Prepare your dressing as for DRESSING FOR FOWLS, adding half an onion, chopped fine; set it inside. Take a young pig about six weeks old, wash it thoroughly inside and outside; and in another water put a teaspoonful of baking soda, and rinse out the inside again; wipe it dry with a fresh towel, salt the inside and stuff it with the prepared dressing; making it full and plump, giving it its original size and shape. Sew it up, place it in a kneeling posture in the dripping-pan, tying the legs in proper position. Pour a little hot salted water into the dripping-pan, baste with butter and water a few times as the pig warms, afterwards with gravy from the dripping-pan. When it begins to smoke all over rub it often with a rag dipped in melted butter. This will keep the skin from cracking and it still will be crisp. It will take from two to three hours to roast. Make the gravy by skimming off most of the grease; stir into that remaining in the pan a good tablespoonful of flour, turn in water to make it the right consistency, season with pepper and let all boil up once. Strain, and if you like wine in it, add half a glass; turn it into a gravy boat. Place the pig upon a large, hot platter, surrounded with parsley or celery tops; place a green wreath around the neck, and a sprig of celery in its mouth. In carving, cut off its head first; split down the back, take off its hams and shoulders, and separate the ribs.
ROAST LOIN OF PORK.
Score the skin in strips about a quarter of an inch apart; place it in a dripping-pan with a very little water under it; cook it moderately at first, as a high heat hardens the rind before the meat is heated through. If it is very lean, it should be rubbed with fresh lard or butter when put into the pan. A stuffing might be made of bread crumbs, chopped sage and onions, pepper and salt, and baked separately on a pie dish; this method is better than putting it in the meat, as many persons have a great aversion to its flavor. A loin weighing about six pounds will roast in two hours; allow more time if it should be very fat. Make a gravy with flour stirred into the pork drippings. Serve with apple sauce and pickles.
ROAST LEG OF PORK.
Choose a small leg of fine young pork; cut a slit in the knuckle with a sharp knife, and fill the space with sage and onion chopped, and a little pepper and salt. When half done, score the skin in slices, but do not cut deeper than the outer rind. Apple sauce and potatoes should be served with it. The gravy is to be made the same way as for beef roast, by turning off all the superfluous fat and adding a spoonful of flour stirred with a little water; add water to make the right consistency. Serve in a gravy boat.
BOILED LEG OF PORK.
For boiling, choose a small, compact, well-filled leg, and rub it well with salt; let it remain in pickle for a week or ten days, turning and rubbing it every day. An hour before dressing it put it into cold water for an hour, which improves the color. If the pork is purchased ready salted, ascertain how long the meat has been in pickle and soak it accordingly. Put it into a boiling-pot, with sufficient cold water to cover it, let it gradually come to a boil, and remove the scum as it rises. Simmer it very gently until tender, and do not allow it to boil fast, or the knuckle will fall to pieces before the middle of the leg is done. Carrots, turnips or parsnips may be boiled with the pork, some of which should be laid around the dish as a garnish.
FRESH PORK POT-PIE.
Boil a sparerib, after removing all the fat and cracking the bones, until tender; remove the scum as it rises, and when tender season with salt and pepper; half an hour before time for serving the dinner thicken the gravy with a little flour. Have ready another kettle, into which remove all the bones and most of the gravy, leaving only sufficient to cover the pot half an inch above the rim that rests on the stove; put in the crust, cover tight, and boil steadily forty-five minutes. To prepare the crust, work into light dough a small bit of butter, roll it out thin, cut it in small, square cakes, and lay them on the moulding-board until very light. No steam should possibly escape while the crust is cooking, and by no means allow the pot to cease boiling.
Trim off the rough ends neatly, crack the ribs across the middle, rub with salt and sprinkle with pepper, fold over, stuff with turkey dressing, sew up tightly, place in a dripping-pan with a pint of water, baste frequently, turning over once so as to bake both sides equally until a rich brown.
