The Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton

Chapter XVII.

Pork Cutlets (Cold Meat Cookery).

796. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of cold roast loin of pork, 1 oz. of butter, 2 onions, 1 dessertspoonful of flour, 1/2 pint of gravy, pepper and salt to taste, 1 teaspoonful of vinegar and mustard.

Mode. — Cut the pork into nice-sized cutlets, trim off most of the fat, and chop the onions. Put the butter into a stewpan, lay in the cutlets and chopped onions, and fry a light brown; then add the remaining ingredients, simmer gently for 5 or 7 minutes, and serve.

Time. — 5 to 7 minutes. Average cost, exclusive of the meat, 4d.

Seasonable from October to March.

AUSTRIAN METHOD OF HERDING PIGS. — In the Austrian empire there are great numbers of wild swine, while, among the wandering tribes peopling the interior of Hungary, and spreading over the vast steppes of that country, droves of swine form a great portion of the wealth of the people, who chiefly live on a coarse bread and wind-dried bacon.

In German Switzerland, the Tyrol, and other mountainous districts of continental Europe, though the inhabitants, almost everywhere, as in England, keep one or more pigs, they are at little or no trouble in feeding them, one or more men being employed by one or several villages as swine-herds; who, at a certain hour, every morning, call for the pig or pigs, and driving them to their feeding-grounds on the mountain-side and in the wood, take custody of the herd till, on the approach of night, they are collected into a compact body and driven home for a night’s repose in their several sties.

The amount of intelligence and docility displayed by the pigs in these mountain regions, is much more considerable than that usually allowed to this animal, and the manner in which these immense herds of swine are collected, and again distributed, without an accident or mistake, is a sight both curious and interesting; for it is all done without the assistance of a dog, or the aid even of the human voice, and solely by the crack of the long-lashed and heavily-loaded whip, which the swine-herd carries, and cracks much after the fashion of the French postilion; and which, though he frequently cracks, waking a hundred sharp echoes from the woods and rocks, he seldom has to use correctionally; the animal soon acquiring a thorough knowledge of the meaning of each crack; and once having felt its leaded thong, a lasting remembrance of its power. At early dawn, the swine-herd takes his stand at the outskirts of the first village, and begins flourishing through the misty air his immensely long lash, keeping a sort of rude time with the crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack of his whip. The nearest pigs, hearing the well-remembered sound, rouse from their straw, and rush from their sties into the road, followed by all their litters. As soon as a sufficient number are collected, the drove is set in motion, receiving, right and left, as they advance, fresh numbers; whole communities, or solitary individuals, streaming in from all quarters, and taking their place, without distinction, in the general herd; and, as if conscious where their breakfast lay, without wasting a moment on idle investigation, all eagerly push on to the mountains. In this manner village after village is collected, till the drove not unfrequently consists of several thousands. The feeding-ground has, of course, often to be changed, and the drove have sometimes to be driven many miles, and to a considerable height up the mountain, before the whip gives the signal for the dispersion of the body and the order to feed, when the herdsman proceeds to form himself a shelter, and look after his own comfort for the rest of the day. As soon as twilight sets in, the whip is again heard echoing the signal for muster; and in the same order in which they were collected, the swine are driven back, each group tailing off to its respective sty, as the herd approaches the villages, till the last grunter, having found his home, the drover seeks his cottage and repose.

Pork Cutlets or Chops.

I.

797. INGREDIENTS. — Loin of pork, pepper and salt to taste.

Mode. — Cut the cutlets from a delicate loin of pork, bone and trim them neatly, and cut away the greater portion of the fat. Season them with pepper; place the gridiron on the fire; when quite hot, lay on the chops and broil them for about 1/4 hour, turning them 3 or 4 times; and be particular that they are thoroughly done, but not dry. Dish them, sprinkle over a little fine salt, and serve plain, or with tomato sauce, sauce piquante, or pickled gherkins, a few of which should be laid round the dish as a garnish.

Time. — About 1/4 hour. Average cost, 10d. per lb. for chops.

Sufficient. — Allow 6 for 4 persons.

Seasonable from October to March.

II.

(Another Way.)

798. INGREDIENTS. — Loin or fore-loin, of pork, egg and bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste; to every tablespoonful of bread crumbs allow 1/2 teaspoonful of minced sage; clarified butter.

Mode. — Cut the cutlets from a loin, or fore-loin, of pork; trim them the same as mutton cutlets, and scrape the top part of the bone. Brush them over with egg, sprinkle with bread crumbs, with which have been mixed minced sage and a seasoning of pepper and salt; drop a little clarified butter on them, and press the crumbs well down. Put the frying-pan on the fire, put in some lard; when this is hot, lay in the cutlets, and fry them a light brown on both sides. Take them out, put them before the fire to dry the greasy moisture from them, and dish them on mashed potatoes. Serve with them any sauce that may be preferred; such as tomato sauce, sauce piquante, sauce Robert, or pickled gherkins.

Time. — From 15 to 20 minutes. Average cost, 10d. per lb. for chops.

Sufficient. — Allow 6 cutlets for 4 persons.

Seasonable from October to March.

Note. — The remains of roast loin of pork may be dressed in the same manner.

Pork Cheese (an Excellent Breakfast Dish).

799. INGREDIENTS. — 2 lbs. of cold roast pork, pepper and salt to taste, 1 dessertspoonful of minced parsley, 4 leaves of sage, a very small bunch of savoury herbs, 2 blades of pounded mace, a little nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoonful of minced lemon-peel; good strong gravy, sufficient to fill the mould.

Mode. — Cut, but do not chop, the pork into fine pieces, and allow 1/4 lb. of fat to each pound of lean. Season with pepper and salt; pound well the spices, and chop finely the parsley, sage, herbs, and lemon-peel, and mix the whole nicely together. Put it into a mould, fill up with good strong well-flavoured gravy, and bake rather more than one hour. When cold, turn it out of the mould.

Time. — Rather more than 1 hour.

Seasonable from October to March.

Roast Leg of Pork.

800. INGREDIENTS. — Leg of pork, a little oil for stuffing. (See Recipe No. 504.)

Mode. — Choose a small leg of pork, and score the skin across in narrow strips, about 1/4 inch apart. Cut a slit in the knuckle, loosen the skin, and fill it with a sage-and-onion stuffing, made by Recipe No. 504. Brush the joint over with a little salad-oil (this makes the crackling crisper, and a better colour), and put it down to a bright, clear fire, not too near, as that would cause the skin to blister. Baste it well, and serve with a little gravy made in the dripping-pan, and do not omit to send to table with it a tureen of well-made apple-sauce. (Sec No. 363.)

Time. — A leg of pork weighing 8 lbs., about 3 hours.

Average cost, 9d. per lb.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

ENGLISH MODE OF HUNTING, AND INDIAN PIG-STICKING. — The hunting of the wild boar has been in all times, and in all countries, a pastime of the highest interest and excitement, and from the age of Nimrod, has only been considered second to the more dangerous sport of lion-hunting. The buried treasures of Nineveh, restored to us by Mr. Layard, show us, on their sculptured annals, the kings of Assyria in their royal pastime of boar-hunting. That the Greeks were passionately attached to this sport, we know both from history and the romantic fables of the poets. Marc Antony, at one of his breakfasts with Cleopatra, had eight wild boars roasted whole; and though the Romans do not appear to have been addicted to hunting, wild-boar fights formed part of their gladiatorial shows in the amphitheatre. In France, Germany, and Britain, from the earliest time, the boar-hunt formed one of the most exciting of sports; but it was only in this country that the sport was conducted without dogs — a real hand-to-hand contest of man and beast; the hunter, armed only with a boar-spear, a weapon about four feet long, the ash staff, guarded by plates of steel, and terminating in a long, narrow, and very sharp blade: this, with a hunting-knife, or hanger, completed his offensive arms. Thus equipped, the hunter would either encounter his enemy face to face, confront his desperate charge, as with erect tail, depressed head, and flaming eyes, he rushed with his foamy tusks full against him, who either sought to pierce his vitals through his counter, or driving his spear through his chine, transfix his heart; or failing those more difficult aims, plunge it into his flank, and, without withdrawing the weapon, strike his ready hanger into his throat. But expert as the hunter might be, it was not often the formidable brute was so quickly dispatched; for he would sometimes seize the spear in his powerful teeth, and nip it off like a reed, or, coming full tilt on his enemy, by his momentum and weight bear him to the earth, ripping up, with a horrid gash, his leg or side, and before the writhing hunter could draw his knife, the infuriated beast would plunge his snout in the wound, and rip, with savage teeth, the bowels of his victim. At other times, he would suddenly swerve from his charge, and doubling on his opponent, attack the hunter in the rear. From his speed, great weight, and savage disposition, the wild boar is always a dangerous antagonist, and requires great courage, coolness, and agility on the part of the hunter. The continental sportsman rides to the chase in a cavalcade, with music and dogs — a kind of small hound or mastiff, and leaving all the honorary part of the contest to them, when the boar is becoming weary, and while beset by the dogs, rides up, and drives his lance home in the beast’s back or side. Boar-hunting has been for some centuries obsolete in England, the animal no longer existing in a wild state among us; but in our Indian empire, and especially in Bengal, the pastime is pursued by our countrymen with all the daring of the national character; and as the animal which inhabits the cane-brakes and jungles is a formidable foe, the sport is attended with great excitement. The hunters, mounted on small, active horses, and armed only with long lances, ride, at early daylight, to the skirts of the jungle, and having sent in their attendants to beat the cover, wait till the tusked monster comes crashing from among the canes, when chase is immediately given, till he is come up with, and transfixed by the first weapon. Instead of flight, however, he often turns to bay, and by more than one dead horse and wounded hunter, shows how formidable he is, and what those polished tusks, sharp as pitch-forks, can effect, when the enraged animal defends his life.

