradish, essence of anchovy, Cayenne, &c.: plain sauces are only to taste of the ingredient from which they derive their name.

Obs.—It will very much heighten the flavour of this sauce to pound the soft part of half a dozen (unboiled) oysters; rub it through a hair-sieve, and then stir it into the sauce: this essence of oyster (and for some palates a few grains of Cayenne) is the only addition we recommend. See No. 441.

Preserved Oysters.234-*—(No. 280.)

Open the oysters carefully, so as not to cut them except in dividing the gristle which attaches the shells; put them into a mortar, and when you have got as many as you can conveniently pound at once, add about two drachms of salt to a dozen oysters; pound them, and rub them through the[235] back of a hair-sieve, and put them into a mortar again, with as much flour (which has been previously thoroughly dried) as will make them into a paste; roll it out several times, and, lastly, flour it, and roll it out the thickness of a half-crown, and divide it into pieces about an inch square; lay them in a Dutch oven, where they will dry so gently as not to get burnt: turn them every half hour, and when they begin to dry, crumble them; they will take about four hours to dry; then pound them fine, sift them, and put them into bottles, and seal them over.

N.B. Three dozen of natives required 71/2 ounces of dried flour to make them into a paste, which then weighed 11 ounces; when dried and powdered, 61/4 ounces.

To make half a pint of sauce, put one ounce of butter into a stew-pan with three drachms of oyster powder, and six table-spoonfuls of milk; set it on a slow fire; stir it till it boils, and season it with salt.

This powder, if made with plump, juicy natives, will abound with the flavour of the fish; and if closely corked, and kept in a dry place, will remain good for some time.

Obs.—This extract is a welcome succedaneum while oysters are out of season, and in such inland parts as seldom have any, is a valuable addition to the list of fish sauces: it is equally good with boiled fowl, or rump steak, and sprinkled on bread and butter makes a very good sandwich, and is especially worthy the notice of country housekeepers, and as a store sauce for the army and navy. See Anchovy Powder, No. 435.

Shrimp Sauce.—(No. 283.)

Shell a pint of shrimps; pick them clean, wash them, and put them into half a pint of good melted butter. A pint of unshelled shrimps is about enough for four persons.

Obs.—Some stew the heads and shells of the shrimps, (with or without a blade of bruised mace,) for a quarter of an hour, and strain off the liquor to melt the butter with, and add a little lemon-juice, Cayenne, and essence of anchovy, or soy, cavice, &c.; but the flavour of the shrimp is so delicate, that it will be overcome by any such additions.

Mem.—If your shrimps are not quite fresh, they will eat tough and thready, as other stale fish do. See Obs. to No. 140.

[236]

Lobster Sauce.—(No. 284.)

Choose a fine spawny hen lobster;236-* be sure it is fresh, so get a live one if you can, (one of my culinary predecessors says, “let it be heavy and lively,”) and boil it as No. 176; pick out the spawn and the red coral into a mortar, add to it half an ounce of butter, pound it quite smooth, and rub it through a hair-sieve with the back of a wooden spoon; cut the meat of the lobster into small squares, or pull it to pieces with a fork; put the pounded spawn into as much melted butter (No. 256) as you think will do, and stir it together till it is thoroughly mixed; now put to it the meat of the lobster, and warm it on the fire; take care it does not boil, which will spoil its complexion, and its brilliant red colour will immediately fade.

The above is a very easy and excellent manner of making this sauce.

Some use strong beef or veal gravy instead of melted butter, adding anchovy, Cayenne, catchup, cavice, lemon-juice, or pickle, or wine, &c.

Obs.—Save a little of the inside red coral spawn, and rub it through a sieve (without butter): it is a very ornamental garnish to sprinkle over fish; and if the skin is broken, (which will sometimes happen to the most careful cook, when there is a large dinner to dress, and many other things to attend to,) you will find it a convenient and elegant veil, to conceal your misfortune from the prying eyes of piscivorous gourmands.

N.B. Various methods have been tried to preserve lobsters, see No. 178, and lobster spawn, for a store sauce. The live spawn may be kept some time in strong salt and water, or in an ice-house.

The following process might, perhaps, preserve it longer. Put it into a saucepan of boiling water, with a large spoonful of salt in it, and let it boil quick for five minutes; then drain it on a hair-sieve; spread it out thin on a plate, and set it in a Dutch oven till it is thoroughly dried; grind it in a clean mill, and pack it closely in well-stopped bottles. See also Potted Lobsters, No. 178.

[237]

Sauce for Lobster, &c.—(No. 285. See also No. 372.)

Bruise the yelks of two hard-boiled eggs with the back of a wooden spoon, or rather pound them in a mortar, with a tea-spoonful of water, and the soft inside and the spawn of the lobster; rub them quite smooth, with a tea-spoonful of made mustard, two table-spoonfuls of salad oil, and five of vinegar; season it with a very little Cayenne pepper, and some salt.

Obs.—To this, elder or tarragon vinegar (No. 396), or anchovy essence (No. 433), is occasionally added.

Liver and Parsley Sauce,—(No. 287.) or Liver and Lemon Sauce.

Wash the liver (it must be perfectly fresh) of a fowl or rabbit, and boil it five minutes in five table-spoonfuls of water; chop it fine, or pound or bruise it in a small quantity of the liquor it was boiled in, and rub it through a sieve: wash about one-third the bulk of parsley leaves, put them on to boil in a little boiling water, with a tea-spoonful of salt in it; lay it on a hair-sieve to drain, and mince it very fine; mix it with the liver, and put it into a quarter pint of melted butter, and warm it up; do not let it boil. Or,

To make Lemon and Liver Sauce.

Pare off the rind of a lemon, or of a Seville orange, as thin as possible, so as not to cut off any of the white with it; now cut off all the white, and cut the lemon into slices, about as thick as a couple of half-crowns; pick out the pips, and divide the slices into small squares: add these, and a little of the peel minced very fine to the liver, prepared as directed above, and put them into the melted butter, and warm them together; but do not let them boil.

N.B. The poulterers can always let you have fresh livers, if that of the fowl or rabbit is not good, or not large enough to make as much sauce as you wish.

Obs.—Some cooks, instead of pounding, mince the liver very fine (with half as much bacon), and leave out the parsley; others add the juice of half a lemon, and some of the peel grated, or a tea-spoonful of tarragon or Chili vinegar, a table-spoonful of white wine, or a little beaten mace, or nutmeg, or allspice: if you wish it a little more lively on the palate, pound an eschalot, or a few leaves of tarragon or basil, with anchovy, or catchup, or Cayenne.

[238]

Liver Sauce for Fish.—(No. 288.)

Boil the liver of the fish, and pound it in a mortar with a little flour; stir it into some broth, or some of the liquor the fish was boiled in, or melted butter, parsley, and a few grains of Cayenne, a little essence of anchovy (No. 433), or soy, or catchup (No. 439); give it a boil up, and rub it through a sieve: you may add a little lemon-juice, or lemon cut in dice.

Celery Sauce, white.—(No. 289.)

Pick and wash two heads of nice white celery; cut it into pieces about an inch long; stew it in a pint of water, and a tea-spoonful of salt, till the celery is tender;238-* roll an ounce of butter with a table-spoonful of flour; add this to half a pint of cream, and give it a boil up.

N.B. See No. 409.

Celery Sauce Purée, for boiled Turkey, Veal, Fowls, &c. (No. 290.)

Cut small half a dozen heads of nice white celery that is quite clean, and two onions sliced; put in a two-quart stew-pan, with a small lump of butter; sweat them over a slow fire till quite tender, then put in two spoonfuls of flour, half a pint of water (or beef or veal broth), salt and pepper, and a little cream or milk; boil it a quarter of an hour, and pass through a fine hair-sieve with the back of a spoon.

If you wish for celery sauce when celery is not in season, a quarter of a drachm of celery-seed, or a little essence of celery (No. 409), will impregnate half a pint of sauce with a sufficient portion of the flavour of the vegetable.

See Obs. to No. 214.

Green or Sorrel Sauce.—(No. 291.)

Wash and clean a large ponnet of sorrel; put it into a stew-pan that will just hold it, with a bit of butter the size of an egg; cover it close, set it over a slow fire for a quarter of an hour, pass the sorrel with the back of a wooden spoon through a hair-sieve, season with pepper, salt, and a small pinch of powdered sugar, make it hot, and serve up under[239] lamb, veal, sweetbreads, &c. &c. Cayenne, nutmeg, and lemon-juice are sometimes added.

Tomata, or Love-apple Sauce.—(No. 292. See also No. 443.)

Have twelve or fifteen tomatas, ripe and red; take off the stalk; cut them in half; squeeze them just enough to get all the water and seeds out; put them in a stew-pan with a capsicum, and two or three table-spoonfuls of beef gravy; set them on a slow stove for an hour, or till properly melted; then rub them through a tamis into a clean stew-pan, with a little white pepper and salt, and let them simmer together a few minutes.

[Love-apple Sauce according to Ude.

Melt in a stew-pan a dozen or two of love-apples (which, before putting in the stew-pan, cut in two, and squeeze the juice and the seeds out); then put two eschalots, one onion, with a few bits of ham, a clove, a little thyme, a bay-leaf, a few leaves of mace, and when melted, rub them through a tamis. Mix a few spoonfuls of good Espagnole or Spanish sauce, and a little salt and pepper, with this purée. Boil it for twenty minutes, and serve up. A.]

Mock Tomata Sauce.—(No. 293.)

The only difference between this and genuine love-apple sauce, is the substituting the pulp of apple for that of tomata, colouring it with turmeric, and communicating an acid flavour to it by vinegar.

Eschalot Sauce.—(No. 294.)

Take four eschalots, and make it in the same manner as garlic sauce (No. 272). Or,

You may make this sauce more extemporaneously by putting two table-spoonfuls of eschalot wine (No. 403), and a sprinkling of pepper and salt, into (almost) half a pint of thick melted butter.

Obs.—This is an excellent sauce for chops or steaks; many are very fond of it with roasted or boiled meat, poultry, &c.

Eschalot Sauce for boiled Mutton.—(No. 295.)

This is a very frequent and satisfactory substitute for “caper sauce.”

[240]Mince four eschalots very fine, and put them into a small saucepan, with almost half a pint of the liquor the mutton was boiled in: let them boil up for five minutes; then put in a table-spoonful of vinegar, a quarter tea-spoonful of pepper, a little salt, and a bit of butter (as big as a walnut) rolled in flour; shake together till it boils. See (No. 402) Eschalot Wine.

Obs.—We like a little lemon-peel with eschalot; the haut goût of the latter is much ameliorated by the delicate aroma of the former.

Some cooks add a little finely-chopped parsley.

Young Onion Sauce.—(No. 296.)

Peel a pint of button onions, and put them in water till you want to put them on to boil; put them into a stew-pan, with a quart of cold water; let them boil till tender; they will take (according to their size and age) from half an hour to an hour. You may put them into half a pint of No. 307. See also No. 137.

Onion Sauce.—(No. 297.)

Those who like the full flavour of onions only cut off the strings and tops (without peeling off any of the skins), put them into salt and water, and let them lie an hour; then wash them, put them into a kettle with plenty of water, and boil them till they are tender: now skin them, pass them through a colander, and mix a little melted butter with them.

N.B. Some mix the pulp of apples, or turnips, with the onions, others add mustard to them.

White Onion Sauce.—(No. 298.)

The following is a more mild and delicate240-* preparation: Take half a dozen of the largest and whitest onions (the Spanish are the mildest, but these can only be had from August to December); peel them and cut them in half, and lay them in a pan of spring-water for a quarter of an hour, and then boil for a quarter of an hour; and then, if you wish them to taste very mild, pour off that water, and cover them with fresh boiling water, and let them boil till they are tender, which will sometimes take three-quarters of an hour longer;[241] drain them well on a hair-sieve; lay them on the chopping-board, and chop and bruise them; put them into a clean saucepan, with some butter and flour, half a tea-spoonful of salt, and some cream, or good milk; stir it till it boils; then rub the whole through a tamis, or sieve, adding cream or milk, to make it the consistence you wish.

