The Book of Household Management, by Isabella Beeton

Chapter XXIII.

Recipes.

Roast Black-Cock.

1019. INGREDIENTS. — Black-cock, butter, toast.

Mode. — Let these birds hang for a few days, or they will be tough and tasteless, if not well kept. Pluck and draw them, and wipe the insides and outsides with a damp cloth, as washing spoils the flavour. Cut off the heads, and truss them, the same as a roast fowl, cutting off the toes, and scalding and peeling the feet. Trussing them with the head on, as shown in the engraving, is still practised by many cooks, but the former method is now considered the best. Put them down to a brisk fire, well baste them with butter, and serve with a piece of toast under, and a good gravy and bread sauce. After trussing, some cooks cover the breast with vine-leaves and slices of bacon, and then roast them. They should be served in the same manner and with the same accompaniments as with the plainly-roasted birds.

Time. — 45 to 50 minutes.

Average cost, from 5s. to 6s. the brace; but seldom bought.

Sufficient — 2 or 3 for a dish.

Seasonable from the middle of August to the end of December.

THE BLACK-COCK, HEATH-COCK, MOOR-FOWL, OR HEATH-POULT. — This bird sometimes weighs as much as four pounds, and the hen about two. It is at present confined to the more northern parts of Britain, culture and extending population having united in driving it into more desolate regions, except, perhaps, in a few of the more wild and less-frequented portions of England. It may still be found in the New Forest, in Hampshire, Dartmoor, and Sedgmoor, in Devonshire, and among the hills of Somersetshire, contiguous to the latter. It may also be found in Staffordshire, in North Wales, and again in the north of England; but nowhere so plentiful as in some parts of the Highlands of Scotland. The males are hardly distinguishable from the females until they are about half-grown, when the black feathers begin to appear, first about the sides and breast. Their food consists of the tops of birch and heath, except when the mountain berries are ripe, at which period they eagerly and even voraciously pick the bilberries and cranberries from the bushes. Large numbers of these birds are found in Norway, almost rivalling the turkey in point of size. Some of them have begun to be imported into London, where they are vended in the shops; but the flavour of their flesh is not equal to that of the Scotch bird.

Hashed Wild Duck.

1020. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of cold roast wild duck, 1 pint of good brown gravy, 2 tablespoonfuls of bread crumbs, 1 glass of claret, salt, cayenne, and mixed spices to taste; 1 tablespoonful of lemon or Seville orange-juice.

Mode. — Cut the remains of the duck into neat joints, put them into a stewpan, with all the above ingredients; let them get gradually hot by the side of the fire, and occasionally stir the contents; when on the point of boiling, serve, and garnish the dish with sippets of toasted bread.

Time. — About 1/4 hour.

Seasonable from November to February.

Ragout of Wild Duck.

1021. INGREDIENTS. — 2 wild ducks, 4 shalots, 1 pint of stock No. 105, 1 glass of port wine, 1 oz. of butter, a little flour, the juice of 1/2 lemon, cayenne and salt to taste.

Mode. — Ducks that have been dressed and left from the preceding day will answer for this dish. Cut them into joints, reserve the legs, wings, and breasts until wanted; put the trimmings into a stewpan with the shalots and stock, and let them simmer for about 1/2 hour, and strain the gravy. Put the butter into a stewpan; when melted, dredge in a little flour, and pour in the gravy made from the bones; give it one boil, and strain it again; add the wine, lemon-juice, and cayenne; lay in the pieces of duck, and let the whole gradually warm through, but do not allow it to boil, or the duck will be hard. The gravy should not be too thick, and should be very highly seasoned. The squeeze of a Seville orange is a great improvement to this dish.

Time. — About 1/2 hour to make the gravy; 1/4 hour for the duck gradually to warm through.

Seasonable from November to February.

Roast Wild Duck.

1022. INGREDIENTS. — Wild duck, flour, butter.

Mode. — Carefully pluck and draw them; Cut off the heads close to the necks, leaving sufficient skin to turn over, and do not cut off the feet; some twist each leg at the knuckle, and rest the claws on each side of the breast; others truss them as shown in our Illustration. Roast the birds before a quick fire, and, when they are first put down, let them remain for 5 minutes without basting (this will keep the gravy in); afterwards baste plentifully with butter, and a few minutes before serving dredge them lightly with flour; baste well, and send them to table nicely frothed, and full of gravy. If overdone, the birds will lose their flavour. Serve with a good gravy in the dish, or orange gravy, No. 488; and send to table with them a cut lemon. To take off the fishy taste which wild fowl sometimes have, baste them for a few minutes with hot water to which have been added an onion and a little salt; then take away the pan, and baste with butter. — See coloured plate, G1.

Time. — When liked underdressed, 20 to 25 minutes; well done, 25 to 35 minutes.

Average cost, 4s. to 5s. the couple.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from November to February.

THE WILD DUCK. — The male of the wild dock is called a mallard; and the young ones are called flappers. The time to try to find a brood of these is about the month of July, among the rushes of the deepest and most retired parts of some brook or stream, where, if the old bird is sprung, it may be taken as a certainty that its brood is not far off. When once found, flappers are easily killed, as they attain their full growth before their wings are fledged. Consequently, the sport is more like hunting water-rats than shooting birds. When the flappers take wing, they assume the name of wild ducks, and about the month of August repair to the corn-fields, where they remain until they are disturbed by the harvest-people. They then frequent the rivers pretty early in the evening, and give excellent sport to those who have patience to wait for them. In order to know a wild duck, it is necessary only to look at the claws, which should be black.

Hashed Game (Cold Meat Cookery).

1023. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of cold game, 1 onion stuck with 3 cloves, a few whole peppers, a strip of lemon-peel, salt to taste, thickening of butter and flour, 1 glass of port wine, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice, 1 tablespoonful of ketchup, 1 pint of water or weak stock.

Mode. — Cut the remains of cold game into joints, reserve the best pieces, and the inferior ones and trimmings put into a stewpan with the onion, pepper, lemon-peel, salt, and water or weak stock; stew these for about an hour, and strain the gravy; thicken it with butter and flour; add the wine, lemon-juice, and ketchup; lay in the pieces of game, and let them gradually warm through by the side of the fire; do not allow it to boil, or the game will be hard. When on the point of simmering, serve, and garnish the dish with sippets of toasted bread.

Time. — Altogether 1–1/4 hour.

Seasonable from August to March.

Note. — Any kind of game may be hashed by the above recipe, and the flavour may be varied by adding flavoured vinegars, curvy powder, &c.; but we cannot recommend these latter ingredients, as a dish of game should really have a gamy taste; and if too many sauces, essences, &c., are added to the gravy, they quite overpower and destroy the flavour the dish should possess.

Grouse Pie.

1024. INGREDIENTS. — Grouse; cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste; 1 lb. of rump-steak, 1/2 pint of well-seasoned broth, puff paste.

Mode. — Line the bottom of a pie-dish with the rump-steak cut into neat pieces, and, should the grouse be large, cut them into joints; but, if small, they may be laid in the pie whole; season highly with salt, cayenne, and black pepper; pour in the broth, and cover with a puff paste; brush the crust over with the yolk of an egg, and bake from 3/4 to 1 hour. If the grouse is cut into joints, the backbones and trimmings will make the gravy, by stewing them with an onion, a little sherry, a bunch of herbs, and a blade of mace: this should be poured in after the pie is baked.

Time. — 3/4 to 1 hour.

Average cost, exclusive of the grouse, which are seldom bought, 1s. 9d.

Seasonable from the 12th of August to the beginning of December.

Roast Grouse.

1025. INGREDIENTS. — Grouse, butter, a thick slice of toasted bread.

Mode. — Let the birds hang as long as possible; pluck and draw them; wipe, but do not wash them, inside and out, and truss them without the head, the same as for a roast fowl. Many persons still continue to truss them with the head under the wing, but the former is now considered the most approved method. Put them down to a sharp clear fire; keep them well basted the whole of the time they are cooking, and serve them on a buttered toast, soaked in the dripping-pan, with a little melted butter poured over them, or with bread-sauce and gravy. — See coloured plate, L1.