To Glaze Ham. —(See Recipe No. 430.)

Hashed Pork.

801. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of cold roast pork, 2 onions, 1 teaspoonful of flour, 2 blades of pounded mace, 2 cloves, 1 tablespoonful of vinegar, 1/2 pint of gravy, pepper and salt to taste.

Mode. — Chop the onions and fry them of a nice brown, cut the pork into thin slices, season them with pepper and salt, and add these to the remaining ingredients. Stew gently for about 1/2 hour, and serve garnished with sippets of toasted bread.

Time. — 1/2 hour.

Average cost, exclusive of the meat, 3d.

Seasonable from October to March.

Fried Rashers of Bacon and Poached Eggs.

802. INGREDIENTS. — Bacon; eggs.

Mode. — Cut the bacon into thin slices, trim away the rusty parts, and cut off the rind. Put it into a cold frying-pan, that is to say, do not place the pan on the fire before the bacon is in it. Turn it 2 or 3 times, and dish it on a very hot dish. Poach the eggs and slip them on to the bacon, without breaking the yolks, and serve quickly.

Time. — 3 or 4 minutes. Average cost, 10d. to 1s. per lb. for the primest parts.

Sufficient. — Allow 6 eggs for 3 persons.

Seasonable at any time.

Note. — Fried rashers of bacon, curled, serve as a pretty garnish to many dishes; and, for small families, answer very well as a substitute for boiled bacon, to serve with a small dish of poultry, &c.

Broiled Rashers of Bacon (a Breakfast Dish).

803. Before purchasing bacon, ascertain that it is perfectly free from rust, which may easily be detected by its yellow colour; and for broiling, the streaked part of the thick flank, is generally the most esteemed. Cut it into thin slices, take off the rind, and broil over a nice clear fire; turn it 2 or 3 times, and serve very hot. Should there be any cold bacon left from the previous day, it answers very well for breakfast, cut into slices, and broiled or fried.

Time. — 3 or 4 minutes.

Average cost, 10d. to 1s. per lb. for the primest parts.

Seasonable at any time.

Note. — When the bacon is cut very thin, the slices may be curled round and fastened by means of small skewers, and fried or toasted before the fire.

Boiled Bacon.

804. INGREDIENTS. — Bacon; water.

Mode. — As bacon is frequently excessively salt, let it be soaked in warm water for an hour or two previous to dressing it; then pare off the rusty parts, and scrape the under-side and rind as clean as possible. Put it into a saucepan of cold water, let it come gradually to a boil, and as fast as the scum rises to the surface of the water, remove it. Let it simmer very gently until it is thoroughly done; then take it up, strip off the skin, and sprinkle over the bacon a few bread raspings, and garnish with tufts of cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. When served alone, young and tender broad beans or green peas are the usual accompaniments.

Time. — 1 lb. of bacon, 1/4 hour; 2 lbs., 1–1/2 hour.

Average cost, 10d. to 1s. per lb. for the primest parts.

Sufficient. — 2 lbs., when served with poultry or veal, sufficient for 10 persons.

Seasonable at any time.

To Cure Bacon in the Wiltshire Way.

805. INGREDIENTS. — 1–1/2 lb. of coarse sugar, 1–1/2 lb. of bay-salt, 6 oz. of saltpetre, 1 lb. of common salt.

Mode. — Sprinkle each flitch with salt, and let the blood drain off for 24 hours; then pound and mix the above ingredients well together and rub it well into the meat, which should be turned every day for a month; then hang it to dry, and afterwards smoke it for 10 days.

Time. — To remain in the pickle 1 month, to be smoked 10 days.

Sufficient. — The above quantity of salt for 1 pig.

HOW PIGS WERE FORMERLY PASTURED AND FED. — Though unquestionably far greater numbers of swine are now kept in England than formerly, every peasant having one or more of that useful animal, in feudal times immense droves of pigs were kept by the franklings and barons; in those days the swine-herds being a regular part of the domestic service of every feudal household, their duty consisted in daily driving the herd of swine from the castle-yard, or outlying farm, to the nearest woods, chase, or forest, where the frankling or vavasour had, either by right or grant, what was called free warren, or the liberty to feed his hogs off the acorns, beech, and chestnuts that lay in such abundance on the earth, and far exceeded the power of the royal or privileged game to consume. Indeed, it was the license granted the nobles of free warren, especially for their swine, that kept up the iniquitous forest laws to so late a date, and covered so large a portion of the land with such immense tracts of wood and brake, to the injury of agriculture and the misery of the people. Some idea of the extent to which swine were grazed in the feudal times, may be formed by observing the number of pigs still fed in Epping Forest, the Forest of Dean, and the New Forest, in Hampshire, where, for several months of the year, the beech-nuts and acorns yield them so plentiful a diet. In Germany, where the chestnut is so largely cultivated, the amount of food shed every autumn is enormous; and consequently the pig, both wild and domestic, has, for a considerable portion of the year, an unfailing supply of admirable nourishment. Impressed with the value of this fruit for the food of pigs, the Prince Consort has, with great judgment, of late encouraged the collection of chestnuts in Windsor Park, and by giving a small reward to old people and children for every bushel collected, has not only found an occupation for many of the unemployed poor, but, by providing a gratuitous food for their pig, encouraged a feeling of providence and economy.

FOR CURING BACON, AND KEEPING IT FREE FROM RUST (Cobbett’s Recipe).

806. THE TWO SIDES THAT REMAIN, and which are called flitches, are to be cured for bacon. They are first rubbed with salt on their insides, or flesh sides, then placed one on the other, the flesh sides uppermost, in a salting-trough which has a gutter round its edges to drain away the brine; for, to have sweet and fine bacon, the flitches must not be sopping in brine, which gives it the sort of vile taste that barrel and sea pork have. Every one knows how different is the taste of fresh dry salt from that of salt in a dissolved state; therefore change the salt often — once in 4 or 5 days; let it melt and sink in, but not lie too long; twice change the flitches, put that at bottom which was first on the top: this mode will cost you a great deal more in salt than the sopping mode, but without it your bacon will not be so sweet and fine, nor keep so well. As for the time required in making your flitches sufficiently salt, it depends on circumstances. It takes a longer time for a thick than a thin flitch, and longer in dry than in damp weather, or in a dry than in a damp place; but for the flitches of a hog of five score, in weather not very dry or damp, about 6 weeks may do; and as yours is to be fat, which receives little injury from over-salting, give time enough, for you are to have bacon until Christmas comes again.

807. THE PLACE FOR SALTING SHOULD, like a dairy, always be cool, but well ventilated; confined air, though cool, will taint meat sooner than the midday day sun accompanied by a breeze. With regard to smoking the bacon, two precautions are necessary: first, to hang the flitches where no rain comes down upon them; and next, that the smoke must proceed from wood, not peat, turf, or coal. As to the time required to smoke a flitch, it depends a good deal upon whether there be a constant fire beneath; and whether the fire be large or small: a month will do, if the fire be pretty constant and rich, as a farmhouse fire usually is; but over-smoking, or rather too long hanging in the air, makes the bacon rust; great attention should therefore be paid to this matter. The flitch ought not to be dried up to the hardness of a board, and yet it ought to be perfectly dry. Before you hang it up, lay it on the floor, scatter the flesh side pretty thickly over with bran, or with some fine sawdust, not of deal or fir; rub it on the flesh, or pat it well down upon it: this keeps the smoke from getting into the little openings, and makes a sort of crust to be dried on.