Obs.—This is the usual sauce for boiled rabbits, mutton, or tripe. There must be plenty of it; the usual expression signifies as much, for we say, smother them with it.

Brown Onion Sauces, or Onion Gravy.—(No. 299.)

Peel and slice the onions (some put in an equal quantity of cucumber or celery) into a quart stew-pan, with an ounce of butter; set it on a slow fire, and turn the onion about till it is very lightly browned; now gradually stir in half an ounce of flour; add a little broth, and a little pepper and salt; boil up for a few minutes; add a table-spoonful of claret, or port wine, and same of mushroom catchup, (you may sharpen it with a little lemon-juice or vinegar,) and rub it through a tamis or fine sieve.

Curry powder (No. 348) will convert this into excellent curry sauce.

N.B. If this sauce is for steaks, shred an ounce of onions, fry them a nice brown, and put them to the sauce you have rubbed through a tamis; or some very small, round, young silver button onions (see No. 296), peeled and boiled tender, and put in whole when your sauce is done, will be an acceptable addition.

Obs.—If you have no broth, put in half a pint of water, and see No. 252; just before you give it the last boil up, add to it another table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, or the same quantity of port wine or good ale.

The flavour of this sauce may be varied by adding tarragon or burnet vinegar (Nos. 396 and 399).

Sage and Onion, or Goose-stuffing Sauce.—(No. 300.)

Chop very fine an ounce of onion and half an ounce of green sage leaves; put them into a stew-pan with four spoonfuls of water; simmer gently for ten minutes; then put in a tea-spoonful of pepper and salt, and one ounce of fine bread-crumbs; mix well together; then pour to it a quarter of a pint of (broth, or gravy, or) melted butter, stir well together, and simmer it a few minutes longer.

[242]Obs. This is a very relishing sauce for roast pork, poultry, geese, or ducks; or green pease on maigre days.

See also Bonne Bouche for the above, No. 341.

Green Mint Sauce.—(No. 303.)

Wash half a handful of nice, young, fresh-gathered green mint (to this some add one-third the quantity of parsley); pick the leaves from the stalks, mince them very fine, and put them into a sauce-boat, with a tea-spoonful of moist sugar, and four table-spoonfuls of vinegar.

Obs.—This is the usual accompaniment to hot lamb; and an equally agreeable relish with cold lamb.

If green mint cannot be procured, this sauce may be made with mint vinegar (No. 398).

Apple Sauce.—(No. 304.)

Pare and core three good-sized baking apples; put them into a well-tinned pint saucepan, with two table-spoonfuls of cold water; cover the saucepan close, and set it on a trivet over a slow fire a couple of hours before dinner (some apples will take a long time stewing, others will be ready in a quarter of an hour): when the apples are done enough, pour off the water, let them stand a few minutes to get dry; then beat them up with a fork, with a bit of butter about as big as a nutmeg, and a tea-spoonful of powdered sugar.

N.B. Some add lemon-peel, grated, or minced fine, or boil a bit with the apples. Some are fond of apple sauce with cold pork: ask those you serve if they desire it.

Mushroom Sauce.—(No. 305.)

Pick and peel half a pint of mushrooms (the smaller the better); wash them very clean, and put them into a saucepan, with half a pint of veal gravy or milk, a little pepper and salt, and an ounce of butter rubbed with a table-spoonful of flour; stir them together, and set them over a gentle fire, to stew slowly till tender; skim and strain it.

Obs.—It will be a great improvement to this, and the two following sauces, to add to them the juice of half a dozen mushrooms, prepared the day before, by sprinkling them with salt, the same as when you make catchup; or add a large spoonful of good double mushroom catchup (No. 439).

See Quintessence of Mushrooms, No. 440.

[243]N.B. Much as we love the flavour of mushrooms, we must enter our protest against their being eaten in substance, when the morbid effects they produce too often prove them worthy of the appellations Seneca gave them, “voluptuous poison,” “lethal luxury,” &c.; and we caution those who cannot refrain from indulging their palate with the seducing relish of this deceitful fungus, to masticate it diligently.

We do not believe that mushrooms are nutritive; every one knows they are often dangerously indigestible; therefore the rational epicure will be content with extracting the flavour from them, which is obtained in the utmost perfection by the process directed in No. 439.

Mushroom Sauce, brown.—(No. 306.)

Put the mushrooms into half a pint of beef gravy (No. 186, or No. 329); thicken with flour and butter, and proceed as above.

Mushroom Sauce, extempore.—(No. 307.)

Proceed as directed in No. 256 to melt butter, only, instead of two table-spoonfuls of milk, put in two of mushroom catchup (No. 439 or No. 440); or add it to thickened broth, gravy, or mock turtle soup, &c. or put in No. 296.

Obs. This is a welcome relish with fish, poultry, or chops and steaks, &c. A couple of quarts of good catchup (No. 439,) will make more good sauce than ten times its cost of meat, &c.

Walnut catchup will give you another variety; and Ball’s cavice, which is excellent.

Poor Man’s Sauce.—(No. 310.)

Pick a handful of parsley leaves from the stalks, mince them very fine, strew over a little salt; shred fine half a dozen young green onions, add these to the parsley, and put them into a sauce-boat, with three table-spoonfuls of oil, and five of vinegar; add some ground black pepper and salt; stir together and send it up.

Pickled French beans or gherkins, cut fine, may be added, or a little grated horseradish.

Obs.—This sauce is in much esteem in France, where people of taste, weary of rich dishes, to obtain the charm of variety, occasionally order the fare of the peasant.

[244]

The Spaniard’s Garlic Gravy.—(No. 311. See also No. 272.)

Slice a pound and a half of veal or beef, pepper and salt it, lay it in a stew-pan with a couple of carrots split, and four cloves of garlic sliced, a quarter pound of sliced ham, and a large spoonful of water; set the stew-pan over a gentle fire, and watch when the meat begins to stick to the pan; when it does, turn it, and let it be very well browned (but take care it is not at all burned); then dredge it with flour, and pour in a quart of broth, a bunch of sweet herbs, a couple of cloves bruised, and slice in a lemon; set it on again, and let it simmer gently for an hour and a half longer; then take off the fat, and strain the gravy from the ingredients, by pouring it through a napkin, straining, and pressing it very hard.

Obs.—This, it is said, was the secret of the old Spaniard, who kept the house called by that name on Hampstead Heath.

Those who love garlic, will find it an extremely rich relish.

Mr. Michael Kelly’s244-* Sauce for boiled Tripe, Calf-head, or Cow-heel.—(No. 311*.)

Garlic vinegar, a table-spoonful; of mustard, brown sugar, and black pepper, a tea-spoonful each; stirred into half a pint of oiled melted butter.

Mr. Kelly’s Sauce piquante.

Pound a table-spoonful of capers, and one of minced parsley, as fine as possible; then add the yelks of three hard eggs, rub them well together with a table-spoonful of mustard; bone six anchovies, and pound them, rub them through a hair-sieve, and mix with two table-spoonfuls of oil, one of vinegar, one of eschalot ditto, and a few grains of Cayenne pepper; rub all these well together in a mortar, till thoroughly incorporated; then stir them into half a pint of good gravy, or melted butter, and put the whole through a sieve.

Fried Parsley.—(No. 317.)

Let it be nicely picked and washed, then put into a cloth, and swung backwards and forwards till it is perfectly dry;[245] put it into a pan of hot fat, fry it quick, and have a slice ready to take it out the moment it is crisp (in another moment it will be spoiled); put it on a sieve, or coarse cloth, before the fire to drain.

Crisp Parsley.—(No. 318.)

Pick and wash young parsley, shake it in a dry cloth to drain the water from it; spread it on a sheet of clean paper in a Dutch oven before the fire, and turn it frequently until it is quite crisp. This is a much more easy way of preparing it than frying it, which is not seldom ill done.

Obs. A very pretty garnish for lamb chops, fish, &c.

Fried Bread Sippets.—(No. 319.)

Cut a slice of bread about a quarter of an inch thick; divide it with a sharp knife into pieces two inches square; shape these into triangles or crosses; put some very clean fat into an iron frying-pan: when it is hot, put in the sippets, and fry them a delicate light brown; take them up with a fish slice, and drain them well from fat, turning them occasionally; this will take a quarter of an hour. Keep the pan at such a distance from the fire that the fat may be hot enough to brown without burning the bread; this is a requisite precaution in frying delicate thin things.

Obs. These are a pretty garnish, and very welcome accompaniment and improvement to the finest made dishes: they may also be sent up with pease and other soups; but when intended for soups, the bread must be cut into bits, about half an inch square.

N.B. If these are not done very delicately clean and dry, they are uneatable.

Fried Bread-crumbs.—(No. 320.)

Rub bread (which has been baked two days) through a wire sieve, or colander; or you may rub them in a cloth till they are as fine as if they had been grated and sifted; put them into a stew-pan, with a couple of ounces of butter; place it over a moderate fire, and stir them about with a wooden spoon till they are the colour of a guinea; spread them on a sieve, and let them stand ten minutes to drain, turning them frequently.

Obs. Fried crumbs are sent up with roasted sweetbreads, or larks, pheasants, partridges, woodcocks, and grouse, or moor game; especially if they have been kept long enough,

[246]

Bread Sauce.—(No. 321.)

Put a small tea-cupful of bread-crumbs into a stew-pan, pour on it as much milk as it will soak up, and a little more; or, instead of the milk, take the giblets, head, neck, and legs, &c. of the poultry, &c. and stew them, and moisten the bread with this liquor; put it on the fire with a middling-sized onion, and a dozen berries of pepper or allspice, or a little mace; let it boil, then stir it well, and let it simmer till it is quite stiff, and then put to it about two table-spoonfuls of cream or melted butter, or a little good broth; take out the onion and pepper, and it is ready.

Obs. This is an excellent accompaniment to game and poultry, &c., and a good vehicle for receiving various flavours from the Magazine of Taste (No. 462).

Rice Sauce.—(No. 321*.)

Steep a quarter of a pound of rice in a pint of milk, with onion, pepper, &c. as in the last receipt; when the rice is quite tender (take out the spice), rub it through a sieve into a clean stew-pan: if too thick, put a little milk or cream to it.

Obs. This is a very delicate white sauce; and at elegant tables is frequently served instead of bread sauce.

Browning,—(No. 322.)

Is a convenient article to colour those soups or sauces of which it is supposed their deep brown complexion denotes the strength and savouriness of the composition.

Burned sugar is also a favourite ingredient with the brewers, who use it under the name of “essentia bina” to colour their beer: it is also employed by the brandy-makers, in considerable quantity, to colour brandy; to which, besides enriching its complexion, it gives that sweetish taste, and fulness in the mouth, which custom has taught brandy drinkers to admire, and prefer to the finest Cognac in its genuine state.

When employed for culinary purposes, this is sometimes made with strong gravy, or walnut catchup. Those who like a goût of acid may add a little walnut pickle.

It will hardly be told from what is commonly called “genuine Japanese soy”246-* (for which it is a very good substitute). Burned treacle or sugar, the peels of walnut, Cayenne[247] pepper, or capsicums, or Chilies, vinegar, garlic, and pickled herrings (especially the Dutch), Sardinias, or sprats, appear to be the bases of almost all the sauces which now (to use the maker’s phrase) stand unrivalled.

Although indefatigable research and experiment have put us in possession of these compositions, it would not be quite fair to enrich the cook at the expense of the oilman, &c.; we hope we have said enough on these subjects to satisfy “the rational epicure.”

Put half a pound of pounded lump-sugar, and a table-spoonful of water, into a clean iron saucepan, set it over a slow fire, and keep stirring it with a wooden spoon till it becomes a bright brown colour, and begins to smoke; then add to it an ounce of salt, and dilute it by degrees with water, till it is the thickness of soy; let it boil, take off the scum, and strain the liquor into bottles, which must be well stopped: if you have not any of this by you, and you wish to darken the colour of your sauces, pound a tea-spoonful of lump-sugar, and put it into an iron spoon, with as much water as will dissolve it; hold it over a quick fire till it becomes of a very dark brown colour; mix it with the soup, &c. while it is hot.

