Archive for the ‘sauces & gravy’ Category
1/2 spoonful ginger
2 spoonfuls powdered clove
2 spoonfuls allspice
1 tsp. black pepper
Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle them with salt. If you intend to let them stand until you have gathered several parcels, put in plenty of salt. After you have gathered all you intend to use, boil them gently an hour, strain them through a coarse sieve; slice two good-sized onions very thin for every gallon; add half a spoonful of ginger, two spoonfuls of powdered clove, two of allspice, and a teaspoonful of black pepper. Boil it twenty minutes after the spices are added. Keep it in a covered jar. This kind of catsup is specially designed to be used in soups, and stewed meats.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M. H.] Cornelius, Boston, 1863
Comment: This is one of the earliest recipes we have found which simply used the term “catsup” for a tomato-based sauce. This was not used in the dump-it-over-the-burger-and-fries style of condiment practiced today, but rather was intended primarily as a flavoring agent to be added in one or two tablespoonful quantities to other recipes, especially soups. The amount being made here would probably last a small household for a year.
Many authors recommend putting catsups into small bottles, so that each can remain sealed until it is opened for use, rather than always refilling the little bottle from a large jug. That process allows the contents to be exposed to air, creating a potential for spoilage.
Slice your tomatoes over the bowl in which you are going to let them stand with the salt, since the whole purpose here is to gather the juice from them. As the instruction does not call for adding water during the boiling process, keep the heat very low to avoid scorching. Mrs. Cornelius does not direct us to strain again after the onions and whole spices are added, but this is an option to consider if one does not like one’s catsup chunky.
1-2 lb. beef steak
2-3 lb. veal
Scraps of poultry
2 bay leaves
2 cloves, whole
2 champignon mushrooms
Take a pound or two of steaks, two or three pounds of veal, some pickings of fowl, carrots and onions, put all these into a saucepan with a glass of water, and set it on a brisk fire; when scarcely any moisture remains, put it on a slow fire, that the jelly may take color without burning; and as soon as it is brown, moisten it with stock (or water), add a bunch of parsley and green onions, two bay-leaves, two cloves, and some champignons, salt it well, and set it on the fire for three hours, then strain; dilute a little roux with your liquor, and boil it an hour over a gentle fire, take off all the fat, and run it through a bolting [strain through fine cloth].
From “The Cook’s Own Book: Being a Complete Culinary Encyclopedia” by “A Boston Housekeeper” [Mrs. N. K. M. Lee], published Boston, 1832
Comment: The brown sauce is the most important recipe in a proper cook’s repertoire, the basis of a vast array of more elaborate saucings as well as a huge number of soups. While Mrs. Lee calls for a “brisk fire” while the majority of the liquid is evaporated away, it is advisable to take care to turn the heat down so as not to let it get so far reduced as to burn to the bottom of the pan. This is of no use for anything and will stink up the kitchen at the very least, and result in the attentions of the fire department at worst. While “steaks” are called for here, the best sauces are traditionally made from the worst and cheapest cuts of meat, or even scraps and leftovers from more elegant cuts.