808. To KEEP THE BACON SWEET AND GOOD, and free from hoppers, sift fine some clean and dry wood ashes. Put some at the bottom of a box or chest long enough to hold a flitch of bacon; lay in one flitch, and then put in more ashes, then another flitch, and cover this with six or eight inches of the ashes. The place where the box or chest is kept ought to be dry, and should the ashes become damp, they should be put in the fireplace to dry, and when cold, put back again. With these precautions, the bacon will be as good at the end of the year as on the first day.

809. FOR SIMPLE GENERAL RULES; these may be safely taken as a guide; and those who implicitly follow the directions given, will possess at the expiration of from 6 weeks to 2 months well-flavoured and well-cured bacon.

HOG NOT BACON. ANECDOTE OF LORD BACON. — As Lord Bacon, on one occasion, was about to pass sentence of death upon a man of the name of Hogg, who had just been tried for a long career of crime, the prisoner suddenly claimed to be heard in arrest of judgment, saying, with an expression of arch confidence as he addressed the bench, “I claim indulgence, my lord, on the plea of relationship; for I am convinced your lordship will never be unnatural enough to hang one of your own family.”

“Indeed, replied the judge, with some amazement,” I was not aware that I had the honour of your alliance; perhaps you will be good enough to name the degree of our mutual affinity.”

“I am sorry, my lord,” returned the impudent thief, “I cannot trace the links of consanguinity; but the moral evidence is sufficiently pertinent. My name, my lord, is Hogg, your lordship’s is Bacon; and all the world will allow that bacon and hog are very closely allied.”

“I am sorry,” replied his lordship, “I cannot admit the truth of your instance: hog cannot be bacon till it is hanged; and so, before I can admit your plea, or acknowledge the family compact, Hogg must be hanged tomorrow morning.”

To Bake a Ham.

810. INGREDIENTS. — Ham; a common crust.

Mode. — As a ham for baking should be well soaked, let it remain in water for at least 12 hours. Wipe it dry, trim away any rusty places underneath, and cover it with a common crust, taking care that this is of sufficient thickness all over to keep the gravy in. Place it in a moderately-heated oven, and bake for nearly 4 hours. Take off the crust, and skin, and cover with raspings, the same as for boiled ham, and garnish the knuckle with a paper frill. This method of cooking a ham is, by many persons, considered far superior to boiling it, as it cuts fuller of gravy and has a finer flavour, besides keeping a much longer time good.

Time. — A medium-sized ham, 4 hours.

Average cost, from 8d. to 10d. per lb. by the whole ham.

Seasonable all the year.

To Boil a Ham.

811. INGREDIENTS. — Ham, water, glaze or raspings.

Mode. — In choosing a ham, ascertain that it is perfectly sweet, by running a sharp knife into it, close to the bone; and if, when the knife is withdrawn, it has an agreeable smell, the ham is good; if, on the contrary, the blade has a greasy appearance and offensive smell, the ham is bad. If it has been long hung, and is very dry and salt, let it remain in soak for 24 hours, changing the water frequently. This length of time is only necessary in the case of its being very hard; from 8 to 12 hours would be sufficient for a Yorkshire or Westmoreland ham. Wash it thoroughly clean, and trim away from the under-side, all the rusty and smoked parts, which would spoil the appearance. Put it into a boiling-pot, with sufficient cold water to cover it; bring it gradually to boil, and as the scum rises, carefully remove it. Keep it simmering very gently until tender, and be careful that it does not stop boiling, nor boil too quickly. When done, take it out of the pot, strip off the skin, and sprinkle over it a few fine bread-raspings, put a frill of cut paper round the knuckle, and serve. If to be eaten cold, let the ham remain in the water until nearly cold: by this method the juices are kept in, and it will be found infinitely superior to one taken out of the water hot; it should, however, be borne in mind that the ham must not remain in the saucepan all night. When the skin is removed, sprinkle over bread-raspings, or, if wanted particularly nice, glaze it. Place a paper frill round the knuckle, and garnish with parsley or cut vegetable flowers. (See Coloured Plate P.)

Time. — A ham weighing 10 lbs., 4 hours to simmer gently; 15 lbs., 5 hours; a very large one, about 5 hours.

Average cost, from 8d. to 10d. per lb. by the whole ham.

Seasonable all the year.

How to Boil a Ham to Give it an Excellent Flavour.

812. INGREDIENTS. — Vinegar and water, 2 heads of celery, 2 turnips, 3 onions, a large bunch of savoury herbs.

Mode. — Prepare the ham as in the preceding recipe, and let it soak for a few hours in vinegar and water. Put it on in cold water, and when it boils, add the vegetables and herbs. Simmer very gently until tender, take it out, strip off the skin, cover with bread-raspings, and put a paper ruche or frill round the knuckle.

Time. — A ham weighing 10 lbs., 4 hours.

Average cost, 8d. to 10d. per lb. by the whole ham.

Seasonable at any time.

HOW TO SILENCE A PIG. ANECDOTE OF CHARLES V. — When the emperor Charles V. was one day walking in the neighbourhood of Vienna, full of pious considerations, engendered by the thoughts of the Dominican cloister he was about to visit, he was much annoyed by the noise of a pig, which a country youth was carrying a little way before him. At length, irritated by the unmitigated noise, “Have you not learned how to quiet a pig” demanded the imperial traveller, tartly. “Noa,” replied the ingenuous peasant, ignorant of the quality of his interrogator; —“noa; and I should very much like to know how to do it,” changing the position of his burthen, and giving his load a surreptitious pinch of the ear, which immediately altered the tone and volume of his complaining.

“Why, take the pig by the tail,” said the emperor, “and you will see how quiet he will become.”

Struck by the novelty of the suggestion, the countryman at once dangled his noisy companion by the tail, and soon discovered that, under the partial congestion caused by its inverted position, the pig had indeed become silent; when, looking with admiration on his august adviser, he exclaimed —

“Ah, you must have learned the trade much longer than I, for you understand it a great deal better.”

Fried Ham and Eggs (a Breakfast Dish).

813. INGREDIENTS. — Ham; eggs.

Mode. — Cut the ham into slices, and take care that they are of the same thickness in every part. Cut off the rind, and if the ham should be particularly hard and salt, it will be found an improvement to soak it for about 10 minutes in hot water, and then dry it in a cloth. Put it into a cold frying-pan, set it over the fire, and turn the slices 3 or 4 times whilst they are cooking. When done, place them on a dish, which should be kept hot in front of the fire during the time the eggs are being poached. Poach the eggs, slip them on to the slices of ham, and serve quickly.

Time. — 7 or 8 minutes to broil the ham.

Average cost, from 8d. to 10d. per lb. by the whole ham.

Seasonable at any time.

Note. — Ham may also be toasted or broiled; but, with the latter method, to insure its being well cooked, the fire must be beautifully clear, or it will have a smoky flavour far from agreeable.

Potted Ham, that will keep Good for some time.
I.

814. INGREDIENTS. — To 4 lbs. of lean ham allow 1 lb. of fat, 2 teaspoonfuls of pounded mace, 1/2 nutmeg grated, rather more than 1/2 teaspoonful of cayenne, clarified lard.

Mode. — Mince the ham, fat and lean together in the above proportion, and pound it well in a mortar, seasoning it with cayenne pepper, pounded mace, and nutmeg; put the mixture into a deep baking-dish, and bake for 1/2 hour; then press it well into a stone jar, fill up the jar with clarified lard, cover it closely, and paste over it a piece of thick paper. If well seasoned, it will keep a long time in winter, and will be found very convenient for sandwiches, &c.

Time. — 1/2 hour.

Seasonable at any time.

II.

(A nice addition to the Breakfast or Luncheon table.)

815. INGREDIENTS. — To 2 lbs. of lean ham allow 1/2 lb. of fat, 1 teaspoonful of pounded mace, 1/2 teaspoonful of pounded allspice, 1/2 nutmeg, pepper to taste, clarified butter.

Mode. — Cut some slices from the remains of a cold ham, mince them small, and to every 2 lbs. of lean, allow the above proportion of fat. Pound the ham in a mortar to a fine paste, with the fat, gradually add the seasoning and spices, and be very particular that all the ingredients are well mixed and the spices well pounded. Press the mixture into potting-pots, pour over clarified butter, and keep it in a cool place.

Average cost for this quantity, 2s. 6d.

Seasonable at any time.