Obs. Most of the preparations under this title are a medley of burned butter, spices, catchup, wine, &c. We recommend the rational epicure to be content with the natural colour of soups and sauces, which, to a well-educated palate, are much more agreeable, without any of these empyreumatic additions; however they may please the eye, they plague the stomach most grievously; so “open your mouth and shut your eyes.”

For the sake of producing a pretty colour, “cheese,” “Cayenne” (No. 404), “essence of anchovy” (No. 433), &c. are frequently adulterated with a colouring matter containing red lead!! See Accum on the Adulteration of Food, 2d edit. 12mo. 1820.

A scientific “homme de bouche de France” observes: “The generality of cooks calcine bones, till they are as black as a coal, and throw them hissing hot into the stew-pan, to give a brown colour to their broths. These ingredients, under the appearance of a nourishing gravy, envelope our food with stimulating acid and corrosive poison.

“Roux, or thickening (No. 257), if not made very carefully, produces exactly the same effect; and the juices of beef or veal, burned over a hot fire, to give a rich colour to soup or sauces, grievously offend the stomach, and create the most distressing indigestions.

[248]“The judicious cook will refuse the help of these incendiary articles, which ignorance or quackery only employ; not only at the expense of the credit of the cook, but the health of her employers.”

N.B. The best browning is good home-made glaze (No. 252), mushroom catchup (No. 439), or claret, or port wine. See also No. 257; or cut meat into slices, and broil them brown, and then stew them.

Gravy for roast Meat.—(No. 326.)

Most joints will afford sufficient trimmings, &c. to make half a pint of plain gravy, which you may colour with a few drops of No. 322: for those that do not, about half an hour before you think the meat will be done, mix a salt-spoonful of salt, with a full quarter pint of boiling water; drop this by degrees on the brown parts of the joint; set a dish under to catch it (the meat will soon brown again); set it by; as it cools, the fat will float on the surface; when the meat is ready, carefully remove the fat, and warm up the gravy, and pour it into the dish.

The common method is, when the meat is in the dish you intend to send it up in, to mix half a tea-spoonful of salt in a quarter pint of boiling water, and to drop some of this over the corners and underside of the meat, and to pour the rest through the hole the spit came out of: some pierce the inferior parts of the joints with a sharp skewer.

The following receipt was given us by a very good cook: You may make good browning for roast meat and poultry, by saving the brown bits of roast meat or broiled; cut them small, put them into a basin, cover them with boiling water, and put them away till next day; then put it into a saucepan, let it boil two or three minutes, strain it through a sieve into a basin, and put it away for use. When you want gravy for roast meat, put two table-spoonfuls into half a pint of boiling water with a little salt: if for roasted veal, put three table-spoonfuls into half a pint of thin melted butter.

N.B. The gravy which comes down in the dish, the cook (if she is a good housewife) will preserve to enrich hashes or little made dishes, &c.

Obs. Some culinary professors, who think nothing can be excellent that is not extravagant, call this “Scots’ gravy;” not, I believe, intending it, as it certainly is, a compliment to the laudable and rational frugality of that intelligent and sober-minded people.

N.B. This gravy should be brought to table in a sauce-[249]boat; preserve the intrinsic gravy which flows from the meat in the Argyll.

Gravy for boiled Meat,—(No. 327.)

May be made with parings and trimmings; or pour from a quarter to half a pint of the liquor in which the meat was boiled, into the dish with it, and pierce the inferior part of the joint with a sharp skewer.

Wow wow Sauce for stewed or bouilli Beef.—(No. 328.)

Chop some parsley-leaves very fine; quarter two or three pickled cucumbers, or walnuts, and divide them into small squares, and set them by ready: put into a saucepan a bit of butter as big as an egg; when it is melted, stir to it a table-spoonful of fine flour, and about half a pint of the broth in which the beef was boiled; add a table-spoonful of vinegar, the like quantity of mushroom catchup, or port wine, or both, and a tea-spoonful of made mustard; let it simmer together till it is as thick as you wish it; put in the parsley and pickles to get warm, and pour it over the beef; or rather send it up in a sauce-tureen.

Obs. If you think the above not sufficiently piquante, add to it some capers, or a minced eschalot, or one or two tea-spoonfuls of eschalot wine (No. 402), or essence of anchovy, or basil (No. 397), elder, or tarragon (No. 396), or horseradish (No. 399*), or burnet vinegar; or strew over the meat carrots and turnips cut into dice, minced capers, walnuts, red cabbage, pickled cucumbers, or French beans, &c.

Beef-gravy Sauce—(No. 329), or Brown Sauce for Ragoût, Game, Poultry, Fish, &c.

If you want gravy immediately, see No. 307, or No. 252. If you have time enough, furnish a thick and well-tinned stew-pan with a thin slice of fat ham or bacon, or an ounce of butter, and a middling-sized onion; on this lay a pound of nice, juicy gravy beef, (as the object in making gravy is to extract the nutritious succulence of the meat, it must be beaten to comminute the containing vessels, and scored to augment the surface to the action of the water); cover the stew-pan, and set it on a slow fire; when the meat begins to brown, turn it about, and let it get slightly browned (but take care it is not at all burned): then pour in a pint and a half of boiling water; set the pan on the fire; when it boils, carefully catch the scum, and then put in a crust of bread toasted[250] brown (don’t burn it), a sprig of winter savoury, or lemon-thyme and parsley, a roll of thin-cut lemon-peel, a dozen berries of allspice, and a dozen of black pepper; cover the stew-pan close, let it stew very gently for about two hours, then strain it through a sieve into a basin.

If you wish to thicken it, set a clean stew-pan over a slow fire, with about an ounce of butter in it; when it is melted, dredge to it (by degrees) as much flour as will dry it up, stirring them well together; when thoroughly mixed, pour in a little of the gravy; stir it well together, and add the remainder by degrees; set it over the fire, let it simmer gently for fifteen or twenty minutes longer, and skim off the fat, &c. as it rises; when it is about as thick as cream, squeeze it through a tamis, or fine sieve, and you will have a fine, rich brown sauce, at a very moderate expense, and without much trouble.

Obs. If you wish to make it still more relishing, if it is for poultry, you may pound the liver with a bit of butter, rub it through a sieve, and stir it into the sauce when you put in the thickening.

For a ragoût or game, add at the same time a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, or No. 343,250-* or No. 429, or a few drops of 422, the juice of half a lemon, and a roll of the rind pared thin, a table-spoonful of port, or other wine (claret is best), and a few grains of Cayenne pepper; or use double the quantity of meat; or add a bit of glaze, or portable soup (No. 252), to it.

You may vary the flavour, by sometimes adding a little basil, or burnet wine (No. 397), tarragon vinegar (No. 396), or a wine-glass of quintessence of mushrooms (No. 450).

See the Magazine of Taste (No. 462).

N.B. This is an excellent gravy; and at a large dinner, a pint of it should be placed at each end of the table; you may make it equal to the most costly consommé of the Parisian kitchen.

Those families who are frequently in want of gravy, sauces, &c. (without plenty of which no cook can support the credit of her kitchen), should keep a stock of portable soup or glaze (No. 252): this will make gravy immediately.

[251]

Game Gravy.—(No. 337.)

See Obs. to No. 329.

Orange-gravy Sauce, for wild Ducks, Woodcocks, Snipes, Widgeon, and Teal, &c.—(No. 338.)

Set on a saucepan with half a pint of veal gravy (No. 192), add to it half a dozen leaves of basil, a small onion, and a roll of orange or lemon-peel, and let it boil up for a few minutes, and strain it off. Put to the clear gravy the juice of a Seville orange, or lemon, half a tea-spoonful of salt, the same of pepper, and a glass of red wine; send it up hot. Eschalot and Cayenne may be added.

Obs.—This is an excellent sauce for all kinds of wild water-fowl.

The common way of gashing the breast and squeezing in an orange, cools and hardens the flesh, and compels every one to eat duck that way: some people like wild fowl very little done, and without any sauce.

Gravies should always be sent up in a covered boat: they keep hot longer; and it leaves it to the choice of the company to partake of them or not,

Bonne Bouche for Goose, Duck, or roast Pork.—(No. 341.)

Mix a tea-spoonful of made mustard, a salt-spoonful of salt, and a few grains of Cayenne, in a large wine-glassful of claret or port wine;251-* pour it into the goose by a slit in the apron just before serving up;251-† or, as all the company may not like it, stir it into a quarter of a pint of thick melted butter, or thickened gravy, and send it up in a boat. See also Sage and Onion Sauce, No. 300. Or,

A favourite relish for roast pork or geese, &c. is, two ounces of leaves of green sage, an ounce of fresh lemon-peel pared thin, same of salt, minced eschalot, and half a drachm of Cayenne pepper, ditto of citric acid, steeped for a fortnight in a pint of claret; shake it up well every day; let it stand a day to settle, and decant the clear liquor; bottle it, and cork it close; a table-spoonful or more in a quarter pint of gravy, or melted butter.

[252]

Robert Sauce for roast Pork, or Geese, &c.—(No. 342.)

Put an ounce of butter into a pint stew-pan: when it is melted, add to it half an ounce of onion minced very fine; turn it with a wooden spoon till it takes a light brown colour; then stir in a table-spoonful of flour, a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup (with or without the like quantity of port wine), half a pint of broth or water, and a quarter of a tea-spoonful of pepper, the same of salt; give them a boil; then add a tea-spoonful of mustard, and the juice of half a lemon, or one or two tea-spoonfuls of vinegar or basil (No. 397), or tarragon (No. 396), or burnet vinegar (No. 399).

Obs.—The French call this “Sauce Robert” (from the name of the cook who invented it), and are very fond of it with many things, which Mary Smith, in the “Complete Housekeeper,” 8vo. 1772, p. 105, translates ROE-BOAT-SAUCE. See Obs. to No. 529.

Turtle Sauce.—(No. 343.)

Put into your stew-pan a pint of beef gravy thickened (No. 329); add to this some of the following—essence of turtle, (No. 343*), or a wine-glassful of Madeira, the juice and peel of half a lemon, a few leaves of basil,252-* an eschalot quartered, a few grains of Cayenne pepper, or curry powder, and a little essence of anchovy; let them simmer together for five minutes, and strain through a tamis: you may introduce a dozen turtle forcemeat balls. See receipt, No. 380, &c.

Obs.—This is the sauce for boiled or hashed calf’s head, stewed veal, or any dish you dress turtle fashion.

The far-fetched and dear-bought turtle owes its high rank on the list of savoury bonne bouches to the relishing and piquante sauce that is made for it; without, it would be as insipid as any other fish is without sauce. See Obs. to No. 493.

Essence of Turtle.—(No. 343*.)

  • Essence of anchovy (No. 433), one wine-glassful.
  • Eschalot wine (No. 402), one and a half ditto.
  • Basil wine (No. 397), four ditto.
  • Mushroom catchup (No. 439), two ditto.
  • Concrete lemon acid, one drachm, or some artificial lemon-juice (No. 407*).
  • Lemon-peel, very thinly pared, three-quarters of an ounce.
  • [253]Curry powder (No. 455), a quarter of an ounce.

Steep for a week, to get the flavour of the lemon-peel, &c.

Obs.—This is very convenient to extemporaneously turtlefy soup, sauce, or potted meats, ragoûts, savoury patties, pies, &c. &c.

Wine Sauce for Venison or Hare.—(No. 344.)

A quarter of a pint of claret or port wine, the same quantity of plain, unflavoured mutton gravy (No. 347), and a table-spoonful of currant jelly: let it just boil up, and send it to table in a sauce-boat.

Sharp Sauce for Venison.—(No. 345.)