The tenderloins are unlike any other part of the pork in flavor. They may be either fried or broiled; the latter being drier, require to be well-buttered before serving, which should be done on a hot platter before the butter becomes oily. Fry them in a little lard, turning them to have them cooked through; when done, remove, and keep hot while making a gravy by dredging a little flour into the hot fat; if not enough add a little butter or lard, stir until browned, and add a little milk or cream, stir briskly, and pour over the dish. A little Worcestershire sauce may be added to the gravy if desired.
Cut them from the leg, and remove the skin; trim them and beat them, and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Prepare some beaten egg in a pan, and on a flat dish a mixture of bread crumbs, minced onion and sage. Put some lard or drippings into a frying pan over the fire, and when it boils put in the cutlets, having dipped every one first in the egg, and then in the seasoning. Fry them twenty or thirty minutes, turning them often. After you have taken them out of the frying pan, skim the gravy, dredge in a little flour, give it one boil, and then pour it on the dish round the cutlets.
Have apple sauce to eat with them.
Pork cutlets prepared in this manner may be stewed instead of being fried. Add to them a little water, and stew them slowly till thoroughly done, keeping them closely covered, except when you remove the lid to skim them.
PORK CHOPS AND FRIED APPLES.
Season the chops with salt and pepper and a little powdered sage; dip them into bread crumbs. Fry about twenty minutes or until they are done. Put them on a hot dish; pour off part of the gravy into another pan to make a gravy to serve with them, if you choose. Then fry apples which you have sliced about two-thirds of an inch thick, cutting them around the apple so that the core is in the centre of each piece; then cut out the core. When they are browned on one side and partly cooked, turn them carefully with a pancake turner, and finish cooking; dish around the chops or on a separate dish.
FRIED PORK CHOPS.
Fry them the same as mutton chops. If a sausage flavor is liked, sprinkle over them a little powdered sage or summer savory, pepper and salt, and if a gravy is liked, skim off some of the fat in the pan and stir in a spoonful of flour; stir it until free from lumps, then season with pepper and salt and turn in a pint of sweet milk. Boil up and serve in a gravy boat.
Make a good plain paste. Take from two and a half to three pounds of the thick ends of a loin of pork, with very little fat on it; cut into very thin slices three inches long by two inches wide; put a layer at the bottom of a pie-dish. Wash and chop finely a handful of parsley, also an onion. Sprinkle a small portion of these over the pork, and a little pepper and salt. Add another layer of pork, and over that some more of the seasoning, only be sparing of the nutmeg. Continue this till the dish is full. Now pour into the dish a cupful of stock or water, and a spoonful or two of catsup. Put a little paste around the edge of the dish; put on the cover and place the pie in a rather hot oven. When the paste has risen and begins to take color, place the pie at the bottom of the oven, with some paper over it, as it will require to be baked at least two hours. Some prefer to cook the meat until partly done, before putting into the crust.
Take pieces of ribs of lean salt pork, also a slice or two of the fat of salt pork; scald it well with hot water so as to wash out the briny taste. Put it into a kettle and cover it with cold water, enough for the required want. Cover it and boil an hour, season with pepper; then add half a dozen potatoes cut into quarters. When it all commences to boil again, drop in dumplings made from this recipe:—
One pint of sour or buttermilk, two eggs, well beaten, a teaspoonful of salt, a level teaspoonful of soda; dissolve in a spoonful of water as much flour as will make a very stiff batter. Drop this into the kettle or broth by spoonfuls, and cook forty minutes, closely covered.
PORK AND BEANS. (Baked.)
Take two quarts of white beans, pick them over the night before, put to soak in cold water; in the morning put them in fresh water and let them scald, then turn off the water and put on more, hot; put to cook with them a piece of salt pork, gashed, as much as would make five or six slices; boil slowly till soft (not mashed), then add a tablespoonful of molasses, half a teaspoonful of soda, stir in well, put in a deep pan, and bake one hour and a half. If you do not like to use pork, salt the beans when boiling, and add a lump of butter when preparing them for the oven.
BOSTON PORK AND BEANS.
