The first Earl of Sefton
In my previous post, I gave you a recipe for a basic veal stock, so I thought I would give you another recipe that shows of these kinds of home-made stocks to their best.
The recipe comes from the distinguished French Cook Louis Eustache Ude, chef to the Earl of Sefton. He came from good cooking stock himself, his father was chef to King Louis XVI.
Ude was quite a character, there’s a great story of him being hauled in front of a magistrate after he had been found selling roast grouse on his menu before the 12th of August (the date from which the gamed season begins. See here for a post all about that). He was given a fine and sent on his way.
The next day, the Scottish Laird who had reported Ude to the police returned to Ude’s restaurant to make sure he was abiding by the rules. Pleased to see there wasn’t a morsel of the offending bird on the menu, he ordered Salami de fruit défendu, i.e. Salmi of Forbidden Fruit, which turned out – of course – to be grouse!
Louis Eustache Ude
There was none of this nonsense when he worked for ,and was handsomely paid by, the Earl of Sefton, except when he left his service because Ude spotted the Earl’s son adding salt to some soup he made. Offended by this, he turned on his heel and left.
This recipe is in essence a savoury custard, and may sound odd, but it is in fact subtle, delicious and light. It could only work with a home-made stock though. I imagine it would be excellent nourishing food for someone that is ill. The little custards can be served in their ramekins or turned out onto a plate.
The recipe below comes from Jane Grigson’s English Food, where she suggests serving it with thin dry toast. A very good idea, I can confirm.
It makes between six and ten portions depending on the size of your ramekins.
600ml of good, clear, home-made stock
6 beaten eggs
grated zest of a lemon
¼ teaspoon of ground mace
salt and Cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons of clarified butter
Bring the stock to a boil and whisk into the eggs as you would with a regular custard. Add the lemon zest and mace and season with the salt and Cayenne pepper and whisk in the butter.
Place your ramekins in a deep roasting tin and pour the custard into them and cover them with foil. Pour boiling water into the tin, technically turning it into a ban Marie. Carefully slide the tin into an oven already preheated to 180⁰C and bake for 12 to 20 minutes, or until the custards are just set and still have a good wobble on them. Serve straight away.
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