Put into a silver, or very clean and well-tinned saucepan, half a pint of the best white wine vinegar, and a quarter of a pound of loaf-sugar pounded: set it over the fire, and let it simmer gently; skim it carefully; pour it through a tamis or fine sieve, and send it up in a basin.

Obs.—Some people like this better than the sweet wine sauces.

Sweet Sauce for Venison or Hare.—(No. 346.)

Put some currant-jelly into a stew-pan; when it is melted, pour it into a sauce-boat.

N.B. Many send it to table without melting. To make currant-jelly, see No. 479*.

This is a more salubrious relish than either spice or salt, when the palate protests against animal food unless its flavour be masked. Currant-jelly is a good accompaniment to roasted or hashed meats.

Mutton Gravy for Venison or Hare.—(No. 347.)

The best gravy for venison is that made with the trimmings of the joint: if this is all used, and you have no undressed venison, cut a scrag of mutton in pieces; broil it a little brown; then put it into a clean stew-pan, with a quart of boiling water; cover it close, and let it simmer gently for an hour: now uncover the stew-pan, and let it reduce to three-quarters of a pint; pour it through a hair-sieve; take the fat off, and send it up in a boat. It is only to be seasoned with a little salt, that it may not overpower the natural flavour of the meat. You may colour it with a very little of No. 322.

[254]N.B. Some prefer the unseasoned beef gravy, No. 186, which you may make in five minutes with No. 252.

The queen’s gravy of mutton, as made by her Majesty’s “Escuyer de Cuisine,” Monsieur La Montagne. “Roast a juicy leg of mutton three-quarters; then gash it in several places, and press out the juice by a screw-press.”—From Sir Kenelm Digby’s Cookery, 18mo. London, 1669.

Curry Sauce,—(No. 348.)

Is made by stirring a sufficient quantity of curry stuff, (No. 455) into gravy or melted butter, or onion sauce (Nos. 297, 298), or onion gravy (No. 299, or No. 339).

The compositions of curry powder, and the palates of those who eat it, vary so much, that we cannot recommend any specific quantity. The cook must add it by degrees, tasting as she proceeds, and take care not to put in too much.

Obs.—The curry powder (No. 455) approximates more nearly to the best Indian curry stuff, and is an agreeable and well-blended mixture of this class of aromatics.

N.B. To dress curries, see No. 497.

Essence of Ham.—(No. 351.)

Essence of ham and of beef may be purchased at the eating-houses which cut up those joints; the former for half a crown or three shillings a quart: it is therefore a most economical relish for made-dishes, and to give piquance to sauces, &c.

Grill Sauce.—(No. 355.)

To half a pint of gravy (No. 329), add an ounce of fresh butter, and a table-spoonful of flour, previously well rubbed together, the same of mushroom or walnut catchup, two tea-spoonfuls of lemon-juice, one of made mustard, one of minced capers, half a one of black pepper, a quarter of a rind of a lemon grated very thin, a tea-spoonful of essence of anchovies, and a little eschalot wine (No. 402), or a very small piece of minced eschalot, and a little Chili vinegar (No. 405), or a few grains of Cayenne; simmer together for a few minutes; pour a little of it over the grill, and send up the rest in a sauce-tureen. For anchovy toasts, No. 573, or No. 538. Or,

[255]

Sauce à la Tartare.

Pound in a mortar three hard yelks of eggs; put them into a basin, and add half a table-spoonful of made mustard, and a little pepper and salt; pour to it by degrees, stirring it fast all the while, about two wine-glassfuls of salad oil; stir it together till it comes to a good thickness.

N.B. A little tarragon or chervil minced very fine, and a little vinegar, may be added; or some of the ingredients enumerated in No. 372.

Obs.—This from the French artist who wrote the receipt for dressing a turtle.

Mem.—These are piquante relishes for anchovy toasts (No. 573, or No. 538); for BROILED DEVILS, &c. “Véritable sauce d’enfer,” see No. 538; and a refreshing excitement for those idle palates, who are as incessantly mumbling out “piquante, piquante,” as parrots do “pretty Poll, pretty Poll.”

“For palates grown callous almost to disease,
Who peppers the highest is surest to please.”
Goldsmith.

Sauce for Steaks, or Chops, Cutlets, &c.—(No. 356. See also No. 331.)

Take your chops out of the frying-pan; for a pound of meat keep a table-spoonful of the fat in the pan, or put in about an ounce of butter; put to it as much flour as will make it a paste; rub it well together over the fire till they are a little brown; then add as much boiling water as will reduce it to the thickness of good cream, and a table-spoonful of mushroom or walnut catchup, or pickle, or browning (No. 322, or No. 449); let it boil together a few minutes, and pour it through a sieve to the steaks, &c.

Obs.—To the above is sometimes added a sliced onion, or a minced eschalot, with a table-spoonful of port wine, or a little eschalot wine (Nos. 402, 423, or 135). Garnish with finely-scraped horseradish, or pickled walnuts, gherkins, &c. Some beef-eaters like chopped eschalots in one saucer, and horseradish grated in vinegar, in another. Broiled mushrooms are favourite relishes to beef-steaks.

Sauce Piquante for cold Meat, Game, Poultry, Fish, &c. or Salads.—(No. 359. See also No. 372, and Cucumber Vinegar, Nos. 399 and 453.)

Pound in a mortar the yelks of two eggs that have been boiled hard (No. 547), with a mustard-spoonful of made[256] mustard, and a little pepper and salt; add two table-spoonfuls of salad oil; mix well, and then add three table-spoonfuls of vinegar; rub it up well till it is quite smooth, and pass it through a tamis or sieve.

Obs.—To the above, some add an anchovy, or a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, or walnut pickle, some finely-chopped parsley, grated horseradish, or young onions minced, or burnet (No. 399), horseradish (No. 399*, or No. 402), or tarragon, or elder vinegar (No. 396), &c., and Cayenne or minced pickles, capers, &c. This is a piquante relish for lobsters, crabs, cold fish, &c.

Sauce for Hashes of Mutton or Beef.—(No. 360. See also Nos. 451, 485, and to make Plain Hash, No. 486.)

Unless you are quite sure you perfectly understand the palate of those you are working for, show those who are to eat the hash this receipt, and beg of them to direct you how they wish it seasoned.

Half the number of the ingredients enumerated will be more than enough: but as it is a receipt so often wanted we have given variety. See also No. 486.

To prepare the meat, see No. 484.

Chop the bones and fragments of the joint, &c., and put them into a stew-pan; cover them with boiling water, six berries of black pepper, the same of allspice, a small bundle of parsley, half a head of celery cut in pieces, and a small sprig of savoury, or lemon-thyme, or sweet marjoram; cover up, and let it simmer gently for half an hour.

Slice half an ounce of onion, and put it into a stew-pan with an ounce of butter; fry it over a sharp fire for about a couple of minutes, till it takes a little colour; then stir in as much flour as will make it a stiff paste, and by degrees mix with it the gravy you have made from the bones, &c.; let it boil very gently for about a quarter of an hour, till it is the consistence of cream; strain it through a tamis or sieve into a basin; put it back into the stew-pan: to season it, see No. 451, or cut in a few pickled onions, or walnuts, or a couple of gherkins, and a table-spoonful of mushroom catchup, or walnut or other pickle liquor; or some capers, and caper liquor; or a table-spoonful of ale; or a little eschalot, or tarragon vinegar; cover the bottom of the dish with sippets of bread (that they may become savoury reservoirs of gravy), which some toast and cut into triangles. You may garnish it with fried bread sippets (No. 319).

[257]N.B. To hash meat in perfection, it should be laid in this gravy only just long enough to get properly warm through.

Obs. If any of the gravy that was sent up with, or ran from the joint when it was roasted, be left, it will be a great improvement to the hash.

If you wish to make mock venison, instead of the onion, put in two or three cloves, a table-spoonful of currant jelly, and the same quantity of claret or port wine, instead of the catchup.

You may make a curry hash by adding some of No. 455.

N.B. A pint of No. 329 is an excellent gravy to warm up either meat or poultry.

Sauce for hashed or minced Veal.—(No. 361. See No. 511.)

Take the bones of cold roast or boiled veal, dredge them well with flour, and put them into a stew-pan with a pint and a half of broth or water, a small onion, a little grated or finely-minced lemon-peel, or the peel of a quarter of a small lemon, pared as thin as possible, half a tea-spoonful of salt, and a blade of pounded mace; to thicken it, rub a table-spoonful of flour into half an ounce of butter; stir it into the broth, and set it on the fire, and let it boil very gently for about half an hour; strain through a tamis or sieve, and it is ready to put to the veal to warm up; which is to be done by placing the stew-pan by the side of the fire. Squeeze in half a lemon, and cover the bottom of the dish with toasted bread sippets cut into triangles, and garnish the dish with slices of ham or bacon. See Nos. 526 and 527.

Bechamel, by English Cooks commonly called White Sauce. (No. 364.)

Cut in square pieces, half an inch thick, two pounds of lean veal, half a pound of lean ham; melt in a stew-pan two ounces of butter; when melted, let the whole simmer until it is ready to catch at the bottom (it requires great attention, as, if it happen to catch at the bottom of the stew-pan, it will spoil the look of your sauce); then add to it three table-spoonfuls of flour; when well mixed, add to it three pints of broth or water (pour a little at a time, that the thickening be smooth); stir it until it boil; put the stew-pan on the corner of the stove to boil gently for two hours; season it with four cloves, one onion, twelve pepper-corns, a blade of mace, a few mushrooms and a fagot made of parsley, a sprig of thyme, and a[258] bay-leaf. Let the sauce reduce to a quart, skim the fat off, and strain it through a tamis cloth.

To make a bechamel sauce, add to a quart of the above a pint of good cream; stir it until it is reduced to a good thickness; a few mushrooms give a good flavour to that sauce; strain it through a tamis cloth.

Obs. The above was given us by a French artist.

A more economical Method of making a Pint of White Sauce.—(No. 364—2.)

Put equal parts of broth and milk into a stew-pan with an onion and a blade of mace; set it on the fire to boil ten minutes; have ready and rub together on a plate an ounce of flour and butter; put it into the stew-pan; stir it well till it boils up; then stand it near the fire or stove, stirring it every now and then till it becomes quite smooth; then strain it through a sieve into a basin; put it back into the stew-pan; season it with salt and the juice of a small lemon; beat up the yelks of two eggs well with about three table-spoonfuls of milk, strain it through a sieve into your sauce, stir it well and keep it near the fire, but be sure and do not let it boil, for it will curdle.

Obs. A convenient veil for boiled fowls, &c. whose complexions are not inviting.

Mem. With the assistance of the Magazine of Taste (No. 462) you may give this sauce a variety of flavours.

Obs. Bechamel implies a thick white sauce, approaching to a batter, and takes its name from a wealthy French Marquis, maître d’hôtel de Louis XIV., and famous for his patronage of “les Officiers de Bouche,” who have immortalized him, by calling by his name this delicate composition.

Most of the French sauces take their name from the person whose palate they first pleased, as “à la Maintenon;” or from some famous cook who invented them, as “Sauce Robert,” “à la Montizeur,” &c.

We have in the English kitchen, our “Argyll” for gravy, and the little “Sandwich,” “monumentum ære perennius.”

——“And thus Monteith
Has, by one vessel, saved his name from death.”
King’s Art of Cookery.

Poivrade Sauce.—(No. 365.)

This, as its title tells us, is a sauce of French extraction.[259] The following receipt is from “La Cuisinière Bourgeoise,” page 408.

“Put a bit of butter as big as an egg into a stew-pan with two or three bits of onion, carrot, and turnip, cut in slices, two eschalots, two cloves, a bay-leaf, thyme, and basil; keep turning them in the pan till they get a little colour; shake in some flour, and add a glass of red wine, a glass of water, a spoonful of vinegar, and a little pepper and salt; boil half an hour; skim and strain it.”

Mustard in a minute.—(No. 369.)

