DIRECTIONS FOR COOKERY, IN ITS VARIOUS BRANCHES.
TENTH EDITION, WITH IMPROVEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY RECEIPTS.
The success of her little book entitled "Seventy-five Receipts in Cakes, Pastry, and Sweetmeats." has encouraged the author to attempt a larger and more miscellaneous work on the subject of cookery, comprising as far as practicable whatever is most useful in its various departments; and particularly adapted to the domestic economy of her own country. Designing it as a manual of American housewifery, she has avoided the insertion of any dishes whose ingredients cannot be procured on our side of the Atlantic, and which require for their preparation utensils that are rarely found except in Europe. Also, she has omitted every thing which may not, by the generality of tastes, be considered good of its kind, and well worth the trouble and cost of preparing.
The author has spared no pains in collecting and arranging, perhaps the greatest number of practical and original receipts that have ever appeared in a similar work; flattering herself that she has rendered them so explicit as to be easily understood, and followed, even by inexperienced cooks. The directions are given as minutely as if each receipt was "to stand alone by itself," all references to others being avoided; except in some few instances to the one immediately preceding; it being a just cause of complaint that in some of the late cookery books, the reader, before finishing the article, is desired to search out pages and numbers in remote parts of the volume.
In the hope that her system of cookery may be consulted with equal advantage by families in town and in country, by those whose condition makes it expedient to practise economy, and by others whose circumstances authorize a liberal expenditure, the author sends it to take its chance among the multitude of similar publications, satisfied that it will meet with as much success as it may be found to deserve,—more she has no right to expect.
Philadelphia, April 15th, 1837.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
We recommend to all families that they should keep in the house: a pair of scales, (one of the scales deep enough to hold flour, sugar, &c., conveniently,) and a set of tin measures: as accuracy in proportioning the ingredients is indispensable to success in cookery. It is best to have the scales permanently fixed to a small beam projecting (for instance) from one of the shelves of the store-room. This will preclude the frequent inconvenience of their getting twisted, unlinked, and otherwise out of order; a common consequence of putting them in and out of their box, and carrying them from place to place. The weights (of which there should be a set from two pounds to a quarter of an ounce) ought carefully to be kept in the box, that none of them may be lost or mislaid.
A set of tin measures (with small spouts or lips) from a gallon down to half a jill, will be found very convenient in every kitchen; though common pitchers, bowls, glasses, &c. may be substituted. It is also well to have a set of wooden measures from a bushel to a quarter of a peck.
Let it be remembered, that of liquid measure—
Two jills are half a pint. Two pints—one quart. Four quarts—one gallon.
Of dry measure—
Half a gallon is a quarter of a peck.
One gallon—half a peck. Two gallons—one peck. Four gallons—half a bushel. Eight gallons—one bushel.
About twenty-five drops of any thin liquid will fill a common sized tea-spoon.
Four table-spoonfuls or half a jill, will fill a common wine glass.
Four wine glasses will fill a half-pint or common tumbler, or a large coffee-cup.
A quart black bottle holds in reality about a pint and a half.
Of flour, butter, sugar, and most articles used in cakes and pastry, a quart is generally about equal in quantity to a pound avoirdupois, (sixteen ounces.) Avoirdupois is the weight designated throughout this book.
Ten eggs generally weigh one pound before they are broken.
A table-spoonful of salt is generally about one ounce.
Soups; including those of Fish
Fish; various ways of dressing
Shell Fish; Oysters, Lobsters, Crabs, &c.
Beef; including pickling and smoking it
Mutton and Lamb
Pork; including Bacon, Sausages, &c.
Venison; Hares, Rabbits, &c.
Poultry and Game
Gravy and Sauces
Store Fish Sauces; Catchups, &c.
Flavoured Vinegars; Mustards & Pepper
Vegetables; including Indian Corn, Tomatas, Mushrooms, &c.
Eggs; usual ways of dressing, including Omelets
Sweetmeats; including Preserves and Jellies
Pastry and Puddings; also Pancakes, Dumplings, Custards, &c., Syllabubs; also Ice Creams and Blanc-mange
Cakes; including various sweet Cakes and Gingerbread
Warm Cakes for Breakfast and Tea; also, Bread, Yeast, Butter, Cheese, Tea, Coffee, &c.
Domestic Liquors; including home-made Beer, Wines, Shrub, Cordials, &c.
Preparations for the Sick
Animals used as Butchers' Meat
MISS LESLIE'S COOKERY.
Always use soft water for making soup, and be careful to proportion the quantity of water to that of the meat. Somewhat less than a quart of water to a pound of meat, is a good rule for common soups. Rich soups, intended for company, may have a still smaller allowance of water.
Soup should always be made entirely of fresh meat that has not been previously cooked. An exception to this rule may sometimes be made in favour of the remains of a piece of roast beef that has been very much under-done in roasting. This may be added to a good piece of raw meat. Cold ham, also, may be occasionally put into white soups.
Soup made of cold meat has always a vapid, disagreeable taste, very perceptible through all the seasoning, and which nothing indeed can disguise. Also, it will be of a bad, dingy colour. The juices of the meat having been exhausted by the first cooking, the undue proportion of watery liquid renders it, for soup, indigestible and unwholesome, as well as unpalatable. As there is little or no nutriment to be derived from soup made with cold meat, it is better to refrain from using it for this purpose, and to devote the leavings of the table to some other object. No person accustomed to really good soup, made from fresh meat, can ever be deceived in the taste, even when flavoured with wine and spices. It is not true that French cooks have the art of producing excellent soups from cold scraps. There is much bad soup to be found in France, at inferior houses; but good French cooks are not, as is generally supposed, really in the practice of concocting any dishes out of the refuse of the table. And we repeat, that cold meat, even when perfectly good, and used in a large quantity, has not sufficient substance to flavour soup, or to render it wholesome.
Soup, however, that has been originally made of raw meat entirely, is frequently better the second day than the first; provided that it is re-boiled only for a very short time, and that no additional water is added to it.
Unless it has been allowed to boil too hard, so as to exhaust the water, the soup-pot will not require replenishing. When it is found absolutely necessary to do so, the additional water must be boiling hot when poured in; if lukewarm or cold, it will entirely spoil the soup.
Every particle of fat should be carefully skimmed from the surface. Greasy soup is disgusting and unwholesome. The lean of meat is much better for soup than the fat.
Long and slow boiling is necessary to extract the strength from the meat. If boiled fast over a large fire, the meat becomes hard and tough, and will not give out its juices.
Potatoes, if boiled in the soup, are thought by some to render it unwholesome, from the opinion that the water in which potatoes have been cooked is almost a poison. As potatoes are a part of every dinner, it is very easy to take a few out of the pot in which they have been boiled by themselves, and to cut them up and add them to the soup just before it goes to table.
The cook should season the soup but very slightly with salt and pepper. If she puts in too much, it may spoil it for the taste of most of those that are to eat it; but if too little, it is easy to add more to your own plate.
The practice of thickening soup by stirring flour into it is not a good one, as it spoils both the appearance and the taste. If made with a sufficient quantity of good fresh meat, and not too much water, and if boiled long and slowly, it will have substance enough without flour.
Take a shin or leg of beef that has been newly killed; the fore leg is best, as there is the most meat on it. Have it cut into three pieces, and wash it well. To each pound allow somewhat less than a quart of water; for instance, to ten pounds of leg of beef, nine quarts of water is a good proportion. Put it into a large pot, and add half a table-spoonful of salt. Hang it over a good fire, as early as six o'clock in the morning, if you dine at two. When it has come to a hard boil, and the scum has risen, (which it will do as soon as it has boiled,) skim it well. Do not remove the lid more frequently than is absolutely necessary, as uncovering the pot causes the flavour to evaporate. Then set it on hot coals in the corner, and keep it simmering steadily, adding fresh coals so as to continue a regular heat.
About nine o'clock, put in four carrots, one parsnip, and a large onion cut into slices, and four small turnips, and eight tomatas, also cut up; add a head of celery cut small. Put in a very small head of cabbage, cut into little pieces. If you have any objection to cabbage, substitute a larger proportion of the other vegetables. Put in also a bunch of sweet marjoram, tied up in a thin muslin rag to prevent its floating on the top.
Let the soup simmer unceasingly till two o'clock, skimming it well: then take it up, and put it into a tureen. If your dinner hour is later, you may of course begin the soup later; but it will require at least eight hours' cooking; remembering to put in the vegetables three hours after the meat.
If you wish to send the meat to table, take the best part of it out of the soup, about two hours before dinner. Have ready another pot with a dozen tomatas and a few cloves. Moisten them with a little of the soup, just sufficient to keep them from burning. When the tomatas have stewed down soft, put the meat upon them, and let it brown till dinner time over a few coals, keeping the pot closely covered; then send it to table on a dish by itself. Let the remainder of the meat be left in the large pot till you send up the soup, as by that time it will be boiled to rags and have transferred all its flavour to the liquid.
This soup will be greatly improved by the addition of a few dozen ochras cut into very thin slices, and put in with the other vegetables. You may put Lima beans into it, green peas, or indeed any vegetables you like: or you may thicken it with ochras and tomatas only.
Next day, take what is left of the soup, put it into a pot, and simmer it over hot coals for half an hour: a longer time will weaken the taste. If it has been well made and kept in a cool place, it will be found better the second day than the first.
If your family is very small, and the leg of beef large, and the season winter, it may furnish soup for four successive days. Cut the beef in half; make soup of the first half, in the manner above directed, and have the remainder warmed next day; then on the third day make fresh soup of the second half.
We have been minute in these directions; for if strictly followed, the soup, though plain, will be found excellent.
If you do not intend to serve up the meat separately, break to pieces all the bones with a mallet or kitchen cleaver. This, by causing them to give out their marrow, &c., will greatly enrich the liquid. Do this, of course, when you first begin the soup.
