Monday, May 21, 2012


I have a good old idea for you today – an old idea begging to be rediscovered. Or did the idea really go away? The idea of a stuffed bread roll or small loaf can be interpreted in many ways - as a hamburger for example, or the now perhaps slightly passé picnic muffuletta. I don’t believe however that I have seen today’s idea of a loaf stuffed with ham to be served in a ragoo or potage, in any recent cookery magazines. There is no such thing as a new recipe of course, so perhaps it the following recipe is merely the elegant, labour- and ingredient-intensive ancestor of the modern ‘soup and sandwich’ meal?

The idea comes from the Court and Country Cook (1702) by Frances Massialot (translated from the French by J.K.)

There are several Side-dishes call’d Pains, i.e. Loaves, as being made of Bread stuff’d with different sorts of Farces; such are the Pains of Gammon, Partridge, Veal, and the Spanish Pain.

To make a Gammon-Pain.
Let some Slices of Gammon be dress’d in the same manner as for Gammon-esssence, already described in the first Article of Gammon, under the Letter G; except that you must not put any Mushrooms to them, nor strain them thro’ a Sieve. If your Slices, when dress’d, are not sufficiently thicken’d, a little Bread-cullis may be added to bring them to a due Consistence: Then, having provided a Potage-loaf, cut thro’ the middle, so as both the upper and under Crusts may remain entire; take away the Crum from the inside, and let the rest of the Loaf be toasted and brought to a colour at the Fire, or in an Oven, till it become brown. When it is ready, joyn the two Crusts together in a little Dish, after having soak’d them a little in the Sauce; and put your Ragoo into it with the Sauce. It may be garnish’d with Capon-livers dress’d in a Veal-caul, and serv’d up amongst the Intermesses.

And here are the author’s instructions for the gammon-essence referred to in the above recipe.

Take small Slices of raw Gammon; let them be well beaten and toss’d up in a Stew-pan, with a little Lard:Then set them over a Chafing-dish, and by the means of a Spoon, bring them to a brown colour, with a little Flower. As soon as they are colour’d put to them a good Gravy, a bunch of Chibbols and fine Herbs, a few Cloves, a clove of Garlick, some Slices of Lemmon, a Handful of chopt Mushrooms, Truffles likewise minc’d, some Crusts of Bread and a little Vinegar: When they are all sufficiently boil’d, strain them thro’ a Sieve, and put this Liquor or Gravy into a convenient Place, without suffering it to boil any longer. It will be of use for the dressing of all sorts of Dishes in which Gammon is us’d.

Quotation for the Day.
Nouvelle Cuisine, roughly translated, means: I can't believe I paid ninety-six dollars and I'm still hungry.
Mike Kalin

1 comment:

Lapinbizarre said...

So the New Orleans oyster loaf, which Jane Grigson, citing 18th c British recipes, stated was introduced to the American colonies from the UK, may, in fact, have French antecedents, at least where the basic technique is concerned?