Mix very gradually, and rub together in a mortar, an ounce of flour of mustard, with three table-spoonfuls of milk (cream is better), half a tea-spoonful of salt, and the same of sugar; rub them well together till quite smooth.

Obs. Mustard made in this manner is not at all bitter, and is therefore instantly ready for the table.

N.B. It has been said that flour of mustard is sometimes adulterated with common flour, &c. &c.

Mustard.—(No. 370.)

Mix (by degrees, by rubbing together in a mortar) the best Durham flour of mustard, with vinegar, white wine, or cold water, in which scraped horseradish has been boiled; rub it well together for at least ten minutes, till it is perfectly smooth; it will keep in a stone jar closely stopped, for a fortnight: only put as much into the mustard-pot as will be used in a day or two.

The ready-made mustard prepared at the oil shops is mixed with about one-fourth part salt: this is done to preserve it, if it is to be kept long; otherwise, by all means, omit it. The best way of eating salt is in substance.

*** See also recipe No. 427.

Obs. Mustard is the best of all the stimulants that are employed to give energy to the digestive organs. It was in high favour with our forefathers; in the Northumberland Household Book for 1512, p. 18, is an order for an annual supply of 160 gallons of mustard.

Some opulent epicures mix it with sherry or Madeira wine, or distilled or flavoured vinegar, instead of horseradish water.

The French flavour their mustard with Champaigne and other wines, or with vinegar flavoured with capers, anchovies,[260] tarragon, elder, basil, burnet, garlic, eschalot, or celery, see No. 395 to No. 402: warming it with Cayenne, or the various spices; sweet, savoury, fine herbs, truffles, catchup, &c. &c., and seem to consider mustard merely as a vehicle of flavours.

N.B. In Mons. Maille et Aclocque’s catalogue of Parisian “Bono Bons,” there is a list of twenty-eight differently flavoured mustards.

Salt,—(No. 371.)

Is (“aliorum condimentorum condimentum,” as Plutarch calls it,) sauce for sauce.

Common salt is more relishing than basket salt; it should be prepared for the table by drying it in a Dutch oven before the fire; then put it on a clean paper, and roll it with a rolling pin; if you pound it in a mortar till it is quite fine, it will look as well as basket salt. Malden salt is still more piquante.

*** Select for table-use the lumps of salt.

Obs. Your salt-box must have a close cover, and be kept in a dry place.

Salad mixture.—(No. 372. See also Nos. 138* and 453.)

Endeavour to have your salad herbs as fresh as possible; if you suspect they are not “morning gathered,” they will be much refreshed by lying an hour or two in spring-water; then carefully wash and pick them, and trim off all the worm-eaten, slimy, cankered, dry leaves; and, after washing, let them remain a while in the colander to drain: lastly, swing them gently in a clean napkin: when properly picked and cut, arrange them in the salad dish, mix the sauce in a soup plate, and put it into an ingredient bottle,260-* or pour it down the side of the salad dish, and don’t stir it up till the mouths are ready for it.

If the herbs be young, fresh gathered, trimmed neatly, and drained dry, and the sauce-maker ponders patiently over the following directions, he cannot fail obtaining the fame of being a very accomplished salad-dresser.

Boil a couple of eggs for twelve minutes, and put them in a basin of cold water for a few minutes; the yelks must be quite cold and hard, or they will not incorporate with the in[261]gredients. Rub them through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and mix them with a table-spoonful of water, or fine double cream; then add two table-spoonfuls of oil or melted butter; when these are well mixed, add, by degrees, a tea-spoonful of salt, or powdered lump sugar, and the same of made mustard: when these are smoothly united, add very gradually three table-spoonfuls of vinegar; rub it with the other ingredients till thoroughly incorporated with them; cut up the white of the egg, and garnish the top of the salad with it. Let the sauce remain at the bottom of the bowl, and do not stir up the salad till it is to be eaten: we recommend the eaters to be mindful of the duty of mastication, without the due performance of which, all undressed vegetables are troublesome company for the principal viscera, and some are even dangerously indigestible.

Boiled Salad.

This is best compounded of boiled or baked onions (if Portugal the better), some baked beet-root, cauliflower, or broccoli, and boiled celery and French beans, or any of these articles, with the common salad dressing; added to this, to give it an enticing appearance, and to give some of the crispness and freshness so pleasant in salad, a small quantity of raw endive, or lettuce and chervil, or burnet, strewed on the top: this is by far more wholesome than the raw salad, and is much eaten when put on the table.

N.B. The above sauce is equally good with cold meat, cold fish, or for cucumbers, celery, radishes, &c. and all the other vegetables that are sent to table undressed: to the above, a little minced onion is generally an acceptable addition.

Obs. Salad is a very compound dish with our neighbours the French, who always add to the mixture above, black pepper, and sometimes savoury spice.

The Italians mince the white meat of chickens into this sauce.

The Dutch, cold boiled turbot or lobster; or add to it a spoonful of grated parmesan or old Cheshire cheese, or mince very fine a little tarragon, or chervil, burnet, or young onion, celery, or pickled gherkins, &c.

Joan Cromwell’s grand salad was composed of equal parts of almonds, raisins, capers, pickled cucumbers, shrimps, and boiled turnips.

This mixture is sometimes made with cream, oiled butter[262] (see No. 260*), or some good jelly of meat (which many prefer to the finest Florence oil), and flavoured with salad mixture (No. 453), basil (No. 397), or cress or celery vinegar (No. 397*), horseradish vinegar (No. 399*), cucumber vinegar (No. 399), and Obs. to No. 116 of the Appendix; tarragon, or elder vinegar, essence of celery (No. 409), walnut or lemon pickle, or a slice of lemon cut into dice, and essence of anchovy (No. 433).

Forcemeat Stuffings.—(No. 373.)

Forcemeat is now considered an indispensable accompaniment to most made dishes, and when composed with good taste, gives additional spirit and relish to even that “sovereign of savouriness,” turtle soup.

It is also sent up in patties, and for stuffing of veal, game, poultry, &c.

The ingredients should be so proportioned, that no one flavour predominates.

To give the same stuffing for veal, hare, &c. argues a poverty of invention; with a little contrivance, you may make as great a variety as you have dishes.

I have given receipts for some of the most favourite compositions, and a table of materials, a glance at which will enable the ingenious cook to make an infinite variety of combinations: the first column containing the spirit, the second the substance of them.

The poignancy of forcemeat should be proportioned to the savouriness of the viands, to which it is intended to give an additional zest. Some dishes require a very delicately flavoured forcemeat, for others, it must be full and high seasoned. What would be piquante in a turkey, would be insipid with turtle.

Tastes are so different, and the praise the cook receives will depend so much on her pleasing the palate of those she works for, that all her sagacity must be on the alert, to produce the flavours to which her employers are partial. See pages 45 and 46.

Most people have an acquired and peculiar taste in stuffings, &c., and what exactly pleases one, seldom is precisely what another considers the most agreeable: and after all the contrivance of a pains-taking palatician, to combine her “hauts goûts” in the most harmonious proportions,

“The very dish one likes the best,
Is acid, or insipid, to the rest.”

[263]

Custom is all in all in matters of taste: it is not that one person is naturally fond of this or that, and another naturally averse to it; but that one is used to it, and another is not.

The consistency of forcemeats is rather a difficult thing to manage; they are almost always either too light or too heavy.

Take care to pound it till perfectly smooth, and that all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

Forcemeat-balls must not be larger than a small nutmeg. If they are for brown sauce, flour and fry them; if for white, put them into boiling water, and boil them for three minutes: the latter are by far the most delicate.

N.B. If not of sufficient stiffness, it falls to pieces, and makes soup, &c. grouty and very unsightly.

Sweetbreads and tongues are the favourite materials for forcemeat.

MATERIALS USED FOR FORCEMEAT, STUFFINGS, &C.

Spirit.
Common thyme.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fresh and green, or in dried powder (No. 461).
Lemon-thyme.
Orange-thyme.
Sweet marjoram.
Summer and
Winter savoury.
Sage.
Tarragon (No. 396).
Chervil.
Burnet (No. 399).
Basil (No. 397).
Bay-leaf.
Truffles and
Morells.
Mushroom powder (No. 439).
Leeks.
Onions.
Eschalot (No. 402).
Garlic.
Lemon-peel (see Nos. 407 and 408).
Shrimps (No. 175)
Prawns.
Crabs.
Lobsters (Nos. 176 and 178).
Oysters.
Anchovy (No. 433).
Dressed TONGUE (see N.B. to No. 373).
Ham.
Bacon.
Black or white pepper.
Allspice.
Mace.
Cinnamon
Ginger.
Nutmegs.
Cloves.
Capers and pickles (minced or pounded)
Savoury powder (No. 465).
Soup herb powder (No. 467).
Curry powder (No. 455).
Cayenne (No. 404).
Zest (No. 255).
Substances.
Flour.
Crumbs of bread.
Parsley (see N.B. to No. 261).
Spinage.
Boiled onion.
Mashed potatoes (No. 106).
Yelks of hard eggs (No. 574).
Mutton.
Beef.
Veal suet,263-* or marrow.
Calf’s udder, or brains.
Parboiled sweetbread.
Veal, minced and pounded, and
Potted meats, &c. (No. 503.)

[264]For liquids, you have meat gravy, lemon-juice, syrup of lemons (Nos. 391 and 477), essence of anchovy (No. 433), the various vegetable essences (No. 407), mushroom catchup (No. 439), and the whites and yelks of eggs, wines, and the essence of spices.

Stuffing for Veal, roast Turkey, Fowl, &c.—(No. 374.)

Mince a quarter of a pound of beef suet (beef marrow is better), the same weight of bread-crumbs, two drachms of parsley-leaves, a drachm and a half of sweet marjoram or lemon-thyme, and the same of grated lemon-peel and onion chopped as fine as possible, a little pepper and salt; pound thoroughly together with the yelk and white of two eggs, and secure it in the veal with a skewer, or sew it in with a bit of thread.

Make some of it into balls or sausages; flour them, and boil, or fry them, and send them up as a garnish, or in a side dish, with roast poultry, veal, or cutlets, &c.

N.B. This is about the quantity for a turkey poult: a very large turkey will take nearly twice as much. To the above may be added an ounce of dressed ham; or use equal parts of the above stuffing and pork sausage meat (No. 87.) pounded well together.

Obs. Good stuffing has always been considered a chef-d’œuvre in cookery: it has given immortality to

“Poor Roger Fowler, who’d a generous mind,
Nor would submit to have his hand confin’d,
But aimed at all,—yet never could excel
In any thing but stuffing of his veal.”
King’s Art of Cookery, p. 113.

Veal Forcemeat.—(No. 375.)

Of undressed lean veal (after you have scraped it quite fine, and free from skin and sinews), two ounces, the same quantity of beef or veal suet, and the same of bread-crumbs; chop fine two drachms of parsley, one of lemon-peel, one of sweet herbs, one of onion, and half a drachm of mace, or allspice, beaten to fine powder; pound all together in a mortar; break into it the yelk and white of an egg; rub it all up well together, and season it with a little pepper and salt.

Obs.—This may be made more savoury by the addition of cold boiled pickled tongue, anchovy, eschalot, Cayenne or curry powder, [265]&c.

Stuffing for Turkeys or Fowls, &c.—(No. 377.)

Take the foregoing composition for the roast turkey, or add the soft part of a dozen oysters to it: an anchovy, or a little grated ham, or tongue, if you like it, is still more relishing. Fill the craw of the fowl, &c.; but do not cram it so as to disfigure its shape.

Pork sausage meat is sometimes used to stuff turkeys and fowls; or fried, and sent up as a garnish.

Goose or Duck Stuffing.—(No. 378.)

Chop very fine about two ounces of onion, of green sage-leaves about an ounce (both unboiled), four ounces of bread-crumbs, a bit of butter about as big as a walnut, &c., the yelk and white of an egg, and a little pepper and salt: some add to this a minced apple.

For another, see roasted goose and duck (Nos. 59 and 61), which latter we like as forcemeat-balls for mock turtle; then add a little lemon-peel, and warm it with Cayenne.

