Pork a la Normand

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_00_3924This recipe was originally a Cheshire Pork Pie from Hannah Glasse’s 1788 cookbook “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy.” We have taken that dish and adapted it for the modern kitchen. You won’t be able to get enough of this deliciousness!

  • 1 ½ lbs. pork shoulder
  • ½ c. flour
  • 2 T. butter + more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tart apples, cored, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 t. fresh ground nutmeg
  • About 1 t. salt
  • ½ T. black pepper
  • 12 oz. (1 bottle) hard cider

First trim all the fat off your pork and cut it into cubes, then toss it in flour to coat.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_02_1601In a large cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, brown your pork in about 1 tablespoon of butter until some brown is achieved, but don’t cook the pork all the way through. Remove pork into a bowl and set aside.

Next, add the remaining butter to the pan along with your chopped onion and apples. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sauté until the onion is nearly translucent.

Next, pour in your cider, scraping any brown bits from the pan, and allow it to come to a simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then return your pork and any resting juices to the bowl. Cover and let simmer until the gravy has thickened, approximately 30 minutes.

pork-a-la-normand-time-0_03_5820The longer you allow this dish to cook, the more tender your pork will become. This is a dish that you can use any cut of pork and it will become tender by the end.

Transcription of Video:

We’re again here at Conner Prairie, a premier Living History site, and we’ve got another great recipe for you. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

[Jon] Last week we had Miss Barker and she showed us how to make Rye and Indian Bread. Today, Mrs. Barker is going to show us how to make Pork a la Normand

[Mrs. Barker] That’s what it’s called! You got it right.

[Jon] Okay.

[Mrs. Barker] Now that’s a fancy name for it.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] It just really is Pork and Apples in Cider.

[Jon] Okay

[Mrs. Barker] But apparently folks in Normandy, that’s what they eat.

[Jon] Right?

[Mrs. Barker] So a traveler come through, he give me this receipt, that’s what he called it,

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] my husband will call it pork and cider. Well, we’ve got us some good hog that’s been about a pound and a half, been cubed up and fat trimmed from it. Some salt and some pepper, and about a half a teacup of flour. A couple of teaspoons of nutmeg, about half a nut, grated.

[Jon] Mmm, yeah

[Mrs. Barker] A medium onion chopped and a nice tart green apple. A little bit ago I put some pieces of fat that I trimmed off the pork into the spider and rendered them off so we’re going to go ahead and take this good hog and I’m going to put it in a dish here, and I’m going to just sprinkle that flour over the top of it and it’ll be more than’ll cover it and that’s alright too, and use your eye and use your sense. You’ve got to cook with your nose and your mouth and your eyes, your ears, all parts of you. Put in what your family likes flavor wise, if they like a bit more salt or pepper, and stir that around so all that flour gets on every piece of that pork, each side of it. Now I’ve got to use my eyes and I need to put a bit more flour there. It should be, not dry, but it shouldn’t be wet. It should be like a paste there. You want to have a bit of dry flour there and then we’ll go ahead and we’ll put this right in the spider.

So once you’ve got a bit of color on that pork, you want to take it out of your pan and go ahead and put it right back in that bowl because all of that extra flour, that’s going to go right back in again and it’ll help you with your gravy.

[Jon] Sure.

[Mrs. Barker] So, the next thing you’re going to do, now if you don’t have enough fat in your fire, go ahead and put a little butter in your spider. There, we’ll just put a bit in, and get a nice sizzle to it, and then if you wouldn’t mind taking them apples and I’ll take the onions. So once your onions and your apples are in and you stirred it around a bit, they start to cook a while, you go ahead and sprinkle that nutmeg right on top of them, mix it around and let them cook just a bit more, just till them onions just come a little bit clear.

[Jon] Right.

[Mrs. Barker] And then once that’s done comes my husbands favorite part.

[Jon] Yeah?

[Mrs. Barker] And that’s the cider. Now if you’ve got your apple trees, why then you’ve got your apples, apple sauce, dried apples, apple pie, dried apple pie, but you certainly put up cider. So once that apple and onion and nutmeg have cooked down a little bit and that cider’s cooked off a bit, you’re going to go ahead and add your pork right back in and all those drippings from that bowl that you gathered up, and stir that around, put your lid back on, then cover it with coals and then just back away and go holler at your children for half hour or more if you want.

