Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Hannah Glasse's Veal in White Sauce from the 1740s

Today is a classic leftovers dish, intended to be served as a supper dish that comes from Hannah Glasse's recipe book of 1745.

Hannah Glasse (1708–1770) is probably the most important cookery writer that no one knows about. Her book, The Art of Cookery was published in 1745 and includes many important recipes, including the first recipe for curry published in English.

There are many recipes in the book and it shows a transition from the previous Elizabethan cookery to what we would consider modern food.

The recipe presented here comes from Hannah Glasse's book and is a frugal recipe for making use of left-over white meat so that it can be served as a supper dish.

The original recipe, as written in The Art of Cookery is:

To toſs up cold veal white

CUT the veal into little thin bits, put milk enough to it for ſauce, grate in a little nutmeg, a very little ſalt, a little piece of butter rolled in flour ; to half a pint of milk, the yolks of two eggs well beat, a ſpoonful of muſhroom-pickle, ſtir all together till it is thick ; then pour it into your diſh, and garniſh with lemon.
     Cold fowl ſkinned, and done this way, eats well ; or the beſt end of a cold breaſt of veal ; firſt fry it, drain it from the fat, then pour this ſauce to it.

The modern redaction can be given as:

To Toss up Cold Veal in White Sauce


500g left-over cold veal or pork or chicken (any white meat)
400ml milk
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
salt, to taste
2 tsp butter mixed to a paste in 2 tbsp butter
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, sliced into thin rings to garnish


Cut the veal into bite-sized pieces and place in a pan with the milk and the nutmeg. Season to taste and bring to a gentle simmer (but do not boil). Cook gently for 5 minutes, or until the meat is heated through then drain the milk and set the meat aside to keep warm.

Place the milk back in a pan and whisk in the butter and flour mix. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl, beat in two ladlesful of the hot milk mixture to temper then whisk this mixture back into the milk.

Heat gently, without boiling, until the custard thickens slightly then return the meat to the pot. Add the mushroom pickle and heat gently for about 5 minutes (do not boil) until the ingredients are heated through.

Turn into a warmed serving dish, garnish with the lemon slices and serve.

This recipe is based on the Celtnet recipe for: how to toss up cold veal white. If this recipe piqued your interest and you would like to read more of Hannah Glasse's recipe you can see the Complete text of Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery, 1745, here.

Find more more Traditional Georgian Period Recipes Here.

There are more traditional and historic recipes on the Traditional and Historic recipes page of this blog.

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