To Heighten the Colour and the Flavour of Gravies


This is best done by the directions given for making Espagnole. An ounce or two of the lean of unboiled ham, cut into dice and coloured slowly in a small stewpan, or smoothly-tinned iron saucepan, with less than an ounce of butter, a blade of mace, two or three cloves, a bay-leaf, a few small sprigs of savoury herbs, and an eschalot or two, or about a teaspoonful of minced onion, and a little young parsley root, when it can be had, will convert common shin of beef stock, or even strong broth, into an excellent gravy, if it be gradually added to them after they have stewed slowly for quite half an hour, and then boiled with them for twenty minutes or more. The liquid should not be mixed with the other ingredients until the side of the stewpan is coloured of a reddish brown; and should any thickening be required, a teaspoonful of flour should be stirred in well, and simmered for three or four minutes before the stock is added; the pan should be strongly shaken round afterwards, to detach the browning from it, and this must be done often while the ham is stewing.

Obs.โ€”The cook who is not acquainted with this mode of preparing or enriching gravies, will do well to make herself acquainted with it; as it presents no difficulties, and is exceedingly convenient and advantageous when they are wanted in small quantities, very highly flavoured and well coloured. An unboiled ham, kept in cut, will be found, as we have already said, a great economy for this, and other purposes, saving much of the expense commonly incurred for gravy-meats. As eschalots, when sparingly used, impart a much finer savour than onions, though they are not commonly so much used in England, we would recommend that a small store of them should always be kept.