FINE BEEF SOUP.
Begin this soup the day before it is wanted. Take a good piece of fresh beef that has been newly killed: any substantial part will do that has not too much fat about it: a fore leg is very good for this purpose. Wash it well. Cut off all the meat, and break up the bones. Put the meat and the bones into a large pot, very early in the day, so as to allow eight or nine hours for its boiling. Proportion the water to the quantity of meat—about a pint and a half to each pound. Sprinkle the meat with a small quantity of pepper and salt. Pour on the water, hang it over a moderate fire, and boil it slowly; carefully skimming off all the fat that rises to the top, and keeping it closely covered, except when you raise the lid to skim it. Do not, on any account, put in additional water to this soup while it is boiling; and take care that the boiling goes steadily on, as, if it stops, the soup will be much injured. But if the fire is too great, and the soup boils too fast, the meat will become hard and tough, and will not give out its juices.
After the meat is reduced to rags, and the soup sufficiently boiled, remove the pot from the fire, and let it stand in the corner for a quarter of an hour to settle. Then take it up, strain it into a large earthen pan, cover it, and set it away in a cool dry place till next day. Straining it makes it clear and bright, and frees it from the shreds of meat and bone. If you find that it jellies in the pan, (which it will if properly made,) do not disturb it till you are ready to put it into the pot for the second boiling, as breaking the jelly may prevent it from keeping well.
On the following morning, boil separately, carrots, turnips, onions, celery, and whatever other vegetables you intend to thicken the soup with. Tomatas will greatly improve it. Prepare them by taking off the skin, cutting them into small pieces, and stewing them in their own juice till they are entirely dissolved. Put on the carrots before any of the other vegetables, as they require the longest time to boil. Or you may slice and put into the soup a portion of the vegetables you are boiling for dinner; but they must be nearly done before you put them in, as the second boiling of the soup should not exceed half an hour, or indeed, just sufficient time to heat it thoroughly.
Scrape off carefully from the cake of jellied soup whatever fat or sediment may still be remaining on it; divide the jelly into pieces, and about half an hour before it is to go to table, put it into a pot, add the various vegetables, (having first sliced them,) in sufficient quantities to make the soup very thick; hang it over the fire and let it boil slowly, or simmer steadily till dinner time. Boiling it much on the second day will destroy the flavour, and render it flat and insipid. For this reason, in making fine, clear beef soup, the vegetables are to be cooked separately. They need not be put in the first day, as the soup is to be strained; and on the second day, if put in raw, the length of time required to cook them would spoil the soup by doing it too much. We repeat, that when soup has been sufficiently boiled on the first day, and all the juices and flavour of the meat thoroughly extracted, half an hour is the utmost it requires on the second.
Carefully avoid seasoning it too highly. Soup, otherwise excellent, is frequently spoiled by too much pepper and salt. These condiments can be added at table, according to the taste of those that are eating it; but if too large a proportion of them is put in by the cook, there is then no remedy, and the soup may by some be found uneatable.
Many persons prefer boiling all the vegetables in the soup on the first day, thinking that they improve its flavour. This may be done in common soup that is not to be strained, but is inadmissible if you wish it to be very bright and clear. Also, unless you have a garden and a profusion of vegetables of your own, it is somewhat extravagant, as when strained out they are of no further use, and are therefore wasted.
Cut off the shoulder part of a fore quarter of mutton, and having cut all the meat from the bone, put it into a soup pot with two quarts of water. As soon as it boils, skim it well, and then slacken the fire and simmer the meat for an hour and a half. Then take the remainder of the mutton, and put it whole into the soup-pot with sufficient boiling water to cover it well, and salt it to your taste. Skim it the moment the fresh piece of meat begins to boil, and about every quarter of an hour afterwards. It should boil slowly five hours. Prepare half a dozen turnips, four carrots, and three onions, (all cut up, but not small,) and put them in about an hour and a half before dinner. [Footnote: The carrots should be put in early, as they require a long time to boil; if full grown, at least three hours.] You may also put in some small dumplings. Add some chopped parsley.
Cut the meat off the scrag into small pieces, and send it to table in the tureen with the soup. The other half of the mutton should be served on a separate dish, with whole turnips boiled and laid round it. Many persons are fond of mutton that has been boiled in soup.
You may thicken this soup with rice or barley that has first been soaked in cold water; or with green peas; or with young corn, cut down from the cob; or with tomatas scalded, peeled, and cut into pieces.
Cabbage Soup may be made in the same manner, of neck of mutton. Omit all the other vegetables, and put in a large head of white cabbage, stripped of the outside leaves, and cut small.
Noodle Soup can be made in this manner also. Noodles are a mixture of flour and beaten egg, made into a stiff paste, kneaded, rolled out very thin, and cut into long narrow slips, not thicker than straws, and then dried three or four hours in the sun, on tin or pewter plates. They must be put in the soup shortly before dinner, as, if boiled too long they will go to pieces.
With the mutton that is taken from the soup you may send to table some suet dumplings, boiled in another pot, and served on a separate dish. Make them in the proportion of half a pound of beef suet to a pound and a quarter of flour. Chop the suet as fine as possible, rub it into the flour, and mix it into a dough with a little cold water. Roll it out thick, and cut it into dumplings about as large as the top of a tumbler, and boil them an hour.
The knuckle or leg of veal is the best for soup. Wash it and break up the bones. Put it into a pot with a pound of ham or bacon cut into pieces, and water enough to cover the meat. A set of calf's feet, cut in half, will greatly improve it. After it has stewed slowly, till all the meat drops to pieces, strain it, return it to the pot, and put in a head of celery cut small, three onions, a bunch of sweet marjoram, a carrot and a turnip cut into pieces, and two dozen black pepper-corns, with salt to your taste. Add some small dumplings made of flour and butter. Simmer it another hour, or till all the vegetables are sufficiently done, and thus send it to table.
You may thicken it with noodles, that is paste made of flour and beaten egg, and cut into long thin slips. Or with vermicelli, rice, or barley; or with green peas, or asparagus tops.
RICH VEAL SOUP.
Take three pounds of the scrag of a neck of veal, cut it into pieces, and put it with the bones (which must be broken up) into a pot with two quarts of water. Stew it till the meat is done to rags, and skim it well. Then strain it and return it to the pot.
Blanch and pound in a mortar to a smooth paste, a quarter of a pound of sweet almonds, and mix them with the yolks of six hard boiled eggs grated, mid a pint of cream, which must first have been boiled or it will curdle in the soup. Season it with nutmeg and mace. Stir the mixture into the soup, and let it boil afterward about three minutes, stirring all the time. Lay in the bottom of the tureen some slices of bread without the crust. Pour the soup upon it, and send it to table.
CLEAR GRAVY SOUP.
Having well buttered the inside of a nicely tinned stew-pot, cut half a pound of ham into slices, and lay them at the bottom, with three pounds of the lean of fresh beef, and as much veal, cut from the bones, which you must afterward break to pieces, and lay on the meat. Cover the pan closely, and set it over a quick fire. When the meat begins to stick to the pan, turn it; and when there is a nice brown glaze at the bottom, cover the meat with cold water. Watch it well, and when it is just coming to a boil, put in half a pint of cold water. This will cause the scum to rise. Skim it well, and then pour in another half pint of cold water; skim it again; pour in cold water as before, half a pint at a time, and repeat this till no more scum rises. In skimming, carefully avoid stirring the soup, as that will injure its clearness.
In the mean time prepare your vegetables. Peel off the outer skin of three large white onions and slice them. Pare three large turnips, and slice them also. Wash clean and cut into small pieces three carrots, and three large heads of celery. If you cannot obtain fresh celery, substitute a large table-spoonful of celery seed, tied up in a bit of clear muslin. Put the vegetables into the soup, and then place the pot on one side of the fire, where the heat is not so great as in the middle. Let it boil gently for four hours. Then strain the soup through a fine towel or linen bag into a large stone pan, but do not squeeze the bag, or the soup will be cloudy, and look dull instead of clear. In pouring it into the straining cloth, be careful not to disturb the ingredients at the bottom of the soup-pot.
This soup should be of a fine clear amber colour. If not perfectly bright after straining, you may clarify it in this manner. Put it into the stew-pan. Break the whites of two eggs into a basin, carefully avoiding the smallest particle of the yolk. Beat the white of egg to a stiff froth, and then mix it gradually with the soup. Set it over the fire, and stir it till it boils briskly. Then take it off, and set it beside the fire to settle for ten minutes. Strain it then through a clean napkin, and it will be fit for use. But it is better to have the soup clear by making it carefully, than to depend on clarifying it afterward, as the white of egg weakens the taste.
In making this (which is quite a show-soup) it is customary to reverse the general rule, and pour in cold water.
SOUPE A LA JULIENNE.
Make a gravy soup as in the preceding receipt, and strain it before you put in the vegetables. Cut some turnips and carrots into ribands, and some onions and celery into lozenges or long diamond-shaped pieces. Boil them separately. When the vegetables are thoroughly boiled, put them with the soup into the tureen, and then lay gently on the top some small squares of toasted bread without crust; taking care that they do not crumble down and disturb the brightness of the soup, which should be of a clear amber colour.
This also is made of clear gravy soup. Cut up and boil the maccaroni by itself in a very little water, allowing a quarter of a pound to a quart of soup. The pieces should be about an inch long. Put a small piece of butter with it. It must boil till tender, but not till it breaks. Throw it into the soup shortly before it goes to table, and give it one boil up. Send to table with it a plate or glass of rasped Parmesan or other rich cheese, with a dessert spoon in it, that those who like it may put it into their soup on the plate.
While the maccaroni is boiling, take care that it does not get into lumps.
RICH MACCARONI SOUP.