Stuffing for Hare.—(No. 379.)

Two ounces of beef suet chopped fine; three ounces of fine bread-crumbs; parsley, a drachm; eschalot, half a drachm; a drachm of marjoram, lemon-thyme, or winter savoury; a drachm of grated lemon-peel, and the same of pepper and salt: mix these with the white and yelk of an egg; do not make it thin—it must be of cohesive consistence: if your stuffing is not stiff enough, it will be good for nothing: put it in the hare, and sew it up.

*** If the liver is quite sound, you may parboil it, and mince it very fine, and add it to the above.

Forcemeat-Balls for Turtle, Mock Turtle, or Made Dishes. (No. 380. See also No. 375.)

Pound some veal in a marble mortar; rub it through a sieve with as much of the udder as you have veal, or about a third of the quantity of butter: put some bread-crumbs into a stew-pan, moisten them with milk, add a little chopped parsley and eschalot, rub them well together in a mortar till they form a smooth paste; put it through a sieve, and, when cold, pound, and mix all together, with the yelks of three eggs boiled hard; season it with salt, pepper, and curry powder, or Cayenne; add to it the yelks of two raw eggs; rub it well together, and make small balls: ten minutes before your soup is ready, put them in.

[266]

Egg Balls.—(No. 381.)

Boil four eggs for ten minutes, and put them into cold water; when they are quite cold, put the yelks into a mortar with the yelk of a raw egg, a tea-spoonful of flour, same of chopped parsley, as much salt as will lie on a shilling, and a little black pepper, or Cayenne; rub them well together, roll them into small balls (as they swell in boiling); boil them a couple of minutes.

Brain Balls.

See No. 247, or beat up the brains of a calf in the way we have above directed the egg.

Curry Balls for Mock Turtle, Veal, Poultry, Made Dishes, &c. (No. 382.)

Are made with bread-crumbs, the yelk of an egg boiled hard, and a bit of fresh butter about half as big, beaten together in a mortar, and seasoned with curry powder (No. 455): make and prepare small balls, as directed in No. 381.

Fish Forcemeat.—(No. 383.)

Take two ounces of either turbot, sole, lobster, shrimps, or oysters; free from skin, put it in a mortar with two ounces of fresh butter, one ounce of bread-crumbs, the yelk of two eggs boiled-hard, and a little eschalot, grated lemon-peel, and parsley, minced very fine; then pound it well till it is thoroughly mixed and quite smooth; season it with salt and Cayenne to your taste; break in the yelk and white of one egg, rub it well together, and it is ready for use. Oysters parboiled and minced fine, and an anchovy, may be added.

Zest Balls.—(No. 386. See No. 255.)

Prepared in the same way as No. 381.

Orange or Lemon-peel, to mix with Stuffing.—(No. 387.)

Peel a Seville orange, or lemon, very thin, taking off only the fine yellow rind (without any of the white); pound it in a mortar with a bit of lump sugar; rub it well with the peel; by degrees add a little of the forcemeat it is to be mixed with: when it is well ground and blended with this, mix it with the whole: there is no other way of incorporating it so well.

Forcemeats, &c. are frequently spoiled by the insufficient mixing of the ingredients.

[267]

Clouted or Clotted Cream.—(No. 388.)

The milk which is put into the pans one morning stands till the next; then set the pan on a hot hearth, or in a copper tray267-* half full of water; put this over a stove; in from ten to twenty minutes, according to the quantity of the milk and the size of the pan, it will be done enough; the sign of which is, that bladders rise on its surface; this denotes that it is near boiling, which it must by no means do; and it must be instantly removed from the fire, and placed in the dairy till the next morning, when the fine cream is thrown up, and is ready for the table, or for butter, into which it is soon converted by stirring it with the hand.

N.B. This receipt we have not proved.

Raspberry Vinegar.—(No. 390.)

The best way to make this, is to pour three pints of the best white wine vinegar on a pint and a half of fresh-gathered red raspberries in a stone jar, or China bowl (neither glazed earthenware, nor any metallic vessel, must be used); the next day strain the liquor over a like quantity of fresh raspberries; and the day following do the same. Then drain off the liquor without pressing, and pass it through a jelly bag (previously wetted with plain vinegar) into a stone jar, with a pound of pounded lump sugar to each pint. When the sugar is dissolved, stir it up, cover down the jar, and set it in a saucepan of water, and keep it boiling for an hour, taking off the scum; add to each pint a glass of brandy, and bottle it: mixed in about eight parts of water, it is a very refreshing and delightful summer drink. An excellent cooling beverage to assuage thirst in ardent fevers, colds, and inflammatory complaints, &c. and is agreeable to most palates.

See No. 479*.

N.B. We have not proved this receipt.

Syrup of Lemons.—(No. 391.)

The best season for lemons is from November to March. Put a pint of fresh lemon-juice to a pound and three-quarters of lump sugar; dissolve it by a gentle heat; skim it till the surface is quite clear; add an ounce of thin-cut lemon-peel; let them simmer (very gently) together for a[268] few minutes, and run it through a flannel. When cold, bottle and cork it closely, and keep it in a cool place. Or,

Dissolve a quarter of an ounce (avoirdupois) of citric, i. e. crystallized lemon acid, in a pint of clarified syrup (No. 475); flavour it with the peel, with No. 408, or dissolve the acid in equal parts of simple syrup (No. 475), and syrup of lemon-peel, as made No. 393.

The Justice’s Orange Syrup for Punch or Puddings.—(No. 392.)

Squeeze the oranges, and strain the juice from the pulp into a large pot; boil it up with a pound and a half of fine sugar to each point of juice; skim it well; let it stand till cold; then bottle it, and cork it well.

Obs.—This makes a fine, soft, mellow-flavoured punch; and, added to melted butter, is a good relish to puddings.

Syrup of Orange or Lemon-peel.—(No. 393.)

Of fresh outer rind of Seville orange or lemon-peel, three ounces, apothecaries’ weight; boiling water a pint and a half; infuse them for a night in a close vessel; then strain the liquor: let it stand to settle; and having poured it off clear from the sediment, dissolve in it two pounds of double-refined loaf sugar, and make it into a syrup with a gentle heat.

Obs.—In making this syrup, if the sugar be dissolved in the infusion with as gentle a heat as possible, to prevent the exhalation of the volatile parts of the peel, this syrup will possess a great share of the fine flavour of the orange, or lemon-peel.

Vinegar for Salads.—(No. 395.)

“Take of tarragon, savoury, chives, eschalots, three ounces each; a handful of the tops of mint and balm, all dry and pounded; put into a wide-mouthed bottle, with a gallon of best vinegar; cork it close, set it in the sun, and in a fortnight strain off, and squeeze the herbs; let it stand a day to settle, and then strain it through a filtering bag.” From Parmentier’s Art de faire les Vinaigres, 8vo. 1805, p. 205.

Tarragon Vinegar.—(No. 396.)

This is a very agreeable addition to soups, salad sauce (No. 455), and to mix mustard (No. 370). Fill a wide-mouthed bottle with fresh-gathered tarragon-leaves, i. e. between midsummer and Michaelmas (which should be gathered on a dry day, just before it flowers), and pick the[269] leaves off the stalks, and dry them a little before the fire; cover them with the best vinegar; let them steep fourteen days; then strain through a flannel jelly bag till it is fine; then pour it into half-pint bottles; cork them carefully, and keep them in a dry place.

Obs. You may prepare elder-flowers and herbs in the same manner; elder and tarragon are those in most general use in this country.

Our neighbours, the French, prepare vinegars flavoured with celery, cucumbers, capsicums, garlic, eschalot, onion, capers, chervil, cress-seed, burnet, truffles, Seville orange-peel, ginger, &c.; in short, they impregnate them with almost every herb, fruit, flower, and spice, separately, and in innumerable combinations.

Messrs. Maille et Aclocque, Vinaigriers à Paris, sell sixty-five sorts of variously flavoured vinegar, and twenty-eight different sorts of mustard.

Basil Vinegar or Wine.—(No. 397.)

Sweet basil is in full perfection about the middle of August. Fill a wide-mouthed bottle with the fresh green leaves of basil (these give much finer and more flavour than the dried), and cover them with vinegar, or wine, and let them steep for ten days: if you wish a very strong essence, strain the liquor, put it on some fresh leaves, and let them steep fourteen days more.

Obs. This is a very agreeable addition to sauces, soups, and to the mixture usually made for salads. See Nos. 372 and 453.

It is a secret the makers of mock turtle may thank us for telling; a table-spoonful put in when the soup is finished will impregnate a tureen of soup with the basil and acid flavours, at very small cost, when fresh basil and lemons are extravagantly dear.

The flavour of the other sweet and savoury herbs, celery, &c. may be procured, and preserved in the same manner (No. 409, or No. 417), by infusing them in wine or vinegar.

Cress Vinegar.—(No. 397*.)

Dry and pound half an ounce of cress-seed (such as is sown in the garden with mustard), pour upon it a quart of the best vinegar, let it steep ten days, shaking it up every day.

Obs. This is very strongly flavoured with cress; and for salads and cold meats, &c. it is a great favourite with many:[270] the quart of sauce costs only a half-penny more than the vinegar.

Celery vinegar is made in the same manner.

The crystal vinegar (No. 407*), which is, we believe, the pyroligneous acid, is the best for receiving flavours, having scarcely any of its own.

Green Mint Vinegar,—(No. 398.)

Is made precisely in the same manner, and with the same proportions as in No. 397.

Obs.—In the early season of housed lamb, green mint is sometimes not to be got; the above is then a welcome substitute.

Burnet or Cucumber Vinegar.—(No. 399.)

This is made in precisely the same manner as directed in No. 397. The flavour of burnet resembles cucumber so exactly, that when infused in vinegar, the nicest palate would pronounce it to be cucumber.

Obs.—This is a very favourite relish with cold meat, salads, &c.

Burnet is in best season from midsummer to Michaelmas.

Horseradish Vinegar.—(No. 399*.)

Horseradish is in highest perfection about November.

Pour a quart of best vinegar on three ounces of scraped horseradish, an ounce of minced eschalot, and one drachm of Cayenne; let it stand a week, and you will have an excellent relish for cold beef, salads, &c. costing scarcely any thing.

N.B. A portion of black pepper and mustard, celery or cress-seed, may be added to the above.

Obs.—Horseradish powder (No. 458*).

Garlic Vinegar.—(No. 400.)

Garlic is ready for this purpose from midsummer to Michaelmas.

Peel and chop two ounces of garlic, pour on them a quart of white wine vinegar, stop the jar close, and let it steep ten days, shaking it well every day; then pour off the clear liquor into small bottles.

Obs.—The cook must be careful not to use too much of this; a few drops of it will give a pint of gravy a sufficient[271] smack of the garlic, the flavour of which, when slight and well blended, is one of the finest we have; when used in excess, it is the most offensive.

The best way to use garlic, is to send up some of this vinegar in a cruet, and let the company flavour their own sauce as they like.

N.B. The most elegant preparation of the onion tribe is the eschalot wine, No. 402.

Eschalot Vinegar,—(No. 401.)

Is made in the same manner, and the cook should never be without one of these useful auxiliaries; they cost scarcely any thing but the little trouble of making, and will save a great deal of trouble in flavouring soups and sauces with a taste of onion.

N.B. Eschalots are in high perfection during July, August, and September.

Eschalot Wine.—(No. 402.)

Peel, mince, and pound in a mortar, three ounces of eschalots, and infuse them in a pint of sherry for ten days; then pour off the clear liquor on three ounces more eschalots, and let the wine stand on them ten days longer.

Obs.—This is rather the most expensive, but infinitely the most elegant preparation of eschalot, and imparts the onion flavour to soups and sauces, for chops, steaks, or boiled meats, hashes, &c. more agreeably than any: it does not leave any unpleasant taste in the mouth, or to the breath; nor repeat, as almost all other preparations of garlic, onion, &c. do.

