The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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GRAVIES.                                             79
To Clarify Dripping.—Put the dripping into a basin, pour over it the boiling water, in which a teaspoonful of salt has been dissolved, and keep stirring the whole to wash away impurities. Let it stand to cool, when the water and dirty sediment will settle at the bottom, and the grease rise to the top. Repeat this operation at least twice with fresh water. When cold remove the dripping from the water and melt it into jars.
Osmazome is the essence or gravy of meat when cooked.
To make chestnut or almond gravy for any kind of fowl, allow 1-2 lb. of the nuts, blanched and peeled, to 2 coffee cups of rich veal soup, 1 cupful of new milk, a salt spoonful of salt and cayenne pep­per, 1-2 peel of a good lemon cut in thin shreds, and then chopped fine. Put all together and boil very slowly and gently until the nut kernels are soft; then force it through a sieve and pour in milk or cream, with spice, nutmeg and one beaten clove; then let it warm slowly again when coming to a boil, stirring it all the time.
General Stock for Gravies.—The recipes for custard sauce. Dutch sauce for fish or for pickling eggs, will answer very well for the basis of many gravies, unless they are required to be very rich. The stocks referred to may be made into very good gravies by add­ing various store sauces, thickening and flavoring. Spices, wines and flavorings should not be added until they are wanted, as their goodness, strength and a great deal of their fragrance evaporates if used long before wanted, as with long boiling the flavoring must al­most entirely pass away. A great deal is thus saved if this point is attended to. Shank bones of mutton previously soaked will aid very materially in enriching gravies. Trimmings of meat, beef skin, a smelt or kidney, etc., will answer very well when only a small quantity is required. A good gravy need not necessarily be so expensive, for economically prepared dishes are often found as savory, palatable and wholesome as more expensive ones. The cook should bear in mind that the fragrance of spices should not prevail over the gravies. The remains of most meat gravy should always be saved, as, when no gravy is at hand, a very nice gravy in haste may be made from it, and when added to hashes, ragouts, etc., is a great improvement.
Gravy for Roast Meat.—Put a common dish with a small quan­tity of salt in it under the meat, about 1-4 hour before it is removed from the fire; when the dish is full take it away, baste the meat and pour the gravy into the dish in which the joint is to be served.
Ham Gravy.—When a ham is almost done with, pick all the meat clean from the bone, leaving out any rusty part; beat the meat and the bone to a mash with a chopper and rollingpin ; put it in a sauce­pan with 3 spoonfuls of gravy; set it over a slow fire and stir it all the time, or it will stick to the bottom ; when it has been on for some