Friday, December 23, 2011

A Victorian Christmas Dinner for 18 Persons

I thought this year for Christmas I’d share with you what might have been on the menu during the Victorian Era.

First Course
 Rabbit Soup removed by Soles aux flues herbe
Baked Smelts
Fried Whiting
Clear Vermicelli Soup removed by Codfish au gratin

Scalloped Oysters
Lobster Patties
Fowl and Rice Croquettes
 Mutton Cutlets and Soubise Sauce

Second Course
Roast Beef
Roast Goose with Sage and Onion Stuffing
Roast Pheasant
Roast Haunch of Venison
Baked Potatoes
Baked Spanish Onions
Boiled Brussels Sprouts
Boiled Carrots
Red Cabbage
Jerusalem Artichokes with White Sauce

Apple Sauce
Melted Butter

Third Course
Wild Ducks removed by Christmas Plum Pudding
Tongue, garnished removed by Indian Trifle
Tipsy Cake
Christmas Cake

Rich Sweetmeat Ginger Bread
Scotch Shortbread
Lemon Biscuit Macaroons
Dessert Biscuits
Dishes of Mixed Fruits

Wines and Refreshments

Malt Wine
Effervescing Gooseberry Wine
Wassail Bowl
Champagne Cup
Ginger Beer
I hope you all have a very Merry and Safe Christmas. I look forward to catching up with you all in the New Year.

Happy Writing 

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Regency Dinner - Friday

Our Friday dinner comes from the recipes of Elizabeth Lea. I hope you enjoy what has been dished up today.



A very large turkey will take three hours to roast, and is best done before the fire in a tin oven. Wash the turkey very clean, and let it lay in salt and water twenty minutes, but not longer, or it changes the color; rub the inside with salt and pepper; have ready a stuffing of bread and butter, seasoned with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, an onion, if agreeable, and an egg; if the bread is dry, moisten it with boiling water; mix all well together, and fill the turkey; if you have fresh sausage, put some in the craw; have a pint of water in the bottom of the dripping pan or oven, with some salt and a spoonful of lard, or butter; rub salt, pepper and butter over the breast; baste it often, and turn it so that each part will be next the fire.

Gravy may be made from the drippings in the oven by boiling it in a skillet, with thickening and seasoning. Hash gravy should be made by boiling the giblets and neck in a quart of water, which chop fine, then season and thicken; have both the gravies on the table in separate tureens.

Cranberry and damson sauce are suitable to eat with roast poultry.


Take part of a round of beef, bone it, and make holes for stuffing, which is made of bread, suet, thyme, parsley, chopped onions, mace, cloves, pepper, salt and a raw egg; stuff the meat, bind it with tape, and put it in a dutch-oven, with a plate in the bottom to keep it from burning; just cover it with water, and let it stew from three to four hours according to the size.

Make gravy with some of the water it was stewed in, seasoned with claret and butter, and thickened with flour. If you wish it to taste of any other sort of wine, add a glass to the gravy.


Take out the inside of large tomatoes, make a stuffing of bread, butter, pepper, salt and an egg; fill them with this, and set them in a deep pie-plate; let them bake slowly half an hour.


To fry cucumbers, take off the rinds in long pieces, a quarter of an inch thick; season them with pepper and salt; dip them in flour, and fry them in butter.

Many persons think cucumbers unwholesome, and they certainly are if kept for several days before they are eaten; but if sliced thin, with onions, pepper, salt and good vinegar, they may generally be eaten without danger.


Pare and quarter the turnips, and put them in a pot of clear water, or with fresh meat; boil them half an hour; drain, and season them with butter, pepper and salt; mash them.


Pick a pint of rice, wash it clean--put it in three pints of boiling water: it should boil fast, and by the time the water evaporates, the rice will be sufficiently cooked; set it where it will keep hot, until you are ready to dish it.


Boil a pint of milk, put in a small lump of butter and a little salt; beat up an egg and put in, when nearly cold, with a spoonful of yeast and some flour; when light, knead in more flour to make it quite stiff; work it well, and let it rise again; grease a dutch-oven or spider, flour your hands, and roll it out in rings, or round several times, a little higher in the middle. They will be nearly all crust, and suit delicate persons that cannot eat other warm bread.



Take half a pound of suet chopped fine, four tea-cups of flour, and five eggs; beat these together with a quart of milk, and half a spoonful of salt; put in three tea-cups of raisins just before you tie it up; they should be rubbed in flour to prevent them from sinking; dried cherries, or pared dried peaches, are very good instead of raisins; scald the cloth and flour it; leave room for the pudding to swell. If you put one-fourth corn meal, you can do with fewer eggs.