[Jon] So it’s ready?

[Mrs. Barker] Now you’re making a face like that and say something like that sir and I understand. Now some folk might look at this dish and say well, it ain’t pretty, but it ain’t always got to be pretty, what matters is the taste.

[Jon] I’m sure it’s going to taste wonderful too.

[Mrs. Barker] I’m certain of it, sir. I’m certain of it. In fact, I’m so certain of it I’m going to go ahead and just give you plenty to taste.

[Jon] Okay. Mmm. Wow, the apple flavor Mmm it’s wonderful, and that pork is delicious.

[Mrs. Barker] Mmhmm. And the more you let that cook, that pork will come more tender and more tender. The nice thing about making any kind of stew is that you ain’t got to have an expensive, high piece of meat. You use your low meat, you use your shoulder, you use something that ain’t gonna have a lot of promise to it until it sits and stews for a bit and all that meat just melts away.

[Jon] Right and even if you have extra the next morning or the next day

[Mrs. Barker] Yes sir, yes sir, although I’ve got a son that’s near twice your size and I don’t generally have extra.

[Jon] I’ll bet you don’t.

[Mrs. Barker] No sir.

[Jon] Well I really want to thank Mrs. Barker for inviting me in to her kitchen, showing me how to make the best darn pork and cider I ever ate and if your ever in the Midwest and you have a chance to come here to Conner Prairie, this is a premier Living History site, right here in the Midwest. Definitely come and check this site out. It is wonderful. Again, I want to thank you for coming along as we experiment here, as we try these different things out of history, as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th and early 19th century.

I want to give a special thanks to all the folks at Conner Prairie. Make sure to check out their website. If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Tiny Purses – Date Turnovers

Tiny Purses (Time 0_00_05;13)
This recipe is a date turnover from a 1596 cookbook called “The Good Housewife’s Jewel” called Tiny Purses.

  • 2 cups Dates stoned
  • 1 cup Raisins or Currants
  • 1 tbsp. Suet or Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsps. Sugar
  • Puff Paste

Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_05;12)
Mix together your dates, raisins, suet, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar in a bowl. Cut puff paste into about 5 inch squares. Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_30;24)
Lay down your paste and place a flattened portion of the filling inside. Make sure it’s a decent size and flattened. Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_45;15)Moisten two of the edges of the puff paste and fold it into a triangle then pinch the edges shut.

Tiny Purses (Time 0_01_53;01)
Bake at about 350 degrees until golden brown.

Transcription of Video:

Today we are going to make a recipe called tiny purses. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

This recipe comes from a 1596 cookbook called “The Good Housewife’s Jewel”. This recipe, although it’s called little purses, is really a date turnover. The first thing we have to do is stone these dates. I’ve got about 2 cupfuls of dates here.

Whoo, this is sticky! Although if you want to save time, you can buy your dates prestoned. Now that we stoned our dates, let’s mix our ingredients. First we need our dates, then we need a cupful of small raisins. I’m using zante currants. The recipe calls for marrow. I’m going to use a tablespoon of suet instead. A good substitute might be coconut oil. We’re also going to season it with a teaspoon of ginger, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and two teaspoons of sugar. Now that we’ve got all the ingredients, let’s mix it into the bowl.

Whoo, this is really sticky stuff! You’ve really got to dig into this!

Now that our mixture’s ready, let’s put them in the shells. The shells are going to be puff paste cut into about 5 inch squares. If you’re interested in making your own puff paste, I’ll put a link down below. Lay down your paste and put a flattened portion of the filling. Make sure it’s decent sized and flattened. Moisten two of the edges and fold it into a triangle. Make sure to pinch the edges.

These are ready to bake at about 350 degrees. I’m not sure how long these take but I’ll watch them till they’re golden brown.

These smell great. So good in fact, that I asked my dad to come and taste test with me.

