I mentioned yesterday that the air has changed and autumn is really here – it was not that cold as we wandered around the Underfall Yard, along Baltic Wharf and Wapping Wharf, but the season has now definitely moved from late summer to early autumn.
The National Mark Calendar for Cooking has a lovely introduction to the month, ‘October drives still further into winter and breakfasts become a matter of consequence.’ The little 1930’s recipe book suggests ‘various cuts of beef‘ and has a recipe for a new hot pot. It also has chicken pilaff, curried vegetables and chaudfroid of pears in case anyone was thinking cooking at that time, pre-war and pre-Elizabeth David British food was dull and uninteresting!
Here is the recipe using ‘various cuts of beef‘:
A new Hot pot
- 1 lb beef ribs or stewing steak, cut in pieces
- 2 sausages cut into four pieces
- optional pig’s ear (“in the original recipe the inclusion of a pig’s ear is recommended; but as it cannot be readily obtained it may be omitted, as the Hot Pot is excellent without it”)
- 2 carrots, sliced into four or six pieces
- 1 turnip, sliced into four or six pieces
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 or 2 leeks, sliced
- 1 lb potatoes cut into halves or quarters
- salt and pepper
- fry beef in dripping until golden brown
- add vegetables except potatoes, a very little stock and seasoning – and optional pig’s ear
- simmer slowly for 1 hour then add sausage pieces (rolled in flour) and potatoes
- simmer slowly for another hour until the potatoes are cooked
Is the pigs ear just for taste or could you actually eat it after the stew was done or throw it away?
I’m not sure… I think you could eat it if it was a fresh one that you cooked, but i think it would give a thickening to the stew.. make it unctuous (me using big words again!) or you could just give it to the dog, if you have one!
Reminds me of a story of Samuel Pepys at the butcher shop when he said a small sheeps’ head is all I seek. But leave his eyes in it so it will see us through the week.
Good old Pepys! Did your dad used to call beer ‘pig’s ear’? My dad did – he’d say he was going to the pub for a pint of pig’s!
Pig’s ear was beer, jockey’s whips were chips, and Holy Ghost was toast. I had to listen to George Formby records when he got drunk and homesick. I liked the one about the baby who went down the plug hole, not lost but gone before.
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