Friday, January 9, 2015

Duck Stewed With Green Peas and Marmalade Pudding

Things A Lady Would Like To Know  [1867]

The thought for today's menu from the above cookbook is: 
 Education is not that which smothers woman with accomplishments, but that which tends to consolidate firm and regular system of characterthat which tends to form friend, companion, and wife.'—HANNAH MORE.

Very true. Which is why I am am just literate enough to puzzle out a cookbook. Without that skill, I wouldn't be able to provide my husband with horrifyingly overcooked peas. 

 Duck Stewed with Green Peas
Prepare a duck as for roasting, but do not stuff it. Put a small piece of butter in a stewpan, and nicely brown the duck, take it out, and brown a table-spoonful of flour in the remaining butter, and add to it half a pint of beef stock; let it boil, return the duck, put in also 1 quart of peas, with a bunch of sweet herbs, including a little mint and sage, cover close, and stew till done; remove the herbs, dish the duck, cover, and surround with the peas.

Marmalade Pudding
—Mix 1/4 lb. suet, finely chopped, with do. bread-crumbs in a basin, 1/4 lb. marmalade, and do. sugar; stir well together; beat 4 eggs to a froth, and gradually mix well with the ingredients; put in a mould or buttered basin; tie down with floured cloth, and boil for two hours. When turned out, strew fine sifted sugar over the top. This pudding will look very pretty if stoned raisins are tastefully arranged before the mixture is poured in.


Duck: It is the first time the mister or myself has had duck. I've been keeping my eye out for one for years, and finally a deeply discounted one turned up in my grocer's freezer.  Browning it was a challenge, because it was slightly to big for the pot. After slopping raw duck juice on myself and my stove a few times, I got angry and broke its tail bone with a mallet. Which sprayed more raw duck juice. For all that, the taste was totally unexceptional and bland. The peas were a touch away from dissolving into baby food. Consequently, the baby adored them. The rest of us did not. 

Marmalade Pudding: I cheated and got pre-shredded vegetable suet at a British import store. And it was lovely!  Still very solid. And still a bit of "mouth-hug" (thanks to a British reader for that word), but nice. Better warm, as when it got cold the fat got all gritty.  Having the quantities by weight is a great help, because most similar recipes call for things like "a pennysworth of bread."  This is extremely unhelpful.  

*"do."= "ditto"