Time. — 1/2 hour; if liked very thoroughly done, 35 minutes.

Average cost, 2s. to 2s. 6d. the brace; but seldom bought.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from the 12th of August to the beginning of December.

GROUSE. — These birds are divided into wood grouse, black grouse, red grouse, and white grouse. The wood grouse is further distinguished as the cock of the wood, or capercalzie, and is as large as the turkey, being about two feet nine inches in length, and weighing from twelve to fifteen pounds. The female is considerably less than the male, and, in the colour of her feathers, differs widely from the other. This beautiful species is found principally in lofty, mountainous regions, and is very rare in Great Britain; but in the pine forests of Russia, Sweden, and other northern countries, it is very common. In these it has its habitat, feeding on the cones of the trees, and the fruits of various kinds of plants, especially the berry of the jumper. Black grouse is also distinguished as black-game, or the black-cock. It is not larger than the common hen, and weighs only about four pounds. The female is about one-third less than the male, and also differs considerably from him in point of colour. Like the former, they are found chiefly in high situations, and are common in Russia, Siberia, and other northern countries. They are also found in the northern parts of Great Britain, feeding in winter on the various berries and fruits belonging to mountainous countries, and, in summer, frequently descending to the lower lands, to feed upon corn. The red grouse, gorcock, or moor-cock, weighs about nineteen ounces, and the female somewhat less. In the wild heathy tracts of the northern counties of England it is plentiful, also in Wales and the Highlands of Scotland. Mr. Pennant considered it peculiar to Britain, those found in the mountainous parts of Spain, France, and Italy, being only varieties of the same bird. White grouse, white game, or ptarmigan, is nearly the same size as the red grouse, and is found in lofty situations, where it supports itself in the severest weather. It is to be met with in most of the northern countries of Europe, and appears even in Greenland. In the Hebrides, Orkneys, and the Highlands of Scotland, it is also found; and sometimes, though rarely, among the fells of Northumberland and Cumberland. In winter they fly in flocks, and are so little familiar with the sight of man, that they are easily shot, and even snared. They feed on the wild produce of the hills, which sometimes imparts to their flesh a bitter but not unpalatable taste. According to Buffon, it is dark-coloured, and somewhat flavoured like the hare.

Grouse Salad.

(Soyer’s Recipe.)

1026. INGREDIENTS. — 8 eggs, butter, fresh salad, 1 or 2 grouse; for the sauce, 1 teaspoonful of minced shalot, 1 teaspoonful of pounded sugar, the yolk of 1 egg, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley, 1/4 oz. of salt, 4 tablespoonfuls of oil, 2 tablespoonfuls of Chili vinegar, 1 gill of cream.

Mode. — Boil the eggs hard, shell them, throw them into cold water cut a thin slice off the bottom to facilitate the proper placing of them in the dish, cut each one into four lengthwise, and make a very thin flat border of butter, about one inch from the edge of the dish the salad is to be served on; fix the pieces of egg upright close to each other, the yolk outside, or the yolk and white alternately; lay in the centre a fresh salad of whatever is in season, and, having previously roasted the grouse rather underdone, cut it into eight or ten pieces, and prepare the sauce as follows:— Put the shalots into a basin, with the sugar, the yolk of an egg, the parsley, and salt, and mix in by degrees the oil and vinegar; when these ingredients are well mixed, put the sauce on ice or in a cool place. When ready to serve, whip the cream rather thick, which lightly mix with it; then lay the inferior parts of the grouse on the salad, sauce over so as to cover each piece, then lay over the salad and the remainder of the grouse, pour the rest of the sauce over, and serve. The eggs may be ornamented with a little dot of radishes or beetroot on the point. Anchovy and gherkin, cut into small diamonds, may be placed between, or cut gherkins in slices, and a border of them laid round. Tarragon or chervil-leaves are also a pretty addition. The remains of cold black-game, pheasant, or partridge may be used in the above manner, and will make a very delicate dish.

Average cost, 2s. 6d.

Seasonable from the 12th of August to the beginning of December.

THE CAPERCALZIE. — This bird was to be met with formerly both in Ireland and Scotland, but is now extinct. The male lives separate from the females, except in the breeding season. Its manners and habits are very like those of black grouse, except that it seems to be wholly confined to forests of pine, on the tender shoots of which it feeds. It is by no means uncommon in the woods of Norway, whence we received it. It is also found abundant in Russia, Siberia, Italy, and in some portions of the Alps. It was, in 1760, last seen in Scotland, in the woods of Strathglass. Recent attempts have been made to re-introduce it into that country, but without success; principally owing, as we should imagine, to the want of sufficient food suitable for its sustenance.

GROUSE. — Under this general term are included several species of game birds, called black, red, woodland, and white grouse. The black is larger than the red (see No. 1025), and is not so common, and therefore held in higher estimation. The red, however, is a bird of exquisite flavour, and is a native of the mountainous districts of Scotland and the north of England. It feeds on the tops of the heath and the berries that grow amongst them: its colour is a rich chestnut, striped with black. The woodland, or cock of the wood, is the largest among the bird tribes which pass under the denomination of game. It is smaller than the turkey, and was originally common in our mountains; but it is now to be found only in the mountains of Scotland, though it still abounds in the north of Europe, Germany, and in the Alps. It is esteemed as delicious eating, and its plumage is extremely beautiful. The white grouse, or ptarmigan, is not a plentiful bird in Britain; but it is still found in the islands, and weighs about half a pound. The London market is supplied by Norway and Scotland; those from the former country being esteemed the best. When young, it is held in high estimation, being considered as little different from common grouse.

Roast Hare.

1027. INGREDIENTS. — Hare, forcemeat No. 417, a little milk, butter.

Choosing and Trussing. — Choose a young hare; which may be known by its smooth and sharp claws, and by the cleft in the lip not being much spread. To be eaten in perfection, it must hang for some time; and, if properly taken care of, it may be kept for several days. It is better to hang without being paunched; but should it be previously emptied, wipe the inside every day, and sprinkle over it a little pepper and ginger, to prevent the musty taste which long keeping in the damp occasions, and which also affects the stuffing. After it is skinned, wash it well, and soak for an hour in warm water to draw out the blood; if old, let it lie in vinegar for a short time, but wash it well afterwards in several waters. Make a forcemeat by recipe No. 417, wipe the hare dry, fill the belly with it, and sew it up. Bring the hind and fore legs close to the body towards the head, run a skewer through each, fix the head between the shoulders by means of another skewer, and be careful to leave the ears on. Pat a string round the body from skewer to skewer, and tie it above the back.

Mode. — The hare should be kept at a distance from the fire when it is first laid down, or the outside will become dry and hard before the inside is done. Baste it well with milk for a short time, and afterwards with butter; and particular attention must be paid to the basting, so as to preserve the meat on the back juicy and nutritive. When it is almost roasted enough, flour the hare, and baste well with butter. When nicely frothed, dish it, remove the skewers, and send it to table with a little gravy in the dish, and a tureen of the same. Red-currant jelly must also not be forgotten, as this is an indispensable accompaniment to roast hare. For economy, good beef dripping may be substituted for the milk and butter to baste with; but the basting, as we have before stated, must be continued without intermission. If the liver is good, it maybe parboiled, minced, and mixed with the stuffing; but it should not be used unless quite fresh. — See coloured plate, E1.

Time. — A middling-sized hare, 1–1/4 hour; a large hare, 1–1/2 to 2 hours.

Average cost, from 4s. to 6s.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

THE HARE. — This little animal is found generally distributed over Europe, and, indeed, in most parts of the northern world. Its extreme timidity is the endowment which Providence has bestowed upon it as a means of defence; it is therefore attentive to every sound, and is supplied with ears both long and tubular, with which it can hear with great acuteness. Its eyes, also, are so constructed, and placed so prominent in its head, that it can see both before and behind it. It lives entirely upon vegetables, but its flesh is considered dry, notwithstanding that it is deemed, in many respects, superior to that of the rabbit, being more savoury, and of a much higher flavour. Its general time of feeding is the evening; but during the day, if not disturbed, it adheres closely to its form.