Fill a pan with slices of buttered bread, with raisins, grated nutmeg and sugar over each slice; beat six eggs with a tea-cup of sugar; add two quarts of rich milk, and pour it over the bread and butter; bake it in a stove or oven.

I’m still to decide on my Saturday dinner.


Regency Meets Victorian Dinner in September - Thursday

Yes, I’m a day late with my Thursday dinner menu. I knew I should have had the whole week sorted before I started this little adventure.

Anyway, today we are joined by William Kitchiner and Mrs. Isabella Beeton both reknown for their recipes of the day.

On the course for Thursday we had:

First course: Curry, or Mullaga-Tawny Soup – William Kitchiner

Entrees: Vol-au-vent of Lobster, Scalloped Oysters, Tete De Veau en Tortue – Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Second course: Roast Suckling Pig, Asparagus, Fried Vegetable Marrow, Turnips in White Sauce. – Mrs. Isabella Beeton

Third course: Almond Cheesecakes – William Kitchiner



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.




INGREDIENTS.—3/4 to 1 lb. of puff-paste No. 1208, fricasseed chickens, rabbits, ragouts, or the remains of cold fish, flaked and warmed in thick white sauce.

MODE.—Make from 3/4 to 1 lb. of puff-paste, by recipe No. 1208, taking care that it is very evenly rolled out each time, to insure its rising properly; and if the paste is not extremely light, and put into a good hot oven, this cannot be accomplished, and the vol-au-vent will look very badly. Roll out the paste to the thickness of about 1-1/2 inch, and, with a fluted cutter, stamp it out to the desired shape, either round or oval, and, with the point of a small knife, make a slight incision in the paste all round the top, about an inch from the edge, which, when baked, forms the lid. Put the vol-au-vent into a good brisk oven, and keep the door shut for a few minutes after it is put in. Particular attention should he paid to the heating of the oven, for the paste cannot rise without a tolerable degree of heat When of a nice colour, without being scorched, withdraw it from the oven, instantly remove the cover where it was marked, and detach all the soft crumb from the centre: in doing this, be careful not to break the edges of the vol-au-vent; but should they look thin in places, stop them with small flakes of the inside paste, stuck on with the white of an egg. This precaution is necessary to prevent the fricassee or ragoût from bursting the case, and so spoiling the appearance of the dish. Fill the vol-au-vent with a rich mince, or fricassee, or ragoût, or the remains of cold fish flaked and warmed in a good white sauce, and do not make them very liquid, for fear of the gravy bursting the crust: replace the lid, and serve. To improve the appearance of the crust, brush it over with the yolk of an egg after it has risen properly.

Time.—3/4 hour to bake the vol-au-vent.

Average cost, exclusive of interior, 1s. 6d.

Seasonable at any time.


INGREDIENTS.—1 lobster, 4 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream, pounded mace, and cayenne to taste; bread crumbs.

MODE—Pick the meat from the shell, and cut it up into small square pieces; put the stock, cream, and seasoning into a stewpan, add the lobster, and let it simmer gently for 6 minutes.

Time.—45 minutes. Average cost, 2s. 6d.

Seasonable at any time.


INGREDIENTS.—Oysters, say 1 pint, 1 oz. butter, flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of white stock, 2 tablespoonfuls of cream; pepper and salt to taste; bread crumbs, oiled butter.

MODE.—Scald the oysters in their own liquor, take them out, beard them, and strain the liquor free from grit. Put 1 oz. of batter into a stewpan; when melted, dredge in sufficient flour to dry it up; add the stock, cream, and strained liquor, and give one boil. Put in the oysters and seasoning; let them gradually heat through, but not boil. Have ready the scallop-shells buttered; lay in the oysters, and as much of the liquid as they will hold; cover them over with bread crumbs, over which drop a little oiled butter. Brown them in the oven, or before the fire, and serve quickly, and very hot.

Time.—Altogether, 1/4 hour.

Average cost for this quantity, 3s. 6d.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.


INGREDIENTS.—Half a calf's head, or the remains of a cold boiled one; rather more than 1 pint of good white stock, No. 107, 1 glass of sherry or Madeira, cayenne and salt to taste, about 12 mushroom-buttons (when obtainable), 6 hard-boiled eggs, 4 gherkins, 8 quenelles or forcemeat balls, 12 crayfish, 12 croûtons.