Take a quart of clear gravy soup, and boil in it a pound of the best maccaroni cut into pieces. When it is tender, take out half of the maccaroni, and add to the remainder two quarts more of the soup. Boil it till the maccaroni is entirely dissolved and incorporated with the liquid. Strain it; then return it to the soup-pan, and add to it the remainder of the maccaroni, (that was taken out before the pieces broke,) and put in a quarter of a pound of grated Parmesan cheese. Let it simmer awhile, but take it up before it comes to a boil.
It may be made with milk instead of gravy soup.
Cut a knuckle of veal, or a neck of mutton into small pieces, and put them, with the bones broken up, into a large stew-pan. Add the meat sliced from a hock or shank of ham, a quarter of a pound of butter, two large onions sliced, a bunch of sweet herbs, and a head of celery cut small. Cover the pan closely, and set it without any water over a slow fire for an hour or more, to extract the essence from the meat. Then skim it well, and pour in four quarts of boiling water, and let it boil gently till all the meat is reduced to rags. Strain it, set it again on the fire, and add a quarter of a pound of vermicelli, which has first been scalded in boiling water. Season it to your taste with salt and cayenne pepper, and let it boil five minutes. Lay a large slice of bread in the bottom of your tureen, and pour the soup upon it.
For the veal or mutton you may substitute a pair of large fowls cut into pieces; always adding the ham or a few slices of bacon, without which it will be insipid. Old fowls that are fit for no other purpose will do very well for soup.
Boil two quarts of milk with a quarter of a pound of sweet almonds, and two ounces of bitter ones, blanched and broken to pieces, and a large stick of cinnamon broken up. Stir in sugar enough to make it very sweet. When it has boiled strain it. Cut some thin slices of bread, and (having pared off the crust) toast them. Lay them in the bottom of a tureen, pour a little of the hot milk over them, and cover them close, that they may soak. Beat the yolks of five eggs very light Set the milk on hot coals, and add the eggs to it by degrees; stirring it all the time till it thickens. Then take it off instantly, lest it curdle, and pour it into the tureen, boiling hot, over the bread.
This will be still better if you cover the bottom with slices of baked apple.
RICH BROWN SOUP.
Take six pounds of the lean of fresh beef, cut from the bone. Stick it over with four dozen cloves. Season it with a tea-spoonful of salt, a tea-spoonful of pepper, a tea-spoonful of mace, and a beaten nutmeg. Slice half a dozen onions; fry them in butter; chop them, and spread them over the meat after you have put it into the soup-pot. Pour in five quarts of water, and stew it slowly for five or six hours; skimming it well. When the meat has dissolved into shreds, strain it, and return the liquid to the pot. Then add a tumbler and a half, or six wine glasses of claret or port wine. Simmer it again slowly till dinner time. When the soup is reduced to three quarts, it is done enough. Put it into a tureen, and send it to table.
RICH WHITE SOUP.
Take a pair of large fat fowls. Cut them up. Butter the inside of the soup-pot, and put in the pieces of fowl with two pounds of the lean of veal, cut into pieces, or with four calf's feet cut in half. Season them with a tea-spoonful of salt, a half tea-spoonful of cayenne pepper, and a dozen blades of mace. Cover them with water, and stew it slowly for an hour, skimming it well. Then take out the breasts and wings of the fowls, and having cut off the flesh, chop it fine. Keep the pot covered, and the veal and the remainder of the fowls still stewing.
Mix the chopped chicken with the grated crumb of about one quarter of a loaf of stale bread, (a six cent loaf,) having soaked the crumbs in a little warm milk. Have ready the yolks of four hard boiled eggs, a dozen sweet almonds, and half a dozen bitter ones blanched and broken small. Mix the egg and almonds with the chopped chicken and grated bread, and pound all in a mortar till it is well incorporated. Strain the soup from the meat and fowl, and stir this mixture into the liquid, after it has stewed till reduced to two quarts. Having boiled separately a quart of cream or rich milk, add it hot to the soup, a little at a time. Cover it, and let it simmer a few minutes longer. Then send it to table.
These two soups (the brown and the white) are suited to dinner parties.
MEG MERRILIES' SOUP.
Take four pounds of venison, or if you cannot procure venison you may substitute the lean of fresh beef or mutton. Season it with pepper and salt, put it into a large pot, (break the bones and lay them on the meat,) pour in four quarts of water, and boil it three hours, skimming it well. Then strain it, and put it into another pot.
Cut up a hare or a rabbit, a pair of partridges, and a pair of grouse; or one of each, with a pheasant, a woodcock, or any other game that you can most easily obtain. Season them and put them into the soup. Add a dozen small onions, a couple of heads of celery cut small, and half a dozen sliced potatoes. Let the soup simmer till the game is sufficiently done, and all the vegetables tender.
This is the soup with which the gipsy, Meg Merrilies, regaled Dominie Sampson.
When game is used for soup, it must be newly killed, and quite fresh.
Take four pounds of freshly killed venison cut off from the bones, and one pound of ham in small slices. Add an onion minced, and black pepper to your taste. Put only as much water as will cover it, and stew it gently for an hour, keeping the pot closely covered. Then skim it well, and pour in a quart of boiling water. Add a head of celery cut into small pieces, and half a dozen blades of mace. Boil it gently two hours and a half. Then put in a quarter of a pound of butter, divided into small pieces and rolled in flour, and half a pint of port or Madeira wine. Let it boil a quarter of an hour longer, and then send it to table with the meat in it.
HARE OR RABBIT SOUP.
Take a large newly killed hare, or two rabbits; cut them up and wash the pieces. Save all the blood, (which adds much to the flavour of the hare,) and strain it through a sieve. Put the pieces into a soup-pot with four whole onions stuck with a few cloves, four or five blades of mace, a head of celery cut small, and a bunch of parsley with a large sprig of sweet marjoram and one of sweet basil, all tied together. Salt and cayenne to your taste. Pour in three quarts of water, and stew it gently an hour and a half. Then put in the strained blood and simmer it for another hour, at least. Do not let it actually boil, as that will cause the blood to curdle. Then strain it, and pound half the meat in a mortar, and stir it into the soup to thicken it, and cut the remainder of the meat into small mouthfuls. Stir in, at the last, a jill or two glasses of red wine, and a large table-spoonful of currant jelly. Boil it slowly a few minutes longer, and then put it into your tureen. It will be much improved by the addition of about a dozen and a half small force-meat balls, about the size of a nutmeg. This soup will require cooking at least four hours.
Partridge, pheasant, or grouse soup may be made in a similar manner.
If you have any clear gravy soup, you may cut up the hare, season it as above, and put it into a jug or jar well covered, and set in boiling water till the meat is tender. Then put it into the gravy soup, add the wine, and let it come to a boil. Send it to table with the pieces of the hare in the soup.
When hare soup is made in this last manner, omit using the blood.
MULLAGATAWNY SOUP, AS MADE IN INDIA.
Take a quarter of an ounce of China turmeric, the third of an ounce of cassia, three drachms of black pepper, two drachms of cayenne pepper, and an ounce of coriander seeds. These must all be pounded fine in a mortar, and well mixed and sifted. They will make sufficient curry powder for the following quantity of soup:
Take two large fowls, or three pounds of the lean of veal. Cut the flesh entirely from the bones in small pieces, and put it into a stew-pan with two quarts of water. Let it boil slowly for half an hour, skimming it well. Prepare four large onions, minced and fried in two ounces of butter. Add to them the curry powder and moisten the whole with broth from the stew-pan, mixed with a little rice flour. When thoroughly mixed, stir the seasoning into the soup, and simmer it till it is as smooth and thick as cream, and till the chicken or veal is perfectly tender. Then stir into it the juice of a lemon; and five minutes after take up the soup, with the meat in it, and serve it in the tureen.
Send to table separately, boiled rice on a hot-water dish to keep it warm, The rice is to be put into the plates of soup by those who eat it.
To boil rice for this soup in the East India fashion:—Pick and wash half a pound in warm water. Put it into a sauce-pan. Pour two quarts of boiling water over it, and cover the pan closely. Set it in a warm place by the fire, to cook gradually in the hot water. In an hour pour off all the water, and setting the pan on hot coals, stir up and toss the rice with a fork, so as to separate the grains, and to dry without hardening it. Do not use a spoon, as that will not loosen the grains sufficiently.
MOCK TURTLE OR CALF'S HEAD SOUP.
This soup will require eight hours to prepare. Take a large calf's head, and having cleaned, washed, and soaked it, put it into a pot with a knuckle of veal, and the hock of a ham, or a few slices of bacon; but previously cut off and reserve enough of the veal to make two dozen small force-meat balls. Put the head and the other meat into as much water as will cover it very well, so that it may not be necessary to replenish it: this soup being always made very rich. Let it boil slowly four hours, skimming it carefully. As soon as no more scum rises, put in six potatoes, and three turnips, all sliced thin; with equal proportions of parsley, sweet marjoram and sweet basil, chopped fine; and pepper and salt to your taste.
An hour before you send the meat to table, make about two dozen small force-meat balls of minced veal and beef-suet in equal quantities, seasoned with pepper and salt; sweet herbs, grated lemon-peel, and powdered nutmeg and mace. Add some beaten yolk of egg to make all these ingredients stick together. Flour the balls very well, and fry them in butter. Before you put them into the soup, take out the head, and the other meat. Cut the meat from the head in small pieces, and return it to the soup. When the soup is nearly done, stir in half a pint of Madeira. Have ready at least a dozen egg-balls made of the yolks of hard-boiled eggs, grated or pounded in a mortar, and mixed with a little flour and sufficient raw yolk of egg to bind them. Make them up into the form and size of boy's marbles. Throw them into the soup at the last, and also squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Let it get another slow boil, and then put it into the tureen.
We omit a receipt for real turtle soup, as when that very expensive, complicated, and difficult dish is prepared in a private family, it is advisable to hire a first-rate cook for the express purpose.