[Jon] Well, they do smell great. I could smell them in the oven and wow, they filled the house up with a wonderful smell, so are we going to try them out? I think they’re cool enough, so let’s give them a try. You pick one. I’ll take this one. They look beautiful too. They could even have icing on them, but I think that would be too much. Mmm, that is a wonderful flavor and I really wasn’t expecting that. I ate a few of the dates that she had raw and the dates were actually, obviously, very good, but with the spices.

[Ivy] They taste wonderful.

[Jon] Right with that ginger and the cinnamon in there with the dates and the raisins or the currants, it’s got an amazing flavor that I really wasn’t expecting and a wonderful aroma.

[Ivy] Yes.

[Jon] You did an excellent job on these. They look kind of really hard to smoosh up.

[Ivy] They are.

[Jon] Yeah, it’s a very sticky, the dates and everything, getting that all together, but Ivy did a great job. Thank you for bringing us this recipe. It was wonderful. If you get a chance, this one, again, it’s simple, really not that many ingredients, and all these things you can find at the grocery store so you should be able to do these easily. So thank you so much Ivy and I want to thank you for coming along and savoring the flavors and the aromas

[together] of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Barley Gruel


This recipe for Barley Gruel comes from John Knots 1724 cookbook called “The Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary”.

  • 3 oz. Barley
  • 1 qt. Water
  • 4 oz. Currants or Raisins
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 10 oz. Cream
  • 1 cup White Wine or Sparkling Grape Juice
  • Lemon Zest (about half a lemon peel)
  • Sugar


Boil the barley in 1 quart of water changing the water out as needed until it comes out clean. Add in currants and allow to boil for about an hour then remove from heat and allow to cool. Gruel (Time 0_01_35;02)
Mix together egg yolks, cream, white wine, and lemon zest. Make sure that your barley is cool enough that it will not cook your eggs, then add to your egg mixture.

gruel3

Place your gruel into a pot and heat on low stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Gruel (Time 0_03_06;25)Remove from heat, allow to cool and sweeten to taste.

Transcript of Video:

So, today’s recipe sounds horrible, barley gruel, but let’s find out. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with Jas. Townsend and Son.

The recipe for today comes from John Knots 1724 cookbook called “The Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary” and you know, it starts off with something pretty simple, he wants us to make barley water with 3 ounces of barley and a quart of water so I’m going to put this quart of water on to boil and then we’re going to add in our 3 ounces of barley. He also talks about making sure that our barley is white and if your barley is like my barley, you’ll start boiling it and you’ll get this kind of scum that comes up to the surface and you’ll want to skim that and you’ll get maybe sort of a brown barley water out of it and what he wants is the nice cleaner water so he talks about shifting the water once or twice so once it’s come up to the boil and some of the scum has come up to the surface, we’re going to drain this off and put more water back in, again about a quart. We don’t want to put in too much more, and let this boil. As it’s boiling we can add in our currants. He asks for about 4 ounces of currants in this situation. You could use raisins instead, really the currants aren’t the important part of this, so a little less or a little more really isn’t’ that important.

To get your barley nice and tender, you should boil it about an hour. So our barley is basically done. It’s ready to go. We need to let this cool and we’re going to start making this other mixture that we’re going to add into it, so let me set this aside to cool and now let’s work on our other mixture.

We need 3 egg yolks. He calls for a half a pint, it may actually be 10 ounces, of cream. Also, some white wine, the same amount, also about a cup. Also some lemon zest, it’s about a half a lemon peel that I zested up. Now our mixture is stirred up, I’ve got our gruel, I’m going to go ahead, for the sake of mixing it up, I’m going to put it into the mixing bowl, but we’re going to need to heat this up, so we’ll put it back into a vessel we can heat with. You want to make sure that this is cool enough though that it doesn’t cook our eggs as we add this in, and you can tell by this time that the barley should have absorbed a lot of that water. It’s not nearly as liquidy as it was in the beginning. Now that this is mixed up, we can put it back in our vessel here. We’re going to put it on a low heat and make sure to stir it constantly until it starts to thicken.

I’ve let this cool a little bit. The recipe says to sweeten to taste so I’m just going to add a little bit of sugar here and mix it in and hopefully it’s cool enough that I can try it out.

