MOCK PIGEONS (1875)
Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea
By Marion Harland [Mary Virginia Terhune] (1875)
• 3 or 4 fillets of veal.
• Force-meat of bread-crumbs and minced pork, seasoned.
• 1/2 cup mushrooms and a little minced onion.
• 1 sweetbread.
• A dozen oysters.
• 1/2 cup strong brown gravy.
• 1 glass of wine.
Take the bone, if there be any, out of the fillets (or cutlets, or steaks) of veal; spread each thickly with the force-meat, and roll up tightly, binding with pack-thread.
Put into a baking-pan with enough cold water to half-cover them; turn another pan over them and bake from three-quarters of an hour to an hour in pro portion to their size.
Meanwhile, boil the sweetbread fifteen minutes, blanch in cold water; cut into dice, and put into a saucepan with the gravy, which let sim mer on the hob.
Cut the mushrooms into small pieces and fry with the onion in a little butter, then add to the heating gravy.
In still another vessel, when the veal is nearly done, heat the oysters, also chopped fine, seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the "pigeons" are tender throughout, uncover, baste generously with butter, and brown.
Transfer to a hot flat dish; clip the packthread and gently withdraw it, not to injure the shape of the rolled meat.
Let the gravy in which they were roasted come to a fast boil, thicken with browned flour and pour into the saucepan containing the sauce, sweetbreads, etc.
Boil up once, add the wine; take from the fire and put in the chopped oysters.
Stir all together well in the saucepan, pour a dozen spoonfuls, or so, over the "pigeons," taking up the thickest part; send the rest to table in a gravy tureen.
You can make a simpler sauce by leaving out the sweetbreads, etc., and seasoning the gravy in the baking-pan with tomato sauce.
These "pigeons" will make an attractive variety in the home bill of fare, and do well as the piece de resis tance of a family dinner.
The complete 'Breakfast, Luncheon and Tea' may be found on the Michigan State University website:
'Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project'