Drop by the Steampunk Cookery website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Useful Soup for Benevolent Purposes

Presented for you without comment:

Ingredients.An ox-cheek, any pieces of trimmings of beef (say 4 lbs.), a few bones, any pot-liquor the larder may furnish, 1/4 peck onions, 6 leeks, a large bunch herbs, 1/2 lb. celery (the outside pieces, or green tops do very well), 1/2 lb. carrots, 1/2 lb. turnips, 1/2 lb. coarse brown sugar, 1/2 a pint of beer, 1/2 lb. salt, 1oz. black pepper, a few bread-raspings, 10 gallons of water.

Mode.—Cut the meat in small pieces, break the bones, put them in a copper, with the 10 gallons of water, and stew for 1/2 an hour. Cut up the vegetables, put them in with the sugar and beer, and boil for 4 hours. Two hours before the soup is wanted, add the rice and raspings, and keep stirring until it is well mixed in the soup, which simmer gently. If the liquor reduces too much, fill up with water.

Time, 6 1/2 hours. Average cost, 3d. or 3 1/2d. per quart.

(Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management.)


  1. Just saw this recreated on Supersizers Go Victorian. They tried serving it at an actual soup kitchen, needless to say it didn't go over well.

    I've been watching the other episodes in this series and they are quite interesting!

  2. That sounds quite intriguing—and I'm not surprised it didn't go over. I'll have to look in to that show.

  3. I found it over on You Tube, unfortunately BBC America isn't showing it and it's not out on dvd :-(

  4. I would suspect that the ox-cheek was supposed to be pre-cooked. We made beef cheeks last year and every recipe I found was 2-3 hours at a simmer to break the collagen. Also - it took heavy kitchen shears to cut them.

  5. Beef cheeks are definitely a... unique item to work with. I think after 4 hours boiling they would be pretty disgusting, honestly. It depends entirely on what the purpose is—if it's to lend flavor, then boiling it like this will work fine, as it would essentially lend texture to the stock. If the goal is to ahve edible meat, well... that's a different story.

    I've done a braised beef cheeks recipe before, and they needed to go about 4-5 hours at least to really get the chew out. Sadly, we had to serve them at about 3 hours, which was... unfortunate.


Your opinions and comments always are welcomed, but do be civil... this isn't a kitchen, after all.