Mmm, whoa, that’s the best gruel I have ever had. This is really good. All the flavors are there. You get a little bit of the wine flavor up on top. If you want to use just a sparkling grape juice you can get the same kind of flavors here that the wine’s going to give you, at least a little bit, if you don’t want to use an alcohol, but you get all these different flavors coming in that we had with the little bit of spices, that lemon in there, the sweetness also, the thickness of this custard is wonderful and those little textures of the barley in there. They’ve been cooked so long that they’re very soft, just like a tapioca would be and tapioca wasn’t in the 18th century, at least in an English context, so this is probably as close as you’re ever going to get to a tapioca pudding in the 18th century. Wonderful. If you get a chance to make up this barley gruel, you will enjoy it, I promise you. I want to thank you for coming along as we’re experimenting, as we’re savoring the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Oxford Kate’s Sausage Recipe

Delicious Sausage (Time 0_02_39;28)Today Michael Dragoo is helping us with an Oxford Kate sausage recipe from Martha Washington’s cookbook. Martha Washington believes this should have been called Oxford Gate sausages after a tavern located near the north gate in Oxford but may have been misnamed.

  • 1lb Ham
  • 1lb Veal
  • ½lb Suet
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mace
  • Sage
  • Cloves

Delicious Sausage (Time 0_00_38;23)Simply mix the ingredients together well using the egg yolk as a binder. Add the spices in to taste.Delicious Sausage (Time 0_01_08;01)
The recipe originally calls for an entire leg of ham and was 12 pounds of meat, so you can really make as much as you want. Once thoroughly mixed, roll the meat out into the thickness of a finger, about the size of a breakfast sausage. Melt some suet in a hot pan and gently fry the sausages until completely cooked.Delicious Sausage (Time 0_00_08;12)

Optional Mustard Sauce Dip

  • Melted Butter
  • Mustard Seed
  • Vinegar
  • White wine
  • Sugar
  • Dash of Salt

Delicious Sausage (Time 0_02_49;14)
Mix to taste and use to dip sausage in.

Transcript of Video:

[Jon] Hi, I’m Jon Townsend and with me today is Michael Dragoo and we’re making

[Michael] Oxford Kates sausages.

[Jon] Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

[Jon] So Oxford Kates sausage? Explain that.

[Michael] Well, this is from the Martha Washington cookbook and Oxford Kate, she thinks, should have been Oxford Gate. Oxford, the town, had a surrounding walls and a gate and there was a tavern at the north gate.

[Jon] Okay

[Michael] Oxford Gate.

[Jon] So it’s famous for that.

[Michael] Oxford Gates sausage, yeah.

[Jon] Okay, so it looks pretty simple. What do we have here for ingredients?

[Michael] We are going to mince, she calls for ham or veal, I decided I could use ham and veal. I have a pound of veal. I have a pound of ham, and a half a pound of suet.

[Jon] If you’re looking for suet, it can be very difficult to find, on our website and in our print catalog, we have this wonderful suet that is available. It’s called tallow here but it’s what they would have called suet in the 18th century. It’s rendered kidney fat, not muscle fat.

[Michael] I’m going to be introducing the two meats and the suet together, mix that all up. I’m going to add 1 egg yolk as a binder, and then I’ve got salt, pepper, mace, sage, and cloves. I’m just going to mix that in. This recipe originally called for an entire leg of ham, of pig, and it was 12 pounds of meat put together, so we’ve really reduced these quantities, but they are to taste. Now that we’ve got this thoroughly mixed, the recipe is simple. It just says to roll these out the thickness of a finger, so these are going to be about the size of a breakfast sausage.

[Jon] And they smell good right there, just with the spices and everything.

[Michael] These are wonderful.

[Jon] They look great.

[Michael] It’s surprising how light these sausages wind up being.

[Jon] Right, you would think, oh, they’re going to be heavy, but the fat actually does something completely different than what you would expect, and these in different circumstances, you might just call these a forced meat sausages.

[Michael] Yep.

[Jon] Same thing.

[Michael] Yep. Forced meat is taking the meat and making it be something other than what it looks when it’s just a cut of meat.