Potted Hare (a Luncheon or Breakfast Dish).

1028. INGREDIENTS. — 1 hare, a few slices of bacon, a large bunch of savoury herbs, 4 cloves, 1/2 teaspoonful of whole allspice, 2 carrots, 2 onions, salt and pepper to taste, 1 pint of water, 2 glasses of sherry.

Mode. — Skin, empty, and wash the hare; cut it down the middle, and put it into a stewpan, with a few slices of bacon under and over it; add the remaining ingredients, and stew very gently until the hare is tender, and the flesh will separate easily from the bones. When done enough, take it up, remove the bones, and pound the meat, with the bacon, in a mortar, until reduced to a perfectly smooth paste. Should it not be sufficiently seasoned, add a little cayenne, salt, and pounded mace, but be careful that these are well mixed with the other ingredients. Press the meat into potting-pots, pour over clarified butter, and keep in a dry place. The liquor that the hare was stewed in, should be saved for hashes, soups, &c. &c.

Time. — About 21/2 hours to stew the hare.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

Broiled Hare (a Supper or Luncheon Dish).

1029. INGREDIENTS. — The leg and shoulders of a roast hare, cayenne and salt to taste, a little butter.

Mode. — Cut the legs and shoulders of a roast hare, season them highly with salt and cayenne, and broil them over a very clear fire for 5 minutes. Dish them on a hot dish, rub over them a little cold butter, and send to table very quickly.

Time. — 5 minutes.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

Hashed Hare.

1030. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of cold roast hare, 1 blade of pounded mace, 2 or 3 allspice, pepper and salt to taste, 1 onion, a bunch of savoury herbs, 3 tablespoonfuls of port wine, thickening of butter and flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of mushroom ketchup.

Mode. — Cut the cold hare into neat slices, and put the head, bones, and trimmings into a stewpan, with 3/4 pint of water; add the mace, allspice, seasoning, onion, and herbs, and stew for nearly an hour, and strain the gravy; thicken it with butter and flour, add the wine and ketchup, and lay in the pieces of hare, with any stuffing that may be left. Let the whole gradually heat by the side of the fire, and, when it has simmered for about 5 minutes, serve, and garnish the dish with sippets of toasted bread. Send red-currant jelly to table with it.

Time. — Rather more than 1 hour.

Average cost, exclusive of the cold hare, 6d.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

Jugged Hare.

(Very Good.)

1031. INGREDIENTS. — 1 hare, 1–1/2 lb. of gravy beef, 1/2 lb. of butter, 1 onion, 1 lemon, 6 cloves; pepper, cayenne, and salt to taste; 1/2 pint of port wine.

Mode. — Skin, paunch, and wash the hare, cut it into pieces, dredge them with flour, and fry in boiling butter. Have ready 1–1/2 pint of gravy, made from the above proportion of beef, and thickened with a little flour. Put this into a jar; add the pieces of fried hare, an onion stuck with six cloves, a lemon peeled and cut in half, and a good seasoning of pepper, cayenne, and salt; cover the jar down tightly, put it up to the neck into a stewpan of boiling water, and let it stew until the hare is quite tender, taking care to keep the water boiling. When nearly done, pour in the wine, and add a few forcemeat balls, made by recipe No. 417: these must be fried or baked in the oven for a few minutes before they are put to the gravy. Serve with red-currant jelly.

Time — 3–1/2 to 4 hours. If the hare is very old, allow 4–1/2 hours.

Average cost, 7s.

Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

II.

(A Quicker and more Economical Way.)

1032. INGREDIENTS. — 1 hare, a bunch of sweet herbs, 2 onions, each stuck with 3 cloves, 6 whole allspice, 1/2 teaspoonful of black pepper, a strip of lemon-peel, thickening of butter and flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of mushroom ketchup, 1/4 pint of port wine.

Mode. — Wash the hare nicely, cut it up into joints (not too large), and flour and brown them as in the preceding recipe; then put them into a stewpan with the herbs, onions, cloves, allspice, pepper, and lemon-peel; cover with hot water, and when it boils, carefully remove all the scum, and let it simmer gently till tender, which will be in about 1–3/4 hour, or longer, should the hare be very old. Take out the pieces of hare, thicken the gravy with flour and butter, add the ketchup and port wine, let it boil for about 10 minutes, strain it through a sieve over the hare, and serve. A few fried forcemeat balls should be added at the moment of serving, or instead of frying them, they may be stewed in the gravy, about 10 minutes before the hare is wanted for table. Do not omit to serve red-currant jelly with it.

Time. — Altogether 2 hours. Average cost, 5s. 6d.

Sufficient for 7 or 8 persons.

Seasonable from September to the end of February.

Note. — Should there be any left, rewarm it the next day by putting the hare, &c. into a covered jar, and placing this jar in a saucepan of boiling water: this method prevents a great deal of waste.

Roast Landrail, or Corn-Crake.

1033. INGREDIENTS. — 3 or 4 birds, butter, fried bread crumbs.

Mode. — Pluck and draw the birds, wipe them inside and out with damp cloths, and truss them in the following manner:— Bring the head round under the wing, and the thighs close to the sides; pass a skewer through them and the body, and keep the legs straight. Roast them before a clear fire, keep them well basted, and serve on fried bread crumbs, with a tureen of brown gravy. When liked, bread-sauce may also be sent to table with them.

Time. — 12 to 20 minutes. Average cost — Seldom bought.

Sufficient. — Allow — 1 for a dish.

Seasonable from August 12th to the middle of September.

THE LANDRAIL, OR CORN-CRAKE. — This bird is migratory in its habits, yet from its formation, it seems ill adapted for long aërial passages, its wings being short, and placed so forward out of the centre of gravity, that it flies in an extremely heavy and embarrassed manner, and with its legs hanging down. When it alights, it can hardly be sprung a second time, as it runs very fast, and seems to depend for its safety more on the swiftness of its feet than the celerity of its wings. It makes its appearance in England about the same time as the quail, that is, in the months of April and May, and frequents the same places. Its singular cry is first heard when the grass becomes long enough to shelter it, and it continues to be heard until the grass is cut. The bird, however, is seldom seen, for it constantly skulks among the thickest portions of the herbage, and runs so nimbly through it, doubling and winding in every direction, that it is difficult to get near it. It leaves this island before the winter, and repairs to other countries in search of its food, which principally consists of slugs, large numbers of which it destroys. It is very common in Ireland, and, whilst migrating to this country, is seen in great numbers in the island of Anglesea. On its first arrival in England, it is so lean as scarcely to weigh above five or six ounces; before its departure, however, it has been known to exceed eight ounces, and is then most delicious eating.

To Dress a Leveret.

1034. INGREDIENTS. — 2 leverets, butter, flour.

Mode. — Leverets should be trussed in the same manner as a hare, but they do not require stuffing. Roast them before a clear fire, and keep them well basted all the time they are cooking. A few minutes before serving, dredge them lightly with flour, and froth them nicely. Serve with plain gravy in the dish, and send to table red-currant jelly with them.

Time. — 1/2 to 3/4 hour. Average cost, in full season, 4s. each.

Sufficient for 5 or 6 persons.

Seasonable from May to August, but cheapest in July and August.

Broiled Partridge (a Luncheon, Breakfast, or Supper Dish).

1035. INGREDIENTS. — 3 partridges, salt and cayenne to taste, a small piece of butter, brown gravy or mushroom sauce.

Mode. — Pluck, draw, and cut the partridges in half, and wipe the inside thoroughly with a damp cloth. Season them with salt and cayenne, broil them over a very clear fire, and dish them on a hot dish; rub a small piece of butter over each half, and send them to table with brown gravy or mushroom sauce.

Time. — About 1/4 hour. Average cost, 1s. 6d. to 2s. a brace.

Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons.

Seasonable from the 1st of September to the beginning of February.

Partridge Pie.

1036. INGREDIENTS. — 3 partridges, pepper and salt to taste, 1 teaspoonful of minced parsley (when obtainable, a few mushrooms), 3/4 lb. of veal cutlet, a slice of ham, 1/2 pint of stock, puff paste.

Mode. — Line a pie-dish with a veal cutlet; over that place a slice of ham and a seasoning of pepper and salt. Pluck, draw, and wipe the partridges; cut off the legs at the first joint, and season them inside with pepper, salt, minced parsley, and a small piece of butter; place them in the dish, and pour over the stock; line the edges of the dish with puff paste, cover with the same, brush it over with the yolk of an egg, and bake for 3/4 to 1 hour.

Time. — 3/4 to 1 hour. Average cost, 1s. 6d. to 2s. a brace.

Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons.

Seasonable from the 1st of September to the beginning of February.

Note. — Should the partridges be very large, split them in half; they will then lie in the dish more compactly. When at hand, a few mushrooms should always be added.

Potted Partridge.

1037. INGREDIENTS. — Partridges; seasoning to taste of mace, allspice white pepper, and salt; butter, coarse paste.

Mode. — Pluck and draw the birds, and wipe them inside with a damp cloth. Pound well some mace, allspice, white pepper, and salt; mix together, and rub every part of the partridges with this. Pack the birds as closely as possible in a baking-pan, with plenty of butter over them, and cover with a coarse flour and water crust. Tie a paper over this, and bake for rather more than 1–1/2 hour; let the birds get cold, then cut them into pieces for keeping, pack them closely into a large potting-pot, and cover with clarified butter. This should be kept in a cool dry place. The butter used for potted things will answer for basting, or for paste for meat pies. — See coloured plate, D1.

Time. — 1–1/2 hour.

Seasonable from the 1st of September to the beginning of February.

Salmi De Perdrix, or Hashed Partridges.

1038. INGREDIENTS. — 3 young partridges, 3 shalots, a slice of lean ham, 1 carrot, 3 or 4 mushrooms, a bunch of savoury herbs, 2 cloves, 6 whole peppers, 3/4 pint of stock, 1 glass of sherry or Madeira, a small lump of sugar.

Mode. — After the partridges are plucked and drawn, roast them rather underdone, and cover them with paper, as they should not be browned; cut them into joints, take off the skin from the wings, legs, and breasts; put these into a stewpan, cover them up, and set by until the gravy is ready. Cut a slice of ham into small pieces, and put them, with the carrots sliced, the shalots, mushrooms, herbs, cloves, and pepper, into a stewpan; fry them lightly in a little butter, pour in the stock, add the bones and trimming from the partridges, and simmer for 1/4 hour. Strain the gravy, let it cool, and skim off every particle of fat; put it to the legs, wings, and breasts, add a glass of sherry or Madeira and a small lump of sugar, let all gradually warm through by the side of the fire, and when on the point of boiling, serve, and garnish the dish with croûtons. The remains of roast partridge answer very well dressed in this way, although not so good as when the birds are in the first instance only half-roasted. This recipe is equally suitable for pheasants, moor-game, &c.; but care must be taken always to skin the joints.

Time. — Altogether 1 hour.

Sufficient. — 2 or 3 partridges for an entrée.

Seasonable from the 1st of September to the beginning of February.

Roast Partridge.

1039. INGREDIENTS. — Partridge; butter.

Choosing and Trussing. — Choose young birds, with dark-coloured bills and yellowish legs, and let them hang a few days, or there will be no flavour to the flesh, nor will it be tender. The time they should be kept, entirely depends on the taste of those for whom they are intended, as what some persons would consider delicious, would be to others disgusting and offensive. They may be trussed with or without the head, the latter mode being now considered the most fashionable. Pluck, draw, and wipe the partridge carefully inside and out; cut off the head, leaving sufficient skin on the neck to skewer back; bring the legs close to the breast, between it and the side-bones, and pass a skewer through the pinions and the thick part of the thighs. When the head is left on, it should be brought round and fixed on to the point of the skewer.

Mode. — When the bird is firmly and plumply trussed, roast it before a nice bright fire; keep it well basted, and a few minutes before serving, flour and froth it well. Dish it, and serve with gravy and bread sauce, and send to table hot and quickly. A little of the gravy should be poured over the bird. — See coloured plate, D1.

Time. — 25 to 35 minutes. Average cost, is 1s. 6d. to 2s. a brace.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from the 1st of September to the beginning of February.

THE PARTRIDGE. — This bird is to be found in nearly all the temperate countries of Europe, but is most abundant in the Ukraine, although it is unable to bear the extremes of climate, whether hot or cold. It was formerly very common in France, and is considered a table luxury in England. The instinct of this bird is frequently exemplified in a remarkable manner, for the preservation of its young. “I have seen it often,” says a very celebrated writer, and an accurate observer of nature, “and once in particular, I saw an extraordinary instance of an old bird’s solicitude to save its brood. As I was hunting with a young pointer, the dog ran on a brood of very small partridges; the old bird cried, fluttered, and ran tumbling along just before the dog’s nose, till she had drawn him to a considerable distance, when she took wing, and flew still further off, but not out of the field; on this the dog returned to me, near the place where the young ones lay concealed in the grass, which the old bird no sooner perceived than she flew back to us, settled just before the dog’s nose again, and by rolling and tumbling about, drew off his attention from her young, and thus preserved her brood a second time. I have also seen, when a kite has been hovering over a covey of young partridges, the old birds fly up at the bird of prey, screaming and fighting with all their might to preserve their brood.” Partridges should be chosen young; if old, they are valueless. The young ones are generally known by their yellow legs and dark-coloured bills.

Pheasant Cutlets.

1040. INGREDIENTS. — 2 or 3 pheasants, egg and bread crumbs, cayenne and salt to taste, brown gravy.

Mode. — Procure 3 young pheasants that have been hung a few days; pluck, draw, and wipe them inside; cut them into joints; remove the bones from the best of these; and the backbones, trimmings, &c., put into a stewpan, with a little stock, herbs, vegetables, seasoning, &c., to make the gravy. Flatten and trim the cutlets of a good shape, egg and bread crumb them, broil them over a clear fire, pile them high in the dish, and pour under them the gravy made from the bones, which should be strained, flavoured, and thickened. One of the small bones should be stuck on the point of each cutlet.

Time. — 10 minutes. Average cost, 2s. 6d. to 3s. each.

Sufficient for 2 entrées.

Seasonable from the 1st of October to the beginning of February.

Roast Pheasant.

1041. INGREDIENTS. — Pheasant, flour, butter.

Choosing and Trussing. — Old pheasants may be known by the length and sharpness of their spurs; in young ones they are short and blunt. The cock bird is generally reckoned the best, except when the hen is with egg. They should hang some time before they are dressed, as, if they are cooked fresh, the flesh will be exceedingly dry and tasteless. After the bird is plucked and drawn, wipe the inside with a damp cloth, and truss it in the same manner as partridge, No. 1039. If the head is left on, as shown in the engraving, bring it round under the wing, and fix it on to the point of the skewer.

Mode. — Roast it before a brisk fire, keep it well basted, and flour and froth it nicely. Serve with brown gravy, a little of which should be poured round the bird, and a tureen of bread sauce. 2 or 3 of the pheasant’s best tail-feathers are sometimes stuck in the tail as an ornament; but the fashion is not much to be commended. — See coloured plate, F1.

Time. — 1/2 to 1 hour, according to the size.

Average cost, 2s. 6d. to 3s. each. Sufficient — 1 for a dish.

Seasonable from the 1st of October to the beginning of February.

