SATTOOT OF DUCK

Natalie and Cathy decided to tackle the Sattoot of Duck. The receipt came from The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter, 1730. It called for boiling the fowl; instead Allan had steamed it the day before so it was ready for the next step. The receipt also included some things we will be leaving out like the Sweetbreads, Cocks-Combs, and Truffles however; sometimes you just have to make sacrifices.

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After boiling the fowl of your choice, the receipt calls for roasting it off brown at a quick fire. Natalie did a great job of searing the duck and the skin was nice and brown.

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The receipt calls for the duck to be surrounded by a forced meat of veal, beef and lamb. Cathy begins to prepare this while Natalie starts on the stuffing.

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The apples, onion and sage are rough chopped for the stuffing and the orange peels that go in the forced meat are finely chopped.

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Cathy shows off the bowl of ingredients for the forced meat. This is from Hananh Galsse, The Art of Cookery 1774,.  To Make forced meat balls.  The lard, eggs, lemon peels, chopped meat and spices are ready to be mix thoroughly with some bread crumbs she grated from stale manchets.

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With the stuffing in the duck it is time to cover it with the caul fat.

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Everyone wants to see the caul fat go on the duck. It was not unusual to have an 18th century receipt that called for caul fat, however, it is an item we don’t find in many of our modern cooking books. Everyone needed a good look and we discussed just where this body part came from. Caul fat is the thin membrane surrounds the stomachs internal organs of some animals. The caul I bought from my butcher came from a pig. I did not get the feeling that anyone was going to run out and try to find some soon. Once the duck was all tucked in with the fat the forced meat was circled around it like a nest.

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The Sattoot of Duck sat waiting for the bake oven to cool down a bit before it went in. About an hour later, we checked it and it was a gorgeous brown. Allan took it out of the oven for us.

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Mary plated the duck and forced meat. After the duck had rested it was carved in nice slices and re-plated for our meal.

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With the table cleared off and set for lunch we dug in. The forced meat was somewhat over cooked however the lemon and nutmeg gave it a tantalizing, if not exotic, taste. The Sattoot of Duck was juicy and, because it had been pre-steamed, it was not oily at all. The caul fat gave it a wonderful chestnut brown color and I’m sure kept it moist. This is where the last part of the Sattoot of Duck receipt calls for gravy of sweetbreads, cocks-combs and truffles. We opted for the very end part and went with the tamer mushroom and artichoke sauce. The duck meat had such great flavor, and, all in all, this was a triumph.

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So we come to an end of our Sattoot of Duck with Forced meat and I do hope you are looking forward to the next post.

Orange Pudding made in Seville oranges and boiled. Yum!

Sandie

The perils of duck hunting are great – especially for the duck.

Walter Cronkite

EARLY FOOD STAPLES

Our foremothers never got a break; they were always keeping one step ahead of the next meal. They made premade gravies, sauces, jellies, bread to go stale for crumbs, among other items to have on hand to add to the fresh meat, fish, and vegetables they would have for dinner. To prepare for my hearth cooking classes I have to do the same thing.

I needed to have pig’s leaf lard to fry with and trotters for jelly. From the lamb came the caul and the lard and marrow bones from the cow. So I called Lemay’s Butchery in Goffstown and placed my order. Within a few days I picked it up. It’s amazing how many parts there are to farm animals and the foods that can be made from them

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I chopped the suet and leaf lard in pieces. I put just a little water in the suet to get it started, and gave the leaf lard a good four cups to boil in. These were both simmered, as the water evaporated from the suet, it melted nicely. The leaf lard took a bit longer yet when it was strained and cold, it was a lovely white, soft paste that looks like Crisco. After sitting in the refrigerator overnight, the melted suet was white and hard as a rock, perfect for coffin dough.

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Allan cut the pig’s feet in half. They were so long they would not fit into the pot. I scrubbed in between the pigs toes and took a knife and scraped the skin to remove all and any residue. After giving them a good wash into a large pot they went. They simmered for 5 hours then cooled overnight, and then simmered for 3 more hours the next day. Then the liquid was poured off into a clean towel, placed in a strainer, and then the jelly was poured into a jar with a good tight lid. The pig’s feet jelly will be added to gravy.

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I rinsed and rinsed the caul and picked the small veins out. I wrapped it in parchment paper and froze it. It is a really nice piece and will be used to wrap forced meat to be fried in the leaf lard and placed in the coffin made with the beef suet.  With the marrow bone roasted and browned, I scooped out the inside and saved them for the Lumber Pie. I also made two gravies to have for the two coffins. Thankfully, I have refrigeration to be able to keep these food items in a healthy manner.

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Next I needed to make the manchets so they could be made into bread crumbs, then I headed to Tender Crop Farm in Newburyport, Massachusetts, for some fresh turkey breast for the turkey pie. manchetfirecopy

The day before the class I walked the farm market in Exeter to find the best carrots, beets and apples for our carrot pudding, the fried beets and custard apples.

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There is a lot of preparation needed to have a group come and cook at the hearth. It’s not just preparing some staples ahead of time. There is also the decoding of early receipts that are written in a narrative form that need to be transformed into modern-day measurement, and sometimes food substitutions. However, I enjoy sharing my experiences with others, and though it can be messy and challenging sometimes, I love the connection with the cooks of the past and the present-day participants who come to hearth cook for the day.

 Sandie

“To speak then of the outward and active knowledge which belong to our English Houfe-Wife, I hold the first and most principal to be, a perfect skill and knowledge in Cookery,”

 Gervase Markham – The English House-Wife 1683