MODE.—Half a calf's head is sufficient to make a good entrée, and if there are any remains of a cold one left from the preceding day, it will answer very well for this dish. After boiling the head until tender, remove the bones, and cut the meat into neat pieces; put the stock into a stewpan, add the wine, and a seasoning of salt and cayenne; fry the mushrooms in butter for 2 or 3 minutes, and add these to the gravy. Boil this quickly until somewhat reduced; then put in the yolks of the hard-boiled eggs whole, the whites cut in small pieces, and the gherkins chopped. Have ready a few veal quenelles, made by recipe No. 422 or 423; add these, with the slices of head, to the other ingredients, and let the whole get thoroughly hot, without boiling. Arrange the pieces of head as high in the centre of the dish as possible; pour over them the ragout, and garnish with the crayfish and croûtons placed alternately. A little of the gravy should also be served in a tureen.

Time.—About 1/2 hour to reduce the stock.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Average cost, exclusive of the calf's head, 2s. 9d.

Seasonable from March to October.



INGREDIENTS.—Pig, 6 oz. of bread crumbs, 16 sage-leaves, pepper and salt to taste, a piece of butter the size of an egg, salad oil or butter to baste with, about 1/2 pint of gravy, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice.

MODE —A sucking-pig, to be eaten in perfection, should not be more than three weeks old, and should be dressed the same day that it is killed. After preparing the pig for cooking, as in the preceding recipe, stuff it with finely-grated bread crumbs, minced sage, pepper, salt, and a piece of butter the size of an egg, all of which should be well mixed together, and put into the body of the pig. Sew up the slit neatly, and truss the legs back, to allow the inside to be roasted, and the under part to be crisp. Put the pig down to a bright clear fire, not too near, and let it lay till thoroughly dry; then have ready some butter tied up in a piece of thin cloth, and rub the pig with this in every part. Keep it well rubbed with the butter the whole of the time it is roasting, and do not allow the crackling to become blistered or burnt. When half-done, hang a pig-iron before the middle part (if this is not obtainable, use a flat iron), to prevent its being scorched and dried up before the ends are done. Before it is taken from the fire, cut off the head, and part that and the body down the middle. Chop the brains and mix them with the stuffing; add 1/2 pint of good gravy, a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and the gravy that flowed from the pig; put a little of this on the dish with the pig, and the remainder send to table in a tureen. Place the pig back to back in the dish, with one half of the head on each side, and one of the ears at each end, and send it to table as hot as possible. Instead of butter, many cooks take salad oil for basting, which makes the crackling crisp; and as this is one of the principal things to be considered, perhaps it is desirable to use it; but be particular that it is very pure, or it will impart an unpleasant flavour to the meat. The brains and stuffing may be stirred into a tureen of melted butter instead of gravy, when the latter is not liked. Apple sauce and the old-fashioned currant sauce are not yet quite obsolete as an accompaniment to roast pig.

Time.—1-1/2 to 2 hours for a small pig.

Average cost, 5s. to 6s.

Sufficient for 9 or 10 persons.

Seasonable from September to February.


INGREDIENTS.—To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt; asparagus.

MODE.—Asparagus should be dressed as soon as possible after it is cut, although it may be kept for a day or two by putting the stalks into cold water; yet, to be good, like every other vegetable, it cannot be cooked too fresh. Scrape the white part of the stems, beginning from the head, and throw them into cold water; then tie them into bundles of about 20 each, keeping the heads all one way, and cut the stalks evenly, that they may all be the same length; put them into boiling water, with salt in the above proportion; keep them boiling quickly until tender, with the saucepan uncovered. When the asparagus is done, dish it upon toast, which should be dipped in the water it was cooked in, and leave the white ends outwards each war, with the points meeting in the middle. Serve with a tureen of melted butter.

Time.—15 to 18 minutes after the water boils.

Average cost, in full season, 2s. 6d. the 100 heads.

Sufficient.—Allow about 50 heads for 4 or 5 persons.

Seasonable.—May be had, forced, from January but cheapest in May, June, and July.


INGREDIENTS.—3 medium-sized vegetable marrows, egg and bread crumbs, hot lard.

MODE—Peel, and boil the marrows until tender in salt and water; then drain them and cut them in quarters, and take out the seeds. When thoroughly drained, brush the marrows over with egg, and sprinkle with bread crumbs; have ready some hot lard, fry the marrow in this, and, when of a nice brown, dish; sprinkle over a little salt and pepper, and serve.