[Jon] Okay, I’ve got the pan good and hot and I’ve got a good little bit of suet already in the pan. You could use butter to cook these in, but the suet’s not going to burn and smoke the same way butter would, so I recommend either a rendered butter, like a ghee, or the suet. I’m going to be very gentle with these so that they don’t fall apart, because they’re not like your modern breakfast sausage.

[Jon] Okay, the sausages are done and the recipe actually calls for these to have a little mustard sauce.

[Michael] It didn’t say what the mustard sauce consisted of, so simple mustard sauces are just butter and mustard seed. I’ve added vinegar and some white wine, sugar, a little salt. That’s what my sauce is.

[Jon] Well, it looks great. I guess, let’s give these a try.

[Michael] I’m ready.

[Jon] Are you?

[Michael] Yes.

[Jon] Mmm, look at that.

[Michael] I’m about to double dip. Ah man, those are excellent.

[Jon] You would compare these with a modern day breakfast sausage right? But they are not the same. These are much lighter of a texture, not nearly as firm.

[Michael] Not as dense.

[Jon] Right, and a mustard sauce, something I would not have expected. Not something I would have naturally put on something like this, but

[Michael] It’s like a heavy stone ground mustard. It’s got that kind of taste to it. These things, the suet just melts away, melts right out of it, so that you have these great little voids and it’s a light sausage.

[Jon] Its got some wonderful spicy flavors in there, the nice quantity of saltiness.

[Michael] I would have told you I hated cloves, but they really add something to this. It’s really low key.

[Jon] This one is great. It’s definitely easy, it’s simple. You should be able to do this in nothing flat and it makes a wonderful little sausage, so make sure to give this one a try. I want to thank you. I want to thank Michael for bring this, but I want to thank you for coming along with us as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

[Jon] If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Lemon Minced Pie

Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_00_07;28)
Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie.

  • Short Paste
  • 1 Lemon Peel
  • 1 large Baking Apple
  • ¼ cup Suet
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons
  • ½ cup raisins

Butter an 8 inch tart tin very well and place short tin in the bottom. Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_04;12)
Boil lemon peel about 20 minutes to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it easier to work with, then mince very fine. Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_02_52;26)
In a ceramic or wooden bowl, pare, core, and chop apple very fine and mix together with suet, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and raisins. Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_37;23)
Pour into short paste and bake around 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Lemon Minced Pie (Time 0_03_46;24)
Cool completely, even overnight or refrigerate to remove from tart tin.

Transcript of Video:

We’re concluding our baking in the Dutch oven series with this wonderful little fruit tart. I think you’re going to be surprised with this one. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie. Let’s get started.

Today we’re baking this in one of our 8 inch tart tins. These guys are hand made by Dennis Kutch, one of our tin smiths. He does a wonderful job. They’re available in the print catalog and on our website. The original recipe actually calls for making this in patty pans and probably the closest thing you’ve got in a modern kitchen is a cupcake tin so this is actually meant to be small individual little pies or tarts. Today we’re making this in one of these tart tins because of course we’re going to be baking in a Dutch oven.

If you’re going to be using one of these 18th century style tart tins, the bottom doesn’t come out of this so you want to make sure to butter it really, really well or you’ll never be able to get it out of the tin. This tart tin’s already well buttered. We can just lay in our paste in the bottom, any paste will work fine here, but short paste will work great and if you’re interested in a short paste recipe I’ll put a link to our short paste episode down in the description section below.

Our first ingredient is lemon peel and you might immediately say, “well, wait a minute Jon, did they have lemons in the 18th century?” Obviously you see lemons all over in the cookbooks. It really depends on where you’re located and the economic level of the person as to how common lemons would be in their standard daily diet, but obviously they’re very popular in the cookbooks. In this particular setting, we’re going to be using lemons. What we’re going to do is, we need lemon peel and you can just peel off the peel of your lemon, cut it off in one nice long strip to make it easier to work with and boil your lemon peel about 20 minutes. This is going to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it much easier to work with. Once we’ve boiled this lemon peel, we can take it out and mince it nice and fine.