IMPORTANCE OF THE BOAR’S HEAD, SCOTTISH FEUDS, &c. — The boar’s head, in ancient times, formed the most important dish on the table, and was invariably the first placed on the board upon Christmas-day, being preceded by a body of servitors, a flourish of trumpets, and other marks of distinction and reverence, and carried into the hall by the individual of next rank to the lord of the feast. At some of our colleges and inns of court, the serving of the boar’s head on a silver platter on Christmas-day is a custom still followed; and till very lately, a bore’s head was competed for at Christmas time by the young men of a rural parish in Essex. Indeed, so highly was the grizzly boar’s head regarded in former times, that it passed into a cognizance of some of the noblest families in the realm: thus it was not only the crest of the Nevills and Warwicks, with their collateral houses, but it was the cognizance of Richard III., that —

“Wretched, bloody, and usurping boar,
That spoil’d your summer fields and fruitful vines,
Swills your warm blood like wash, and makes his trough
In your embowell’d bosoms,”—

and whose nature it was supposed to typify; and was universally used as a sign to taverns. The Boar’s Head in Eastcheap, which, till within the last twenty-five years still stood in all its primitive quaintness, though removed to make way for the London-bridge approaches, will live vividly in the mind of every reader of Shakspeare, as the resort of the prince of Wales, Poins, and his companions, and the residence of Falstaff and his coney-catching knaves, Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym; and whose sign was a boar’s head, carved in stone over the door, and a smaller one in wood on each side of the doorway.

The traditions and deeds of savage vengeance recorded in connection with this grim trophy of the chase are numerous in all parts of Europe. But the most remarkable connected with the subject in this country, were two events that occurred in Scotland, about the 11th and 15th centuries.

A border family having been dispossessed of their castle and lands by a more powerful chief, were reduced for many years to great indigence, the expelled owner only living in the hope of wreaking a terrible vengeance, which, agreeably to the motto of his house, he was content to “bide his time” for. The usurper having invited a large number of his kindred to a grand hunt in his new domains, and a feast after in the great hall, returned from the chase, and discovering the feast not spread, vented his wrath in no measured terms on the heads of the tardy servitors. At length a menial approached, followed by a line of servants, and placing the boar’s head on the table, the guests rushed forward to begin the meal; when, to their horror, they discovered, not a boar’s but a bull’s head — a sign of death. The doors were immediately closed, and the false servants, who were the adherents of the dispossessed chief, threw off their disguise, and falling on the usurper and his friends, butchered them and every soul in the castle belonging to the rival faction.

A tribe of caterans, or mountain robbers, in the Western Highlands, having been greatly persecuted by a powerful chief of the district, waylaid him and his retinue, put them all to the sword, and cutting off the chief’s head, repaired to his castle, where they ordered the terrified wife to supply them with food and drink. To appease their savage humour, the lady gave order for their entertainment, and on returning to the hall to see her orders were complied with, discovered, in place of the boar’s head that should have graced the board, her husband’s bleeding head; the savage caterans, in rude derision, as a substitute for the apple or lemon usually placed between the jaws, having thrust a slice of bread in the dead man’s mouth.

For Curing Hams (Mons. Ude’s Recipe).

816. INGREDIENTS. — For 2 hams weighing about 16 or 18 lbs. each, allow 1 lb. of moist sugar, 1 lb. of common salt, 2 oz. of saltpetre, 1 quart of good vinegar.

Mode. — As soon as the pig is cold enough to be cut up, take the 2 hams and rub them well with common salt, and leave them in a large pan for 3 days. When the salt has drawn out all the blood, drain the hams, and throw the brine away. Mix sugar, salt, and saltpetre together in the above proportion, rub the hams well with these, and put them into a vessel large enough to hold them, always keeping the salt over them. Let them remain for 3 days, then pour over them a quart of good vinegar. Turn them in the brine every day for a month, then drain them well, and rub them with bran. Have them smoked over a wood fire, and be particular that the hams are hung as high up as possible from the fire; otherwise the fat will melt, and they will become dry and hard.

Time. — To be pickled 1 month; to be smoked 1 month.

Sufficient for 2 hams of 18 lbs. each.

Seasonable from October to March.

THE PRICE OF A SOW IN AFRICA. — In one of the native states of Africa, a pig one day stole a piece of food from a child as it was in the act of conveying the morsel to its mouth; upon which the robbed child cried so loud that the mother rushed out of her hovel to ascertain the cause; and seeing the purloining pig make off munching his booty, the woman in her heat struck the grunter so smart a blow, that the surly rascal took it into his head to go home very much indisposed, and after a certain time resolved to die — a resolution that he accordingly put into practice; upon which the owner instituted judicial proceedings before the Star Chamber court of his tribe, against the husband and family of the woman whose rash act had led to such results; and as the pig happened to be a sow, in the very flower of her age, the prospective loss to the owner in unnumbered teems of pigs, with the expenses attending so high a tribunal, swelled the damages and costs to such a sum, that it was found impossible to pay them. And as, in the barbarous justice existing among these rude people, every member of a family is equally liable as the individual who committed the wrong, the father, mother, children, relatives — an entire community, to the number of thirty-two souls, were sold as slaves, and a fearful sum of human misery perpetrated, to pay the value of a thieving old sow.

To Salt Two Hams, about 12 or 15 lbs. each.

817. INGREDIENTS. — 2 lbs. of treacle, 1/2 lb. of saltpetre, 1 lb. of bay-salt, 2 pounds of common salt.

Mode. — Two days before they are put into pickle, rub the hams well with salt, to draw away all slime and blood. Throw what comes from them away, and then rub them with treacle, saltpetre, and salt. Lay them in a deep pan, and let them remain one day; boil the above proportion of treacle, saltpetre, bay-salt, and common salt for 1/4 hour, and pour this pickle boiling hot over the hams: there should be sufficient of it to cover them. For a day or two rub them well with it; afterwards they will only require turning. They ought to remain in this pickle for 3 weeks or a month, and then be sent to be smoked, which will take nearly or quite a month to do. An ox-tongue pickled in this way is most excellent, to be eaten either green or smoked.

Time. — To remain in the pickle 3 weeks or a month; to be smoked about a month.

Seasonable from October to March.

To Cure Sweet Hams in the Westmoreland Way.

818. INGREDIENTS. — 3 lbs. of common salt, 3 lbs. of coarse sugar, 1 lb. of bay-salt, 3 quarts of strong beer.

Mode. — Before the hams are put into pickle, rub them the preceding day well with salt, and drain the brine well from them. Put the above ingredients into a saucepan, and boil for 1/4 hour; pour over the hams, and let them remain a month in the pickle. Rub and turn them every day, but do not take them out of the pickling-pan; and have them smoked for a month.

Time. — To be pickled 1 month; to be smoked 1 month.

Seasonable from October to March.

To Pickle Hams (Suffolk Recipe).

819. INGREDIENTS. — To a ham from 10 to 12 lbs., allow 1 lb. of coarse sugar, 3/4 lb. of salt, 1 oz. of saltpetre, 1/2 a teacupful of vinegar.

Mode. — Rub the hams well with common salt, and leave them for a day or two to drain; then rub well in, the above proportion of sugar, salt, saltpetre, and vinegar, and turn them every other day. Keep them in the pickle 1 month, drain them, and send them to be smoked over a wood fire for 3 weeks or a month.

Time. — To remain in the pickle 1 month. To be smoked 3 weeks or 1 month.

Sufficient. — The above proportion of pickle sufficient for 1 ham.

Seasonable. — Hams should be pickled from October to March.

NOVEL WAY OF RECOVERING A STOLEN PIG. — It is a well-known fact, that in Ireland the pig is, in every respect, a domesticated animal, sharing often both the bed and board of the family, and making an outer ring to the domestic circle, as, seated round the pot of potatoes, they partake of the midday meal called dinner. An Irishman upon one occasion having lost an interesting member of his household, in the form of a promising young porker, consulted his priest on the occasion, and having hinted at the person he suspected of purloining the “illegant slip of a pig” he was advised to take no further notice of the matter, but leave the issue to his spiritual adviser. Next Sunday his reverence, after mass, came to the front of the altar-rails, and looking very hard at the supposed culprit, exclaimed, “Who stole Pat Doolan’s pig?” To this inquiry there was of course no answer; — the priest did not expect there would be any. The following Sunday the same query was propounded a little stronger —“Who of you was it, I say, who stole poor Pat Doolan’s pig?” It now became evident that the culprit was a hardened sinner; so on the third Sunday, instead of repeating the unsatisfactory inquiry, the priest, after, as usual, eyeing the obdurate offender, said, in a tone of pious sorrow, “Mike Regan, Mike Regan, you treat me with contempt!” That night, when the family was all asleep, the latch of the door was noiselessly lifted, and the “illegant slip of a pig” cautiously slipped into the cabin.

To Smoke Hams and Fish at Home.

