Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’
1 lb. potatoes
3/4 oz. onion
2 oz. butter
2 layers of pie crust
4 egg yolks, hard boiled (optional)
1 tbs. mushroom catsup (optional)
Tiny onions rolled in curry powder (optional)
Peel and slice your potatoes very thin into a pie-dish; between each layer of potatoes put a little chopped onion (three-quarters of an ounce of onion is sufficient for a pound of potatoes); between each layer sprinkle a little pepper and salt; put in a little water, and cut about two ounces of fresh butter into little bits, and lay them on the top: cover it close with puff paste. It will take about an hour and a half to bake it.
N.B.: The yelks of four eggs (boiled hard) may be added; and when baked, a table-spoonful of good mushroom catchup poured in through a funnel.
Obs.–Cauliflowers divided into mouthfulls, and button onions, seasoned with curry powder, make a favorite vegetable pie.
From The Cook’s Oracle by William Kitchiner MD, New York, 1829
Comment: This is a fairly unusual vegetable pie in that it does not call for any layers of meat products at all. Most that we have seen in books of the time have either complete layers or at least random bits, usually of leftover meat from the previous day, added as flavoring if not a prime ingredient. The final “Obs[ervation]” is somewhat unclear, as we are not sure if Dr. Kitchiner is recommending the cauliflower and/or curried onions as an addition to the potato recipe or as a separate pie of their own. The former seems more probable to us, because if there was a chance to list “Cauliflower and Curried Onion Pie” as a separate entry Dr. K would have almost certainly taken it. He was a somewhat wordy chap.
1/2 c. chopped corned beef
2 c. chopped boiled potatoes
1 tbs. butter
4 tbs. water
Salt if needed
Pepper to taste
The best hash is made from boiled corned beef. It should be boiled very tender, and chopped fine when entirely cold. The potatoes for hash made of corned beef are the better for being boiled in the pot liquor [liquid the corned beef was boiled in.] When taken from the pot, remove the skins from the potatoes, and when entirely cold chop them fine. To a coffee-cup of chopped meat allow four of chopped potatoes, stir the potatoes gradually into the meat, until the whole is mixed. Do this at evening and, if warm, set the hash in a cool place. In the morning put the spider on the fire with a lump of butter as large as the bowl of a table-spoon, add a dust of pepper, and if not sufficiently salt, add a little; usually none is needed. When the butter has melted, put the hash in the spider, add four table-spoons of water, and stir the whole together. After it has become really hot, stir it from the bottom, cover a plate over it, and set the spider where it will merely stew. This is a moist hash, and preferred by some to a dry or browned hash.
From The Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia by Mrs. E.F. Haskell.
Comment: As is often the case the amounts given in the ingredients list at the top of this recipe–written by us to modern measurements–should be taken only as approximations. Cookbooks of the 19th century described quantities in terms either of weight–no kitchen was without a scale–or measures of volume which lacked the sort of consistency we expect today. Did a teacup hold more or less than a coffee cup? How did either compare to a modern standard eight-ounce measuring cup? How big was Mrs. Haskell’s tablespoon–would it hold “a piece of butter the size of a hen’s egg” or “a walnut”, to use two of her other favorite terms?
We are saved here because corned beef hash is a very forgiving item. Like most dishes which originated as “peasant food” it is expected that one will adapt any given making to what ingredients are on hand and how many people are to be fed.
Oh, and for anyone disconcerted by the direction to “put the spider on the fire” or feel that would be inhumane to arachnids….a spider is a cast-iron large frying pan or Dutch oven with three our four little legs on the bottom to hold it up out of direct contact with the fire. Users of modern cooking stoves are free to use regular frying pans and deal with spiders as your views on the sanctity of all life dictates.
Cold roast beef, minced
Pepper and salt
Beef stock, bouillon or gravy
Mince cold roast beef, fat and lean, very fine, add chopped onion, pepper, salt and a little good gravy, fill scollop shells two parts full, and fill them up with potatos mashed smooth with cream, put a bit of butter on the top, and set them in an oven to brown.
From The Virginia Housewife or, Methodical Cook, by Mary Randolph,1824
Comment: This is essentially a cross between roast beef hash and Shepherd’s Pie. It is unclear whether Mrs. Randolph wants these cooked in the actual shells of scallops, presumably preserved after an earlier meal of the bivalves, or if there was a metal baking tin of the same name and general shape on the market. A tart pan, pie pan, or similar vessel would probably serve, as would scallop, oyster or similar shells should you have any lying about.