To mix this up, we need a nonreactive bowl, something like a ceramic bowl or a wooden bowl. Inside this, we’ve got 1 large apple chopped up. It’s been pared and cored and chopped rather finely. You’ll want to use some baking kind of apple. Golden Delicious might work well in this. That’s what we’re using right now. To this, we’re going to add the diced lemon peel that I talked about earlier, ¼ cup of suet, ¼ cup of sugar, the juice of 1-2 lemons, and ½ cup of raisins. Mix these up well. We are using suet in this recipe. It can be difficult to find. We do sell a USDA approved suet in our catalog and on our website. You may be able to find some kinds of suet in your local supermarket or at your butcher shop. Again, if you’re interested in suet I want to point you to an earlier episode we did on rendering your own suet.

We need to cook this at around 400 degrees so we’ll need to get this Dutch oven nice and hot before we put this in and make sure it’s got plenty of coals. It’s going to bake probably 20 minutes or so.

And there we go. This one’s definitely cool enough to handle. If we wanted this to really set up so that we might be able to get it completely out of the pan, you’ll want to let this cool overnight, maybe even in the refrigerator or someplace really cool to let it really solidify, because it’s going to be hard to get out of this tart tin. Some of those juices have boiled up out of it and come down the edges so it’s going to be hard to get out. I’m just going to take a slice out of this guy, because there’s no way at this kind of temperature that it’s going to come out whole.

Let’s give this a try.

That’s got an amazing punch to it. This is wonderful. I can see why they call it a lemon minced pie. It’s got a wonderful lemony flavor to it. That lemon peel and the lemon juice really come through and yet you get these other chunks of, I guess the meat of, the tart which is the apple and the raisin, which give you a wonderful sweetness, but the flavor that really comes through is the lemon.

So this concludes our Dutch oven series on a wonderful note. This will definitely make a wonderful dessert. If you’re in the field and want to do a simple one, excellent, you can make the crust right there. None of these things needs to be refrigerated so you can definitely do this in the field. So wonderful, if you get a chance, you can try this at home. Again, wonderful dessert dish. Definitely give this one a try.

I want to thank you for coming along while we experiment with these Dutch ovens, while we see exactly what you can do in a Dutch oven in the field. Amazing things, wonderful dishes, great. I want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Posted in 18th century, Baking, historic cooking, Ingredients, pies, Recipe, Video | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Delicious Savory Onion Pie

Onion Pie (Time 0_00_08;15)Today’s recipe is a wonderful savory onion pie from “The Little Primitive Cookery” cookbook. This cookbook is a compilation of 18th century recipes that this particular author put together for people of lesser means. This onion pie was probably a substitute for a meat pie, because it is a very savory pie. You’ll also find this recipe in Hanna Glass’s cookbook and some other 18th century English cookbooks as well, so it’s a really interesting, fun recipe.

  • Potatoes
  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Salt
  • 1-2 tsps. ground Pepper
  • Mace
  • ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • Short Crust
  • Butter
  • 2-3 tsps. Water

If you look at the original recipe, it says you’re going to end up using about a pound of potatoes, a pound of apples, a pound of onions, and a pound of eggs. That means the whole pie would weigh more than 4 pounds. That’s a huge pie, at least in the recipe. Our pie plate is much smaller, so we cut the recipe down quite a bit. In the end, you simply want to make sure you use about the same amount of potatoes, apples, onions, and boiled eggs so that you don’t have too much of one over the others. You want to fill your pie pan up to be sort of heaping but it will cook down a little bit.

To prepare your ingredients, you need to pare up the potatoes. Onion Pie (Time 0_00_59;27)
You want to pare them up fairly thinly so that you have nice thin slices. Next, you’ll need maybe two or three apples, just like the potatoes. Onion Pie (Time 0_01_13;26)
First pare and core them, then slice them nice and thin. Next up, onions, I mean this is an onion pie right? Onion Pie (Time 0_01_31;09)Again, about the same quantity, so if your onions are a little bit smaller, you might need 3 or 4, and you’ll want to, of course, take the outer layer off and slice them up nice and thin. Again, probably about a 1/8th of an inch, maybe ¼ inch maximum. Our last main ingredient is the boiled eggs. Onion Pie (Time 0_01_52;29)
It’s best to boil these the night before so they are cool. Let’s peel them up, and then slice them. If they’re fighting you, it’s alright. Even crumbled up, they’re going to work just fine, again, about the same amount.