Time.—About 1/2 hour to boil the marrow, 7 minutes to fry it.

Average cost, in full season, 1s. per dozen.

Sufficient for 4 persons.

Seasonable in July, August, and September.


INGREDIENTS.—7 or 8 turnips, 1 oz. of butter, 1/2 pint of white sauce,

MODE.—Peel and cut the turnips in the shape of pears or marbles; boil them in salt and water, to which has been added a little butter, until tender; then take them out, drain, arrange them on a dish, and pour over the white sauce made by recipe No. 538 or 539, and to which has been added a small lump of sugar. In winter, when other vegetables are scarce, this will be found a very good and pretty-looking dish: when approved, a little mustard may be added to the sauce.

Time.—About 3/4 hour to boil the turnips.

Average cost, 4d. per bunch.

Sufficient for 1 side-dish. Seasonable in winter.



Blanch six ounces of sweet, and half an ounce of bitter almonds; let them lie half an hour in a drying stove, or before the fire; pound them very fine in a mortar, with two table-spoonfuls of rose or orange-flower water, to prevent them from oiling; set into a stew-pan half a pound of fresh butter; set it in a warm place, and cream it very smooth with the hand, and add it to the almonds, with six ounces of sifted loaf sugar, a little grated lemon-peel, some good cream, and four eggs; rub all well together with the pestle; cover a patty-pan with puff paste; fill in the mixture; ornament it with slices of candied lemon-peel and almonds split, and bake it half an hour in a brisk oven.

Fridays menu will be. up shortly.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September Dinner - Wednesday

We are halfway through our week of Regency and Georgian meals. Today Elizabeth Lea, and is in the kitchen teaching our cook many of her secrets from her recently published book Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers, by Elizabeth E. Lea.
To impress the family with her talents Ms Lea is preparing a dinner menu of:
First course: Chicken Soup
Second course: Mutton Chops, Celery Sauce, Brain Cakes, Bacon Dumplings, Water Rolls,
Third course: Peach Pie, Apple Pudding
Cut up the chicken; cut each joint, and let it boil an hour; make dumplings of a pint of milk, an egg, a little salt and flour, stirred in till quite stiff; drop this in, a spoonful at a time, while it is boiling; stir in a little thickening, with enough pepper, salt and parsley, to season the whole; let it boil a few minutes longer, and take it up in a tureen. Chopped celery is a great improvement to chicken soup; and new corn, cut off the cob, and put in when it is half done, gives it a very nice flavor.
Cut some pieces of mutton, either with or without bone, about an inch thick; have the gridiron hot, first rubbing it with a little suet; put on the chops, turning them frequently, and butter and season them with pepper and salt as you cook them; then dish them on a hot dish and add more butter.
Take a large bunch of celery, cut it fine, and boil it till soft, in a pint of water; thicken it with butter and flour, and season it with salt, pepper, and mace.
When the head is cloven, take out the brains and clear them of strings, beat them up with the yelks of two eggs, some crumbs of bread, pepper, salt, fine parsley, a spoonful of cream, and a spoonful of flour; when they are well mixed, drop them with a spoon into a frying-pan with a little hot butter, and fry them of a light-brown color.
Cut slices of cooked bacon, and pepper them; roll out crust as for apple dumplings; slice some potatoes very thin, and put them in the crust with the meat; close them up, and let them boil fast an hour; when done, take them out carefully with a ladle.
Make a rising of a quart of warm water, a little salt, a tea-cup of yeast, two spoonsful of butter and flour; let this rise, and knead it with as much flour as will make a soft dough, and work it well; when it has risen again, mould it out, and bake half an hour.
A nice griddle cake may be made by rolling this out, and baking it on the griddle or dripping-pan of a stove.
Take mellow clingstone peaches, pare, but do not cut them; put them in a deep pie plate lined with crust, sugar them well, put in a table-spoonful of water, and sprinkle a little flour over the peaches; cover with a thick crust, in which make a cut in the centre, and bake from three-quarters to one hour.
Take three pints of stewed apples, well mashed, melt a pound of butter, beat ten eggs with two pounds of sugar, and mix all together with a glass of brandy and wine; pat in nutmeg to your taste, and bake in puff paste.
Tomorrow Mrs Beeton and William Kitchiner share the kitchen to whip a wonderland of food.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Dinner - Tuesday