Pick over carefully a quart of small, white beans; let them soak over night in cold water; in the morning wash and drain in another water. Put on to boil in plenty of cold water with a piece of soda the size of a bean; let them come to a boil, then drain again, cover with water once more, and boil them fifteen minutes, or until the skin of the beans will crack when taken out and blown upon. Drain the beans again, put them into an earthen pot, adding a tablespoonful of salt; cover with hot water, place in the centre a pound of salt pork, first scalding it with hot water, and scoring the rind across the top, a quarter of an inch apart to indicate where the slices are to be cut. Place the pot in the oven, and bake six hours or longer. Keep the oven a moderate heat; add hot water from the tea-kettle as needed, on account of evaporation, to keep the beans moist. When the meat becomes crisp and looks cooked, remove it, as too long baking the pork destroys its solidity.
FRIED SALT PORK.
Cut in thin slices, and freshen in cold water, roll in flour, and fry crisp. If required quickly pour boiling water over the slices, let stand a few minutes, drain and roll in flour as before; drain off most of the grease from the frying pan; stir in while hot one or two tablespoonfuls of flour, about half a pint of milk, a little pepper, and salt if over freshened; let it boil, and pour into a gravy dish. A teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsley will add pleasantly to the appearance of the gravy.
GRILLED SALT PORK.
Take quite thin slices of the thick part of side pork, of a clear white, and thinly streaked with lean; hold one on a toasting fork before a brisk fire to grill; have at hand a dish of cold water, in which immerse it frequently while cooking, to remove the superfluous fat and render it more delicate. Put each slice as cooked in a warm covered pan; when all are done, serve hot.
FRIED HAM AND EGGS.
Cut slices of ham quite thin, cut off the rind or skin, put them into a hot frying pan, turning them often until crisp, taking care not to burn the slices; three minutes will cook them well. Dish them on a hot platter; then turn off the top of the grease, rinse out the pan, and put back the clear grease to fry the eggs. Break the eggs separately in a saucer, that in case a bad one should be among them it may not mix with the rest. Slip each egg gently into the frying pan. Do not turn them while they are frying, put keep pouring some of the hot lard over them with a kitchen spoon; this will do them sufficiently on the upper side. They will be done enough in about three minutes; the white must retain its transparency so that the yolk will be seen through it. When done take them up with a tin slice; drain off the lard, and if any part of the white is discolored or ragged, trim it off. Lay a fried egg upon each slice of the ham, and send to table hot.
COLD BACON AND EGGS.
An economical way of using bacon and eggs that have been left from a previous meal is to put them in a wooden bowl and chop them quite fine, adding a little mashed or cold chopped potato, and a little bacon gravy, if any was left. Mix and mould it into little balls, roll in raw egg and cracker crumbs, and fry in a spider the same as frying eggs; fry a light brown on both sides. Serve hot. Very appetizing.
Scrappel is a most palatable dish. Take the head, heart and any lean scraps of pork, and boil until the flesh slips easily from the bones. Remove the fat, gristle and bones, then chop fine. Set the liquor in which the meat was boiled aside until cold, take the cake of fat from the surface and return to the fire. When it boils put in the chopped meat and season well with pepper and salt. Let it boil again, then thicken with corn meal as you would in making ordinary corn meal mush, by letting it slip through the fingers slowly to prevent lumps. Cook an hour, stirring constantly at first, afterwards putting back on the range in a position to boil gently. When done, pour into a long, square pan, not too deep, and mould. In cold weather this can be kept several weeks. Cut into slices when cold, and fried brown, as you do mush, is a cheap and delicious breakfast dish.
TO BAKE A HAM. (Corned.)
Take a medium-sized ham and place it to soak for ten or twelve hours. Then cut away the rusty part from underneath, wipe it dry, and cover it rather thickly over with a paste made of flour and water. Put it into an earthen dish, and set it in a moderately heated oven. When done, take off the crust carefully, and peel off the skin, put a frill of cut paper around the knuckle, and raspings of bread over the fat of the ham, or serve it glazed and garnished with cut vegetables. It will take about four or five hours to bake it.