THE PHEASANT. — This beautiful bird is said to have been discovered by the Argonauts on the banks of the Phasis, near Mount Ararat, in their expedition to Colchis. It is common, however, in almost all the southern parts of the European continent, and has been long naturalized in the warmest and most woody counties of England. It is very common in France; indeed, so common as to be esteemed a nuisance by the farmers. Although it has been domesticated, this is not easily accomplished, nor is its flesh so palatable then as it is in the wild state. Mr. Ude says —“It is not often that pheasants are met with possessing that exquisite taste which is acquired only by long keeping, as the damp of this climate prevents their being kept as long as they are in other countries. The hens, in general, are the most delicate. The cocks show their age by their spurs. They are only fit to be eaten when the blood begins to run from the bill, which is commonly six days or a week after they have been killed. The flesh is white, tender, and has a good flavour, if you keep it long enough; if not, it is not much different from that of a common fowl or hen.”

BRILLAT SAVARIN’S RECIPE FOR ROAST PHEASANT, a la Sainte Alliance.

1042. When the pheasant is in good condition to be cooked (see No. 1041), it should be plucked, and not before. The bird should then be stuffed in the following manner:— Take two snipes, and draw them, putting the bodies on one plate, and the livers, &c., on another. Take off the flesh, and mince it finely with a little beef, lard, a few truffles, pepper and salt to taste, and stuff the pheasant carefully with this. Cut a slice of bread, larger considerably than the bird, and cover it with the liver, &c., and a few truffles: an anchovy and a little fresh butter added to these will do no harm. Put the bread, &c., into the dripping-pan, and, when the bird is roasted, place it on the preparation, and surround it with Florida oranges.

Do not be uneasy, Savarin adds, about your dinner; for a pheasant served in this way is fit for beings better than men. The pheasant itself is a very good bird; and, imbibing the dressing and the flavour of the truffle and snipe, it becomes thrice better.

Broiled Pheasant (a Breakfast or Luncheon Dish).

1043. INGREDIENTS. — 1 pheasant, a little lard, egg and bread crumbs, salt and cayenne to taste.

Mode. — Cut the legs off at the first joint, and the remainder of the bird into neat pieces; put them into a fryingpan with a little lard, and when browned on both sides, and about half done, take them out and drain them; brush the pieces over with egg, and sprinkle with bread crumbs with which has been mixed a good seasoning of cayenne and salt. Broil them over a moderate fire for about 10 minutes, or rather longer, and serve with mushroom-sauce, sauce piquante, or brown gravy, in which a few game-bones and trimmings have been stewed.

Time. — Altogether 1/2 hour. Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons.

Seasonable from the 1st of October to the beginning of February.

THE HEIGHT OF EXCELLENCE IN A PHEASANT. — Things edible have their degrees of excellence under various circumstances: thus, asparagus, capers, peas, and partridges are best when young. Perfection in others is only reached when they attain maturity: let us say, for example, melons and nearly all fruits (we must except, perhaps, the medlar), with the majority of those animals whose flesh we eat. But others, again, are not good until decomposition is about to set in; and here we may mention particularly the snipe and the pheasant. If the latter bird be eaten so soon as three days after it has been killed, it then has no peculiarity of flavour; a pullet would be more relished, and a quail would surpass it in aroma. Kept, however, a proper length of time — and this can be ascertained by a slight smell and change of colour — then it becomes a highly, flavoured dish, occupying, so to speak, the middle distance between chicken and venison. It is difficult to define any exact time to “hang” a pheasant; but any one possessed of the instincts of gastronomical science, can at once detect the right moment when a pheasant should be taken down, in the same way as a good cook knows whether a bird should be removed from the spit, or have a turn or two more.

To Dress Plovers.

1044. INGREDIENTS. — 3 plovers, butter, flour, toasted bread.

Choosing and Trussing. — Choose those that feel hard at the vent, as that shows their fatness. There are three sorts — the grey, green, and bastard plover, or lapwing. They will keep good for some time, but if very stale, the feet will be very dry. Plovers are scarcely fit for anything but roasting; they are, however, sometimes stewed, or made into a ragoût, but this mode of cooking is not to be recommended.

Mode. — Pluck off the feathers, wipe the outside of the birds with a damp cloth, and do not draw them; truss with the head under the wing, put them down to a clear fire, and lay slices of moistened toast in the dripping-pan, to catch the trail. Keep them well basted, dredge them lightly with flour a few minutes before they are done, and let them be nicely frothed. Dish them on the toasts, over which the trail should be equally spread. Pour round the toast a little good gravy, and send some to table in a tureen.

Time. — 10 minutes to 1/4 hour.

Average cost, 1s. 6d. the brace, if plentiful.

Sufficient for 2 persons.

Seasonable. — In perfection from the beginning of September to the end of January.

THE PLOVER. — There are two species of this bird, the grey and the green, the former being larger than the other, and somewhat less than the woodcock. It has generally been classed with those birds which chiefly live in the water; but it would seem only to seek its food there, for many of the species breed upon the loftiest mountains. Immense flights of these birds are to be seen in the Hebrides, and other parts of Scotland; and, in the winter, large numbers are sent to the London market, which is sometimes so much glutted with them that they are sold very cheap. Previous to dressing, they are kept till they have a game flavour; and although their flesh is a favourite with many, it is not universally relished. The green is preferred to the grey, but both are inferior to the woodcock. Their eggs are esteemed as a great delicacy. Birds of this kind are migratory. They arrive in England in April, live with us all the spring and summer, and at the beginning of autumn prepare to take leave by getting together in flocks. It is supposed that they then retire to Spain, and frequent the sheep-walks with which that country abounds.

To Dress the Ptarmigan.

1045. INGREDIENTS. — 2 or 3 birds; butter, flour, fried bread crumbs.

Mode. — The ptarmigan, or white grouse, when young and tender, are exceedingly fine eating, and should be kept as long as possible, to be good. Pluck, draw, and truss them in the same manner as grouse, No. 1025, and roast them before a brisk fire. Flour and froth them nicely, and serve on buttered toast, with a tureen of brown gravy. Bread sauce, when liked, may be sent to table with them, and fried bread crumbs substituted for the toasted bread.

Time. — About 1/2 hour. Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from the beginning of February to the end of April.

THE PTARMIGAN, OR WHITE GROUSE. — This bird is nearly the same size as red grouse, and is fond of lofty situations, where it braves the severest weather, and is found in most parts of Europe, as well as in Greenland. At Hudson’s Bay they appear in such multitudes that so many as sixty or seventy are frequently taken at once in a net. As they are as tame as chickens, this is done without difficulty. Buffon says that the Ptarmigan avoids the solar heat, and prefers the frosts of the summits of the mountains; for, as the snow melts on the sides of the mountains, it ascends till it gains the top, where it makes a hole, and burrows in the snow. In winter, it flies in flocks, and feeds on the wild vegetation of the hills, which imparts to its flesh a bitter, but not altogether an unpalatable taste. It is dark-coloured, and has something of the flavour of the hare, and is greatly relished, and much sought after by some sportsmen.

To Dress Quails.

1046. INGREDIENTS. — Quails, butter, toast.

Mode. — These birds keep good several days, and should be roasted without drawing. Truss them in the same manner as woodcocks, No. 1062; roast them before a clear fire, keep them well basted, and serve on toast.

Time. — About 20 minutes. Average cost. — Seldom bought.

Sufficient 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from October to December.

THE QUAIL. — Quails are almost universally diffused over Europe, Asia, and Africa. Being birds of passage, they are seen in immense flocks, traversing the Mediterranean Sea from Europe to Africa, in the autumn, and returning again in the spring, frequently alighting in their passage on many of the islands of the Archipelago, which, with their vast numbers, they almost completely cover. On the western coasts of the kingdom of Naples, they have appeared in such prodigious numbers, that, within the compass of four or five miles, as many as a hundred thousand have been taken in a day. “From these circumstances,” says a writer on natural history, “it appears highly probable that the quails which supplied the Israelites with food during their journey through the wilderness, were sent thither, on their passage to the north, by a wind from the south-west, sweeping over Egypt and Ethiopia towards the shores of the Red Sea.” In England they are not very numerous, although they breed in it; and many of them are said to remain throughout the year, changing their quarters from the interior parts of the country for the seacoast.