N.B. An ounce of scraped horseradish may be added to the above, and a little thin-cut lemon-peel, or a few drops of No. 408.

Camp Vinegar.—(No. 403.)

  • Cayenne pepper, one drachm, avoirdupois weight.
  • Soy, two table-spoonfuls.
  • Walnut catchup, four ditto.
  • Six anchovies chopped.
  • A small clove of garlic, minced fine.

Steep all for a month in a pint of the best vinegar, frequently shaking the bottle: strain through a tamis, and keep it in small bottles, corked as tightly as possible.

[272]

Cayenne Pepper.—(No. 404.)

Mr. Accum has informed the public (see his book on Adulterations) that from some specimens that came direct to him from India, and others obtained from respectable oil shops in London, he has extracted lead!

“Foreign Cayenne pepper is an indiscriminate mixture of the powder of the dried pods of many species of capsicums, especially of the bird pepper, which is the hottest of all. As it comes to us from the West Indies, it changes the infusion of turnsole to a beautiful green, probably owing to the salt, which is always added to it, and the red oxide of lead, with which it is said to be adulterated.” Duncan’s New Edinburgh Dispensary, 1819, Article Capsicum, p. 81.

The Indian Cayenne is prepared in a very careless manner, and often looks as if the pods had lain till they were decayed, before they were dried: this accounts for the dirty brown appearance it commonly has. If properly dried as soon as gathered, it will be of a clear red colour: to give it the complexion of that made with good fresh-gathered capsicums or Chilies, some annatto, or other vegetable red colouring matter, is pounded with it: this, Mr. A. assures us, is frequently adulterated with Indian red, i. e. “red lead!”

When Cayenne is pounded, it is mixed with a considerable portion of salt, to prevent its flying up and hurting the eyes: this might be avoided by grinding it in a mill, which may easily be made close enough, especially if it be passed through a second time, and then sifted through a fine drum-headed sieve, to produce as fine a powder as can be obtained by pounding; however, our English chilies may be pounded in a deep mortar without any danger.

The flavour of the Chilies is very superior to that of the capsicums, and will be good in proportion as they are dried as soon as possible, taking care they are not burned.

Take away the stalks, and put the pods into a colander; set it before the fire; they will take full twelve hours to dry, then put them into a mortar, with one-fourth their weight of salt, and pound them, and rub them till they are fine as possible, and put them into a well-stopped bottle.

N.B. We advise those who are fond of Cayenne not to think it too much trouble to make it of English Chilies; there is no other way of being sure it is genuine, and they will obtain a pepper of much finer flavour, without half the heat of the foreign.

A hundred large Chilies, costing only two shillings, will[273] produce you about two ounces of Cayenne, so it is as cheap as the commonest Cayenne.

Four hundred Chilies, when the stems were taken off, weighed half a pound; and when dried, produced a quarter of a pound of Cayenne pepper.

Essence of Cayenne.—(No. 405.)

Put half an ounce of Cayenne pepper (No. 404) into half a pint of brandy or wine; let it steep for a fortnight, and then pour off the clear liquor.

This is nearly equal to fresh Chili juice.

Obs.—This or the Chili vinegar (No. 405*,) is extremely convenient for the extempore seasoning and finishing of soups, sauces, &c., its flavour being instantly and equally diffused. Cayenne pepper varies so much in strength, that it is impossible to season soup any other way to the precise point of piquance.

Chili Vinegar.—(No. 405*.)

This is commonly made with the foreign bird pepper; but you will obtain a much finer flavour from infusing fifty fresh red English Chilies (cut in half, or pounded) in a pint of the best vinegar for a fortnight, or a quarter of an ounce of Cayenne pepper, No. 404.

Obs.—Many people cannot eat fish without the addition of an acid, and Cayenne pepper: to such palates this will be an agreeable relish.

Chili, or Cayenne Wine.—(No. 406.)

Pound and steep fifty fresh red Chilies, or a quarter of an ounce of Cayenne pepper, in half a pint of brandy, white wine, or claret, for fourteen days.

Obs.—This is a “bonne bouche” for the lovers of Cayenne, of which it takes up a larger proportion of its flavour than of its fire; which being instantly diffused, it is a very useful auxiliary to warm and finish soups and sauces, &c.

Essence of Lemon-peel.—(No. 407.)

Wash and brush clean the lemons; let them get perfectly dry: take a lump of loaf sugar, and rub them till all the yellow rind is taken up by the sugar: scrape off the surface of the sugar into a preserving pot, and press it hard down; cover it very close, and it will keep for some time.

[274]In the same way you may get the essence of Seville orange-peel.

Obs. This method of procuring and preserving the flavour of lemon-peel, by making an oleo-saccharum, is far superior to the common practice of paring off the rind, or grating it, and pounding, or mixing that with sugar: by this process you obtain the whole of the fine, fragrant, essential oil, in which is contained the flavour.

Artificial Lemon-juice.—(No. 407*.)

If you add a drachm of lump sugar, pounded, and six drops of No. 408, to three ounces of crystal vinegar, which is the name given to the pyroligneous vinegar, you will have an excellent substitute for lemon-juice—for fish sauces and soups, and many other culinary purposes. The flavour of the lemon may also be communicated to the vinegar by infusing some lemon-peel in it.

N.B. The pyroligneous vinegar is perfectly free from all flavour, save that of the pure acid; therefore, it is a very valuable menstruum for receiving impregnations from various flavouring materials.

The pyroligneous acid seems likely to produce quite a revolution in the process of curing hams, herrings, &c. &c. See Tilloch’s Philosophical Magazine, 1821, No. 173, p. 12.

Quintessence of Lemon-peel.—(No. 408.)

Best oil of lemon, one drachm, strongest rectified spirit, two ounces, introduced by degrees till the spirit kills, and completely mixes with the oil. This elegant preparation possesses all the delightful fragrance and flavour of the freshest lemon-peel.

Obs. A few drops on the sugar you make punch with will instantly impregnate it with as much flavour as the troublesome and tedious method of grating the rind, or rubbing the sugar on it.

It will be found a superlative substitute for fresh lemon-peel for every purpose that it is used for: blanc mange, jellies, custards, ice, negus, lemonade, and pies and puddings, stuffings, soups, sauces, ragoûts, &c.

See also No. 393.

Tincture of Lemon-peel.—(No. 408*.)

A very easy and economical way of obtaining, and pre[275]serving the flavour of lemon-peel, is to fill a wide-mouthed pint bottle half full of brandy, or proof spirit; and when you use a lemon, pare the rind off very thin, and put it into the brandy, &c.: in a fortnight it will impregnate the spirit with the flavour very strongly.

Essence of Celery.—(No. 409.)

  • Brandy, or proof spirit, a quarter of a pint.
  • Celery-seed bruised, half an ounce, avoirdupois weight.

Let it steep for a fortnight.

Obs.—A few drops will immediately flavour a pint of broth, and are an excellent addition to pease, and other soups, and the salad mixture of oil, vinegar, &c. (No. 392.)

N.B. To make celery sauce, see No. 289.

Aromatic Essence of Ginger.—(No. 411.)

Three ounces of fresh-grated275-* ginger, and two ounces of thin-cut lemon-peel, into a quart of brandy, or proof spirit (apothecaries’ measure); let it stand for ten days, shaking it up each day.

Obs.—The proper title for this would be “tincture of ginger:” however, as it has obtained the name of “essence,” so let it be called.

N.B. If ginger is taken to produce an immediate effect, to warm the stomach, or dispel flatulence, this is the best preparation.

Essence of Allspice for mulling of Wine.—(No. 412.)

Oil of pimento, a drachm, apothecaries’ measure, strong spirit of wine, two ounces, mixed by degrees: a few drops will give the flavour of allspice to a pint of gravy, or mulled wine, or to make a bishop. Mulled wine made with Burgundy is called bishop; with old Rhenish wine, cardinal; and with Tokay, Pope. Ritter‘s Weinlehres, p. 200.

Tincture275-† of Allspice.—(No. 413.)

  • Of allspice bruised, three ounces, apothecaries’ weight.
  • Brandy, a quart.

[276]Let it steep a fortnight, occasionally shaking it up; then pour off the clear liquor: it is a most grateful addition in all cases where allspice is used, for making a bishop, or to mulled wine extempore, or in gravies, &c., or to flavour and preserve potted meats (No. 503). See Sir Hans Sloane‘s Obs. on Allspice, p. 96.

Tincture of Nutmeg.—(No. 413*.)

Is made with the same proportions of nutmeg and brandy, as ordered for allspice. See Obs. to No. 415.

Essence of Clove and Mace.—(No. 414.)

  • Strongest spirit of wine, two ounces, apothecaries’ measure.
  • Oil of nutmeg, or clove, or mace, a drachm, apothecaries’ measure.

Tincture of Clove.—(No. 415.)

  • Cloves bruised, three ounces, apothecaries’ weight.
  • Brandy, one quart.

Let it steep ten days: strain it through a flannel sieve.

Obs.—Excellent to flavour “bishop,” or “mulled wine.”

Essence of Cinnamon.—(No. 416.)

  • Strongest rectified spirit of wine, two ounces.
  • Oil of Cinnamon, one drachm, apothecaries’ measure.

Tincture of Cinnamon.—(No. 416*.)

This exhilarating cordial is made by pouring a bottle of genuine cognac (No. 471,) on three ounces of bruised cinnamon (cassia will not do).

This restorative was more in vogue formerly than it is now: a tea-spoonful of it, and a lump of sugar, in a glass of good sherry or Madeira, with the yelk of an egg beat up in it, was called “balsamum vitæ.”

Cur moriatur homo, qui sumit de cinnamomo?”—“Cinnamon is verie comfortable to the stomacke, and the principall partes of the bodie.”

Ventriculum, jecur, lienem, cerebrum, nervosque juvat et roborat.”—“I reckon it a great treasure for a student to have by him in his closet, to take now and then a spoonful.”—Cogan’s Haven of Health, 4to. 1584, p. 111.

Obs.—Two tea-spoonfuls in a wine-glass of water, are a present and pleasant remedy in nervous languors, and in relaxations of the bowels: in the latter case, five drops of laudanum may be added to each dose.

[277]

Essence of Marjoram.—(No. 417.)

  • Strongest rectified spirit, two ounces.
  • Oil of origanum, one drachm, apothecaries’ measure.

Vegetable Essences.—(No. 417*.)

The flavour of the various sweet and savoury herbs may be obtained by combining their essential oils with rectified spirit of wine, in the proportion of one drachm of the former to two ounces of the latter, or by picking the leaves, and laying them for a couple of hours in a warm place to dry, and then filling a large-mouthed bottle with them, and pouring on them wine, brandy, proof spirit, or vinegar, and letting them steep for fourteen days.

Soup-herb277-* Spirit.—(No. 420.)

  • Of lemon-thyme,
  • Winter savoury,
  • Sweet marjoram,
  • Sweet basil,—half an ounce of each.
  • Lemon-peel grated, two drachms.
  • Eschalots, the same.
  • Celery-seed, a drachm, avoirdupois weight.

Prepare them as directed in No. 461; and infuse them in a pint of brandy, or proof spirit, for ten days: they may also be infused in wine or vinegar, but neither extract the flavour of the ingredients half so well as the spirit.

Spirit of Savoury Spice.—(No. 421.)

  • Black pepper, an ounce; allspice, half an ounce, pounded fine.
  • Nutmeg grated, a quarter of an ounce, avoirdupois weight.

Infuse in a pint of brandy, or proof spirit, for ten days; or, infuse the ingredients enumerated in No. 457, in a quart of brandy, or proof spirit, for the like time.

Soup-herb and Savoury Spice Spirit.—(No. 422.)

Mix half a pint of soup-herb spirit with a quarter of a pint of spirit of savoury spice.

Obs.—These preparations are valuable auxiliaries to immediately heighten the flavour, and finish soups, sauces, ragoûts,[278] &c., will save much time and trouble to the cook, and keep for twenty years.

Relish for Chops, &c.—(No. 423.)

