To Stew a Rump of Beef

Reading MS., 1765.

’Season your beef with nutmeg mace peper salt and lard it with bacon put it in a pot and lay the fate side downward, put to it a quarter of a pint vinegar ½ pint red wine a pint of water three whole onions stuck with a few cloves – a bunch of sweet herbs two anchovys cover it close and let it stew over a gentle fire – four hours scum of the fate from the liquor and then pouer the liquor put over it in the dish garnish with horseradish and greens scald.’

A very simple rich recipe.


  • 3 lb. ( k.) rump of beef, cut and tied as for roasting
  • 2 rashers bacon
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • ½ pint (3 dl.) red wine
  • 3 large peeled onions, with 4 cloves stuck in each
  • bunch of herbs or bouquet garni
  • 2 anchovies
  • seasoning


In a saucepan which fits the beef with an inch or so to spare all round, lay first the bacon and then the beef. Add the onions, herbs, anchovies and seasoning; pour over the vinegar and the wine. Cover with foil and then with the lid, bring to the boil, and then simmer very gently for 3½ hours without uncovering.

Twenty minutes before it will be ready, cook spring greens, broccoli or green cabbage, so that they are very green and still a little crisp. Drain. Keep warm while you lift the beef on to a large flat dish, skim the stock well, check seasoning, and then ladle it over the meat. If the stock has reduced to a very small quantity add some boiling water, stir briskly and re-season. Put the green vegetable in a ring round the dish and serve at once with creamed potatoes and horseradish sauce.