Now let’s put together a quick spice mix that we’ll need as we’re assembling this. Onion Pie (Time 0_02_12;25)
First we have some salt, maybe a teaspoon or two, ground pepper. We want some mace in this, and of course we need half a teaspoon of nutmeg. Now we’re ready to assemble this.

Onion Pie Time 0_02_20;14)You’ll need to make sure to have a pie crust ready. If you are interested in our pie crust you can check out this episode we did back in the third season.

Assembling this pie is really simple. Onion Pie (Time 0_03_01;21)
The recipe calls for just a couple little chunks of butter in the bottom and now let’s put a layer of potatoes in the very bottom of our pie. The recipe also calls for, as you’re putting these stages together, to put in a little bit of spices in each layer. Now we’re going to go with some apples and again with just a little bit of seasoning. Onion Pie (Time 0_03_23;04)
Now we’re going to come in with some onion on top then some of the egg. Keep going with the layers until your pie is full.

We’re going to finish this pie up by placing some chunks of butter on top and 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. Onion Pie (Time 0_03_58;14)We’re sort of steaming the ingredients in this pie. Let’s put this top crust on pinch together the edges well so it’s connected to the bottom crust. Finally, put 3 little slices in the top so this vents a little bit. Onion Pie (Time 0_04_26;13)
We don’t want it to bulge up with the steam pressure on the inside.

It’s ready to go in the oven. If you’re doing this in a standard oven in a modern kitchen, I would set the oven at about 350 degrees and this guy’s going to take at least 45 minutes, probably more like an hour to bake.

Onion Pie (Time 0_00_05;10)
This is a great full meal pie. It’s a wonderful main dish. This is such an inexpensive, quick, and easy pie to make up. It only takes an hour or so to bake and the flavors are amazing. You’ll love it, the kids will like it; even a little bit of mushroom ketchup on top of this will set it off perfectly.

Transcript of Video:

Today’s recipe is a wonderful savory onion pie. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with Jas Townsend and Son.

So, today’s recipe comes from “The Little Primitive Cookery” cookbook. This cookbook is sort of a compilation of 18th century recipes that this particular 18th century author put together for people of lesser means and this onion pie is probably sort of a substitute for a meat pie. It’s a savory pie. You’ll find this recipe in Hanna Glass’s cookbook and in some other 18th century English cookbooks, so it’s a really interesting, fun recipe. Let’s get started.

This recipe is very simple. We need an equal quantity of potatoes, apples, onions and boiled eggs sliced up, so let’s get started. I’m going to pare up some potatoes here. You want to pare them up fairly thinly so that you have nice thin slices and then we can move on to some apples. You’ll need, again, maybe two or three apples, just like the potatoes. First we’re going to pare them and then core them, and now slice them nice and thin. Next up, onions, I mean this is an onion pie right? Again, about the same quantity, so if your onions are a little bit smaller, you might need 3 or 4, and you’ll want to, of course, take the outer layer off of these and slice them up nice and thin. Again, probably about an 1/8th of an inch, maybe ¼ inch max. And our last main ingredient here, the boiled eggs. I boiled these up last night. Let’s peel them up, and now I’m going to kind of slice them. They’re fighting me, but even crumbled up, they’re going to work just fine, again, about the same amount.

Now let’s put together a quick spice mix that we’ll need as we’re assembling this. First we have some salt, maybe a teaspoon or two, ground pepper. We want some mace in this, so I’ve got some mace here, and of course we need in every recipe, nutmeg, half a teaspoon of nutmeg total, and now I’m just going to stir these up. Now we’re ready to assemble this. We have all the ingredients set up and I’ve already got a short crust put into this red ware pie pan. You’ll need to make sure to have a pie crust ready. If you are interested in this pie crust you can go and check out the episode we did, I think back in the third season. I’ll put a link down in the description section.