820. Take an old hogshead, stop up all the crevices, and fix a place to put a cross-stick near the bottom, to hang the articles to be smoked on. Next, in the side, cut a hole near the top, to introduce an iron pan filled with sawdust and small pieces of green wood. Having turned the tub upside down, hang the articles upon the cross-stick, introduce the iron pan in the opening, and place a piece of red-hot iron in the pan, cover it with sawdust, and all will be complete. Let a large ham remain 40 hours, and keep up a good smoke.

To Cure Bacon or Hams in the Devonshire Way.

821. INGREDIENTS. — To every 14 lbs. of meat, allow 2 oz. of saltpetre, 2 oz. of salt prunella, 1 lb. of common salt. For the pickle, 3 gallons of water, 5 lbs. of common salt, 7 lbs. of coarse sugar, 3 lbs. of bay-salt.

Mode. — Weigh the sides, hams, and cheeks, and to every 14 lbs. allow the above proportion of saltpetre, salt prunella, and common salt. Pound and mix these together, and rub well into the meat; lay it in a stone trough or tub, rubbing it thoroughly, and turning it daily for 2 successive days. At the end of the second day, pour on it a pickle made as follows:— Put the above ingredients into a saucepan, set it on the fire, and stir frequently; remove all the scum, allow it to boil for 1/4 hour, and pour it hot over the meat. Let the hams, &c., be well rubbed and turned daily; if the meat is small, a fortnight will be sufficient for the sides and shoulders to remain in the pickle, and the hams 3 weeks; if from 30 lbs. and upwards, 3 weeks will be required for the sides, &c., and from 4 to 5 weeks for the hams. On taking the pieces out, let them drain for an hour, cover with dry sawdust, and smoke from a fortnight to 3 weeks. Boil and carefully skim the pickle after using, and it will keep good, closely corked, for 2 years. When boiling it for use, add about 2 lbs. of common salt, and the same of treacle, to allow for waste. Tongues are excellent put into this pickle cold, having been first rubbed well with saltpetre and salt, and allowed to remain 24 hours, not forgetting to make a deep incision under the thick part of the tongue, so as to allow the pickle to penetrate more readily. A fortnight or 3 weeks, according to the size of the tongue, will be sufficient.

Time — Small meat to remain in the pickle a fortnight, hams 3 weeks; to be smoked from a fortnight to 3 weeks.

The following is from Morton’s “Cyclopaedia of Agriculture,” and will be found fully worthy of the high character of that publication.

Curing of Hams and Bacon.

822. The carcass of the hog, after hanging over-night to cool, is laid on a strong bench or stool, and the head is separated from the body at the neck, close behind the ears; the feet and also the internal fat are removed. The carcass is next divided into two sides in the following manner:— The ribs are divided about an inch from the spine on each side, and the spine, with the ends of the ribs attached, together with the internal flesh between it and the kidneys, and also the flesh above it, throughout the whole length of the sides, are removed. The portion of the carcass thus cut out is in the form of a wedge — the breadth of the interior consisting of the breadth of the spine, and about an inch of the ribs on each side, being diminished to about half an inch at the exterior or skin along the back. The breast-bone, and also the first anterior rib, are also dissected from the side. Sometimes the whole of the ribs are removed; but this, for reasons afterwards to be noticed, is a very bad practice. When the hams are cured separately from the sides, which is generally the case, they are cut out so as to include the hock-bone, in a similar manner to the London mode of cutting a haunch of mutton. The carcass of the hog thus cut up is ready for being salted, which process, in large caring establishments, is generally as follows. The skin side of the pork is rubbed over with a mixture of fifty parts by weight of salt, and one part of saltpetre in powder, and the incised parts of the ham or flitch, and the inside of the flitch covered with the same. The salted bacon, in pairs of flitches with the insides to each other, is piled one pair of flitches above another on benches slightly inclined, and furnished with spouts or troughs to convey the brine to receivers in the floor of the salting-house, to be afterwards used for pickling pork for navy purposes. In this state the bacon remains a fortnight, which is sufficient for flitches cut from nogs of a carcass weight less than 15 stone (14 lbs. to the stone). Flitches of a larger size, at the expiration of that time, are wiped dry and reversed in their place in the pile, having, at the same time, about half the first quantity of fresh, dry, common salt sprinkled over the inside and incised parts; after which they remain on the benches for another week. Hams being thicker than flitches, will require, when less than 20 lbs. weight, 3 weeks; and when above that weight, 4 weeks to remain under the above-described process. The next and last process in the preparation of bacon and hams, previous to being sent to market, is drying. This is effected by hanging the flitches and hams for 2 or 3 weeks in a room heated by stoves, or in a smoke-house, in which they are exposed for the same length of time to the smoke arising from the slow combustion of the sawdust of oak or other hard wood. The latter mode of completing the curing process has some advantages over the other, as by it the meat is subject to the action of creosote, a volatile oil produced by the combustion of the sawdust, which is powerfully antiseptic. The process also furnishing a thin covering of a resinous varnish, excludes the air not only from the muscle but also from the fat; thus effectually preventing the meat from becoming rusted; and the principal reasons for condemning the practice of removing the ribs from the flitches of pork are, that by so doing the meat becomes unpleasantly hard and pungent in the process of salting, and by being more opposed to the action of the air, becomes sooner and more extensively rusted. Notwithstanding its superior efficacy in completing the process of curing, the flavour which smoke-drying imparts to meat is disliked by many persons, and it is therefore by no means the most general mode of drying adopted by mercantile curers. A very impure variety of pyroligneous acid, or vinegar made from the destructive distillation of wood, is sometimes used, on account of the highly preservative power of the creosote which it contains, and also to impart the smoke-flavour; in which latter object, however, the coarse flavour of tar is given, rather than that derived from the smoke from combustion of wood. A considerable portion of the bacon and hams salted in Ireland is exported from that country packed amongst salt, in bales, immediately from the salting process, without having been in any degree dried. In the process of salting above described, pork loses from eight to ten per cent. of its weight, according to the size and quality of the meat; and a further diminution of weight, to the extent of five to six per cent., takes place in drying during the first fortnight after being taken out of salt; so that the total loss in weight occasioned by the preparation of bacon and hams in a proper state for market, is not less on an average than fifteen per cent. on the weight of the fresh pork.

Collared Pig’s Face (a Breakfast or Luncheon Dish).

823. INGREDIENTS. — 1 pig’s face; salt. For brine, 1 gallon of spring water, 1 lb. of common salt, 1/2 handful of chopped juniper-berries, 6 bruised cloves, 2 bay-leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, basil, sage, 1/4 oz. of saltpetre. For forcemeat, 1/2 lb. of ham, 1/2 lb. bacon, 1 teaspoonful of mixed spices, pepper to taste, 1/4 lb. of lard, 1 tablespoonful of minced parsley, 6 young onions.

Mode. — Singe the head carefully, bone it without breaking the skin, and rub it well with salt. Make the brine by boiling the above ingredients for 1/4 hour, and letting it stand to cool. When cold, pour it over the head, and let it steep in this for 10 days, turning and rubbing it often. Then wipe, drain, and dry it. For the forcemeat, pound the ham and bacon very finely, and mix with these the remaining ingredients, taking care that the whole is thoroughly incorporated. Spread this equally over the head, roll it tightly in a cloth, and bind it securely with broad tape. Put it into a saucepan with a few meat trimmings, and cover it with stock; let it simmer gently for 4 hours, and be particular that it does not stop boiling the whole time. When quite tender, take it up, put it between 2 dishes with a heavy weight on the top, and when cold, remove the cloth and tape. It should be sent to table on a napkin, or garnished with a piece of deep white paper with a ruche at the top.

Time. — 4 hours. Average cost, from 2s. to 2s. 6d.

Seasonable from October to March.

THE WILD AND DOMESTIC HOG. — The domestic hog is the descendant of a race long since banished from this island; and it is remarkable, that while the tamed animal has been and is kept under surveillance, the wild type whence this race sprung, has maintained itself in its ancient freedom, the fierce denizen of the forest, and one of the renowned beasts of the chase. Whatever doubt may exist as to the true origin of the dog, the horse, the ox, and others, or as to whether their original race is yet extant or not, these doubts do not apply to the domestic hog. Its wild source still exists, and is universally recognized: like the wolf, however, it has been expelled from our island; but, like that animal, it still roams through the vast wooded tracts of Europe and Asia.

To Dress Pig’s Fry (a Savoury Dish).

824. INGREDIENTS. — 1–1/2 lb. of pig’s fry, 2 onions, a few sage-leaves, 3 lbs. of potatoes, pepper and salt to taste.

Mode. — Put the lean fry at the bottom of a pie-dish, sprinkle over it some minced sage and onion, and a seasoning of pepper and salt; slice the potatoes; put a layer of these on the seasoning, then the fat fry, then more seasoning, and a layer of potatoes at the top. Fill the dish with boiling water, and bake for 2 hours, or rather longer.