To Dress Snipes.

1047. INGREDIENTS. — Snipes, butter, flour, toast.

Mode. — These, like woodcocks, should be dressed without being drawn. Pluck, and wipe them outside, and truss them with the head under the wing, having previously skinned that and the neck. Twist the legs at the first joint, press the feet upon the thighs, and pass a skewer through these and the body. Place four on a skewer, tie them on to the jack or spit, and roast before a clear fire for about 1/4 hour. Put some pieces of buttered toast into the dripping-pan to catch the trails; flour and froth the birds nicely, dish the pieces of toast with the snipes on them, and pour round, but not over them, a little good brown gravy. They should be sent to table very hot and expeditiously, or they will not be worth eating. — See coloured plate M1.

Time. — About 1/4 hour. Average cost, 1s. 6d. to 2s. the brace.

Sufficient — 4 for a dish.

Seasonable from November to February.

Note. — Ortolans are trussed and dressed in the same manner.

THE SNIPE. — This is a migratory bird, and is generally distributed over Europe. It is found in most parts of England, in the high as well as the low lands, depending much on the weather. In very wet seasons it resorts to the hills, but at other times frequents marshes, where it can penetrate the earth with its bill, hunting for worms, which form its principal food. In the Hebrides and the Orkneys snipes are plentiful, and they are fattest in frosty weather. In the breeding season the snipe changes its note entirely from that which it has in the winter. The male will keep on wing for an hour together, mounting like a lark, and uttering a shrill piping noise; then, with a bleating sound, not unlike that made by an old goat, it will descend with great velocity, especially if the female be sitting in her nest, from which it will not wander far.

Roast Teal.

1048. INGREDIENTS. — Teal, butter, a little flour.

Mode. — Choose fat plump birds, after the frost has set in, as they are generally better flavoured; truss them in the same manner as wild duck, No. 1022; roast them before a brisk fire, and keep them well basted. Serve with brown or orange gravy, water-cresses, and a cut lemon. The remains of teal make excellent hash.

Time. — From 9 to 15 minutes.

Average cost, 1s. each; but seldom bought.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from October to February.

Roast Haunch of Venison.

1049. INGREDIENTS. — Venison, coarse flour-and-water paste, a little flour.

Mode. — Choose a haunch with clear, bright, and thick fat, and the cleft of the hoof smooth and close; the greater quantity of fat there is, the better quality will the meat be. As many people object to venison when it has too much haut goût, ascertain how long it has been kept, by running a sharp skewer into the meat close to the bone; when this is withdrawn, its sweetness can be judged of. With care and attention, it will keep good a fortnight, unless the weather is very mild. Keep it perfectly dry by wiping it with clean cloths till not the least damp remains, and sprinkle over powdered ginger or pepper, as a preventative against the fly. When required for use, wash it in warm water, and dry it well with a cloth; butter a sheet of white paper, put it over the fat, lay a coarse paste, about 1/2 inch in thickness, over this, and then a sheet or two of strong paper. Tie the whole firmly on to the haunch with twine, and put the joint down to a strong close fire; baste the venison immediately, to prevent the paper and string from burning, and continue this operation, without intermission, the whole of the time it is cooking. About 20 minutes before it is done, carefully remove the paste and paper, dredge the joint with flour, and baste well with butter until it is nicely frothed, and of a nice pale-brown colour; garnish the knuckle-bone with a frill of white paper, and serve with a good, strong, but unflavoured gravy, in a tureen, and currant jelly; or melt the jelly with a little port wine, and serve that also in a tureen. As the principal object in roasting venison is to preserve the fat, the above is the best mode of doing so where expense is not objected to; but, in ordinary cases, the paste may be dispensed with, and a double paper placed over the roast instead: it will not require so long cooking without the paste. Do not omit to send very hot plates to table, as the venison fat so soon freezes: to be thoroughly enjoyed by epicures, it should be eaten on hot-water plates. The neck and shoulder may be roasted in the same manner.

Time. — A large haunch of buck venison, with the paste, 4 to 5 hours; haunch of doe venison, 3–1/4 to 3–3/4 hours. Allow less time without the paste.

Average cost, 1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

Sufficient for 18 persons.

Seasonable. — Buck venison in greatest perfection from June to Michaelmas; doe venison from November to the end of January.

THE DEER. — This active tribe of animals principally inhabit wild and woody regions. In their contentions, both with each other and the rest of the brute creation, these animals not only use their horns, but strike very furiously with their fore feet. Some of the species are employed as beasts of draught, whilst the flesh of the whole is wholesome, and that of some of the kinds, under the name of “venison,” is considered very delicious. Persons fond of hunting have invented peculiar terms by which the objects of their pursuit are characterized: thus the stag is called, the first year, a calf, or hind-calf; the second, a knobber; the third, a brock; the fourth, a staggard; the fifth, a stag; and the sixth, a hart. The female is, the first year, called a calf; the second, a hearse; and the third, a hind. In Britain, the stag has become scarcer than it formerly was; but, in the Highlands of Scotland, herds of four or five hundred may still be seen, ranging over the vast mountains of the north; and some of the stags of a great size. In former times, the great feudal chieftains used to hunt with all the pomp of eastern sovereigns, assembling some thousands of their clans, who drove the deer into the toils, or to such stations as were occupied by their chiefs. As this sport, however, was occasionally used as a means for collecting their vassals together for the purpose of concocting rebellion, an act was passed prohibitory of such assemblages. In the “Waverley” of Sir Walter Scott, a deer-hunting scene of this kind is admirably described.

VENISON. — This is the name given to the flesh of some kinds of deer, and is esteemed as very delicious. Different species of deer are found in warm as well as cold climates, and are in several instances invaluable to man. This is especially the case with the Laplander, whose reindeer constitutes a large proportion of his wealth. There —

“The reindeer unharness’d in freedom can play,
And safely o’er Odin’s steep precipice stray,
Whilst the wolf to the forest recesses may fly,
And howl to the moon as she glides through the sky.”

In that country it is the substitute for the horse, the cow, the goat, and the sheep. From its milk is produced cheese; from its skin, clothing; from its tendons, bowstrings and thread; from its horns, glue; from its bones, spoons; and its flesh furnishes food. In England we have the stag, an animal of great beauty, and much admired. He is a native of many parts of Europe, and is supposed to have been originally introduced into this country from France. About a century back he was to be found wild in some of the rough and mountainous parts of Wales, as well as in the forests of Exmoor, in Devonshire, and the woods on the banks of the Tamar. In the middle ages the deer formed food for the not over abstemious monks, as represented by Friar Tuck’s larder, in the admirable fiction of “Ivanhoe;” and at a later period it was a deer-stealing adventure that drove the “ingenious” William Shakspeare to London, to become a common player, and the greatest dramatist that ever lived.

Hashed Venison.

1050. INGREDIENTS. — The remains of roast venison, its own or mutton gravy, thickening of butter and flour.

Mode. — Cut the meat from the bones in neat slices, and, if there is sufficient of its own gravy left, put the meat into this, as it is preferable to any other. Should there not be enough, put the bones and trimmings into a stewpan, with about a pint of mutton gravy; let them stew gently for an hour, and strain the gravy. Put a little flour and butter into the stewpan, keep stirring until brown, then add the strained gravy, and give it a boil up; skim and strain again, and, when a little cool, put in the slices of venison. Place the stewpan by the side of the fire, and, when on the point of simmering, serve: do not allow it to boil, or the meat will be hard. Send red-currant jelly to table with it.

Time. — Altogether, 1–1/2 hour.

Seasonable. — Buck venison, from June to Michaelmas; doe venison, from November to the end of January.

Note. — A small quantity of Harvey’s sauce, ketchup, or port wine, may be added to enrich the gravy: these ingredients must, however, be used very sparingly, or they will overpower the flavour of the venison.

