Clear Mock Turtle Soup

Potage de Tortue fausse clair

Method

Cleanse half a calf’s head well, by leaving it for twenty-four hours in salt and cold water, if possible under a running tap, to let the water escape. Then bone the head, remove the brains and tongue (which may be used for an entrée), tie the head in a clean cloth, and lay it to blanch in cold water; when it comes to the boil, skim it and then wash the head, and put it with rather better than six quarts of gravy stock. Put in the pan with the stock a good strip of celery, two or three carrots, four onions, two or three good leeks, one turnip, half a parsnip, a bunch of herbs, eight cloves, twelve peppercorns, and four blades of mace; let this all come gently to the boil; then skim it, cover the pan, and let it all simmer gently for three and a half or four hours, according to the size of the head. Put four wineglasses of sherry into a stewpan with a saltspoonful of mignonette pepper, a blade of mace, two cloves, a sprig of basil and marjoram, two sprigs of thyme and four bayleaves, and reduce it to half the quantity. Take out the head from the saucepan, remove any fat from the stock, strain it, add the reduced sherry, and clarify. When strained, return it to a clean stewpan, bring it to the boil, and mix to it one tablespoonful of the best arrowroot, previously mixed smooth with a little clear cold stock, or sherry, and let it all boil for two or three minutes; cut some of the glutinous part of the meat from the head, and stamp it out with a plain round cutter, the size of a shilling, lay these pieces in hot water, and while warm take off the outer skin with a small knife; wash these pieces well, and put them into the soup with a few drops of lemon juice and a dust of cayenne to each quart of soup. The remains of the head can be used for entrées &c.

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