Thursday, September 2, 2010

Currie of dressed Meat in Casserole of Rice, Carrot Soup, Young Greens, Orange Pudding, Turnips

Lately, I read part of Pride and Prejudice. This particular passage inspired me to take a trip back to Regency times:

The dinner was as well dressed as any I ever saw. The venison was roasted to a turn--and everybody said they never saw so fat a haunch. The soup was fifty times better than what we had at the Lucases' last week; and even Mr Darcy acknowledged, that the partridges were remarkably well done; and I suppose he has two or three French cooks at least. And, my dear Jane, I never saw you look in greater beauty. Mrs Long said so too, for I asked her whether you did not. -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Mmmmmm. Can you see why I wanted to go? The trip was a success, and went mainly without incident. We gate-crashed a large dinner party, as money can be tricky to manage when time traveling. This did not go successfully, and we were thrown out. There was an incident involving a fruit display. We then promised the cook our labor in exchange for recipes. Victory!

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She was glad of the help, and even lent me her copy of A NEW SYSTEM OF DOMESTIC COOKERY; FORMED UPON PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMY, and Adapted to the Use of PRIVATE FAMILIES. [1807].

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Thanks to that book, we were able to make this menu when we got home.


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Currie of dressed Meat in Casserole of Rice
Cut up a chicken or young rabbit; if chicken take off the skin. Roll each piece in a mixture of a large spoonful of flour, and half an ounce of currie-powder. Slice two or three onions; and fry them in butter, of a light brown: then add the meat, and fry all together till the meat begins to brown. Put it all into a stew-pan, and pour boiling water enough just to cover it. Simmer very gently two or three hours. If too thick, put more water half an hour before serving. If the meat has been dressed before, a little broth will be better than water: but the currie is richer when made of fresh meat.

Casserol, or Rice Edging, for a Currie, or Fricassee.
After soaking and picking fine Carolina rice, boil it in water, and a little salt, until tender, but not to a mash; drain, and put it round the inner edge of the dish, to the height of two inches; smooth it with the back of a spoon, and wash it over with yolk of egg, and put it into the oven for three or four minutes, then serve the meat in the middle.


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Carrot Soup
Put some beef-bones, with four quarts of the liquor in which a leg of mutton or beef has been boiled, two large onions, a turnip, pepper, and salt, into a sauce-pan, and stew for three hours.
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Have ready six large carrots scraped and cut thin; strain the soup on them, and stew them till soft enough to pulp through a hair sieve or coarse cloth: then boil the pulp with the soup, which is to be as thick as peas-soup. Use two wooden spoons to rub the carrots through. Make the soup the day before it is to be used. Add Cayenne. Pulp only the red part of the carrot, and not the yellow. Borrow the attractive soup tureen while the cook isn't looking. Make a note to give it back later, earlier.


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Orange Pudding
Grate the rind of a Seville orange; put to it six ounces of fresh butter, six or eight ounces of lump sugar pounded: beat them all in a marble mortar,
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and add as you do it the whole of eight eggs well beaten and strained; scrape a raw apple, and mix with the rest; put a paste at the bottom and sides of the dish, and over the orange mixture put cross bars of paste. Half an hour will bake it.


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Turnips
Boil the potatoes [turnips], peel them, and break them to paste; then to two pounds of them, add a quarter of a pint of milk, a little salt, and two ounces of butter, and stir it all well over the fire. Either serve them in this manner; or place them on the dish in a form, and then brown the top with a salamander: or in scallops.


