[Sca-cooks] English Food

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Jul 4 08:30:19 PDT 2008

On Jul 4, 2008, at 9:21 AM, Barbara Benson wrote:

> Master A said> I can state with some experience that people will
> crawl, naked, through open
>> fields of broken bottles and climb the barbed-wire-wrapped tree in  
>> the
>> middle of it, to get at the sauce gauncile sitting in that tree.  
>> Some of
>> them will even put the sauce on the barbed wire and eat it.
> Thank you! That is exactly what I am looking for. I have never done
> the meat with sauces thing because, for some unknown reason, it can be
> difficult to get people in this area to try sauces. You send the
> sauces out and they eat the meats plain because they are
> scared/intimidated/suspicious of the sauces. Then you get negative
> feedback that the meats were bland and boring - all because they chose
> not to use the sauces.
> Then again, I once served a whole deep fried onion with a
> Garlic/Walnut sauce that went over very well. Most tables would not
> allow the sauce to be removed from their table and applied it
> liberally to forthcoming foods.
> To give a second option on sauces what would you recommend? Maybe a
> mustard would be complementary?

Mustard is always good, and you can make it up weeks in advance (in  
fact you should, usually) and store it for when you need it. I think  
my favorite period version is a simple semi-wholegrain, semi-coarse  
ground Lombardy honey mustard -- mustard seeds, vinegar, white wine,  
salt, and honey. Kinda like that coarse Dijon with honey?

One of the slightly more obscure ones that's always a hit when I serve  
it is from those Two Anglo-Norman Cookery Manuscripts that Hieatt and  
Jones wrote about in Speculum in the 80's. I think it's called Rich  
Pepper Sauce, and calls for the usual fresh-ground black pepper (it is  
sublime with long pepper), bread-soaked-in-vinegar, ginger and salt,  
and for it all to be thinned down with the main ingredient, which is  
strained grape pulp. This is just magnificent on venison, beef, or  
other red meats, and though I've never tried the combination, I can't  
imagine it not being good with pork. I'll see if I can dig out a  
redaction; I must have one somewhere.

Another one that's very popular around here is the sauce from what is  
really more of a stew, in this case duck in civey. Here's a  
description of the process in an old post to this list from 2006:

> Basically, you boil ducks (you can also partially roast or brown  
> them in a pan, but we didn't), then boil onions (and lots of them --  
> in the same broth?) until they fall into a puree when you look at  
> them -- really soft. Puree the onions with some of the duck broth to  
> get a slightly thick onion sauce, thicken it with toasted (i.e.  
> brown) bread crusts soaked in vinegar and pureed. Season with salt  
> and pepper, add more vinegar if necessary, and stir in a little duck  
> fat at the end to give it a sheen.
> For the onions in a bulk setting, I put 10 pounds of whole, peeled  
> onions and just under a quart of water in the pressure cooker (using  
> the rack in the bottom) and processed them for 45 minutes (which is  
> probably akin to boiling them for about 3 1/2 hours in an ordinary  
> pot). When the pot was cool enough to open, I took the onions out  
> with a slotted spoon and used the same water (now bulked out with  
> onion juice) for a second batch of another 10 pounds of onion. The  
> second batch oxidized a little in the cooking, not burning by the  
> remotest stretch, but producing very soft onions of a sort of  
> caramel-cream shade. I pureed it all in a blender with enough of the  
> brown syrupy stuff (there's a lot of sugar in those onions if you  
> can get the fiber to break down, hence the pressure cooker). The end  
> result was a pretty concentrated onion "applesauce".

Just a few ideas... If you have people suspicious of sauces, I find  
it's good to give them the name of the sauce, but also tell them what  
it is in familiar terms: garlic cream sauce, onion gravy, etc.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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