Time. — Rather more than 2 hours. Average cost, 6d. per lb.

Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons.

Seasonable from October to March.

To Melt Lard.

825. Melt the inner fat of the pig, by putting it in a stone jar, and placing this in a saucepan of boiling water, previously stripping off the skin. Let it simmer gently over a bright fire, and as it melts, pour it carefully from the sediment. Put it into small jars or bladders for use, and keep it in a cool place. The flead or inside fat of the pig, before it is melted, makes exceedingly light crust, and is particularly wholesome. It may be preserved a length of time by salting it well, and occasionally changing the brine. When wanted for use, wash and wipe it, and it will answer for making into paste as well as fresh lard.

Average cost, 10d. per lb.

Boiled Leg of Pork.

826. INGREDIENTS. — Leg of pork; salt.

Mode. — For boiling, choose a small, compact, well-filled leg, and rub it well with salt; let it remain in pickle for a week or ten days, turning and rubbing it every day. An hour before dressing it, put it into cold water for an hour, which improves the colour. If the pork is purchased ready salted, ascertain how long the meat has been in pickle, and soak it accordingly. Put it into a boiling-pot, with sufficient cold water to cover it; let it gradually come to a boil, and remove the scum as it rises. Simmer it very gently until tender, and do not allow it to boil fast, or the knuckle will fall to pieces before the middle of the leg is done. Carrots, turnips, or parsnips may be boiled with the pork, some of which should be laid round the dish as a garnish, and a well-made pease-pudding is an indispensable accompaniment.

Time. — A leg of pork weighing 8 lbs., 3 hours after the water boils, and to be simmered very gently.

Average cost, 9d. per lb.

Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

Note. — The liquor in which a leg of pork has been boiled, makes excellent pea-soup.

ANTIQUITY OF THE HOG. — The hog has survived changes which have swept multitudes of pachydermatous animals from the surface of our earth. It still presents the same characteristics, both physical and moral, which the earliest writers, whether sacred or profane, have faithfully delineated. Although the domestic has been more or less modified by long culture, yet the wild species remains unaltered, insomuch that the fossil relics may be identified with the bones of their existing descendants.

Roast Griskin of Pork.

827. INGREDIENTS. — Pork; a little powdered sage.

Mode. — As this joint frequently comes to table hard and dry, particular care should be taken that it is well basted. Put it down to a bright fire, and flour it. About 10 minutes before taking it up, sprinkle over some powdered sage; make a little gravy in the dripping-pan, strain it over the meat, and serve with a tureen of apple sauce. This joint will be done in far less time than when the skin is left on, consequently, should have the greatest attention that it be not dried up.

Time. — Griskin of pork weighing 6 lbs., 1–1/2 hour.

Average cost, 7d. per lb. Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

Note. — A spare-rib of pork is roasted in the same manner as above, and would take 1–1/2 hour for one weighing about 6 lbs.

Larding.

828. INGREDIENTS. — Bacon and larding-needle.

Mode. — Bacon for larding should be firm and fat, and ought to be cured without any saltpetre, as this reddens white meats. Lay it on a table, the rinds downwards; trim off any rusty part, and cut it into slices of an equal thickness. Place the slices one on the top of another, and cut them evenly into narrow strips, so arranging it that every piece of bacon is of the same size. Bacon for fricandeau, poultry, and game, should be about 2 inches in length, and rather more than one-eighth of an inch in width. If for larding fillets of beef or loin of veal, the pieces of bacon must be thicker. The following recipe of Soyer is, we think, very explicit; and any cook, by following the directions here given, may be able to lard, if not well, sufficiently for general use.

“Have the fricandeau trimmed, lay it, lengthwise, upon a clean napkin across your hand, forming a kind of bridge with your thumb at the part you are about to commence at; then with the point of the larding-needle make three distinct lines across, 1/2 inch apart; run the needle into the third line, at the further side of the fricandeau, and bring it out at the first, placing one of the lardoons in it; draw the needle through, leaving out 1/4 inch of the bacon at each line; proceed thus to the end of the row; then make another line, 1/2 inch distant, stick in another row of lardoons, bringing them out at the second line, leaving the ends of the bacon out all the same length; make the next row again at the same distance, bringing the ends out between the lardoons of the first row, proceeding in this manner until the whole surface is larded in chequered rows. Everything else is larded in a similar way; and, in the case of poultry, hold the breast over a charcoal fire for one minute, or dip it into boiling water, in order to make the flesh firm.”

Roast Loin of Pork.

829. INGREDIENTS. — Pork; a little salt.

Mode. — Score the skin in strips rather more than 1/4 inch apart, and place the joint at a good distance from the fire, on account of the crackling, which would harden before the meat would be heated through, were it placed too near. If very lean, it should be rubbed over with a little salad oil, and kept well basted all the time it is at the fire. Pork should be very thoroughly cooked, but not dry; and be careful never to send it to table the least underdone, as nothing is more unwholesome and disagreeable than underdressed white meats. Serve with apple sauce, No. 363, and a little gravy made in the dripping-pan. A stuffing of sage and onion may be made separately, and baked in a flat dish: this method is better than putting it in the meat, as many persons have so great an objection to the flavour.

Time. — A loin of pork weighing 5 lbs., about 2 hours: allow more time should it be very fat.

Average cost, 9d. per lb.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

FOSSIL REMAINS OF THE HOG. — In British strata, the oldest fossil remains of the hog which Professor Owen states that he has examined, were from fissures in the red crag (probably miocene) of Newbourne, near Woodbridge, Suffolk. “They were associated with teeth of an extinct felis about the size of a leopard, with those of a bear, and with remains of a large cervus. These mammalian remains were found with the ordinary fossils of the red crag: they had undergone the same process of trituration, and were impregnated with the same colouring matter as the associated bones and teeth of fishes acknowledged to be derived from the regular strata of the red crag. These mammaliferous beds have been proved by Mr. Lyell to be older than the fluvio-marine, or Norwich crag, in which remains of the mastodon, rhinoceros, and horse have been discovered; and still older than the fresh-water pleistocene deposits, from which the remains of the mammoth, rhinoceros, &c. are obtained in such abundance. I have met,” says the professor, in addition, “with some satisfactory instances of the association of fossil remains of a species of hog with those of the mammoth, in the newer pliocene freshwater formations of England.”

To Dry Pigs’ Cheeks.

830. INGREDIENTS. — Salt, 4 oz. of saltpetre, 2 oz. of bay-salt, 4 oz. of coarse sugar.

Mode. — Cut out the snout, remove the brains, and split the head, taking off the upper bone to make the jowl a good shape; rub it well with salt; next day take away the brine, and salt it again the following day; cover the head with saltpetre, bay-salt, and coarse sugar, in the above proportion, adding a little common salt. Let the head be often turned, and when it has been in the pickle for 10 days, smoke it for a week or rather longer.

Time. — To remain in the pickle 10 days; to be smoked 1 week.

Seasonable. — Should be made from September to March.

Note. — A pig’s check, or Bath chap, will take about 2 hours after the water boils.

Pig’s Liver (a Savoury and Economical Dish).

831. INGREDIENTS. — The liver and lights of a pig, 6 or 7 slices of bacon, potatoes, 1 large bunch of parsley, 2 onions, 2 sage-leaves, pepper and salt to taste, a little broth or water.

Mode. — Slice the liver and lights, and wash these perfectly clean, and parboil the potatoes; mince the parsley and sage, and chop the onion rather small. Put the meat, potatoes, and bacon into a deep tin dish, in alternate layers, with a sprinkling of the herbs, and a seasoning of pepper and salt between each; pour on a little water or broth, and bake in a moderately-heated oven for 2 hours.

Time. — 2 hours. Average cost, 1s. 6d.

Sufficient for 6 or 7 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

Pig’s Pettitoes.

832. INGREDIENTS. — A thin slice of bacon, 1 onion, 1 blade of mace, 6 peppercorns, 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme, 1 pint of gravy, pepper and salt to taste, thickening of butter and flour.

Mode. — Put the liver, heart, and pettitoes into a stewpan with the bacon, mace, peppercorns, thyme, onion, and gravy, and simmer these gently for 1/4 hour; then take out the heart and liver, and mince them very fine. Keep stewing the feet until quite tender, which will be in from 20 minutes to 1/2 hour, reckoning from the time that they boiled up first; then put back the minced liver, thicken the gravy with a little butter and flour, season with pepper and salt, and simmer over a gentle fire for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring the contents. Dish the mince, split the feet, and arrange them round alternately with sippets of toasted bread, and pour the gravy in the middle.

