from one generation to the next
It’s generally a pleasurable task, perusing a cookbook with the intention of making a family meal, but when the book was first published in the British Victorian era, finding an appealing recipe to suit the tastes of Australians 150 years later is a challenge. The Cookbook Guru is cooking from Mrs Beeton’s publication this month, so I had no choice but to persevere and at least find a recipe to work with. I was constantly distracted by small oddities, like a table indicating digestive time for a selection of food cooked in different styles, and advice for the cook, “the queen of the kitchen.” Close scrutiny however made me realize there were plenty of adaptable ideas and because I had veal escalopes in the fridge, veal became a criteria for selection.
I have transcribed verbatim the recipes I used for inspiration from “Mrs Beeton’s Family Cookery, New Edition” published in 1907, at the end of this post. Don’t be daunted however, by the list of ingredients, I used to make Veal Olives, they were quick and simple, although in hindsight I probably should have just poached the veal in some well flavoured stock as the recipe suggested. The subtle flavour of the meat was overwhelmed by my piquant sauce.
Veal Olives inspired by Mrs Beeton (serves 2)
2 large veal escalopes
4 short loin rashers of bacon
1/3 cup rice flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
250 minced pork, not too lean
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped bacon trimmings
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Good grinding of black pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 spring onions
1 large tomato, finely chopped
125mls white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
Freshly ground black pepper
Parsley chiffonade to garnish
Pound the veal escalopes until an even thickness then cut in half.
You need 4 pieces roughly 7.5cm X 12cm. Trim the bacon to fit onto the veal.
Thoroughly mix all the stuffing ingredients together and divide evenly into four.
Form the stuffing into croquette shaped patties and lay on the end of the bacon covered veal.
Roll the meat around the stuffing and secure with a toothpick.
Roll the veal olives in rice flour.
Over a medium heat melt the butter and oil together, the brown the veal olives.
Remove to a deep heatproof casserole dish with a lid.
Add the garlic and spring onion to the pan and sauté until the garlic is golden.
Add the tomato, and cook until it softens.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine then add the remainder of ingredients.
Bring the sauce to the boil, pour over the veal olives then simmer gently over a low heat for 40 minutes.
Remove the veal olives to a warm place then increase the heat and reduce the cooking liquid to saucing consistency.
To serve, remove the toothpicks from the veal olives and spoon some sauce over.
Serve the remainder of the sauce in a gravy boat,
I accompanied my veal olives with sweet corn cooked in a little milk with finely diced red pepper and spring onion greens, steamed baby potatoes and broccolini.
VEAL OLIVES (from Mrs Beeton’s Family Recipes 1907)
INGREDIENTS.-1 1/2 lbs.of fillet of veal, cut into 8 thin slices, an equal number of slices of bacon , veal forcemeat, 1 pint of brown sauce, 1 1/2ozs. of butter, salt and pepper, olives*.
METHOD.- The slices of meat and bacon should be about 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. Place a slice of bacon on each piece of meat, spread on a thin layer of forcemeat, roll up tightly, and fasten securely with twine. Melt the butter in a stew pan, put in the olives, and fry until lightly browned. Pour away the butter, add the brown sauce (hot), cover closely, and simmer gently from 1 3/4 to 2 hours. When done, remove the strings, arrange the olives in 2 rows on a foundation of mashed potatoes, and strain the sauce over. Or, arrange them in a circle on a border of mashed potato, and fill the centre with purée of spinach, or any other suitable vegetable.
TIME.- To prepare and cook, about 2 1/2 hours.
AVERAGE COST, 3s 4d.
SUFFICIENT, 8 fillets for 6 persons.
INGREDIENTS.- 1/2lb lean veal, 1/4 pound finely-chopped beef suet, 2ozs. fat bacon cut into fine strips, 2 tablespoonfuls of freshly-made breadcrumbs, 1 dessertspoonful of finely-chopped parsley, 1/2 teaspoonful of finely-chopped onion, 2 eggs, salt and pepper, a pinch of ground mace, a pinch of nutmeg.
METHOD.- Pass the veal twice through the mincing machine, then pound it and the suet and the bacon in the mortar. Pass through a wire sieve, add the rest of the ingredients, season to taste, and use.
TIME.- About 45 minutes.
AVERAGE COST, 1s.3d. For this quantity
*Other than listing olives here, she makes no mention of them at all in the recipe at all