Kromeskies and salmagundi

I wonder which of the present things we eat and just take for granted as ordinary, will in the future seem weird or even repellent? I have been looking through my copy of The A1 Cookery Book published in 1901; the recipes were written for a young housewife, probably inexperienced in cooking and running a household, so the recipes are the everyday dishes for all occasions, written in a straightforward and easily understood way.

I opened it at random and it was the meat section; on the page I was looking at – just by chance, rissoles of veal, aspic jelly, brawn, salmagundi, kromeskies. My grandma’s were barely out of their teens when the book was published, but I wonder if they were familiar with these five dishes? We used to have rissoles at home made from left over roast beef; we never had veal, and in fact I think I have only ever eaten it once that I remember. Aspic jelly was very popular from the mid-nineteenth century, but again, we didn’t have it at home – although when I’d left home and mum went to fancy cookery classes, I think she once did something in aspic. Brawn was something we had on occasion, although mum didn’t like it – she would eat most things, but I think the thought of anything made from a pig’s head, would have put her off! Salmagundi? I confess I thought it was a salad made of a mixture of different items including meat, but the A1 Cookery Book recipe sounds similar to brawn. And kromeskies? I have no idea – if I had come across it anywhere else than in this book I would have thought it was an American dish of some sort!

Rissoles of veal

  • ½ lb cooked veal, scraped as fine as possible (minced? chopped?)
  • 1 lb crumb of bread soaked in ¼ pint milk, then pressed
  • extra breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz suet
  • ¼ gravy
  • peel of ½ a lemon,  finely grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt, pepper, mace
  1. mix all the ingredients together
  2. form into balls and roll in breadcrumbs
  3. fry until golden brown and serve with heated gravy

Aspic Jelly

  • 1 oz gelatine
  • 1 pint stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • a bit of celery
  • 2 cloves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 1 gill sherry
  • rind and juice of half a lemon
  • white of 1 egg

This recipe is so long and convoluted and sounds so difficult that I have chickened out of sharing it. Let me know if would like to know how to make it and I will oblige!


  • a pig’s head, rubbed with salt two days before using
  • 1 onion
  • 2 blades of mace
  • 4 cloves
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 bay-leaves
  • 4 allspice
  • cayenne
  • salt
  • stock
  • vegetables
  • seasoning
  • hard-boiled eggs

A detailed recipe which explains how to get the meat to make the brawn… not for the squeamish


  • 1 calf’s foot
  • 1 pig’s foot
  • 1 lb lean beef cut into small pieces
  • 3 pints cold water
  • peppercorns
  • lemon rind
  • parsley
  1. simmer everything in a stew-pot until the liquid is reduced to a pint (it doesn’t tell you how you will know)
  2. strain and leave the meat and the liquor in separate bowls until the next day
  3. remove the meat and cut up small and add it to the liqor which has had the fat skimmed off
  4. season (‘it should be rather highly seasoned‘) pour into a mould
  5. when cold turn out and garnish with parsley


  • cooked beef, mutton, veal or any kind of poultry, minced finely
  • batter made with 4 oz flour, pinch of salt, ¼ pint lukewarm water, 2 tbs salad oil, stiffly beaten white of 2 eggs
  • white sauce made with 1 oz butter, 1 oz flour, ¼ pint cream, pinch of mace, salt, cayenne, 1 tsp lemon juice
  • small slices of bacon as thin as wafers,, 3×2 inches
  • tomato sauce to serve
  1. add the minced meat to the white sauce and then let cool
  2. on each of the slices of bacon place a heaped tsp of the mince mixture and roll tightly
  3. put each kromesky onto a spoon, dip in batter then fry in boiling fat
  4. They will only take a minute to cook, then drain on kitchen paper
  5. pile on a dish and serve with tomato sauce

I was interested to see the use of kitchen paper – was it the same as we have, or was it more like grease proof paper? I am sure i would not want to go to all the trouble of making kromeskies – if I had left over meat to use up, I would make my mum’s rissoles – mince the meat with cooked carrot and onion, a dash of tomato ketchup, make into rissole shapes and dip in seasoned flour then fry; serve with mash and gravy and maybe green beans!


  1. debbiedrury

    Newsprint maybe. Sound a bit fiddly but quite nice. But don’t fancy the salmagundi and I don’t like brawn. My mum used to do pressed ox tongue which in jelly / aspic or just naturally gelatinous. I didn’t like any of them, but do now like haslet. Think it was the texture I didn’t like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      Texture is so important isn’t it, you can manage to eat things you don’t really like the taste of, but the texture of something makes it impossible!


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