Time. — Altogether 40 minutes.

Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons.

Seasonable from September to March.

To Pickle Pork.

833. INGREDIENTS. — 1/4 lb. of saltpetre; salt.

Mode. — As pork does not keep long without being salted, cut it into pieces of a suitable size as soon as the pig is cold. Rub the pieces of pork well with salt, and put them into a pan with a sprinkling of it between each piece: as it melts on the top, strew on more. Lay a coarse cloth over the pan, a board over that, and a weight on the board, to keep the pork down in the brine. If excluded from the air, it will continue good for nearly 2 years.

Average cost, 10d. per lb. for the prime parts.

Seasonable. — The best time for pickling meat is late in the autumn.

THE UNIVERSALITY OF THE HOG. — A singular circumstance in the domestic history of the hog, is the extent of its distribution over the surface of the earth; being found even in insulated places, where the inhabitants are semi-barbarous, and where the wild species is entirely unknown. The South–Sea islands, for example, were found on their discovery to be well stocked with a small black hog; and the traditionary belief of the people was that these animals were coeval with the origin of themselves. Yet they possessed no knowledge of the wild boar, or any other animal of the hog kind, from which the domestic breed might be supposed to be derived. In these islands the hog is the principal quadruped, and the fruit of the bread-tree is its principal food, although it is also fed with yams, eddoes, and other vegetables. This nutritious diet, which it has in great abundance, is, according to Foster, the reason of its flesh being so delicious, so full of juice, and so rich in fat, which is not less delicate to the taste than the finest butter.

To Boil Pickled Pork.

834. INGREDIENTS. — Pork; water.

Mode. — Should the pork be very salt, let it remain in water about 2 hours before it is dressed; put it into a saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover it, let it gradually come to a boil, then gently simmer until quite tender. Allow ample time for it to cook, as nothing is more disagreeable than underdone pork, and when boiled fast, the meat becomes hard. This is sometimes served with boiled poultry and roast veal, instead of bacon: when tender, and not over salt, it will be found equally good.

Time. — A piece of pickled pork weighing 2 lbs., 1–1/4 hour; 4 lbs., rather more than 2 hours.

Average cost, 10d. per lb. for the primest parts.

Seasonable at any time.

THE ANTIQUITY OF THE HOG. — By what nation and in what period the hog was reclaimed, is involved in the deepest obscurity. So far back as we have any records of history, we find notices of this animal, and of its flesh being used as the food of man. By some nations, however, its flesh was denounced as unclean, and therefore prohibited to be used, whilst by others it was esteemed as a great delicacy. By the Mosaic law it was forbidden to be eaten by the Jews, and the Mahometans hold it in utter abhorrence. Dr. Kitto, however, says that there does not appear to be any reason in the law of Moses why the hog should be held in such peculiar abomination. There seems nothing to have prevented the Jews, if they had been so inclined, to rear pigs for sale, or for the use of the land. In the Talmud there are some indications that this was actually done; and it was, probably, for such purposes that the herds of swine mentioned in the New Testament were kept, although it is usual to consider that they were kept by the foreign settlers in the land. Indeed, the story which accounts for the peculiar aversion of the Hebrews to the hog, assumes that it did not originate until about 130 years before Christ, and that, previously, some Jews were in the habit of rearing hogs for the purposes indicated.

Pork Pies (Warwickshire Recipe).

835. INGREDIENTS. — For the crust, 5 lbs. of lard to 14 lbs. of flour, milk, and water. For filling the pies, to every 3 lbs. of meat allow 1 oz. of salt, 2–1/4 oz. of pepper, a small quantity of cayenne, 1 pint of water.

Mode. — Rub into the flour a portion of the lard; the remainder put with sufficient milk and water to mix the crust, and boil this gently for 1/4 hour. Pour it boiling on the flour, and knead and beat it till perfectly smooth. Now raise the crust in either a round or oval form, cut up the pork into pieces the size of a nut, season it in the above proportion, and press it compactly into the pie, in alternate layers of fat and lean, and pour in a small quantity of water; lay on the lid, cut the edges smoothly round, and pinch them together. Bake in a brick oven, which should be slow, as the meat is very solid. Very frequently, the inexperienced cook finds much difficulty in raising the crust. She should bear in mind that it must not be allowed to get cold, or it will fall immediately: to prevent this, the operation should be performed as near the fire as possible. As considerable dexterity and expertness are necessary to raise the crust with the hand only, a glass bottle or small jar may be placed in the middle of the paste, and the crust moulded on this; but be particular that it is kept warm the whole time.

Sufficient. — The proportions for 1 pie are 1 lb. of flour and 3 lbs. of meat.

Seasonable from September to March.

THE FLESH OF SWINE IN HOT CLIMATES. — It is observed by M. Sonini, that the flesh of swine, in hot climates, is considered unwholesome, and therefore may account for its proscription by the legislators and priests of the East. In Egypt, Syria, and even the southern parts of Greece, although both white and delicate, it is so flabby and surcharged with fat, that it disagrees with the strongest stomachs. Abstinence from it in general was, therefore, indispensable to health under the burning suns of Egypt and Arabia. The Egyptians were permitted to eat it only once a year — on the feast of the moon; and then they sacrificed a number of these animals to that planet. At other seasons, should any one even touch a hog, he was obliged immediately to plunge into the river Nile, as he stood, with his clothes on, in order to purify himself from the supposed contamination he had contracted by the touch.

Little Raised Pork Pies.

836. INGREDIENTS. — 2 lbs. of flour, 1/2 lb. of butter, 1/2 lb. of mutton suet, salt and white pepper to taste, 4 lbs. of the neck of pork, 1 dessertspoonful of powdered sage.

Mode. — Well dry the flour, mince the suet, and put these with the butter into a saucepan, to be made hot, and add a little salt. When melted, mix it up into a stiff paste, and put it before the fire with a cloth over it until ready to make up; chop the pork into small pieces, season it with white pepper, salt, and powdered sage; divide the paste into rather small pieces, raise it in a round or oval form, fill with the meat, and bake in a brick oven. These pies will require a fiercer oven than those in the preceding recipe, as they are made so much smaller, and consequently do not require so soaking a heat.

Time. — If made small, about 1–1/2 hour.

Seasonable from September to March.

SWINEHERDS OF ANTIQUITY. — From the prejudice against the hog among the ancients, those who tended them formed an isolated class, and were esteemed as the outcasts of society. However much the flesh of the animal was esteemed by the Greeks and Romans, yet the swineherd is not mentioned by either the classic writers or the poets who, in ancient Greece and Rome, painted rural life. We have no descriptions of gods or heroes descending to the occupation of keeping swine. The swineherd is never introduced into the idyls of Theocritus, nor has Virgil admitted him into his eclogues. The Eumaeus of Homer is the only exception that we have of a swineherd meeting with favour in the eyes of a poet of antiquity. This may be accounted for, on the supposition that the prejudices of the Egyptians relative to this class of men, extended to both Greece and Italy, and imparted a bias to popular opinion.

To Make Sausages.

(Author’s Oxford Recipe.)

837. INGREDIENTS. — 1 lb. of pork, fat and lean, without skin or gristle; 1 lb. of lean veal, 1 lb. of beef suet, 1/2 lb. of bread crumbs, the rind of 1/2 lemon, 1 small nutmeg, 6 sage-leaves, 1 teaspoonful of pepper, 2 teaspoonfuls of salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of savory, 1/2 teaspoonful of marjoram.

Mode. — Chop the pork, veal, and suet finely together, add the bread crumbs, lemon-peel (which should be well minced), and a small nutmeg grated. Wash and chop the sage-leaves very finely; add these with the remaining ingredients to the sausage-meat, and when thoroughly mixed, either put the meat into skins, or, when wanted for table, form it into little cakes, which should be floured and fried.

Average cost, for this quantity, 2s. 6d.

Sufficient for about 30 moderate-sized sausages.

Seasonable from October to March.

THE HOG IN ENGLAND. — From time immemorial, in England, this animal has been esteemed as of the highest importance. In the Anglo–Saxon period, vast herds of swine were tended by men, who watched over their safety, and who collected them under shelter at night. At that time, the flesh of the animal was the staple article of consumption in every family, and a large portion of the wealth of the rich freemen of the country consisted of these animals. Hence it was common to make bequests of swine, with lands for their support; and to these were attached rights and privileges in connection with their feeding, and the extent of woodland to be occupied by a given number was granted in accordance with established rules. This is proved by an ancient Saxon grant, quoted by Sharon Turner, in his “History of the Anglo–Saxons,” where the right of pasturage is conveyed in a deed by the following words:—“I give food for seventy swine in that woody allotment which the countrymen call Wolferdinlegh.”