An easy way is to get it ready made, in any quantity you please, from a turtle-soup house.
OX TAIL SOUP
Three ox tails will make a large tureen full of soup. Desire the butcher to divide them at the joints. Rub them with salt, and put them to soak in warm water, while you prepare the vegetables. Put into a large pot or stew-pan four onions peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, two sliced carrots, two sliced turnips, and two dozen pepper corns. Then put in the tails, and pour on three quarts of water.
Cover the pot, and set it on hot coals by the side of the fire. Keep it gently simmering for about three hours, supplying it well with fresh hot coals. Skim it carefully. When the meat is quite tender, and falls from the bones, strain the soup into another pot, and add to it a spoonful of mushroom catchup, and two spoonfuls of butter rubbed in flour.
You may thicken it also with the pulp of a dozen onions first fried soft, and then rubbed through a cullender. After it is thickened, let it just boil up, and then send it to table, with small squares of toasted bread in the tureen.
Take a large slice of ham (cold boiled ham is best) and two pounds of the lean of fresh beef; cut all the meat into small pieces. Add a quarter of a pound of butter slightly melted; twelve large tomatas pared and cut small; five dozen ochras cut into slices not thicker than a cent; and salt and cayenne pepper to your taste. Put all these ingredients into a pot; cover them with boiling water, and let them stew slowly for an hour. Then add three quarts of hot water, and increase the heat so as to make the soup boil. Skim it well, and stir it frequently with a wooden or silver spoon.
Boil it till the tomatas are all to pieces, and the ochras entirely dissolved. Strain it, and then serve it up with toasted bread cut into dice, put in after it comes out of the pot.
This soup will be improved by a pint of shelled Lima beans, boiled by themselves, and put into the tureen just before you send it to table.
Put two quarts of dried white beans into soak the night before you make the soup, which should be put on as early in the day as possible.
Take five pounds of the lean of fresh beef—the coarse pieces will do. Cut them up, and put them into your soup-pot with the bones belonging to them, (which should be broken to pieces,) and a pound of bacon cut very small. If you have the remains of a piece of beef that has been roasted the day before, and so much under-done that the juices remain in it, you may put it into the pot, and its bones along with it. Season the meat with pepper and salt, and pour on it six quarts of water. As soon as it boils take off the scum, and put in the beans (having first drained them) and a head of celery cut small, or a table-spoonful of pounded celery-seed. Boil it slowly till the meat is done to shreds, and the beans all dissolved. Then strain it through a cullender into the tureen, and put into it small squares of toasted bread with the crust cut off.
Some prefer it with the beans boiled soft, but not quite dissolved. In this case, do not strain it; but take out the meat and bones with a fork before you send it to table.
Soak two quarts of dried or split peas overnight. In the morning take three pounds of the lean of fresh beef, and a pound of bacon or pickled pork. Cut them into pieces, and put them into a large soup-pot with the peas, (which must first be well drained,) and a table-spoonful of dried mint rubbed to powder. Add five quarts of water, and boil the soup gently for three hours, skimming it well, and then put in four heads of celery cut small, or two table-spoonfuls of pounded celery seed.
It must be boiled till the peas are entirely dissolved, so as to be no longer distinguishable, and the celery quite soft. Then strain it into a tureen, and serve it up with toasted bread cut in dice. Omit the crust of the bread.
Stir it up immediately before it goes to table, as it is apt to settle, and be thick at the bottom and thin at the top.
GREEN PEAS SOUP.
Take four pounds of knuckle of veal, and a pound of bacon. Cut them to pieces, and put them into a soup kettle with a sprig of mint and four quarts of water. Boil it moderately fast, and skim it well. When the meat is boiled to rags, strain it out, and put to the liquor a quart of young green peas. Boil them till they are entirely dissolved, and till they have thickened the soup, and given it a green colour. [Footnote: You may greatly improve the colour by pounding a handful of spinach in a mortar, straining the juice, and adding it to the soup about a quarter of an hour before it has done boiling.]
Have ready two quarts of green peas that have been boiled in another pot with a sprig of mint, and two or three lumps of loaf sugar, (which will greatly improve the taste.) After they have boiled in this pot twenty minutes, take out the mint, put the whole peas into the pot of soup, and boil all together about ten minutes. Then put it into a tureen, and send it to table.
Never use hard old green peas for this soup, or for any other purpose. When they begin to turn yellow, it is time to leave them off for the season.
Lima bean soup may be made in the same manner.
Asparagus soup may be made in a similar manner to that of green peas. You must have four or five bunches of asparagus. Cut off the green tops, and put half of them into the soup, after the meat has been boiled to pieces and strained out. The asparagus must be boiled till quite dissolved, and till it has given a green colour to the soup. Then take the remainder of the asparagus tops (which must all this time have been lying in cold water) and put them into the soup, and let them boil about twenty minutes. Serve it up with small squares of toast in the tureen.
You may heighten the green of this soup by adding the juice of a handful of spinach, pounded in a mortar and strained. Or you may colour it with the juice of boiled spinach squeezed through a cloth. The spinach juice should be put in fifteen or ten minutes before you take up the soup, as a short boiling in it will take off the peculiar taste.
Cut up four pounds of knuckle of veal; season it with white pepper and salt: put it into a soup-pan and let it boil slowly till the meat drops from the bone. Then strain it off. Have ready a pair of young fowls skinned, and cut up as you carve them at table. Season them with white pepper, salt, and mace. Put them into the soup, add a handful of chopped parsley, and let them boil. When the pieces of chicken are all quite tender, have ready four or five eggs well beaten. Stir the egg into the soup, and take it immediately off the fire lest it curdle. Serve up the chicken in the soup.
Rabbits may be substituted for fowls.
Catfish that have been caught near the middle of the river are much nicer than those that are taken near the shore where they have access to impure food. The small white ones are the best. Having cut off their heads, skin the fish, and clean them, and cut them in three. To twelve small catfish allow a pound and a half of ham. Cut the ham into small pieces, or slice it very thin, and scald it two or three times in boiling water, lest it be too salt. Chop together a bunch of parsley and some sweet marjoram stripped from the stalks. Put these ingredients into a soup kettle and season them with pepper: the ham will make it salt enough. Add a head of celery cut small, or a large table-spoonful of celery seed tied up in a bit of clear muslin to prevent its dispersing. Pat in two quarts of water, cover the kettle, and let it boil slowly till every thing is sufficiently done, and the fish and ham quite tender. Skim it frequently. Boil in another vessel a quart of rich milk, in which you have melted a quarter of a pound of butter divided into small bits and rolled in flour. Pour it hot to the soup, and stir in at the last the beaten yolks of four eggs. Give it another boil, just to take off the rawness of the eggs, and then put it into a tureen, taking out the bag of celery seed before you send the soup to table, and adding some toasted bread cut into small squares. In making toast for soap, cut the bread thick, and pare off all the crust.
This soup will be found very fine.
Eel soup may be made in the same manner: chicken soup also.
Have ready a good broth made of a knuckle of veal boiled slowly in as much water as will cover it, till the meat is reduced to rags. It must then be well strained.
Having boiled three fine middle-sized lobsters, extract all the meat from the body and claws. Bruise part of the coral in a mortar, and also an equal quantity of the meat. Mix them well together. Add mace, nutmeg, cayenne, and a little grated lemon-peel; and make them up into force-meat balls, binding the mixture with the yolk of an egg slightly beaten.
Take three quarts of the veal broth, and put into it the meat of the lobsters cut into mouthfuls. Boil it together about twenty minutes. Then thicken it with the remaining coral, (which you must first rub through a sieve,) and add the force-meat balls, and a little butter rolled in flour. Simmer it gently for ten minutes, but do not let it come to a boil, as that will injure the colour. Pour it into a tureen, and send it to table immediately.
To two quarts of oysters add a pint of water, and let them set an hour. Then take them out of the liquor. Grate and roll fine a dozen crackers. Put them into the liquor with a large lump of fresh butter. When the grated biscuit has quite dissolved, add a quart of milk with a grated nutmeg, and a dozen blades of mace; and, if in season, a head of celery split fine and cut into small pieces. Season it to your taste with pepper.
Mix the whole together, and set it in a closely covered vessel over a slow fire. When it comes to a boil, put in the oysters; and when it comes to a boil again, they will be sufficiently done.
Before you send it to table put into the tureen some toasted bread cut into small squares, omitting the crust.
PLAIN OYSTER SOUP.
Take two quarts of large oysters. Strain their liquor into a soup pan; season it with a tea-spoonful of whole pepper, a tea-spoonful of whole allspice, the same quantity of whole cloves, and seven or eight blades of mace. If the oysters are fresh, add a large tea-spoonful of salt; if they are salt oysters, none is requisite. Set the pan on hot coals, and boil it slowly (skimming it when necessary) till you find that it is sufficiently flavoured with the taste of the spice. In the mean time (having cut out the hard part) chop the oysters fine, and season them with a powdered nutmeg. Take the liquor from the fire, and strain out the spice from it. Then return it to the soup pan, and put the chopped oysters into it, with whatever liquid may have continued about them. Add a quarter of a pound of butter, divided into little bits and rolled in flour. Cover the pan, and let it boil hard about five minutes. If oysters are cooked too much they become tough and tasteless.
Having put your clams into a pot of boiling water to make them open easily, take them from the shells, carefully saving the liquor. To the liquor of a quart of opened clams, allow three quarts of water. Mix the water with the liquor of the clams and put it into a large pot with a knuckle of veal, the bone of which should be chopped in four places. When it has simmered slowly for four hours, put in a large bunch of sweet herbs, a beaten nutmeg, a tea-spoonful of mace, and a table-spoonful of whole pepper, but no salt, as the salt of the clam liquor will be sufficient. Stew it slowly an hour longer, and then strain it. When you have returned the liquor to the pot, add a quarter of a pound of butter divided into four and each bit rolled in flour. Then put in the clams, (having cut them, in pieces,) and let it boil fifteen minutes. Send it to table with toasted bread in it cut into dice.
