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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stag in a Ragoo

When I cleaned out my freezer today, I found one last package of venison--freezer-burned, and before my husband could find out, I also withdrew a package of fat, frozen from when we last made pickle [corned] beef. I chopped the fat into cubes, added a splash of oil to the marmite and began rendering the fat for flavor and moisture. After browning the venison very well, I deglazed the pan with vermouth, covered the meat with broth, added three bay-leaves off my laurel tree, 2 zests of lemon, several sprigs of fresh thyme, one small nutmeg grated, salt and pepper. When it had simmered for three hours, I added 2 cups of grated carrot and 1 large onion chopped. At the end of 30 minutes, I added 2 tablespoons of flour to the ragoo to thicken it and served it up on a bed of sainserelle from Le Cuisinier Gason [noodles similar to bigoli, passatelli or spätzle] made of parmesan and breadcrumbs bound with an egg cooked in boiling, salted water. He never knew.

Having larded a piece of Stags-flesh with thick slips of Bacon, season’d with Pepper and Salt, let it be fried in Lard: Then let it boil for the space of three or four Hours in an earthen Pan, with Broth or Water, and two Glasses of white Wine, season’d with Salt, Nutmeg, a Bunch of Herbs, three or four Bay-leaves, and a piece of green lemmon. When it is ready, let the Sauce be thicken’d with fried Flower, and add Capers and Lemmon-juice as it is serving up to Table.

The Court & Country Cook, François Massialot, 1702, p. 248.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Omelets of green Beans and other Things, with Cream

Let your Beans be shell'd, slipt out of their Skins, and fried in good Butter, with a little Parsley and Chibbol: Then, having pour'd in a little Milk-cream, let them be well seasoned, and soaked over a gentle Fire. Let an Omelet be made with new laid Eggs and Cream, and let some Salt be put into it according to discretion. When it is ready, dress it on a Dish, bind the Beans with one or two Yolks of Eggs, turn them upon the Omelet; so as they may stick to the side of it, and bring it hot to Table.
Omelets of the like nature may be made with Mousserons, Morelles, common Mushrooms, green Pease, Asparagus-tops and Artichoke-bottoms, white and black Truffles, Spinage, Sorrel, & all with Cream; but ‘tis requisite that they be cut into small pieces. A very great quantity of Omelets may be thus disguised, and these little Cream-sauces may serve to fill up your Plates or Dishes, garnishing them with small Garnitures such as fried Artichokes, Bread-toasts, Puffs, Fleurons [flower-shaped piece of pastry], Feuillantines [wraps or bowls of puff paste], Artichoke bottoms fried in Paste, and others of the like nature that shall be judg'd requisite; and taking care that all be serv'd up hot to Table.

The Court & Country Cook, François Massialot. 1702, p. 169.

Cases of puff paste may be baked and filled with cream sauce and vegetables or left-overs--garnish with the tops of the cases. Two make a satisfying light lunch. From the scraps you can fashion fleurons or flowers or just bake the bits themselves for a garnish over the cream sauces. It's amazing what flavor and texture those little bits of paste provide.
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