Pound fine an ounce of black pepper, and half an ounce of allspice, with an ounce of salt, and half an ounce of scraped horseradish, and the same of eschalots, peeled and quartered; put these ingredients into a pint of mushroom catchup, or walnut pickle, and let them steep for a fortnight, and then strain it.

Obs.—A tea-spoonful or two of this is generally an acceptable addition, mixed with the gravy usually sent up for chops and steaks (see No. 356); or added to thick melted butter.

Fish Sauce.—(No. 425.)

Two wine-glasses of port, and two of walnut pickle, four of mushroom catchup, half a dozen anchovies, pounded, the like number of eschalots sliced and pounded, a table-spoonful of soy, and half a drachm of Cayenne pepper; let them simmer gently for ten minutes; strain it, and when cold, put it into bottles; well corked, and sealed over, it will keep for a considerable time.

Obs.—This is commonly called Quin’s sauce, and was given to me by a very sagacious sauce-maker.

Keeping Mustard.—(No. 427.)

Dissolve three ounces of salt in a quart of boiling water, or rather vinegar, and pour it hot upon two ounces of scraped horseradish; closely cover down the jar, and let it stand twenty-four hours: strain, and mix it by degrees with the best Durham flour of mustard, beat well together till quite smooth, and of the proper thickness; put into a wide-mouthed bottle, and stop it closely. For the various ways to flavour mustard, see No. 370.

Sauce Superlative.278-*—(No. 429.)

  • Claret, or port wine, and mushroom catchup (see No. 439), a pint of each.
  • [279]Half a pint of walnut or other pickle liquor.
  • Pounded anchovies, four ounces.
  • Fresh lemon-peel, pared very thin, an ounce.
  • Peeled and sliced eschalots, the same.
  • Scraped horseradish, ditto.
  • Allspice, and
  • Black pepper powdered, half an ounce each.
  • Cayenne, one drachm, or curry-powder, three drachms.
  • Celery-seed bruised, a drachm. All avoirdupois weight.

Put these into a wide-mouthed bottle, stop it close, shake it up every day for a fortnight, and strain it (when some think it improved by the addition of a quarter of a pint of soy, or thick browning, see No. 322), and you will have a “delicious double relish.”

*** This composition is one of the “chefs d’œuvre” of many experiments I have made, for the purpose of enabling the good housewives of Great Britain to prepare their own sauces: it is equally agreeable with fish, game, poultry, or ragoûts, &c., and as a fair lady may make it herself, its relish will be not a little augmented, by the certainty that all the ingredients are good and wholesome.

Obs.—Under an infinity of circumstances, a cook may be in want of the substances necessary to make sauce: the above composition of the several articles from which the various gravies derive their flavour, will be found a very admirable extemporaneous substitute. By mixing a large table-spoonful with a quarter of a pint of thickened melted butter, broth, or No. 252, five minutes will finish a boat of very relishing sauce, nearly equal to drawn gravy, and as likely to put your lingual nerves into good humour as any thing I know.

To make a boat of sauce for poultry, &c. put a piece of butter about as big as an egg into a stew-pan, set it on the fire; when it is melted, put to it a table-spoonful of flour; stir it thoroughly together, and add to it two table-spoonfuls of sauce, and by degrees about half a pint of broth, or boiling water, let it simmer gently over a slow fire for a few minutes, skim it and strain it through a sieve, and it is ready.

[280]

Quintessence of Anchovy.—(No. 433.)

The goodness of this preparation depends almost entirely on having fine mellow fish, that have been in pickle long enough (i. e. about twelve months) to dissolve easily, yet are not at all rusty.

Choose those that are in the state they come over in, not such as have been put into fresh pickle, mixed with red paint,280-* which some add to improve the complexion of the fish; it has been said, that others have a trick of putting anchovy liquor on pickled sprats;280-† you will easily discover this by washing one of them, and tasting the flesh of it, which in the fine anchovy is mellow, red, and high-flavoured, and the bone moist and oily. Make only as much as will soon be used, the fresher it is the better.

Put ten or twelve anchovies into a mortar, and pound them to a pulp; put this into a very clean iron, or silver, or very well tinned saucepan; then put a large table-spoonful of cold spring-water (we prefer good vinegar) into the mortar; shake it round, and pour it to the pounded anchovies, set them by the side of a slow fire, very frequently stirring them together till they are melted, which they will be in the course of five minutes. Now stir in a quarter of a drachm of good Cayenne pepper (No. 404). and let it remain by the side of the fire for a few minutes longer; then, while it is warm, rub it through a hair-sieve,280-‡ with the back of a wooden spoon.

The essence of anchovy, which is prepared for the committee of taste, is made with double the above quantity of water, as they are of opinion that it ought to be so thin as not to hang about the sides of the bottle; when it does, the large surface of it is soon acted upon by the air, and becomes rancid and spoils all the rest of it.

A roll of thin-cut lemon-peel infused with the anchovy, imparts a fine, fresh, delicate, aromatic flavour, which is very grateful; this is only recommended when you make sauce for immediate use; it will keep much better without: if you wish to acidulate it, instead of water make it with artificial lemon-juice (No. 407*), or add a little of Coxwell’s concrete acid to it.

[281]Obs.—The above is the proper way to perfectly dissolve anchovy,281-* and to incorporate it with the water; which, if completely saturated, will continue suspended.

To prevent the separation of essence of anchovy, and give it the appearance of being fully saturated with fish, various other expedients have been tried, such as dissolving the fish in thin water gruel, or barley-water, or thickening it with mucilage, flour, &c.: when any of these things are added, it does not keep half so well as it does without them; and to preserve it, they overload it with Cayenne pepper.

Mem.—You cannot make essence of anchovy half so cheap as you can buy it. Thirty prime fish, weighing a pound and a quarter, and costing 4s. 6d., and two table-spoonfuls of water, made me only half a pint of essence; you may commonly buy that quantity ready-made for 2s., and we have seen an advertisement offering it for sale as low as 2s. 6d. per quart.

It must be kept very closely stopped; when you tap a bottle of sauce, throw away the old perforated cork, and put in a new taper velvet cork; if the air gets to it, the fish takes the rust,281-† and it is spoiled directly.

Essence of anchovy is sometimes coloured281-‡ with bole armeniac, Venice red, &c.; but all these additions deteriorate the flavour of the sauce, and the palate and stomach suffer for the gratification of the eye, which, in culinary concerns, will never be indulged by the sagacious gourmand at the expense of these two primum mobiles of his pursuits.

*** Essence of anchovy is sometimes made with sherry or Madeira wine, or good mushroom catchup (No. 439), instead of water. If you like the acid flavour, add a little citric acid, or dissolve them in good vinegar.

N.B. This is infinitely the most convenient way of using anchovy, as each guest may mix sauce for himself, and make it strong or weak, according to his own taste.

It is also much more economical, as plain melted butter (No. 256) serves for other purposes at table.

[282]

Anchovy Paste, or le Beurre d’Anchois.—(No. 434.)

Pound them in a mortar; then rub it through a fine sieve; pot it, cover it with clarified butter, and keep it in a cool place.

N.B. If you have essence of anchovy, you may make anchovy paste extempore, by rubbing the essence with as much flour as will make a paste. Mem.—This is merely mentioned as the means of making it immediately; it will not keep.

Obs.—This is sometimes made stiffer and hotter by the addition of a little flour of mustard, a pickled walnut, spice (No. 460), curry powder (No. 455), or Cayenne; and it then becomes a rival to “la véritable sauce d’enfer” (No. 528), or pâté à la diable for deviling biscuits (No. 574), grills (No. 538), &c. It is an excellent garnish for fish, put in pats round the edge of the dish, or will make anchovy toast (No. 573), or devil a biscuit (No. 574), &c. in high style.

Anchovy Powder.—(No. 435.)

Pound the fish in a mortar, rub them through a sieve, and make them into a paste with dried flour, roll it into thin cakes, and dry them in a Dutch oven before a slow fire; pounded to a fine powder, and put into a well-stopped bottle, it will keep for years; it is a very savoury relish, sprinkled on bread and butter for a sandwich, &c. See Oyster Powder (No. 280).

Obs.—To this may be added a small portion of Cayenne pepper, grated lemon-peel, and citric acid.

Walnut Catchup.—(No. 438.)

Take six half-sieves of green walnut-shells, put them into a tub, mix them up well with common salt, (from two to three pounds,) let them stand for six days, frequently beating and mashing them; by this time the shells become soft and pulpy; then by banking it up on one side of the tub, and at the same time by raising the tub on that side, the liquor will drain clear off to the other; then take that liquor out: the mashing and banking-up may be repeated as often as liquor is found. The quantity will be about six quarts. When done, let it be simmered in an iron boiler as long as any scum arises; then bruise a quarter of a pound of ginger, a quarter of a pound of allspice, two ounces of long pepper, two ounces of cloves, with the above ingredients; let it slowly boil for half an hour; when bottled, let an equal[283] quantity of the spice go into each bottle; when corked, let the bottles be filled quite up: cork them tight, seal them over, and put them into a cool and dry place for one year before they are used.

N.B. For the above we are indebted to a respectable oilman, who has many years proved the receipt.

Mushroom Catchup.—(No. 439.)

If you love good catchup, gentle reader, make it yourself,283-* after the following directions, and you will have a delicious relish for made-dishes, ragoûts, soups, sauces, or hashes.

Mushroom gravy approaches the nature and flavour of meat gravy, more than any vegetable juice, and is the superlative substitute for it: in meagre soups and extempore gravies, the chemistry of the kitchen has yet contrived to agreeably awaken the palate, and encourage the appetite.

A couple of quarts of double catchup, made according to the following receipt, will save you some score pounds of meat, besides a vast deal of time and trouble; as it will furnish, in a few minutes, as good sauce as can be made for either fish, flesh, or fowl. See No. 307.

I believe the following is the best way of extracting and preparing the essence of mushrooms, so as to procure and preserve their flavour for a considerable length of time.

Look out for mushrooms from the beginning of September.

Take care they are the right sort, and fresh gathered. Full-grown flaps are to be preferred: put a layer of these at the bottom of a deep earthen pan, and sprinkle them with salt; then another layer of mushrooms, and some more salt on them; and so on alternately, salt and mushrooms: let them remain two or three hours, by which time the salt will have penetrated the mushrooms, and rendered them easy to break; then pound them in a mortar, or mash them well with your hands, and let them remain for a couple of days, not longer, stirring them up and mashing them well each day; then pour them into a stone jar, and to each quart add an ounce and a half of whole black pepper, and half an ounce of allspice; stop the jar very close, and set it in a stew-pan of boiling water, and keep it boiling for two hours at least.[284] Take out the jar, and pour the juice clear from the settlings through a hair-sieve (without squeezing284-* the mushrooms) into a clean stew-pan; let it boil very gently for half an hour: those who are for superlative catchup, will continue the boiling till the mushroom-juice is reduced to half the quantity; it may then be called double cat-sup or dog-sup.

There are several advantages attending this concentration; it will keep much better, and only half the quantity be required; so you can flavour sauce, &c. without thinning it: neither is this an extravagant way of making it, for merely the aqueous part is evaporated; skim it well, and pour it into a clean dry jar, or jug; cover it close, and let it stand in a cool place till next day; then pour it off as gently as possible (so as not to disturb the settlings at the bottom of the jug,) through a tamis, or thick flannel bag, till it is perfectly clear; add a table-spoonful of good brandy to each pint of catchup, and let it stand as before; a fresh sediment will be deposited, from which the catchup is to be quietly poured off, and bottled in pints or half pints (which have been washed with brandy or spirit): it is best to keep it in such quantities as are soon used.

Take especial care that it is closely corked, and sealed down, or dipped in bottle cement.

If kept in a cool, dry place, it may be preserved for a long time; but if it be badly corked, and kept in a damp place, it will soon spoil.

Examine it from time to time, by placing a strong light behind the neck of the bottle, and if any pellicle appears about it, boil it up again with a few peppercorns.