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.
SOUP A LA JULIENNE.
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.
ROAST RIBS OF BEEF
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
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.
BOILED FRENCH BEANS
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.