Welcome to Tuesday’s dinner menu. Today Mary Eaton offers her help in the kitchen with recipes from her book: ‘The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches’.
First course: Fried Filleted Soles with Anchovy Sauce
Second course: Veal Cutlets, Rice Gravy, Potatoes in Cream, Small Ham, French Beans
Third course: Baked Pears and cream
FRIED SOLES. Divide two or three soles from the backbone, and take off the head, fins, and tail. Sprinkle the inside with salt, roll them up tight from the tail and upwards, and fasten with small skewers. Small fish do not answer, but if large or of a tolerable size, put half a fish in each roll. Dip them into yolks of eggs, and cover them with crumbs. Egg them over again, and then put more crumbs. Fry them of a beautiful colour in lard, or in clarified butter. Or dip the soles in egg, and cover them with fine crumbs of bread. Set on a frying pan of the proper size, and put into it a good quantity of fresh lard or dripping. Let it boil, and immediately put the fish into it, and do them of a fine brown. Soles that have been fried, eat good cold with oil, vinegar, salt and mustard.
ANCHOVY SAUCE. Chop one or two anchovies without washing, put them into a saucepan with flour and butter, and a spoonful of water. Stir it over the fire till it boils once or twice. When the anchovies are good, they will soon be dissolved, and distinguished both by their colour and fragrance.
VEAL CUTLETS. Cut the veal into thin slices, dip them in the yolks of egg, strew them over with grated bread and nutmeg, sweet herbs and parsley, and lemon peel minced fine, and fry them with butter. When the meat is done, lay it on a dish before the fire. Put a little water into the pan, stir it round and let it boil; add a little butter rolled in flour, and a little lemon juice, and pour it over the cutlets. Or fry them without the bread and herbs, boil a little flour and water in the pan with a sprig of thyme, and pour it on the cutlets, but take out the thyme before the dish is sent to table.
RICH GRAVY. Cut lean beef into small slices, according to the quantity wanted; slice some onions thin, and flour them both. Fry them of a light pale brown, but do not suffer them on any account to get black. Put them into a stewpan, pour boiling water on the browning in the fryingpan, boil it up, and pour it on the meat. Add a bunch of parsley, thyme, and savoury, a small piece of marjoram, the same of taragon, some mace, berries of allspice, whole black pepper, a clove or two, and a bit of ham, or gammon of bacon. Simmer till the juice of the meat is extracted, and skim it the moment it boils.
POTATOES IN CREAM. Half boil some potatoes, drain and peel them nicely, and cut into neat pieces. Put them into a stewpan with some cream, fresh butter, and salt, of each a proportion to the quantity of potatoes; or instead of cream, put some good gravy, with pepper and salt. Stew them very gently, and be careful to prevent their breaking.
HAMS. When a ham is to be dressed, put it into water all night, if it has hung long; and let it lie[160] either in a hole dug in the earth, or on damp stones sprinkled with water, two or three days, to mellow it. Wash it well, and put it into a boiler with plenty of water; let it simmer four, five, or six hours, according to the size. When done enough, if before the time of serving, cover it with a clean cloth doubled, and keep the dish hot over some boiling water. Take off the skin, and rasp some bread over the ham. Preserve the skin as whole as possible, to cover the ham when cold, in order to prevent its drying. Garnish the dish with carrot when sent to table. If a dried ham is to be purchased, judge of its goodness by sticking a sharp knife under the bone. If it comes out with a pleasant smell, the ham is good: but if the knife be daubed, and has a bad scent, do not buy it. Hams short in the hock are best, and long-legged pigs are not fit to be pickled.
FRENCH BEANS. String, and cut them into four parts; if smaller, they look so much the better. Lay them in salt and water; and when the water boils, put them in with some salt. As soon as they are done, serve them immediately, to preserve their colour. Or when half done, drain off the water, and add two spoonfuls of broth strained. In finishing them, put in a little cream, with flour and butter.
Third course:
QUINCE PUDDING. Scald six large quinces very tender, pare off the thin rind, and scrape them to a pulp. Add powdered sugar enough to make them very sweet, and a little pounded ginger and cinnamon. Beat up the yolks of four eggs with some salt, and stir in a pint of cream. Mix these with the quince, and bake it in a dish, with a puff crust round the edge. In a moderate oven, three quarters of an hour will be sufficient. Sift powdered sugar over the pudding before it is sent to table.

Tomorrow we look at Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers by Elizabeth Lea.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Regency Monday Dinner

Today dinner is from the cookery pages of The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner. On the menu for Monday’s dinner:

First course: Maigre or Vegetable Gravy Soup
Second course: Baked fowls, Parsley-and-butter, Cauliflower, Mash potato with Onions.
Third course: Baked Rice Pudding

3oz butter, 4oz onion, I turnip, 1 carrot, head celery, 4 quarts water, crust of bread, berries of allspice, black pepper, mace, cayenne.
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.