This soup will be greatly improved by the addition of small force-meat balls. Make them of cold minced veal or chicken, mixed with equal quantities of chopped suet and sweet marjoram, and a smaller proportion of hard-boiled egg, grated lemon-peel, and powdered nutmeg. Pound all the ingredients together in a mortar, adding a little pepper and salt. Break in a raw egg or two (in proportion to the quantity) to bind the whole together and prevent it from crumbling to pieces. When thoroughly mixed, make the force-meat into small balls, and let them boil ten minutes in the soup, shortly before you send it to table. If you are obliged to make them of raw veal or raw chicken they must boil longer.
It will be a great improvement to cut up a yam and boil it in the soup.
Oyster soup may be made in this manner.
PLAIN CLAM SOUP.
Take a hundred clams, well washed, and put them into a large pot of boiling water. This will cause the shells to open. As they open take them out, and extract the clams, taking care to save the liquor. Mix with the liquor a quart of water, (or what will be much better, a quart of milk,) and thicken it with butter rolled in flour. Add a large bunch of parsley tied up, and a large table-spoonful of whole pepper. Put the liquid into a pot over a moderate fire. Make some little round dumplings (about the size of a hickory nut) of flour and butter, and put them into the soup. When it comes to a boil, put in the clams, and keep them boiling an hour. Take them out before you send the soup to table.
When the soup is done, take out the bunch of parsley. Have ready some toasted bread cut into small squares or dice. Put it into the soup before you send it to table.
You may make oyster soup in a similar manner.
Cut up four flounders, or half a dozen perch, two onions, and a bunch of parsley. Put them into three quarts of water, and boil them till the fish go entirely to pieces, and dissolve in the water. Then strain the liquor through a sieve, and put it into a kettle or stew-pan. Have ready a few more fish with the heads, tails, and fins removed, and the brown skin taken off. Cut little notches in them, and lay them for a short time in very cold water. Then put them into the stew-pan with the liquor or soup-stock of the first fish. Season with pepper, salt, and mace, and add half a pint of white wine or two table-spoonfuls of vinegar. Boil it gently for a quarter of an hour, and skim it well.
Provide some parsley roots, cut into slices and boiled till very tender; and also a quantity of parsley leaves boiled nice and green. After the fish-pan has boiled moderately fifteen minutes, take it off the fire, and put in the parsley roots; also a little mushroom catchup.
Take out the fish and lay them in a broad deep dish, or in a tureen, and then pour on the soup very gently for fear of breaking them. Strew the green parsley leaves over the top. Have ready plates of bread and butter, which it is customary to eat with water souchy.
You may omit the wine or vinegar, and flavour the soup just before you take it from the fire with essence of anchovy, or with any other of the essences and compound fish-sauces that are in general use.
Water souchy (commonly pronounced sookey) is a Dutch soup. It may be made of any sort of small fish; but flounders and perch are generally used for it. It is very good made of carp.
In choosing fresh fish, select only those that are thick and firm, with bright scales and stiff fins; the gills a very lively red, and the eyes full and prominent. In the summer, as soon as they are brought home, clean them, and put them in ice till you are ready to cook them; and even then do not attempt to keep a fresh fish till next day. Mackerel cannot be cooked too soon, as they spoil more readily than any other fish.
Oysters in the shell may be kept from a week to a fortnight, by the following process. Cover them with water, and wash them clean with a birch broom. Then lay them with the deep or concave part of the shell undermost, and sprinkle each of them well with salt and Indian meal. Fill up the tub with cold water. Repeat this every day; first pouring off the liquid of the day before.
The tub must stand all the time in a cool cellar, and be covered well with an old blanket, carpeting, or something of the sort.
If carefully attended to, oysters kept in this manner will not only live but fatten.
It is customary to eat fish only at the commencement of the dinner. Fish and soup are generally served up alone, before any of the other dishes appear, and with no vegetable but potatoes; it being considered a solecism in good taste to accompany them with any of the other productions of the garden except a little horseradish, parsley, &c. as garnishing.
In England, and at the most fashionable tables in America, bread only is eaten with fish. To this rule salt cod is an exception.
TO BOIL FRESH SALMON
Scale and clean the fish, handling it as little as possible, and cutting it open no more than is absolutely necessary. Place it on the strainer of a large fish-kettle and fill it up with cold water. Throw in a handful of salt. Let it boil slowly. The length of time depends on the size and weight of the fish. You may allow a quarter of an hour to each pound; but experience alone can determine the exact time. It must however be thoroughly done, as nothing is more disgusting than fish that is under-cooked. You may try it with a fork. Skim it well or the colour will be bad.
The minute it is completely boiled, lift up the strainer and rest it across the top of the kettle, that the fish may drain, and then, if you cannot send it to table immediately, cover it with a soft napkin or flannel several folds double, to keep it firm by absorbing the moisture.
Send it to table on a hot dish. Garnish with scraped horseradish and curled parsley. Have ready a small tureen of lobster sauce to accompany the salmon.
Take what is left of it after dinner, and put it into a deep dish with a close cover. Having saved some of the water in which the fish was boiled, take a quart of it, and season it with half an ounce of whole pepper, and half an ounce of whole allspice, half a pint of the best vinegar, and a tea-spoonful of salt. Boil it; and when cold, pour it over the fish, and cover it closely again. In a cold place, and set on ice, it will keep a day or two, and may be eaten at breakfast or supper.
If much of the salmon has been left, you must proportion a larger quantity of the pickle.
Boil salmon trout in a similar manner.
TO BAKE FRESH SALMON WHOLE
Having cleaned a small or moderate sized salmon, season it with salt, pepper, and powdered mace rubbed on it both outside and in. Skewer it with the tail turned round and put to the mouth. Lay it on a stand or trivet in a deep dish or pan, and stick it over with bits of butter rolled in flour. Put it into the oven, and baste it occasionally, while baking, with its own drippings.
Garnish it with horseradish and sprigs of curled parsley, laid alternately round the edge of the dish; and send to table with it a small tureen of lobster sauce.
Salmon trout may be drest in the same manner.
SALMON BAKED IN SLICES.
Take out the bone and cut the flesh into slices. Season them with cayenne and salt. Melt two ounces of butter that has been rolled in flour, in a half pint of water, and mix with it two large glasses of port wine, two table-spoonfuls of catchup, and two anchovies. This allowance is for a small quantity of salmon. For a large dish you must proportion the ingredients accordingly. Let the anchovies remain in the liquid till they are dissolved. Then strain it and pour it over the slices of salmon. Tie a sheet of buttered paper over the dish, and put it into the oven.
You may bake trout or carp in the same manner.
Split the salmon and take out the bone as nicely as possible, without mangling the flesh. Then cut it into fillets or steaks about an inch thick. Dry them lightly in a cloth, and dredge them with flour. Take care not to squeeze or press them. Have ready some clear bright coals, such as are fit for beef-steaks. Let the gridiron be clean and bright, and rub the bars with chalk to prevent the fish from sticking. Broil the slices thoroughly, turning them with steak tongs. Send them to table hot, wrapped in the folds of a napkin that has been heated. Serve up with them anchovy, or prawn, or lobster sauce.
Many epicures consider this the best way of cooking salmon.
Another way, perhaps still nicer, is to take some pieces of white paper and butter them well. Wrap in each a slice of salmon, securing the paper around them, with a string or pins. Lay them on a gridiron, and broil them over a clear but moderate fire, till thoroughly done. Take off the paper, and send the cutlets to table hot, garnished with fried parsley.
Serve up with them prawn or lobster sauce in a boat.
Take a fine fresh salmon, and having cleaned it, cut it into large pieces, and boil it in salted water as if for eating. Then drain it, wrap it in a dry cloth, and set it in a cold place till next day. Then make the pickle, which must be in proportion to the quantity of fish. To one quart of the water in which the salmon was boiled, allow two quarts of the best vinegar, one ounce of whole black pepper, one ounce of whole allspice, and a dozen blades of mace. Boil all these together in a kettle closely covered to prevent the flavour from evaporating. When the vinegar thus prepared is quite cold, pour it over the salmon, and put on the top a table-spoonful of sweet oil, which will make it keep the longer.
Cover it closely, put it in a dry cool place, and it will be good for many months.
This is the nicest way of preserving salmon, and is approved by all who have tried it. Garnish with fennel.
Cut the fish up the back; clean, and scale it, and take out the roe, but do not wash it. Take the bone neatly out. Rub it well inside and out with a mixture of salt and fine Havanna sugar, in equal quantities, and a small portion of saltpetre. Cover the fish with a board on which weights are placed to press it down, and let it lie thus for two days and two nights. Drain it from the salt, wipe it dry, stretch it open, and fasten it so with pieces of stick. Then hang it up and smoke it over a wood fire. It will be smoked sufficiently in five or six days.
When you wish to eat it, cut off slices, soak them awhile in lukewarm water, and broil them for breakfast.
TO BOIL HALIBUT.
Halibut is seldom cooked whole; a piece weighing from four to six pounds being generally thought sufficient. Score deeply the skin of the back, and when you put it into the kettle lay it on the strainer with the back undermost. Cover it with cold water, and throw in a handful of salt. Do not let it come to a boil too fast. Skim it carefully, and when it has boiled hard a few minutes, hang the kettle higher, or diminish the fire under it, so as to let it simmer for about twenty-five or thirty minutes. Then drain it, and send it to table, garnished with alternate heaps of grated horseradish and curled parsley, and accompanied by a boat of egg-sauce.
What is left of the halibut, you may prepare for the supper-table by mincing it when cold, and seasoning it with a dressing of salt, cayenne, sweet oil, hard-boiled yolk of egg, and a large proportion of vinegar.
