Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Loaf of Casserole.

For my third selection from Dictionaire Œconomique, or, The Family Dictionary, I have for you an explanation of the word ‘casserole.’ We have considered the origin and meaning of the word previously (here), but no topic is ever fully exhausted, is it?

The extract includes several recipes which serve to highlight how different the concept of casserole was in 1725.

CASSEROLES; Culinary Preparations that take their Names from the Stew-pan in which they are dress’d, called by the French, Casserole, and they are generally used for side Dishes and Potages: For the former, take a large Loaf wash’d over with Eggs, which must not be chipp’d on the upper Side; bore a Hole in it underneath, and take away the Crum or Pith; then prepare a good Hash of roasted Chickens, fat Pullets, or some other sort of Roast-meat, and put it well minced into a Stew-pan with good Gravy, as if it were to make a Hash; when it is dress’d, but some of it with a Spoon into the Loaf, that was toasted at the Fire, on the crummy Side; when a little of the Hash has been pour’d in, add some small Crums of Bread, and proceed to fill up the Loaf alternately, with the Hash and small pieces of Crust, then take a Stew-pan that is no bigger than your Loaf, put a sheet of Paper into it, or rather some thin Slices of Bacon, and then the Loaf on that Side where it was farc’d covering the Bottom of it with the same Loaf: Let it lye soaking in this Manner with good Gravy, but it must neither be too much press’d, nor too long steep’d; but it must be altogether entire, and well cover’d; a little before it is serv’d up, turn it out dexterously into a Dish, take away the Slices of Bacon, drain off the Fat, and cover the Loaf with a good Ragoe of Veal Sweet-breads, Artichoke Bottoms and Truffles; small Tops of Sparagras may also be spread about the Dish, according to the Season.
As to a Casserole with Cheese, the only Difference is, that a little rasp’d Parmesan must be put into the farced Loaf, and that when the Loaf is dressed in its Dish, it must also be strow’d with parmesan: it is usually brought to somewhat of a Colour in the Oven, and the Ragoe put around it; this is called Casserole with Parmesan.
[there is another recipe, a Casserole with Rice, but the quality of the text is too poor to read in places.]

Is there an old idea here just waiting to be re-discovered?

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