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.
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. Fill the craw of the fowl, &c.; but do not cram it so as to disfigure its shape.
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.
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), and two table-spoonfuls of milk.

do not put so 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.
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.
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.
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.
Wash in cold water and pick very clean six ounces of rice, put it in a quart stew-pan three parts filled with cold water, set it on the fire, and let it boil five minutes; pour away the water, and put in one quart of milk, a roll of lemon peel, and a bit of cinnamon; let it boil gently till the rice is quite tender; it will take at least one hour and a quarter; be careful to stir it every five minutes; take it off the fire, and stir in an ounce and a half of fresh butter, and beat up three eggs on a plate, a salt-spoonful of nutmeg, two ounces of sugar; put it into the pudding, and stir it till it is quite smooth; line a pie-dish big enough to hold it with puff paste, notch it round the edge, put in your pudding, and bake it three quarters of an hour: this will be a nice firm pudding.
If you like it to eat more like custard, add one more egg, and half a pint more milk; it will be better a little thinner when boiled; one hour will boil it. If you like it in little puddings, butter small tea-cups, and either bake or boil them, half an hour will do either: you may vary the pudding by putting in candied lemon or orange-peel, minced very fine, or dried cherries, or three ounces of currants, or raisins, or apples minced fine.
If the puddings are baked or boiled, serve them with white-wine sauce, or butter and sugar.

Tomorrow Mary Eaton joins us in the kitchen to deliver a healthy family meal.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A September Sunday Dinner

