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William Brand

The French Cook, 1673

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As a way of sharing interesting food of the period I'm going to transcribe recipes directly from a book called "The French Cook".  The actual title is quite longer...

"The French Cook, Prescribing the ways of making ready of all meats, Fish, and flesh, with the proper Sauce, either to procure Appetite, or to advance the power if Digestion: with the whole Skill of Pastry-work."

It was published in 1673, printed for Thomas Dying, at the Harrow at Chancery Lane-end, and John Leigh, at the Blew Bell by Flying-Horse Court in Fleet-Street.  This is from the third edition.

Skipping directly to the meat of the book (pun soundly intended) we find first a description of how to make broth, as it's used in so many recipes at the start of the book.  The following is transcribed directly from the text.  I'll try to keep the older spelling differences in place, so that the reader can see the variation on familiar words and terms.  

“The manner of making the broth for the seeing of all pots, be it pottage, first course or intercourse (middle service.)

 

Take knuckles of beef, the hinder-part of the rump, a little mutton, and some hens (according to the quantity of broth the you will have) put in meat proportionally, seeth it well with a bundle of parsly, young onions, and thyme tied together, and a few cloves, large mace, and some beaton cinamon, keeping alwaies some warm water ready to fill up the pots again.  Then, after all is well sodden, you shall strain them through a napkin for your use.  And as for Rosted meat, after that you have taken the juice out of it, you shall set it to boil with a bundle of herbs, as above-said; seeth it well, then strain it, for to make use of it at your first courses, or for brown pottages.”

 

After this it jumps right into the first recipe…  

 

 

“How to make all kinds of pottage.

1.  Bisque of young Pidgeons. 

Take young pigeons, cleanse them all, and truss them up, which you shall do by making a hole with a knife below the stomach, and thrusting the legs through it: whiten them, that is, put them into a pot with hot water, or with pot-broth, and cover them well, then put them in the pot in a small bundle of fine herbs, with an Onion to two peeled and put whole, sew blades of large Mace, and fill up your pot with the best of broths, have a special care that it may not become black: then dry your bread, and stove it in the Pigeon-broth: then take it up after it is well seasoned with salt, pepper and cloves garnished with the young pigeons, cocks-combed sweet-breads of veal, mushrooms, mutton juice, and pistaches: serve it up, and garnish the brims of the dish with slices of Lemon, and barberries.” 

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2. Pigeons otherwayes

 

Take Pigeons, and when you have farsed and boned them, fry them in butter or minced lard and put to them broth, pepper, nutmeg slic’d ginger, cinnamon beaton, Coriander-seed, raisins of the sun, currans, with vinegars and serve them with the sauce, being first steeped in it four or five hours, and well stewed down.  In Summer you may use damsins, sweet herbs, chopped grapes, bacon slices, white wine.  

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3. Pottage for Health.

 

Take Capons, cleanse them well, truss them up, and put them in a pot with broth, and cover them, lest the broth do wax black; season them with salt, a little whole pepper, beaten cinnamon, beaton cloves and mace, and seeth them well with store of good herbs (in winter, succory;) then take up garnish with your herbs, viz. with carduus, rub the bottom of your dish with a clove of garlick, and parslie roots or succory, and scalded grapes or carved turnips; and serve.  

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4. Pottage of Partridges with Coleworts.

 

Cleanse them well, lard them with great lard, truss them, and put them in the pot with good broth; put also your coleworts in the pot with your Partridges; after the are sodden, you shall pass into it a little melted lard, and season them with cloves and pepper, and salt, and some mace, then stove or soak your crusts, garnish them with sweetbreads of veal, or with sausages, if you have any, and lemon, and salt on the dish sides; then serve.  

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