Verdict:

Currie of dressed Meat in Casserole of Rice: Sooooooooo good. I am making this one again. The chicken was meltingly tender and seasoned all the way through. That trade route to India is really paying off! For your convenience, here's a modernized version:

Currie of dressed Meat in Casserole of Rice [modernized]
chicken pieces (no skin)
flour
curry powder or garam masala (I used the latter, highly recommend)
2-3 onions, sliced
2-3 T. butter
chicken broth

Put chicken pieces on a plate and sprinkle first with a healthy amount of curry or garam masala, then with flour. Rub it in a little so it is coated all over. Melt the butter in a pot, and dump the onions in. Put a couple tablespoons of flour in at the same time if you want the sauce to be thick. Cook the onions until translucent, then dump the chicken in. Do not stir the chicken around. Leave it alone so it can get nice and brown on the bottom. After you have done this, add enough chicken broth to barely cover the chicken, or even less than that if you remember to flip over the chicken pieces sometimes. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat so it is barely simmering, and cook for 2-3 hours. This might be a good recipe for the crock pot as well.

Carrot soup: Meh. It was fine. It was just like blended up beef stew without the beef. I used beef broth instead of using a beef bone.

Young greens: I used lettuce. They probably mean a sauteed green.

Orange Pudding: Do not judge this one by appearance. It was really good. Orange-y, refreshing, fabulous, and fairly cheap. Pie filling can get expensive! I also added a small shot of orange blossom water. It was fab. Husband and I ate the whole pie in one day. It is fine warm, but better chilled. I am 95% sure that you could replace the butter with milk or cream, so I'm going to give you a modernized recipe with that in mind. I might monkey around with it later and use fewer eggs, too. For health reasons, not because it was bad. Try it out!

Orange Custard Pie
Zest of 1-2 oranges
3/4 C. milk or cream
1 C. sugar
8 eggs, beaten
1 huge or 2 small apples, grated
1 t. vanilla
pie crust

Mix the first 6 ingredients together. Pour into pie crust, cover (or don't), and bake at 350 F. 30-40 minutes.

Turnips: I don't think I like turnips. Husband thought they were fine. People in the 1800's actually preferred turnips over potatoes, so I suppose it is probably cultural.

16 comments:

Nonna Beach said...

OMGosh Jana, my mouth is watering... what a perfect, delicious dinner. You looked so beautiful in your Regency attire!

BTW,I am a big Jane Austen fan and this post would be very suitable for "Jane Austen Today", a blog I've been reading quite awhile.

I love turnips...the more butter you put on them, the more yummy they become.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend with your family !

Hugs,
Nonna

Jana said...

Thank you very much! I have been to that blog before, it is pretty fun. You are probably right about the butter. It is true of most things.

Vic said...

Jana, I have linked to this delightful post on Jane Austen Today. My post will go live tomorrow. Thank you for placing the link on my blog! And thank you, Nonna Beach! One of my favorite visitors!

Jana said...

Thanks very much, Vic! :D

Nonna Beach said...

That is so cool...Thanks and my pleasure Vic. Yours is one of my very favorite blogs. Jana's clever and charming blog deserves to be read by many !!!

Jana said...

Oh, golly gosh!

Robinbird said...

That chicken looks really, really good! I'm so glad I found your blog (via the post on Jane Austen Today!). I'm now a follower and look forward to browsing all your recipes!!

Jana said...

Thank you very much! I'm thrilled to have you! :D

Kelly said...

I'm another lucky person to have discovered your blog through Jane Austen Today! I also love to cook from vintage cookbooks and recently have been experimenting with Regency recipes. It's a bit of an extra challenge for me, since my husband and I are vegetarian, but part of the fun is "veggifying" old recipes. Last night, I made Chicken (Tofu) Fricasee from a recipe on the Jane Austen Centre website and it turned out pretty well. Your Regency meal looks fantastic and I'm definitely going to give a veggie version of the curry a try!

I'm looking forward to following your blog!
Kelly

Jana said...

Thank you! Let me know how it turns out!

Anna said...

Another Janeite here from Austenised. Loved this article - so interesting to see what they used to eat in the olden days. Esp the bit about turnips, eugh!

Jana said...

Thank you, Anna! Glad you enjoyed it.

jillz said...

I'm trying the curry chicken tonight. I've got the onions cooking right now. I love a good curry. I'll let you know how it turns out :)

Jana said...

Great! Do let me know.

Anonymous said...

The best blog I've read...

Jana said...

Thank you!