It is autumn in Regency England and the weather is starting to turn cooler. Dinner is to consist of mainly hot dishes. As this is just a small family meal there is only three courses, yet some meals could have up to four courses. Mrs. Isabella Beeton joins us today to share just a few of her favourite recipes.
(Please note that all spelling mistakes are those which were in the original copy of the book.)
Today on our menu we have:
First course: A La Julienne Soup
Second course: Roast ribs of Beef, Yorkshire Pudding, Horseradish Sauce, French Beans and Baked Potatoes.
Third course: Plum Tart and Vanilla Cream.
MEDIUM STOCK. – needed for Soup A La Julienne
INGREDIENTS.—4 lbs. of shin of beef, or 4 lbs. of knuckle of veal, or 2 lbs. of each; any bones, trimmings of poultry, or fresh meat, 1/2 a lb. of lean bacon or ham, 2 oz. of butter, 2 large onions, each stuck with 3 cloves; 1 turnip, 3 carrots, 1/2 a leek, 1 head of celery, 2 oz. of salt, 1/2 a teaspoonful of whole pepper, 1 large blade of mace, 1 small bunch of savoury herbs, 4 quarts and 1/2 pint of cold water.
Mode.—Cut up the meat and bacon or ham into pieces about 3 inches square; rub the butter on the bottom of the stewpan; put in 1/2 a pint of water, the meat, and all the other ingredients. Cover the stewpan, and place it on a sharp fire, occasionally stirring its contents. When the bottom of the pan becomes covered with a pale, jelly-like substance, add 4 quarts of cold water, and simmer very gently for 5 hours. As we have said before, do not let it boil quickly. Skim off every particle of grease whilst it is doing, and strain it through a fine hair sieve.
This is the basis of many of the soups afterwards mentioned, and will be found quite strong enough for ordinary purposes.
Time.—5-1/2 hours. Average cost, 9d. per quart.
INGREDIENTS.—1/2 pint of carrots, 1/2 pint of turnips, 1/4 pint of onions, 2 or 3 leeks, 1/2 head of celery, 1 lettuce, a little sorrel and chervil, if liked, 2 oz. of butter, 2 quarts of stock
Mode.—Cut the vegetables into strips of about 1-1/4 inch long, and be particular they are all the same size, or some will be hard whilst the others will be done to a pulp. Cut the lettuce, sorrel, and chervil into larger pieces; fry the carrots in the butter, and pour the stock boiling to them. When this is done, add all the other vegetables, and herbs, and stew gently for at least an hour. Skim off all the fat, pour the soup over thin slices of bread, cut round about the size of a shilling, and serve.
Time.—1-1/2 hour. Average cost, 1s. 3d. per quart.
Seasonable all the year.
Sufficient for 8 persons.
Note.—In summer, green peas, asparagus-tops, French beans, &c. can be added. When the vegetables are very strong, instead of frying them in butter at first, they should be blanched, and afterwards simmered in the stock.
INGREDIENTS.—Beef, a little salt.
Mode.—-The fore-rib is considered the primest roasting piece, but the middle-rib is considered the most economical. Let the meat be well hung (should the weather permit), and cut off the thin ends of the bones, which should be salted for a few days, and then boiled. Put the meat down to a nice clear fire, put some clean dripping into the pan, dredge the joint with a little flour, and keep continually basting the whole time. Sprinkle some fine salt over it (this must never be done until the joint is dished, as it draws the juices from the meat); pour the dripping from the pan, put in a little boiling: water slightly salted, and strain the gravy over the meat. Garnish with tufts of scraped horseradish, and send horseradish sauce to table with it. A Yorkshire pudding sometimes accompanies this dish, and, if lightly made and well cooked, will be found a very agreeable addition.
Time.—10 lbs. of beef, 2-1/2 hours; 14 to 16 lbs., from 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
Average cost, 8-1/2d. per lb.
Sufficient.—A joint of 10 lbs. sufficient for 8 or 9 persons.
Seasonable at any time.
MEMORANDA IN ROASTING.—The management of the fire is a point of primary importance in roasting. A radiant fire throughout the operation is absolutely necessary to insure a good result. When the article to be dressed is thin and delicate, the fire may be small; but when the joint is large, the fire must fill the grate. Meat must never be put down before a hollow or exhausted fire, which may soon want recruiting; on the other hand, if the heat of the fire becomes too fierce, the meat must be removed to a considerable distance till it is somewhat abated. Some cooks always fail in their roasts, though they succeed in nearly everything else. A French writer on the culinary art says that anybody can learn how to cook, but one must be born a roaster. According to Liebig, beef or mutton cannot be said to be sufficiently roasted until it has acquired, throughout the whole mass, a temperature of 158°; but poultry may be well cooked when the inner parts hare attained a temperature of from 130° to 140°. This depends on the greater amount of blood which beef and mutton contain, the colouring matter of blood not being coagulable under 158°.
ROAST RIBS OF BEEF, Boned and Rolled (a very Convenient Joint for a
Small Family).
Mode.—Choose large potatoes, as much of a size as possible; wash them in lukewarm water, and scrub them well, for the browned skin of a baked potato is by many persons considered the better part of it. Put them into a moderate oven, and bake them for about 2 hours, turning them three or four times whilst they are cooking. Serve them in a napkin immediately they are done, as, if kept a long time in the oven, they have a shrivelled appearance. Potatoes may also be roasted before the fire, in an American oven; but when thus cooked, they must be done very slowly. Do not forget to send to table with them a piece of cold butter.
Time.—Large potatoes, in a hot oven 1-1/2 hour to 2 hours; in a cool oven, 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
Average cost, 4s. per bushel.
Sufficient.—Allow 2 to each person.
Seasonable all the year, but not good just before and whilst new potatoes are in season.
INGREDIENTS.—To each 1/2 gallon of water allow 1 heaped tablespoonful of salt, a very small piece of soda.
