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Victorian Cookery: Recipes and History

Victorian Cookery: Recipes and History
by Maggie Black
  With more than 30 recipes covering the whole range of Victorian society, this book gives a fascinating insight into the way food was prepared and enjoyed by our ancestors.
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Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management
by Isabella Beeton
  A founding text of Victorian middle-class identity, Household Management is today one of the great unread classics. To the modern reader expecting stuffy moralizing and watery vegetables, Beeton's book is a revelation: it ranges widely across the foods of Europe and beyond, actively embracing new foodstuffs and techniques, mixing domestic advice with discussions of science, religion, class, industrialism and gender roles.
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Frying - The Victorian Way

From 'The Dictionary of Daily Wants' - 1859

FRYING. A very convenient mode of cookery to those who wish to unite comfort with economy. The fire used for frying should neither be too slack nor too fierce, but maintain throughout the process a steady and uniform brightness; and, above all, smoke should be particularly avoided.

The frying fat, be it lard, oil, butter, or dripping, must not be stale, much less rancid. This fat, on being melted in the pan, must be brought to boiling point, or nearly so, before the materials to be fried are put in. The proper degree of heat may be ascertained by putting into the fat a few sprigs of parsley or a piece of bread, which, if they become crisp without acquiring a black colour, the fat will be hot enough for frying.

The meat to be fried should be cut into chops or slices of not more than half or three-quarters of an inch in thickness, and slightly seasoned with salt and pepper. It is not necessary that the meat should be wholly immersed in the boiling fat; if it be immersed in part it will be sufficient.

Fish is more difficult to fry than meat, on account of the softness of the fibre; it consequently requires a greater degree of attention. Before fish is put into the pan, it should be wiped thoroughly dry; it should also be brushed over with eggs and crumbs of bread, flour, or any farinaceous substance. Fish is best fried in oil.

Fritters and sweet things must have either good butter, or good lard, or good oil. When the butter which is used for frying is clarified, it is not nearly so apt to burn. A rich brown colour is communicated to any fried substance by pressing it, when nearly cooked, against the bottom of the pan.

Fat that has fried veal cutlets, lamb steaks, &c., may be used afterwards for fish, if allowed to settle, and poured clear from the sediment; but what is used for fish would spoil meat, though it will answer repeatedly for fish, especially of the same sort, if strained.

All fries served dry are dished on a napkin. When served with gravy, as with cutlets, steaks, &c., pour the fat from the pan, and throw in a small slice of butter; stir to this a large teaspoonful of flour, brown it gently, and pour in by degrees a quarter of a pint of hot broth or water; shake the pan well round, add pepper, salt, and a little ketchup, or any other sauce that may be preferred, and pour it over the meat.

More Victorian Recipes



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