Mushroom Catsup

Ingredients

  • Mushrooms, 2 gallons:
  • salt, ¾ lbs.; to macerate three or four days.
  • To each quart of Liquor, ½ oz.
  • black pepper, or quarter of a teaspoonful of cayenne; and 1 drachm of mace: to be reduced nearly half.

Method

Receipt:—Break up small into a deep earthen pan, two gallons of large ripe mushroom-flaps, and strew amongst them three quarters of a pound of salt, reserving the larger portion of it for the top. Let them remain two days, and stir them gently with a wooden spoon often daring the time; then turn them into a large stewpan or enamelled saucepan, heat them slowly, and simmer them for fifteen or twenty minutes. Strain the liquor closely from them without pressure; strain and measure it; put it into a very clean stewpan, and boil it quickly until it is reduced nearly half. For every quart allow half an ounce of black peppercorns and a drachm of mace; or, instead of the pepper, a quarter of a teaspoonful (ten grains) of good cayenne; pour the catsup into a clean jug or jar, lay a folded cloth over it, and keep it in a cool place until the following day; pour it gently from the sediment, put into small bottles, cork them well, and rosin them down. a teaspoonful of salad oil may be poured into each bottle before it is corked, the better to exclude the air from the catsup.

Obs. 1.—Catsup made thus will not be too salt, nor will the flavour of the mushrooms be overpowered by that of the spices; of which a larger quantity, and a greater variety, can be used at will.

We can, however, answer for the excellence of the present receipt from long experience of it. When the catsup is boiled down quite early in the day, it may be bottled the same night: it is necessary only, that it should be perfectly cold before this is done.

Obs. 2.—When the mushrooms are crushed, or mashed, as some authors direct, the liquor will necessarily be very thick; it is better to proceed as above, and then to boil the liquor which may after-wards be extracted from the mushrooms by pressure, with the sediment of the catsup, and sufficient cloves, pepper, allspice, and ginger, to flavour it highly: this second catsup will be found very useful to mix with common thickened sauces, hashes, and stews.