Cooked in this way the flavor is much finer than when boiled.
PIGS’ FEET PICKLED.
Take twelve pigs’ feet, scrape and wash them clean, put them into a saucepan with enough hot (not boiling) water to cover them. When partly done, salt them. It requires four to five hours to boil them soft. Pack them in a stone crock, and pour over them spiced vinegar made hot. They will be ready to use in a day or two. If you wish them for breakfast, split them, make a batter of two eggs, a cup of milk, salt, a teaspoonful of butter, with flour enough to make a thick batter; dip each piece in this and fry in hot lard. Or, dip them in beaten egg and flour and fry. Souse is good eaten cold or warm.
First remove all dust and mold by wiping with a coarse cloth; soak it for an hour in cold water, then wash it thoroughly. Cut with a sharp knife the hardened surface from the base and butt of the ham. Place it over the fire in cold water, and let it come to a moderate boil, keeping it steadily at this point, allowing it to cook twenty minutes for every pound of meat. A ham weighing twelve pounds will require four hours to cook properly, as underdone ham is very unwholesome. When the ham is to be served hot, remove the skin by pealing it off, place it on a platter, the fat side up, and dot the surface with spots of black pepper. Stick in also some whole cloves.
If the ham is to be served cold, allow it to remain in the pot until the water in which it was cooked becomes cold. This makes it more juicy. Serve it in the same manner as when served hot.
Cut your ham into thin slices, which should be a little less than one quarter of an inch thick. Trim very closely the skin from the upper side of each slice, and also trim off the outer edge where the smoke has hardened the meat. If the ham is very salt lay it in cold water for one hour before cooking, then wipe with a dry cloth. Never soak ham in tepid or hot water, as it will toughen the meat.
Broil over a brisk fire, turning the slices constantly. It will require about five minutes, and should be served the last thing directly from the gridiron, placed on a warm platter, with a little butter and a sprinkle of pepper on the top of each slice. If ham or bacon is allowed to stand by the fire after it has been broiled or fried, it will speedily toughen, loosing all its grateful juices.
Cold boiled ham is very nice for broiling, and many prefer it to using the raw ham.
To TWO pounds of lean ham allow one pound of fat, two teaspoonfuls of powdered mace, half a nutmeg, grated, rather more than half a teaspoonful of cayenne.
Mode.—Mince the ham, fat and lean together, in the above proportion, and pound it well in a mortar, seasoning it with cayenne pepper, pounded mace and nutmeg; put the mixture into a deep baking-dish, and bake for half an hour; then press it well into a stone jar, fill up the jar with clarified lard, cover it closely, and paste over it a piece of thick paper. If well seasoned, it will keep a long time in winter, and will be found very convenient for sandwiches, etc.
BOLOGNA SAUSAGE. (Cooked.)
Two POUNDS of lean pork, two pounds of lean veal, two pounds of fresh lean beef, two pounds of fat salt pork, one pound of beef suet, ten tablespoonfuls of powdered sage, one ounce each of parsley, savory, marjoram and thyme mixed. Two teaspoonfuls of cayenne pepper, the same of black, one grated nutmeg, one teaspoonful of cloves, one minced onion, salt to taste. Chop or grind the meat and suet; season, and stuff into beef skins; tie these up, prick each in several places to allow the escape of steam; put into hot, not boiling, water, and heat gradually to the boiling point. Cook slowly for one hour; take out the skins and lay them to dry in the sun, upon clean sweet straw or hay. Rub the outside of the skins with oil or melted butter, and place in a cool, dry cellar. If you wish to keep them more than a week, rub ginger or pepper on the outside, then wash it off before using. This is eaten without further cooking. Cut in round slices and lay sliced lemons around the edge of the dish, as many like to squeeze a few drops upon the sausage before eating. These are very nice smoked like hams.
COUNTRY PORK SAUSAGES.