Cut your halibut into steaks or cutlets about an inch thick. Wipe them with a dry cloth, and season them with salt and cayenne pepper. Have ready a pan of yolk of egg well beaten, and a large flat dish of grated bread crumbs.
Put some fresh lard or clarified beef dripping into a frying pan, and hold it over a clear fire till it boils. Dip your cutlets into the beaten egg, and then into the bread crumbs. Fry them of a light brown. Serve them up hot, with the gravy in the bottom of the dish.
Salmon or any large fish may be fried in the same manner.
Halibut cutlets are very fine cut quite thin and fried in the best sweet oil, omitting the egg and bread crumbs.
TO BROIL MACKEREL.
Mackerel cannot be eaten in perfection except at the sea-side, where it can be had immediately out of the water. It loses its flavour in a very few hours, and spoils sooner than any other fish. Broiling is the best way of cooking it.
Clean two fine fresh mackerel, and wipe them dry with a cloth. Split them open and rub them with salt. Spread some very bright coals on the hearth, and set the gridiron over them well greased. Lay on the mackerel, and broil them very nicely, taking care not to let them burn. When one side is quite done, turn them on the other. Lay them, on a hot dish, and butter and pepper them before they go to table. Garnish them with lumps or pats of minced paisley mixed with butter, pepper and salt.
Clean the mackerel well, and let them lie a short time in vinegar and water. Then put them into the fish-kettle with cold water and a handful of salt. Boil them slowly. If small, they will be sufficiently cooked in twenty minutes. When the eye starts and the tail splits they are done. Take them up immediately on finding them boiled enough. If they stand any time in the water they will break.
Serve them up with parsley sauce, and garnish the dish with lumps of minced parsley.
They are eaten with mustard.
For boiling, choose those that have soft roes.
Another way is to put them in cold salt and water, and let them warm gradually for an hour. Then give them one hard boil, and they will be done.
TO BOIL SALT CODFISH.
The day previous to that on which it is to be eaten, take the fish about four o'clock in the afternoon, and put it into a kettle of cold water. Then place it within the kitchen fire-place, so as to keep it blood-warm. Next morning at ten, take out the fish, scrub it clean with a hard brash, and put it into a kettle of fresh cold water, into which a jill of molasses has been stirred. The molasses will be found an improvement. Place the kettle again near the fire, until about twenty minutes before dinner. Then hang it over the fire, and boil it hard a quarter of an hour, or a little more.
When done, drain it, and cut it into large pieces. Wrap them closely in a fine napkin and send them to table on a large dish, garnished round the edge with hard-boiled eggs, either cut in half, or in circular slices, yolks and whites together. Have ready in a small tureen, egg-sauce made with, drawn butter, thickened with hard-boiled eggs chopped fine. Place on one side of the fish a dish of mashed potatoes, on the other a dish of boiled parsnips.
The most usual way of preparing salt cod for eating when it comes to table, is (after picking out all the bones) to mince it fine on your plate, and mix it with mashed potato, parsnip, and egg-sauce; seasoning it to your taste with cayenne and mustard. What is left may be prepared for breakfast nest morning. It should be put into a skillet or spider, which must be well buttered inside, and set over hot coals to warm and brown. Or it may be made up into small cakes and fried.
You may add to the mixture onions boiled and chopped.
TO BOIL FRESH COD.
Having washed and cleaned the fish, leave out the roe and liver; rub some salt on the inside, and if the weather is very cold you may keep it till next day. Put sufficient water in the fish-kettle to cover the fish very well, and add to the water a large handful of salt. As soon as the salt is entirely melted put in the fish. A very small codfish will be done in about twenty minutes, (after the water has boiled;) a large one will take half an hour, or more. Garnish with the roe and liver fried, or with scraped horseradish. Send it to table with oyster-sauce in a boat. Or you may make a sauce by flavouring your melted butter with a glass of port wine, and an anchovy boned and minced.
ANOTHER WAY OF BOILING FRESH COD.
Put the fish into cold water with a handful of salt, and let it slowly and gradually warm for three hours if the cod is large, and two hours if it is small. Then increase the fire, and boil it hard for a few minutes only.
Keep on the head and fins. Make a force-meat or stuffing of grated bread crumbs, cold boiled ham or bacon minced fine, sweet marjoram, pepper, salt, and a little powdered mace or cloves. Moisten it with beaten yolk of egg. Stuff the inside of the fish with it, reserving a little to rub over the outside, having first rubbed the fish all over with yolk of egg. Lay the fish in a deep pan, putting its tail to its mouth. Pour into the bottom of the pan a little water, and add a jill of port wine, and a piece of butter rolled in flour. Bake it well, and when it is done, send it to table with the gravy poured round it. Garnish with slices of lemon.
Any fish may be baked in the same manner.
A large fish of ten or twelve pounds weight, will require about two hours baking.
TO BROIL A SHAD.
Split and wash the shad, and afterwards dry it in a cloth. Season it with salt and pepper. Have ready a bed of clear bright coals. Grease your gridiron well, and as soon as it is hot lay the shad upon it, and broil it for about a. quarter of an hour or more, according to the thickness. Butter it well, and send it to table. You may serve with it melted butter in a sauce-boat.
Or you may cut it into three pieces and broil it without splitting. It will then, of course, require a longer time. If done in this manner, send it to table with melted butter poured over it.
Having cleaned the rock-fish, put it into a fish-kettle with water enough to cover it well, having first dissolved a handful of salt in the water. Set it over a moderate fire, and do not let it boil too fast. Skim it well.
When done, drain it, and put it on a large dish. Have ready a few eggs boiled hard. Cut them in half, and lay them closely on the back of the fish in a straight line from the head to the tail. Send with it in a boat, celery sauce flavoured with a little cayenne.
SEA BASS OR BLACK FISH.
May be boiled and served up in the above manner.
Have ready a large rock-fish. Put on your fish-kettle with a sufficiency of water to cover the fish amply; spring or pump water is best. As soon as the water boils, throw in a tea-cup full of salt, and put in the fish. Boil it gently for about half an hour, skimming it well. Then take it out, and drain it, laying it slantingly. Reserve a part of the water in which the fish has been boiled, and season it to your taste with whole cloves, allspice, and mace. Boil it up to extract the strength from the spice, and after it has boiled add to it an equal quantity of the best vinegar. You must have enough of this liquid to cover the fish again. When the fish is quite cold, cut off the head and tail, and cut the body into large pieces, extracting the back-bone. Put it into a stone jar, and when the spiced liquor is cold, pour it on the fish, cover the jar closely, and set it in a cool place. It will be fit for use in a day or two, and if well secured from the air, and put into a cold place will keep a fortnight.
Having cleaned the fish and dried them, with a cloth, lay them, side by side, on a board or large dish; sprinkle them with salt, and dredge them with flour. After a while turn them, and salt and dredge the other side. Put some lard or fresh beef-dripping into a frying-pan, and hold it over the fire. When the lard boils, put in the fish and fry them of a yellowish brown. Send to table with them in a boat, melted butter flavoured with anchovy.
Flounders or other small fish may be fried in the same manner.
You may know when the lard or dripping is hot enough, by dipping in the tail of one of the fish. If it becomes crisp immediately, the lard is in a proper state for frying. Or you may try it with a piece of stale bread which will become brown directly, if the lard is in order.
There should always be enough of lard to cover the fish entirely. After they have fried five minutes on one side, turn them and fry them five minutes on the other. Skim the lard or dripping always before you put in the fish.
TO FRY TROUT.
Having cleaned the fish, and cut off the fins, dredge them with flour. Have ready some beaten yolk of egg, and in a separate dish some grated bread crumbs. Dip each fish into the egg, and then strew them with bread crumbs. Put some butter or fresh beef-dripping into a frying-pan, and hold it over the fire till it is boiling hot; then, (having skimmed it,) put in the fish and fry them.
Prepare some melted butter with a spoonful of mushroom-catchup and a spoonful of lemon-pickle stirred into it. Send it to table in a sauce-boat to eat with the fish.
You may fry carp and flounders in the same manner.
TO BOIL TROUT.
Put a handful of salt into the water. When it boils put in the trout. Boil them fast about twenty minutes, according to their size.
For sauce, send with them melted butter, and put some soy into it; or flavour it with catchup.
FRIED SEA BASS.
Score the fish on the back with a knife, and season them with salt and cayenne pepper. Cut some small onions in round slices, and chop fine a bunch of parsley. Put some butter into a frying-pan over the fire, and when it is boiling hot lay in the fish. When they are about half done put the onions and parsley into the pan. Keep turning the fish that the onions and parsley may adhere to both sides. When quite done, put them into the dish in which they are to go to table, and garnish the edge of the dish with hard boiled eggs cut in round slices.
Make in the pan in which they have been fried, a gravy, by adding some butter rolled in flour, and a small quantity of vinegar. Pour it into the dish with the fish.
STURGEON CUTLETS OR STEAKS.
This is the most approved way of dressing sturgeon. Carefully take off the skin, as its oiliness will give the fish a strong and disagreeable taste when cooked. Cut from the tail-piece slices about half an inch thick, rub them with salt, and broil them over a clear fire of bright coals. Butter them, sprinkle them with cayenne pepper, and send them to table hot, garnished with sliced lemon, as lemon-juice is generally squeezed over them when eaten.
Another way is to make a seasoning of bread-crumbs, sweet herbs, pepper and salt. First dip the slices of sturgeon, in beaten yolk of egg, then cover them with seasoning, wrap them up closely in sheets of white paper well buttered, broil them over a clear fire, and send them to table either with or without the papers.
