Huntsman’s Omelette

This recipe from Gloucester dates back to the Middle Ages, but is still made as a lunch or supper dish today. It is an egg dish rather than an omelette, and very good indeed. In earlier times, it was finished under a salamander, a flat sheet of iron with a handle, heated almost red hot in the fire and held over any dish which required last minute browning. The omelette is best served with a salad and thin slices of brown bread and butter.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (120 g) fresh fine white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • cup (0.9 dl) double cream
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 oz (60 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 stick (120 g) butter
  • 1 chicken liver or 2 oz (60 g) lamb’s or pig’s liver, finely chopped
  • 2 lamb’s kidneys or 1 pig’s kidney, skinned, cored and finely chopped
  • 8 eggs

Method

Put the breadcrumbs into a bowl and mix in a pinch of salt, and a sprinkling of pepper and nutmeg. Pour in the cream, stir and leave for 30 minutes for the crumbs to swell and absorb it.

Meanwhile fry the shallots and mushrooms gently in about half of the butter, turning them until they are just beginning to soften. Push them to the side of the pan and fry the liver and kidney, turning all the time, for 2 minutes. Then mix the mushrooms and shallots with the meat and put into a small dish to keep warm.

Heat the grill. Beat the eggs well with 1 teaspoon of salt, then beat in the cream and breadcrumb mixture. Melt most of the remaining butter in a large frying-pan. As soon as it begins to foam, pour in the egg mixture and fry for 2 minutes, working the sides into the middle with a palette knife or spatula. After 2 minutes put the meat mixture into the still unset centre. Dot the meat with the remaining butter and hold the pan under the grill for 30 seconds. Some of the egg will puff up around the meat. Serve immediately.