THE FALLOW-DEER. — This is the domestic or park deer; and no two animals can make a nearer approach to each other than the stag and it, and yet no two animals keep more distinct, or avoid each other with a more inveterate animosity. They never herd or intermix together, and consequently never give rise to an intermediate race; it is even rare, unless they have been transported thither, to find fellow-deer in a country where stags are numerous. He is very easily tamed, and feeds upon many things which the stag refuses: he also browzes closer than the stag, and preserves his venison better. The doe produces one fawn, sometimes two, but rarely three. In short, they resemble the stag in all his natural habits, and the greatest difference between them is the duration of their lives: the stag, it is said, lives to the age of thirty-five or forty years, and the fallow-deer does not live more than twenty. As they are smaller than the stag, it is probable that their growth is sooner completed.

Stewed Venison.

1051. INGREDIENTS. — A shoulder of venison, a few slices of mutton fat, 2 glasses of port wine, pepper and allspice to taste, 1–1/2 pint of weak stock or gravy, 1/2 teaspoonful of whole pepper, 1/2 teaspoonful of whole allspice.

Mode. — Hang the venison till tender; take out the bone, flatten the meat with a rolling-pin, and place over it a few slices of mutton fat, which have been previously soaked for 2 or 3 hours in port wine; sprinkle these with a little fine allspice and pepper, roll the meat up, and bind and tie it securely. Put it into a stewpan with the bone and the above proportion of weak stock or gravy, whole allspice, black pepper, and port wine; cover the lid down closely, and simmer, very gently, from 3–1/2 to 4 hours. When quite tender, take off the tape, and dish the meat; strain the gravy over it, and send it to table with red-currant jelly. Unless the joint is very fat, the above is the best mode of cooking it.

Time. — 3–1/2 to 4 hours.

Average cost, 1s. 4d. to 1s. 6d. per lb.

Sufficient for 10 or 12 persons.

Seasonable. — Buck venison, from June to Michaelmas; doe venison, from November to the end of January.

THE ROEBUCK. — This is the Certuscapreolus, or common roe, and is of a reddish-brown colour. It is an inhabitant of Asia, as well as of Europe. It has great grace in its movements, and stands about two feet seven inches high, and has a length of about three feet nine. The extent of its horns is from six to eight inches.

THE STAG. — The stag, or hart, is the male of the red deer, and the hind is the female. He is much larger than the fallow-deer, and his age is indicated by his horns, which are round instead of being palmated, like those of the fallow-deer. During the first year he has no horns, but a horny excrescence, which is short and rough, and covered with a thin hairy skin. The next year, the horns are single and straight; and in the third they have two antlers, three the fourth, four the fifth, and five the sixth year; although this number is not always certain, for sometimes they are more, and often less. After the sixth year, the antlers do not always increase; and, although in number they may amount to six or seven on each side, yet the animal’s age is then estimated rather by the size of the antlers and the thickness of the branch which sustains them, than by their variety. Large as these horns seem, however, they are shed every year, and their place supplied by new ones. This usually takes place in the spring. When the old horns have fallen off, the new ones do not make their appearance immediately; but the bones of the skull ore seen covered with a transparent periosteum, or skin, which enwraps the bones of all animals. After a short time, however, the skin begins to swell, and to form a sort of tumour. From this, by-and-by, rising from the head, shoot forth the antlers from each side; and, in a short time, in proportion as the animal is in condition, the entire horns are completed. The solidity of the extremities, however, is not perfect until the horns have arrived at their full growth. Old stags usually shed their horns first, which generally happens towards the latter end of February or the beginning of March. Such as are between five and six years old shed them about the middle or latter end of March; those still younger in the month of April; and the youngest of all not till the middle or latter end of May. These rules, though generally true, are subject to variations; for a severe winter will retard the shedding of the horns. — The HIND has no horns, and is less fitted for being hunted than the male. She takes the greatest care of her young, and secretes them in the most obscure thickets, lest they become a prey to their numerous enemies. All the rapacious family of the cat kind, with the wolf, the dog, the eagle, and the falcon, are continually endeavouring to find her retreat, whilst the stag himself is the foe of his own offspring. When she has young, therefore, it would seem that the courage of the male is transferred to the female, for she defends them with the most resolute bravery. If pursued by the hunter, she will fly before the hounds for half the day, and then return to her young, whose life she has thus preserved at the hazard of her own.

THE NEW VENISON. — The deer population of our splendid English parks was, until a few years since, limited to two species, the fallow and the red. But as the fallow-deer itself was an acclimated animal, of comparatively recent introduction, it came to be a question why might not the proprietor of any deer-park in England have the luxury of at least half a dozen species of deer and antelopes, to adorn the hills, dales, ferny brakes, and rich pastures of his domain? The temperate regions of the whole world might be made to yield specimens of the noble ruminant, valuable either for their individual beauty, or for their availability to gastronomic purposes.

During the last four or live years a few spirited English noblemen have made the experiment of breeding foreign deer in their parks, and have obtained such a decided success, that it may be hoped their example will induce others to follow in a course which will eventually give to England’s rural scenery a new element of beauty, and to English tables a fresh viand of the choicest character.

A practical solution of this interesting question was made by Viscount Hill, at Hawkestone Park, Salop, in January, 1809. On that occasion a magnificent eland, an acclimated scion of the species whose native home is the South African wilderness, was killed for the table. The noble beast was thus described:—“He weighed 1,176 lbs. as he dropped; huge as a short-horn, but with bone not half the size; active as a deer, stately in all his paces, perfect in form, bright in colour, with a vast dewlap, and strong sculptured horn. This eland in his lifetime strode majestic on the hill-side, where he dwelt with his mates and their progeny, all English-born, like himself.” Three pairs of the same species of deer were left to roam at large on the picturesque elopes throughout the day, and to return to their home at pleasure. “Here, during winter, they are assisted with roots and hay, but in summer they have nothing but the pasture of the park; so that, in point of expense, they cost no more than cattle of the best description.” Travellers and sportsmen say that the male eland is unapproached in the quality of his flesh by any ruminant in South Africa; that it grows to an enormous size, and lays on fat with as great facility as a true short-horn; while in texture and flavour it is infinitely superior. The lean is remarkably fine, the fat firm and delicate. It was tried in every fashion — braised brisket, roasted ribs, broiled steaks, filet sauté, boiled aitchbone, &c. — and in all, gave evidence of the fact, that a new meat of surpassing value had been added to the products of the English park.

When we hear such a gratifying account of the eland, it is pleasing to record that Lord Hastings has a herd of the Canadian wapiti, a herd of Indian nylghaus, and another of the small Indian hog-deer; that the Earl of Ducie has been successful in breeding the magnificent Persian deer. The eland was first acclimated in England by the late Earl of Derby, between the years 1835–1851, at his menagerie at Knowsley. On his death, in 1851, he bequeathed to the Zoological Society his breed of elands, consisting of two males and three females. Here the animals have been treated with the greatest success, and from the year 1853 to the present time, the females have regularly reproduced, without the loss of a single calf.

Roast Widgeon.

1052. INGREDIENTS. — Widgeons, a little flour, butter.

Mode. — These are trussed in the same manner as wild duck, No. 1022, but must not be kept so long before they are dressed. Put them down to a brisk fire; flour, and baste them continually with butter, and, when browned and nicely frothed, send them to table hot and quickly. Serve with brown gravy, or orange gravy, No. 488, and a cut lemon.

Time. — 1/4 hour; if liked well done, 20 minutes.

Average cost, 1s. each; but seldom bought.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from October to February.

Roast Woodcock.

1053. INGREDIENTS. — Woodcocks; butter, flour, toast.

Mode. — Woodcocks should not be drawn, as the trails are, by epicures, considered a great delicacy. Pluck, and wipe them well outside; truss them with the legs close to the body, and the feet pressing upon the thighs; skin the neck and head, and bring the beak round under the wing. Place some slices of toast in the dripping-pan to catch the trails, allowing a piece of toast for each bird. Roast before a clear fire from 15 to 25 minutes; keep them well basted, and flour and froth them nicely. When done, dish the pieces of toast with the birds upon them, and pour round a very little gravy; send some more to table in a tureen. These are most delicious birds when well cooked, but they should not be kept too long: when the feathers drop, or easily come out, they are fit for table. — See coloured plate, I 1.