Let’s assemble this pie. It’s really simple. First we’re going to start off with a little bit of butter in the bottom. The recipe calls for just a couple little chunks here in the bottom and now let’s put a layer of potatoes in the very bottom of our pie. The recipe also calls for, as you’re putting these stages together, to put in a little bit of spices in each layer. Now we’re going to go with some apple here, again with just a little bit of seasoning. That’s good, now we’re going to come in with some onion on top here and now let’s put in some of the egg. Now the instructions say to keep going with the layers. Now depending on how thick your pie is, you may not have enough room for another layer but I’m going to do a thin layer.

Now if you look at this recipe here, toward the end it says you’re going to end up using about a pound of potatoes, a pound of apples, a pound of onions, and a pound of eggs. That means this whole pie is going to weigh more than 4 pounds. It’s a huge pie, at least in the recipe. This pie in this pie plate is much smaller, so you won’t need a full pound. Obviously this is going to fill this pie right up though. It’s going to be sort of heaping, but that’s okay, it’s going to cook down a little bit.

We’re going to finish this pie up now by placing some chunks of butter up on top and a little bit of water too. Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons, it calls for adding a little bit of water in here, we’re sort of steaming the ingredients in this pie, and let’s put this top crust on and let’s pinch this together and get this connected so it’s connected to the bottom crust. Now that we finished that up, we can just put 3 little slices in the top so this vents a little bit. We don’t want it to sort of bulge up with the steam pressure on the inside.

And here’s our assembled pie. It’s ready to go in the oven. If you’re doing this in a standard oven in a modern kitchen, I would set the oven at about 350 degrees and this guy’s going to take at least 45 minutes, probably more like an hour to bake.

Wow, this pie smells great. Let’s cut into it and see what it looks like.

Mmm, wow.

That is really, really good. It’s got a wonderful mix of flavors and spices and it’s so wonderful and savory and moist still. I mean with all that butter in there, you know it’s good. This is a great kind of full meal pie, you wouldn’t need to have a meat course if you had a pie like this that you were serving with maybe with just one little side dish or something. It’s a wonderful main dish. If you get a chance at all, and this is such an inexpensive quick and easy pie to make up, it only takes an hour or so to bake and the flavors are amazing, so definitely give this one a try. You’ll love it, the kids will like it, even a little bit of mushroom ketchup on top of this will set it off perfectly.

I want to thank you so much for joining me today as we come along and savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

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Dutch Ovens

 

Sourdough from Leaven(Time 0_04_15;28)There seems to be a modern resurgence in baking in Dutch ovens, but this technique has been used for hundreds of years. Dutch ovens were commonly used in 18th century kitchens. They were known by various names and they took on various forms, but they were known throughout Great Britain, France and the American colonies. Dutch ovens played an important role in the American colonies as well as the later on Western expansion. Louis and Clark took numerous Dutch ovens along on their western expedition. These vessels were favored by 18th, 19th, and even 20th century cooks and sojourners for their versatility. They could be used for soups and stews, for frying as well as for roasting and baking, even bread. Meat Pies (Time 0_08_57;16)
We found one early 19th century source that used the term Dutch oven and bread oven interchangeably. When it came to baking for a single meal, these were much more efficient than a wood fired oven. Because of their versatility and efficiency, they were also highly valued. You could frequently find them in old 18th century last will and testaments and in household inventories. Jas. Townsend and Son offers two different sizes, a 9 1/2 quart and a 12 quart model.

The Dutch ovens sold at Jas. Townsend and Son are a specifically 18th century and North American improvement on a 17th century design. The lip at the top is specifically designed to keep the coals from falling off and the legs at the bottom are to keep it so the air can flow underneath and keep the coals underneath alive.

Meat Pies (Time 0_07_09;19)When using a Dutch oven, you need to make sure that it is preheated. Just leave it in the fire pit until it’s good and warm. You have to get your pit ready for this. You need coals underneath your Dutch oven. Deciding exactly how many coals you want to use is a bit of a matter of judgement. Each person is going to have to get used to that. You need to practice. I put a ring of coals around the top of the lid here leaving the center a little bit open. Same thing at the bottom, there’s a little bit of opening at the very center to not get it too hot. Each one of those is going to be just a little bit different though. For even cooking you will want to rotate your Dutch oven every 5-10 minutes or so and you will want to check on your food about every 15 minutes to ensure that the oven is not too hot or cold and adjust accordingly.

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