Having cut off the head, tail, and fins, season the carp with salt, peppers and powdered mace, both, inside and out. Rub the seasoning on very well, and let them lay in it an hour, Then put them into a stew-pan with a little parsley shred fine, a whole onion, a little sweet marjoram, a tea-cup of thick cream or very rich milk, and a lump of butter rolled in flour. Pour in sufficient water to cover the carp, and let it stew half an hour.
Perch may be done in the same way.
You may dress a piece of sturgeon in this manner, but you must first boil it for twenty minutes to extract the oil. Take off the skin before you proceed to stew the fish.
Take a pound or more of salt pork, and having half boiled it, cut it into slips, and with some of them cover the bottom of a pot. Then strew on some sliced onion. Have ready a large fresh cod, or an equal quantity of haddock, tutaug, or any other firm fish. Cut the fish into large pieces, and lay part of it on the pork and onions. Season it with pepper. Then cover it with a layer of biscuit, or crackers that have been previously soaked in milk or water. You may add also a layer of sliced potatoes.
Next proceed with a second layer of pork, onions, fish, &c. and continue as before till the pot is nearly full; finishing with soaked crackers. Pour in about a pint and a half of cold water. Cover it close, set it on hot coals, and let it simmer about an hour. Then skim it, and turn it out into a deep dish. Leave the gravy in the pot till you have thickened it with a piece of butter rolled in flour, and some chopped parsley. Then give it one boil up, and pour it hot into the dish.
Chowder may be made of clams, first cutting off the hard part.
Take a hundred and fifty fine large oysters, and pick off carefully the bits of shell that may be sticking to them. Lay the oysters in a deep dish, and then strain the liquor over them. Put them into an iron skillet that is lined with porcelain, and add salt to your taste. Without salt they will not be firm enough. Set the skillet on hot coals, and allow the oysters to simmer till they are heated all through, but not till they boil. Then take out the oysters and put them into a stone jar, leaving the liquor in the skillet. Add to it a pint of clear strong vinegar, a large tea-spoonful of blades of mace, three dozen whole cloves, and three dozen whole pepper corns. Let it come to a boil, and when the oysters are quite cold in the jar, pour the liquor oh them.
They are fit for use immediately, but are better the next day. In cold weather they will keep a week.
If you intend sending them a considerable distance you must allow the oysters to boil, and double the proportions of the pickle and spice.
Get the largest and finest oysters. After they are taken from the shell wipe each of them quite dry with a cloth. Then beat up in a pan yolk of egg and milk, (in the proportion of two yolks to half a jill or a wine glass of milk,) and grate some stale broad grated very fine in a large flat dish. Cut up at least half a pound of fresh butter in the frying-pan, and hold it over the fire till it is boiling hot. Dip the oysters all over lightly in the mixture of egg and milk, and then roll them up and down in the grated bread, making as many crumbs stick to them as you can.
Put them into the frying-pan of hot butter, and keep it over a hot fire. Fry them brown, turning them that they may be equally browned on both sides. If properly done they will be crisp, and not greasy.
Serve them, dry in a hot dish, and do not pour over them the butter that may be left in the pan when they are fried.
Oysters are very good taken out of the shells and broiled on a gridiron.
Having grated a sufficiency of stale bread, butter a deep dish, and line the sides and bottom thickly with bread crumbs. Then put in a layer of seasoned oysters, with a few very small bits of butter on them. Cover them thickly with crumbs, and put in another layer of oysters and butter, till the dish is filled up, having a thick layer of crumbs on the top. Put the dish into an oven, and bake them a very short time, or they will shrivel. Serve them up hot.
You may bake them in large clam shells, or in the tin scollop shells made for the purpose. Butter the bottom of each shell; sprinkle it with bread crumbs; lay on the oysters seasoned with cayenne and nutmeg, and put a morsel of butter on each. Fill up the shells with a little of the oyster liquor thickened with bread crumbs, and set them on a gridiron over coals, browning them afterwards with a red-hot shovel.
Put the oysters into a sieve, and set it on a pan to drain the liquor from them. Then cut off the hard part, and put the oysters into a stew-pan with some whole pepper, a few blades of mace, and some grated nutmeg. Add a small piece of butter rolled in flour. Then pour over them about half of the liquor, or a little more. Set the pan on hot coals, and simmer them gently about five minutes. Try one, and if it tastes raw cook them a little longer. Make some thin slices of toast, having cut off all the crust. Butter the toast and lay it in the bottom of a deep dish. Put the oysters upon it with the liquor in which they were stewed.
The liquor of oysters should never be thickened by stirring in flour. It spoils the taste, and gives them a sodden and disagreeable appearance, and is no longer practised by good cooks.
Have ready some of the finest and largest oysters; drain them from the liquor and wipe them dry.
Beat six eggs very light, and stir into them gradually six table-spoonfuls of line sifted flour. Add by degrees a pint and a half of rich milk and some grated nutmeg, and beat it to a smooth batter.
Make your frying-pan very hot, and put into it a piece of butter or lard. When it has melted and begins to froth, put in a small ladle-full of the batter, drop an oyster in the middle of it, and fry it of a light brown. Send them to table hot.
If you find your batter too thin, so that it spreads too much in the frying-pan, add a little more flour beaten well into it. If it is too thick, thin it with some additional milk.
Make a puff-paste, in the proportion of a pound and a half of fresh butter to two pounds of sifted flour. Roll it out rather thick, into two sheets. Butter a deep dish, and line the bottom and sides of it with paste. Fill it up with crusts of bread for the purpose of supporting the lid while it is baking, as the oysters will be too much done if they are cooked in the pie. Cover it with the other sheet of paste, having first buttered the flat rim of the dish. Notch the edges of the pie handsomely, or ornament them with leaves of paste which you may form with tin cutters made for the purpose. Make a little slit in the middle of the lid, and stick firmly into it a paste tulip or other flower. Put the dish into a moderate oven, and while the paste is baking prepare the oysters, which should he large and fresh. Put them into a stew-pan with half their liquor thickened with yolk of egg boiled hard and grated, enriched with pieces of butter rolled in bread crumbs, and seasoned with mace and nutmeg. Stew the oysters five minutes. When the paste is baked, carefully take off the lid, remove the pieces of bread, and put in the oysters and gravy. Replace the lid, and send the pie to table warm.
TO BOIL A LOBSTER.
Put a handful of salt into a large kettle or pot of boiling water. When the water boils very hard put in the lobster, having first brushed it, and tied the claws together with a bit of twine. Keep it boiling from half an hour to an hour in proportion to its size. If boiled too long the meat will be hard and stringy. When it is done, take it out, lay it on its claws to drain, and then wipe it dry. Send it to table cold, with the body and tail split open, and the claws taken off. Lay the large claws next to the body, and the small ones outside. Garnish with double parsley.
It is scarcely necessary to mention that the head of a lobster, and what are called the lady-fingers are not to be eaten.
TO DRESS LOBSTER COLD.
Put a table-spoonful of cold water on a clean plate and with the back of a wooden spoon mash into it the coral or scarlet meat of the lobster, adding a salt-spoonful of salt, and about the same quantity of cayenne. On another part of the plate mix well together with the back of the spoon two table-spoonfuls of sweet oil, and a tea-spoonful of made mustard. Then mix the whole till they are well incorporated and perfectly smooth, adding, at the last, three table-spoonfuls of vinegar.
This quantity of seasoning is for a small lobster. For a large one, more of course will be required. Many persons add a tea-spoonful of powdered white sugar, thinking that it gives a mellowness to the whole.
The meat of the body and claws of the lobster must be carefully extracted from the shell and minced very small When the dressing is smoothly and thoroughly amalgamated mix the meat with it, and let it be handed round to the company.
The vinegar from a jar of Indian pickle is by some preferred for lobster dressing.
You may dress the lobster immediately before you send it to table. When the dressing and meat are mixed together, pile it in a deep dish, and smooth it with the back of a spoon. Stick a bunch of the small claws in the top, and garnish with curled parsley.
Very large lobsters are not the best, the meat being coarse and tough.
Having boiled the lobster, extract the meat from the shell, and cut it into very small pieces. Season it with a powdered nutmeg, a few blades of mace, and cayenne and salt to your taste. Mix with it a quarter of a pound of fresh butter cut small, and two glasses of white wine or of vinegar. Put it into a stew-pan, and set it on hot coals. Stew it about twenty minutes, keeping the pan closely covered lest the flavour should evaporate. Serve it up hot.
If you choose, you can send it to table in the shell, which must first be nicely cleaned. Strew the meat over with sifted bread-crumbs, and brown the top with a salamander, or a red hot shovel held over it.
Put the lobster into boiling salt and water, and let it boil according to its size from a quarter of an hour to half an hour. The intention is to have it parboiled only, as it is afterwards to be fricasseed. Extract the meat from the shell, and cut it into small pieces. Season it with white pepper, salt, and nutmeg; and put it into a stew-pan with as much cream as will cover it. Keep the lid close; set the pan on hot coals, and stew it slowly for about as long a time as it was previously boiled. Just before you take it from the fire, stir in the beaten yolk of an egg. Send it to table in a small dish placed on a larger one, and arrange the small claws nicely round it on the large dish.
Parboil the lobster in boiling water well salted. Then pick out all the meat from the body and claws, and beat it in a mortar with nutmeg, mace, cayenne, and salt, to your taste. Beat the coral separately. Then put the pounded meat into a large potting can of block tin with a cover. Press it down hard, having arranged it in alternate layers of white meat and coral to give it a marbled or variegated appearance. Cover it with fresh butter, and put it into a slow oven for half an hour. When cold, take off the butter and clarify it, by putting it into a jar, which, must be set in a pan of boiling water. Watch it well, and when it melts, carefully skim off the buttermilk which will rise to the top. When no more scum rises, take it off and let it stand for a few minutes to settle, and then strain it through a sieve.
Put the lobster into small potting-cans, pressing it down very hard. Pour the clarified butter over it, and secure the covers tightly.