Six pounds lean fresh pork, three pounds of chine fat, three tablespoonfuls of salt, two of black pepper, four tablespoonfuls of pounded and sifted sage, two of summer savory. Chop the lean and fat pork finely, mix the seasoning in with your hands, taste to see that it has the right flavor, then put them into cases, either the cleaned intestines of the hog, or make long, narrow bags of stout muslin, large enough to contain each enough sausage for a family dish. Fill these with the meat, dip in melted lard, and hang them in a cool, dry, dark place. Some prefer to pack the meat in jars, pouring melted lard over it, covering the top, to be taken out as wanted and made into small round cakes with the hands, then fried brown. Many like spices added to the seasoning—cloves, mace and nutmeg. This is a matter of taste.
TO FRY SAUSAGES.
Put a small piece of lard or butter into the frying pan. Prick the sausages with a fork, lay them in the melted grease, keep moving them about, turning them frequently to prevent bursting; in ten or twelve minutes they will be sufficiently browned and cooked. Another sure way to prevent the cases from bursting is to cover them with cold water and let it come to the boiling point; turn off the water and fry them. Sausages are nicely cooked by putting them in a baking-pan them in the oven, turning them once or twice. In this way you avoid all smoke and disagreeable odor. A pound will cook brown in ten minutes in a hot oven.
Boil the forehead, ears and feet, and nice scraps trimmed from the hams of a fresh pig, until the meat will almost drop from the bones. Then separate the meat from the bones, put in a large chopping-bowl, and season with pepper, salt, sage and summer savory. Chop it rather coarsely; put it back in the same kettle it was boiled in, with just enough of the liquor in which it was boiled to prevent its burning; warm it through thoroughly, mixing it well together. Now pour it into a strong muslin bag, press the bag between two flat surfaces, with a heavy weight on top; when cold and solid it can be cut in slices. Good cold, or warmed up in vinegar.
TO CURE HAMS AND BACON. (A Prize Recipe.)
For each hundred pounds of hams, make a pickle of ten pounds of salt, two pounds of brown sugar, two ounces of saltpetre, one ounce of red pepper, and from four to four and a half gallons of water, or just enough to cover the hams, after being packed in a water-tight vessel, or enough salt to make a brine to float a fresh egg high enough, that is to say, out of water. First rub the hams with common salt and lay them into a tub. Take the above ingredients, put them into a vessel over the fire, and heat it hot, stirring it frequently; remove all the scum, allow it to boil ten minutes, let it cool and pour over the meat. After laying in this brine five or six weeks, take out, drain and wipe, and smoke from two to three weeks. Small pieces of bacon may remain in this pickle two weeks, which would be sufficient.
TO SMOKE HAMS AND FISH AT HOME.
Take an old hogshead, stop up all the crevices, and fix a place to put a cross-stick near the bottom, to hang the article to be smoked on. Next, in the side, cut a hole near the top, to introduce an iron pan filled with hickory wood sawdust and small pieces of green wood. Having turned the hogshead upside down, hang the articles upon the cross-stick, introduce the iron pan in the opening, and place a piece of red-hot iron in the pan, cover it with sawdust, and all will be complete. Let a large ham remain ten days, and keep up a good smoke. The best way for keeping hams is to sew them in coarse cloths, white-washed on the outside.
TO CURE ENGLISH BACON.
This process is called the “dry cure,” and is considered far preferable to the New England or Yankee style of putting prepared brine or pickle over the meat. First the hog should not be too large or too fat, weighing not over two hundred pounds, then after it is dressed and cooled cut it up into proper pieces; allow to every hundred pounds a mixture of four quarts of common salt, one quarter of a pound of saltpetre and four pounds of sugar. Rub this preparation thoroughly over and into each piece, then place them into a tight tub or suitable cask; there will a brine form of itself from the juices of the meat, enough at least to baste it with, which should be done two or three times a week; turning each piece every time.
In smoking this bacon, the sweetest flavor is derived from black birch chips, but if these are not to be had, the next best wood is hickory; the smoking with corn-cobs imparts a rank flavor to this bacon, which is very distasteful to English people visiting this country. It requires three weeks or a month to smoke this bacon properly.