Fried Sausages.

838. INGREDIENTS. — Sausages; a small piece of butter.

Mode. — Prick the sausages with a fork (this prevents them from bursting), and put them into a frying-pan with a small piece of butter. Keep moving the pan about, and turn the sausages 3 or 4 times. In from 10 to 12 minutes they will be sufficiently cooked, unless they are very large, when a little more time should be allowed for them. Dish them with or without a piece of toast under them, and serve very hot. In some counties, sausages are boiled and served on toast. They should be plunged into boiling water, and simmered for about 10 or 12 minutes.

Time. — 10 to 12 minutes.

Average cost, 10d. per lb.

Seasonable. — Good from September to March.

Note. — Sometimes, in close warm weather, sausages very soon turn sour; to prevent this, put them in the oven for a few minutes with a small piece of butter to keep them moist. When wanted for table, they will not require so long frying as uncooked sausages.

THE SAXON SWINEHERD. — The men employed in herding swine during the Anglo–Saxon period of our history were, in general, thralls or born slaves of the soil, who were assisted by powerful dogs, capable even of singly contending with the wolf until his master came with his spear to the rescue. In the “Ivanhoe” of Sir Walter Scott, we have an admirable picture, in the character of Gurth, an Anglo–Saxon swineherd, as we also have of his master, a large landed proprietor, a great portion of whose wealth consisted of swine, and whose rude but plentiful board was liberally supplied with the flesh.

Sausage-Meat Cakes.

839. INGREDIENTS. — To every lb. of lean pork, add 3/4 lb. of fat bacon, 1/4 oz. of salt, 1 saltspoonful of pepper, 1/4 teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley.

Mode. — Remove from the pork all skin, gristle, and bone, and chop it finely with the bacon; add the remaining ingredients, and carefully mix altogether. Pound it well in a mortar, make it into convenient-sized cakes, flour these, and fry them a nice brown for about 10 minutes. This is a very simple method of making sausage-meat, and on trial will prove very good, its great recommendation being, that it is so easily made.

Time. — 10 minutes.

Seasonable from September to March.

To Scald a Sucking-Pig.

840. Put the pig into cold water directly it is killed; let it remain for a few minutes, then immerse it in a large pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Take it out, lay it on a table, and pull off the hair as quickly as possible. When the skin looks clean, make a slit down the belly, take out the entrails, well clean the nostrils and ears, wash the pig in cold water, and wipe it thoroughly dry. Take off the feet at the first joint, and loosen and leave sufficient skin to turn neatly over. If not to be dressed immediately, fold it in a wet cloth to keep it from the air.

THE LEARNED PIG. — That the pig is capable of education, is a fact long known to the world; and though, like the ass, naturally stubborn and obstinate, that he is equally amenable with other animals to caresses and kindness, has been shown from very remote time; the best modern evidence of his docility, however, is the instance of the learned pig, first exhibited about a century since, but which has been continued down to our own time by repeated instances of an animal who will put together all the letters or figures that compose the day, month, hour, and date of the exhibition, besides many other unquestioned evidences of memory. The instance already given of breaking a sow into a pointer, till she became more stanch even than the dog itself, though surprising, is far less wonderful than that evidence of education where so generally obtuse an animal may be taught not only to spell, but couple figures and give dates correctly.

Roast Sucking-Pig.

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

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

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

Average cost, 5s. to 6s.

Sufficient for 9 or 10 persons.

Seasonable from September to February.

HOW ROAST PIG WAS DISCOVERED. — Charles Lamb, who, in the early part of this century, delighted the reading public by his quaint prose sketches, written under the title of “Essays of Elia,” has, in his own quiet humorous way, devoted one paper to the subject of Roast Pig, and more especially to that luxurious and toothsome dainty known as “CRACKLING;” and shows, in a manner peculiarly his own, how crackling first came into the world.

According to this erudite authority, man in the golden age, or at all events the primitive age, eat his pork and bacon raw, as, indeed, he did his beef and mutton; unless, as Hudibras tells us, he was an epicure, when he used to make a saddle of his saddle of mutton, and after spreading it on his horse’s back, and riding on it for a few hours till thoroughly warmed, he sat down to the luxury of a dish cooked to a turn. At the epoch of the story, however, a citizen of some Scythian community had the misfortune to have his hut, or that portion of it containing his live stock of pigs, burnt down. In going over the débris on the following day, and picking out all the available salvage, the proprietor touched something unusually or unexpectedly hot, which caused him to shake his hand with great energy, and clap the tips of his suffering fingers to his mouth. The act was simple and natural, but the result was wonderful. He rolled his eyes in ecstatic pleasure, his frame distended, and, conscious of a celestial odour, his nostrils widened, and, while drawing in deep inspirations of the ravishing perfume, he sucked his fingers with a gusto he had never, in his most hungry moments, conceived. Clearing away the rubbish from beneath him, he at last brought to view the carcase of one of his pigs, roasted to death. Stooping down to examine this curious object, and touching its body, a fragment of the burnt skin was detached, which, with a sort of superstitious dread, he at length, and in a spirit of philosophical inquiry, put into his mouth. Ye gods! the felicity he then enjoyed, no pen can chronicle! Then it was that he — the world — first tasted crackling. Like a miser with his gold, the Scythian hid his treasure from the prying eyes of the world, and feasted, in secret, more sumptuously than the gods. When he had eaten up all his pig, the poor man fell into a melancholy; he refused the most tempting steak, though cooked on the horse’s back, and turned every half-hour after his own favourite recipe; he fell, in fact, from his appetite, and was reduced to a shadow, till, unable longer to endure the torments of memory he hourly suffered, he rose one night and secretly set fire to his hut, and once more was restored to flesh and manhood. Finding it impossible to live in future without roast-pig, he set fire to his house every time his larder became empty; till at last his neighbours, scandalized by the frequency of these incendiary acts, brought his conduct before the supreme council of the nation. To avert the penalty that awaited him, he brought his judges to the smouldering ruins, and discovering the secret, invited them to eat; which having done, with tears of gratitude, the august synod embraced him, and, with an overflowing feeling of ecstasy, dedicated a statue to the memory of the man who first instituted roast pork.

Pork Carving.
Sucking-Pig.

842. A sucking-pig seems, at first sight, rather an elaborate dish, or rather animal, to carve; but by carefully mastering the details of the business, every difficulty will vanish; and if a partial failure be at first made, yet all embarrassment will quickly disappear on a second trial. A sucking-pig is usually sent to table in the manner shown in the engraving (and also in coloured plate S), and the first point to be attended to is to separate the shoulder from the carcase, by carrying the knife quickly and neatly round the circular line, as shown by the figures 1, 2, 3; — the shoulder will then easily come away. The next step is to take off the leg; and this is done in the same way, by cutting round this joint in the direction shown by the figures 1, 2, 3, in the same way as the shoulder. The ribs then stand fairly open to the knife, which should be carried down in the direction of the line 4 to 5; and two or three helpings will dispose of these. The other half of the pig is served, of course, in the same manner. Different parts of the pig are variously esteemed; some preferring the flesh of the neck; others, the ribs; and others, again, the shoulders. The truth is, the whole of a sucking-pig is delicious, delicate eating; but, in carving it, the host should consult the various tastes and fancies of his guests, keeping the larger joints, generally, for the gentlemen of the party.

Ham.

843. In cutting a ham, the carver must be guided according as he desires to practise economy, or have, at once, fine slices out of the prime part. Under the first supposition, he will commence at the knuckle end, and cut off thin slices towards the thick part of the ham. To reach the choicer portion, the knife, which must be very sharp and thin, should be carried quite down to the bone, in the direction of the line 1 to 2. The slices should be thin and even, and always cut down to the bone. There are some who like to carve a ham by cutting a hole at the top, and then slicing pieces off inside the hole, gradually enlarging the circle; but we think this a plan not to be recommended. A ham, when hot, is usually sent to table with a paper ruffle round the knuckle; when cold, it is served in the manner shown by coloured plate P.

Leg of Pork.

844. This joint, which is such a favourite one with many people, is easy to carve. The knife should be carried sharply down to the bone, clean through the crackling, in the direction of the line 1 to 2. Sago and onion and apple sauce are usually sent to table with this dish — sometimes the leg of pork is stuffed — and the guests should be asked if they will have either or both. A frequent plan, and we think a good one, is now pursued, of sending sage and onion to table separately from the joint, as it is not everybody to whom the flavour of this stuffing is agreeable.

Note. — The other dishes of pork do not call for any special remarks as to their carving or helping.

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Last updated Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 13:31