Time. —-When liked underdone, 15 to 20 minutes; if liked well done, allow an extra 5 minutes.

Average cost. — Seldom bought.

Sufficient — 2 for a dish.

Seasonable from November to February.

THE WOODCOCK. — This bird being migratory in its habits, has, consequently, no settled habitation; it cannot be considered as the property of any one, and is, therefore, not game by law. It breeds in high northern latitudes, and the time of its appearance and disappearance in Sweden coincides exactly with that of its arrival in and return from Great Britain. On the coast of Suffolk its vernal and autumnal visits have been accurately observed. In the first week of October it makes its appearance in small numbers, but in November and December it appears in larger numbers, and always after sunset, and most gregariously. In the same manner as woodcocks take their leave of us, they quit France, Germany, and Italy, making the northern and colder climates their summer rendezvous. They visit Burgundy in the latter part of October, but continue there only a few weeks, the country being hard, and unable to supply them with such sustenance as they require. In the winter, they are found as far south as Smyrna and Aleppo, and, during the same season, in Barbary, where the Africans name them “the ass of the partridge.” It has been asserted that they have been seen as far south as Egypt, which is the most remote region to which they can be traced on that side of the eastern world; on the other side, they are common in Japan. Those which resort to the countries of the Levant are supposed to come from the mountains of Armenia, or the deserts of Tartary or Siberia. The flesh of the woodcock is held in high estimation; hence the bird is eagerly sought after by the sportsman.

Game Carving.
Blackcock.

1054. Skilful carving of game undoubtedly adds to the pleasure of the guests at a dinner-table; for game seems pre-eminently to be composed of such delicate limbs and tender flesh that an inapt practitioner appears to more disadvantage when mauling these pretty and favourite dishes, than larger and more robust pièces de résistance. As described at recipe No. 1019, this bird is variously served with or without the head on; and although we do not personally object to the appearance of the head as shown in the woodcut, yet it seems to be more in vogue to serve it without. The carving is not difficult, but should be elegantly and deftly done. Slices from the breast, cut in the direction of the dotted line from 2 to 1, should be taken off, the merrythought displaced and the leg and wing removed by running the knife along from 3 to 4, and following the directions given under the head of boiled fowl, No. 1000, reserving the thigh, which is considered a great delicacy, for the most honoured guests, some of whom may also esteem the brains of this bird.

Wild Duck.

1055. As game is almost universally served as a dainty, and not as a dish to stand the assaults of an altogether fresh appetite, these dishes are not usually cut up entirely, but only those parts are served of each, which are considered the best-flavoured and the primest. Of wild-fowl, the breast alone is considered by epicures worth eating, and slices are cut from this, in the direction indicated by the lines, from 1 to 2; if necessary, the leg and wing can be taken off by passing the knife from 3 to 4, and by generally following the directions described for carving boiled fowl, No. 1000.

Roast Hare.

1056. The “Grand Carver” of olden times, a functionary of no ordinary dignity, was pleased when he had a hare to manipulate, for his skill and grace had an opportunity of display. Diners à la Russe may possibly, erewhile, save modern gentlemen the necessity of learning the art which was in auld lang syne one of the necessary accomplishments of the youthful squire; but, until side-tables become universal, or till we see the office of “grand carver” once more instituted, it will be well for all to learn how to assist at the carving of this dish, which, if not the most elegant in appearance, is a very general favourite. The hare, having its head to the left, as shown in the woodcut, should be first served by cutting slices from each side of the backbone, in the direction of the lines from 3 to 4. After these prime parts are disposed of, the leg should next be disengaged by cutting round the line indicated by the figures 5 to 6. The shoulders will then be taken off by passing the knife round from 7 to 8. The back of the hare should now be divided by cutting quite through its spine, as shown by the line 1 to 2, taking care to feel with the point of the knife for a joint where the back may be readily penetrated. It is the usual plan not to serve any bone in helping hare; and thus the flesh should be sliced from the legs and placed alone on the plate. In large establishments, and where men-cooks are kept, it is often the case that the backbone of the hare, especially in old animals, is taken out, and then the process of carving is, of course, considerably facilitated. A great point to be remembered in connection with carving hare is, that plenty of gravy should accompany each helping; otherwise this dish, which is naturally dry, will lose half its flavour, and so become a failure. Stuffing is also served with it; and the ears, which should be nicely crisp, and the brains of the hare, are esteemed as delicacies by many connoisseurs.

Partridges.

1057. There are several ways of carving this most familiar game bird. The more usual and summary mode is to carry the knife sharply along the top of the breastbone of the bird, and cut it quite through, thus dividing it into two precisely equal and similar parts, in the same manner as carving a pigeon, No. 1003. Another plan is to cut it into three pieces; viz., by severing a small wing and leg on either side from the body, by following the line 1 to 2 in the upper woodcut; thus making 2 helpings, when the breast will remain for a third plate. The most elegant manner is that of thrusting back the body from the legs, and then cutting through the breast in the direction shown by the line 1 to 2: this plan will give 4 or more small helpings. A little bread-sauce should be served to each guest.

Grouse.

1058. GROUSE may be carved in the way first described in carving partridge. The backbone of the grouse is highly esteemed by many, and this part of many game birds is considered the finest flavoured.

Pheasant.

1059. Fixing the fork in the breast, let the carver cut slices from it in the direction of the lines from 2 to 1: these are the prime pieces. If there be more guests to satisfy than these slices will serve, then let the legs and wings be disengaged in the same manner as described in carving boiled fowl, No. 1000, the point where the wing joins the neckbone being carefully found. The merrythought will come off in the same way as that of a fowl. The most valued parts are the same as those which are most considered in a fowl.

Snipe.

1060. One of these small but delicious birds may be given, whole, to a gentleman; but, in helping a lady, it will be better to cut them quite through the centre, from 1 to 2, completely dividing them into equal and like portions, and put only one half on the plate.

Haunch of Venison.

1061. Here is a grand dish for a knight of the carving-knife to exercise his skill upon, and, what will be pleasant for many to know, there is but little difficulty in the performance. An incision being made completely down to the bone, in the direction of the line 1 to 2, the gravy will then be able easily to flow; when slices, not too thick, should be cut along the haunch, as indicated by the line 4 to 3; that end of the joint marked 3 having been turned towards the carver, so that he may have a more complete command over the joint. Although some epicures affect to believe that some parts of the haunch are superior to others, yet we doubt if there is any difference between the slices cut above and below the line. It should be borne in mind to serve each guest with a portion of fat; and the most expeditious carver will be the best carver, as, like mutton, venison soon begins to chill, when it loses much of its charm.

Woodcock.

1062. This bird, like a partridge, may be carved by cutting it exactly into two like portions, or made into three helpings, as described in carving partridge (No. 1057). The backbone is considered the tit-bit of a woodcock, and by many the thigh is also thought a great delicacy. This bird is served in the manner advised by Brillat Savarin, in connection with the pheasant, viz., on toast which has received its drippings whilst roasting; and a piece of this toast should invariably accompany each plate.

Landrail.

1063. LANDRAIL, being trussed like Snipe, with the exception of its being drawn, may be carved in the same manner. — See No. 1060.

Ptarmigan.

1064. PTARMIGAN, being of much the same size, and trussed in the same manner, as the red-bird, may be carved in the manner described in Partridge and Grouse carving, Nos. 1057 and 1058.

Quails.

1065. QUAILS, being trussed and served like Woodcock, may be similarly carved. — See No. 1062.

Plovers.

1066. PLOVERS may be carved like Quails or Woodcock, being trussed and served in the same way as those birds. — See No. 1055.

Teal.

1067. TEAL, being of the same character as Widgeon and Wild Duck, may be treated, in carving, in the same style.

Widgeon.

1068. WIDGEON may be carved in the same way as described in regard to Wild Duck, at No. 1055.

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