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Tuesday, March 20. 2018
The "Brown Sauces" for meat are one of the four or five "Mother Sauces" in European cuisine. Really, French cuisine, because Italian cuisine has no original complex sauces (except Bolognese), and there is no such thing as English cuisine.
Readers know that my old stand-by brown sauce, Gibier, is an all-purpose concoction for game birds, chicken, and meat. Not to mention roast turkey. Also as a base for beef bourguignon or a soupy thing for meat ravioli. Depends on how much you want to reduce it for the purpose. Tastes like the soul of the earth.
In my (admittedly-amateur) opinion, brown sauces are made with roasted veal bones/stock, venison or pork bones, and/or poultry bones/stock, but not beef. Gotta roast the bones. I freeze it, but no real chef would do that.
What about "Steak Sauce"? If you go to a great steak&chop place like Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn, they put a bottle of their sauce on the table. Delicious stuff, but market steak sauces tend to overwhelm the meat in my view. If it's great meat, that's an error.
A few other variations of brown sauce:
A classic veal stock Bordelaise Sauce
A fun and easy Bordelaise made with beef scraps
Demi Glace. Classic, but never made it. It has a little roux in the mix, along the way.
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Yes there is bl**dy English cuisine. It just got semi-wiped out by 20 years of rationing.
Try reading Elizabeth Ayrton's "The Cookery of England" before you make such a terrible mistake again.
Shame on me for being culturally-insensitive.
I do love roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. Also, fish and chips. Also, tikka masala.
Yes, there is English cuisine, and it's largely horrible.
But they do a number of things well.
I was always surprised, however, to find out how bad Melton Pies actually were. I mean, I was psyched for them. Every time I went through there for a couple of years I bought some.
I appreciated them. I guess.
I do love steak and kidney pie, etc, the oyster mash places, fish and chips, and the fourteen meat breakfasts at select locations, and tea with the Queen let's not forget, but otherwise there are some funny ideas about food prep going on there.
I don't mean Melton Pies are bad, no no no. Just that they aren't as succulent as... other things.
And otherwise I misspoke in respect to "oyster mash" as I meant "eel". London used to be full of the eel houses.
The England has no cuisine nonsense makes it pretty easy to smoke out idiots who just repeat such tripe(a northern delicacy). We have great food and are quite content to mix it with food we brought back from our colonies, if Americans or whoever don't appreciate it then....who cares!
Good spot on the tikka masala!
One day I hope to have steak and oyster pudding-which is a famous cockney dish. Indeed, now I think about it, I don't see why I couldn't make it myself.
Steak and kidney pudding is awesome.
Baked ham is excellent.
Deserts/puddings: Eve's pudding, Victoria sponge cake, Bakewell tart, apple crumble, Queen of Puddings, Eton mess, lardy cake (after a long cold walk), chelsea buns, mince pies (I blew away a very sniffy Italian colleague with mince pies made to my wife's recipe-she demanded to have it and now makes them every Christmas), Christmas pudding, summer pudding, sticky toffee pudding, steamed puddings (lemon, chocolate and treacle), Eccles cakes, Madeira cake, seed cake, banana loaf, rock cakes, malt loaf, welsh cakes, bread and butter pudding, to name a few.
No cuisine, my hat!
OK, OK - I like all those things. But to term them "cuisine" is a stretch.
to term them "cuisine" is a stretch
You're dern tootin'; "cuisine" is a French word!
They're British cookery!
Clovis - was it really rationing? Various American regional cuisines bounced back after privation. I suspect it might be more the old Norman/Saxon division that stymied the development of truly English gourmet dishes, coupled with them (or derivatives) being identified with the upper class in America and therefore not being exotic. When going through my mother's family recipies we realized all our 'fancy' dishes did not reflect her Swedish heritage but the English tastes of the households in central Illinois where her foremothers cooked and served.
I’m a sauce and stock maker from way back. One thing that has really made this task much easier is an electric pressure cooker - specifically an InstantPot.
I can make a very rich stock in an hour or so. The stock comes out clear and cleanup is soooooo much faster. One pass through the chinois, dump the solids, an easy wash-out of the InstantPot and I’m done. I’m making stock more often and trying a lot of variations (pork, lamb, etc). Double stocks (using a stock as the liquid for a new batch of stock) are a snap and can be done in the same day!
If you really want to make and understand French mother sauces I highly recommend the book ‘The Saucier’s Apprentice’ by Raymond Sokolov. He takes the classic preparation and streamlines the process into an orderly step-by-step method. It is still a significant cooking project that will take a weekend. I need 3 days. I’ve done it a few times in order to make demiglace.
Seriously? Stock in an InstantPot? I should use a search engine, I suppose.
That Sokolov book is one of about 25% of the cook books that I did NOT throw away last week.
I think I made the demiglace twice. Once in a restaurant, huge volume. Once at home. It lasted a while, but not long enough.
As with a lot of things; how did I find the time and energy to do that before? And why would I do it now?
A lot of people never experience those flavors. I don't suppose that a few people won't continue to enjoy whatever it is, but who knows what will survive and what will cease to be?
Stock in a pressure cooker is old hat. Been doing it for decades.
Vulgarian here. I like A-1 sauce. But I don't pour it on the steak. I pour a little puddle, about the size of a quarter, on the plate. When I cut a piece to eat I dip it ever so gingerly in the A-1. A bottle of A-1 lasts at least a year.
Clovis - was it really rationing
Honestly? I don't know. The thing is, it was so extreme and lasted for much longer in the UK. It did not end until 1954 and my belief is that, by then a whole generation had failed to learn traditional cookery from their mothers. Actually, the knock-on effects lingered until at least the 1970s. For example, apart from a very few, traditional British cheese recipes have only been produced again in the past 15 or so years. We are now back up to over 120 in regular production (see here for some examples https://www.paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk/shop/cheese.html here for more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_cheeses) and I'll mention a few: Cornish Yarg, Stinking Bishop, Blue Vinney and Double Gloucester.
I'm being slightly difficult to Bird Dog anyway, in that a British haute cusine has always been quite small in scope (but not non-existent).
This is due, I believe, mainly to the traditionally very high quality of British meat (see, for example, this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2837245/French-celebrity-butcher-expelled-saying-British-beef-best.html).
This encouraged fairly plain preparation. The British specialities have always been: puddings, baking, pies and preserves.
Oh, great. Another steak-sauce snob. Yes, I get that it's a crime against nature to put ketchup on a steak, but the fact that I can put A1, for example, on a steak, or simply finish it with butter and garlic and rosemary is part of the wonderful variety that is the USA.
I like to cook but I am definitely an amateur. I have come to believe that the "sauce" can make the meal. I have tried to make some of the French sauces and find them both time consuming and expensive to make. I will probably never achieve that level of skill where I can make a fine demi glace. But I can make a good sauce quickly and cheaply using off the shelf ingredients and a little practice. There is no doubt that French cooking is excellent and a skill worthy of acquiring. But the more "every man" cuisine with less time consuming and less expensive recipes is more practical. Everyday I put a dinner meal on the table and there is a sauce and I never spend three days making it. The proof is in the taste not in the provenance of the recipe.