Potted lobster is used to lay between thin slices of bread as sandwiches. The clarified butter that accompanies it is excellent for fish sauce.
Prawns and crabs may be potted in a similar manner.
Put two middle-sized lobsters into boiling salt and water. When they are half boiled, take the meat from the shell, cut it into very small pieces, and put it into a pie dish. Break up the shells, and stew them in a very little water with half a dozen blades of mace and a wine-glass of vinegar. Then strain off the liquid. Beat the coral in a mortar, and thicken the liquid with it. Pour this into the dish of lobster to make the gravy. Season it with cayenne, salt, and mushroom catchup, and add bits of butter. Cover it with a lid of paste, made in the proportion of half a pound of butter to a pound of flour, notched handsomely, and ornamented with paste leaves. Do not send it to table till it has cooled.
TO BOIL PRAWNS.
Throw a handful of salt into a pot of boiling water. When it boils very hard, put in the prawns. Let them boil a quarter of an hour, and when you take them out lay them on a sieve to drain, and then wipe them on a dry cloth, and put them aside till quite cold.
Lay a handful of curled parsley in the middle of a dish. Put one prawn on the top of it, and lay the others, all round, as close as you can, with the tails outside. Garnish with parsley.
Eat them with salt, cayenne, sweet oil, mustard and vinegar, mixed together as for lobsters.
Crabs are boiled in the same manner, and in serving up may be arranged like prawns.
Having boiled the crabs, extract all the meat from the shell, cut it fine, and season it to your taste with nutmeg, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add a bit of butter, some grated bread crumbs, and sufficient vinegar to moisten it. Fill the back-shells of the crab with the mixture; set it before the fire, and brown it by holding a red-hot shovel or a salamander a little above it.
Cover a large dish, with small slices of dry toast with the crust cut off. Lay on each slice a shell filled with the crab. The shell of one crab will contain the meat of two.
Having taken all the meat out of the shells, make a dressing with sweet oil, salt, cayenne pepper, mustard and vinegar, as for lobster. You may add to it some hard-boiled yolk of egg, mashed in the oil. Put the mixture into the back shells of the crabs, and serve it up. Garnish with the small claws laid nicely round.
These crabs must be cooked directly, as they will not keep till next day.
Remove the spongy substance from each side of the crab, and also the little sand-bag. Put some lard into a pan, and when it is boiling hot, fry the crabs in it. After you take them out, throw in a handful of parsley, and let it crisp; but withdraw it before it loses its colour. Strew it over the crabs when you dish them.
Make the gravy by adding cream or rich milk to the lard, with some chopped parsley, pepper and salt. Let them all boil together for a few minutes, and then serve it up in a sauce-boat.
Have ready a pot of boiling water. When it is boiling very hard put in the terrapins, and let them remain in it till quite dead. Then take them out, pull off the outer skin and the toe-nails, wash the terrapins in warm water and boil them again, allowing a tea-spoonful of salt to each terrapin. When the flesh becomes quite tender so that you can pinch it off, take them out of the shell, remove the sand-bag, and the gall, which you must be careful not to break, as it will make the terrapin so bitter as to be uneatable. Cut up all the other parts of the inside with the meat, and season it to your taste with black and cayenne pepper, and salt. Put all into a stew-pan with the juice or liquor that it has given out in cutting up, but not any water. To every two terrapins allow a quarter of a pound of butter divided into pieces and rolled in flour, two glasses of Madeira, and the yolks of two eggs. The eggs must be beaten, and not stirred in till a moment before it goes to table. Keep it closely covered. Stew it gently till every thing is tender, and serve it up hot in a deep dish.
Terrapins, after being boiled by the cook, may be brought to table plain, with all the condiments separate, that the company may dress them according to taste.
For this purpose heaters or chafing-dishes must be provided for each plate.
Take half a dozen fine lobsters. Put them into boiling salt and water, and when they are all done, take them out and extract all the meat from the shells, leaving that of the claws as whole as possible, and cutting the flesh of the body into large pieces nearly of the same size. Season a sufficient quantity of vinegar very highly with whole pepper-corns, whole cloves, and whole blades of mace. Put the pieces of lobster into a stew-pan, and pour on just sufficient vinegar to keep them well covered. Set it over a moderate fire; and when it has boiled hard about five minutes, take out the lobster, and let the pickle boil by itself for a quarter of an hour. When the pickle and lobster are both cold, put them together into a broad flat stone jar. Cover it closely, and set it away in a cool place.
Eat the pickled lobster with oil, mustard, and vinegar, and have bread and butter with it.
DIRECTIONS FOR COOKING MEAT.
When beef is good, it will have a fine smooth open grain, and it will feel tender when squeezed or pinched in your fingers. The lean should be of a bright carnation red, and the fat white rather than yellow—the suet should be perfectly white. If the lean looks dark or purplish, and the fat very yellow, do not buy the meat.
See that the butcher has properly jointed the meat before it goes home. For good tables, the pieces generally roasted are the sirloin and the fore and middle ribs. In genteel houses other parts are seldom served up as roast-beef. In small families the ribs are the most convenient pieces. A whole sirloin is too large, except for a numerous company, but it is the piece most esteemed.
The best beef-steaks are those cut from the ribs, or from the inner part of the sirloin. All other pieces are, for this purpose, comparatively hard and tough.
The round is generally corned or salted, and boiled. It is also used for the dish called beef a-la-mode.
The legs make excellent soup; the head and tail are also used for that purpose.
The tongue when fresh is never cooked except for mince-pies. Corned or salted it is seldom liked, as in that state it has a faint sickly taste that few persons can relish. But when pickled and afterwards smoked (the only good way of preparing a tongue) it is highly and deservedly esteemed.
The other pieces of the animal are generally salted and boiled. Or when fresh they may be used for soup or stews, if not too fat.
If the state of the weather will allow you to keep fresh beef two or three days, rub it with salt, and wrap it in a cloth.
In summer do not attempt to keep it more than twenty-four hours; and not then unless you can conveniently lay it in ice, or in a spring-house.
In winter if the beef is brought from market frozen, do not cook it that day unless you dine very late, as it will be impossible to get it sufficiently done—meat that has been frozen requiring double the usual time. To thaw it, lay it in cold water, which is the only way to extract the frost without injuring the meat. It should remain in the water three hours, or more.
TO ROAST BEEF.
The fire should be prepared at least half an hour before the beef is put down, and it should be large, steady, clear, and bright, with plenty of fine hot coals at the bottom.
The best apparatus for the purpose is the well-known roaster frequently called a tin-kitchen.
Wash the meat in cold water, and then wipe it dry, and rub it with salt. Take care not to run the spit through the best parts of it. It is customary with some cooks to tie blank paper over the fat, to prevent it from melting and wasting too fast.
Put it evenly into the roaster, and do not set it too near the fire, lest the outside of the meat should be burned before the inside is heated.
Put some nice beef-dripping or some lard into the pan or bottom of the roaster, and as soon as it melts begin to baste the beef with it; taking up the liquid with a long spoon, and pouring it over the meat so as to let it trickle down again, into the pan. Repeat this frequently while it is roasting; after a while you can baste it with its own fat. Turn the spit often, so that the meat may be equally done on all sides.
Once or twice draw back the roaster, and improve the fire by clearing away the ashes, bringing forward the hot coals, and putting on fresh fuel at the back. Should a coal fall into the dripping-pan take it out immediately. An allowance of about twenty minutes to each pound of meat is the time commonly given for roasting; but this rule, like most others, admits of exceptions according to circumstances. Also, some persons like their meat very much done; others prefer it rare, as it is called. In summer, meat will roast in a shorter time than in winter.
When the beef is nearly done, and the steam draws towards the fire, remove the paper that has covered the fat part, sprinkle on a little salt, and having basted the meat well with the dripping, pour off nicely (through the spout of the roaster) all the liquid fat from the top of the gravy.
Lastly, dredge the meat very lightly with a little flour, and baste it with fresh butter. This will give it a delicate froth. To the gravy that is now running from the meat add nothing but a tea-cup of boiling water. Skim it, and send it to table in a boat. Serve up with the beef in a small deep plate, scraped horseradish moistened with vinegar.
Fat meat requires more roasting than lean, and meat that has been frozen will take nearly double the usual time.
Basting the meat continually with flour and water is a bad practice, as it gives it a coddled parboiled appearance, and diminishes the flavour.
These directions for roasting beef will apply equally to mutton.
Pickles are generally eaten with roast beef. French mustard is an excellent condiment for it. In carving begin by cutting a slice from the side.
TO SAVE BEEF-DRIPPING.
Pour off through the spout of the roaster or tin-kitchen, all the fat from the top of the gravy, after you have done basting the meat with it. Hold a little sieve under the spout, and strain the dripping through it into a pan. Set it away in a cool place; and next day when it is cold and congealed, turn the cake of fat, and scrape with a knife the sediment from the bottom. Pat the dripping into a jar; cover it tightly, and set it away in the refrigerator, or in the coldest place you have. It will be found useful for frying, and for many other purposes.
Mutton-dripping cannot be used for any sort of cooking, as it communicates to every thing the taste of tallow.
This is a plain family dish, and is never provided for company.
Take a nice but not a fat piece of fresh beef. Wash it, rub it with salt, and place it on a trivet in a deep block tin or iron pan. Pour a little water into the bottom, and put under and round the trivet a sufficiency of pared potatoes, either white or sweet ones. Put it into a hot oven, and let it bake till thoroughly done, basting it frequently with its own gravy. Then transfer it to a hot dish, and serve up the potatoes in another. Skim the gravy, and send it to table in a boat.
Or you may boil the potatoes, mash them with milk, and put them into the bottom of the pan about half an hour before the meat is done baking. Press down the mashed potatoes hard with the back of a spoon, score them in cross lines over the top, and let them, brown under the meat, serving them up laid round it.