Mode.—This vegetable should always be eaten young, as, when allowed to grow too long, it tastes stringy and tough when cooked. Cut off the heads and tails, and a thin strip on each side of the beans, to remove the strings. Then divide each bean into 4 or 6 pieces, according to size, cutting them lengthways in a slanting direction, and, as they are cut, put them into cold water, with a small quantity of salt dissolved in it. Have ready a saucepan of boiling water, with salt and soda in the above proportion; put in the beans, keep them boiling quickly, with the lid uncovered, and be careful that they do not get smoked. When tender, which may be ascertained by their sinking to the bottom of the saucepan, take them up, throw them into a colander; and when drained, dish and serve with plain melted butter. When very young, beans are sometimes served whole: when they are thus dressed, their colour and flavour are much better preserved; but the more general way of dressing them is to cut them into thin strips.
Time.—Very young beans, 10 to 12 minutes; moderate size, 15 to 20 minutes, after the water boils.
Average cost, in full season, 1s. 4d. a peck; but, when forced, very expensive.
Sufficient.—Allow 1/2 peck for 6 or 7 persons.
Seasonable from the middle of July to the end of September; but may be had, forced, from February to the beginning of June.
INGREDIENTS.— 4 tablespoonfuls of grated horseradish, 1 teaspoonful of pounded sugar, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of pepper, 2 teaspoonfuls of made mustard; vinegar.
Mode.—Grate the horseradish, and mix it well with the sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard; moisten it with sufficient vinegar to give it the consistency of cream, and serve in a tureen: 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of cream added to the above, very much improve the appearance and flavour of this sauce. To heat it to serve with hot roast beef, put it in a bain marie or a jar, which place in a saucepan of boiling water; make it hot, but do not allow it to boil, or it will curdle.
Note.—This sauce is a great improvement on the old-fashioned way of serving cold-scraped horseradish with hot roast beef. The mixing of the cold vinegar with the warm gravy cools and spoils everything on the plate. Of course, with cold meat, the sauce should be served cold.
THE HORSERADISH.—This has been, for many years, a favourite accompaniment of roast beef, and is a native of England. It grows wild in wet ground, but has long been cultivated in the garden, and is, occasionally, used in winter salads and in sauces. On account of the great volatility of its oil, it should never be preserved by drying, but should be kept moist by being buried in sand. So rapidly does its volatile oil evaporate, that even when scraped for the table, it almost immediately spoils by exposure to the air.
INGREDIENTS.—1-1/2 pint of milk, 6 large tablespoonfuls of flour, 3 eggs, 1 saltspoonful of salt.
Mode.—Put the flour into a basin with the salt, and stir gradually to this enough milk to make it into a stiff batter. When this is perfectly smooth, and all the lumps are well rubbed down, add the remainder of the milk and the eggs, which should be well beaten. Beat the mixture for a few minutes, and pour it into a shallow tin, which has been previously well rubbed with beef dripping. Put the pudding into the oven, and bake it for an hour; then, for another 1/2 hour, place it under the meat, to catch a little of the gravy that flows from it. Cut the pudding into small square pieces, put them on a hot dish, and serve. If the meat is baked, the pudding may at once be placed under it, resting the former on a small three-cornered stand.
Time.—1-1/2 hour. Average cost, 7d.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons. Seasonable at any time.
INGREDIENTS.—1/2 lb. of good short crust No. 1211, 1-1/2 pint of plums, 1/4 lb. of moist sugar.
Mode.—Line the edges of a deep tart-dish with crust made by recipe No. 1211; fill the dish with plums, and place a small cup or jar, upside down, in the midst of them. Put in the sugar, cover the pie with crust, ornament the edges, and bake in a good oven from 1/2 to 3/4 hour. When puff-crust is preferred to short crust, use that made by recipe No. 1206, and glaze the top by brushing it over with the white of an egg beaten to a stiff froth with a knife; sprinkle over a little sifted sugar, and put the pie in the oven to set the glaze.
Time.—1/2 to 3/4 hour. Average cost, 1s.
Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.
Seasonable, with various kinds of plums, from the beginning of August to the beginning of October.
INGREDIENTS.—1 pint of milk, the yolks of 8 eggs, 6 oz. of sugar, 1 oz. of isinglass, flavouring to taste of essence of vanilla.
Mode.—Put the milk and sugar into a saucepan, and let it get hot over a slow fire; beat up the yolks of the eggs, to which add gradually the sweetened milk; flavour the whole with essence of vanilla, put the mixture into a jug, and place this jug in a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the contents with a wooden spoon one way until the mixture thickens, but do not allow it to boil, or it will be full of lumps. Take it off the fire; stir in the isinglass, which should be previously dissolved in about 1/4 pint of water, and boiled for 2 or 3 minutes; pour the cream into an oiled mould, put it in a cool place to set, and turn it out carefully on a dish. Instead of using the essence of vanilla, a pod may be boiled in the milk instead, until the flavour is well extracted. A pod, or a pod and a half, will be found sufficient for the above proportion of ingredients.
Time.—About 10 minutes to stir the mixture.
Average cost, with the best isinglass, 2s. 6d.
Sufficient to fill a quart mould. Seasonable at any time.
VANILLE or VANILLA, is the fruit of the vanillier, a parasitical herbaceous plant, which flourishes in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. The fruit is a long capsule, thick and fleshy. Certain species of this fruit contain a pulp with a delicious perfume and flavour. Vanilla is principally imported from Mexico. The capsules for export are always picked at perfect maturity. The essence is the form in which it is used generally and most conveniently. Its properties are stimulating and exciting. It is in daily use for ices, chocolates, and flavouring confections generally.
I hope you have enjoyed Mrs. Beeton’s dinner, tomorrow I’ll have another guest cook to serve up a wonderful family meal.