Sunday, March 17, 2013

Those Delicate Victorian Females


MOCK-TURTLE SOUP.  Take a calf's head which has been scalded, and quite fresh; place it in a pot which will just hold it, and cover with cold water.  Let it boil for half an hour; then cool in cold water.  Take a sharp knife; make a cut down the forehead, and remove the scalp, keeping close to the skull.  Scrape off the rough cuticle inside the cheek, and cut in pieces an inch square.  Tear open the jawbones, and take out the tongue and palate; both of which flay.  Cut the tongue in thin slices.  Lay open the ears, and take away the skin which is inside.  Put the whole into a stew-pan, with as much stock or water as will just cover, and boil until tender.  Melt one pound of butter in a stew-pan; pare and cut down in very thin slices six large onions, and fry in the butter, taking care not to burn.  When tender, add a pound and a half of flour, with a few springs of sweet basil, marjoram and thyme; which stir carefully with a square wooden spattle until the flour is slightly coloured. Pull the pot aside; add a ladleful of hot stock, and mix till smooth.  When as much stock has been added as will make it to the consistency of cream, strain the whole through a fine hair search, add the pieces of head, and set it on the fire.  When coming through, carefully remove all the scum as it rises on the top.  After a few minutes, add two wine glasses of mushroom ketchup, and one of essence of anchovies; season with Cayenne pepper and salt to taste; finish with a quarter bottle of Sherry.  Twelve or fourteen quarts will be produced from the above; if less is required, only use half a head.

(reproduced without any alteration whatsoever from the original in Sarah Josepha Hale's Modern Household Cookery By A Lady, 1854.  May be downloaded from Google Books.)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, please forgive me if I abstain from dinner...

Shay said...

Yes. This recipe sounds like it was co-authored by Torquemada.

Ladytats said...

according to my spouse, the only thing to do with a beef tongue is to pickle it.

Sam said...

ICK. Done. Nope, Double ick.

Bunnykins said...

I haven't seen a head of anything in a butcher's window since I was a girl, and then it was pig's, not calf. However, the Jamaican butcher where we used to live in downtown Toronto regularly advertised cow's foot and other things I didn't want to know about. Icky to me, but, if you're going to kill something for food, it makes sense to use as much of it as you can.

And, btw, I love pressed tongue - without garlic, thanks. One day, I'll have a proper glass press.

panavia999 said...

That's a lot of work for Mock Turtle. How hard much work for real Turtle soup?

Shay said...

Funny you should ask that.....

http://littlegreybungalow.blogspot.com/2013/03/beautiful-soup.html