Stews are a staple of the servants’ hall at Downton, as indeed they were in country houses more generally. They tend to be long cooked, use cheap cuts of meat, and are easy to make on the stove top or in the oven. In houses with several kitchen maids, the lowest maid would normally be in charge of making the servants’ food, which was one step up from doing all the peeling, chopping, gutting, and plucking that was the lot of the scullery maid. It was a way of learning to cook without too much pressure, though servants could sometimes be as exacting as the family. This recipe comes from Mary Fairclough’s The Ideal Cookery Book and is based on a rural French recipe that by the Edwardian period had climbed the social scale, been anglicized, and had descended yet again.