Stewed Chestnuts

Method

Strip the outer rind from forty or fifty fine sound Spanish chestnuts, throw them into a large saucepan of hot water, and bring it to the point of boiling; when the second skin parts from them easily, lift them out, and throw them into plenty of cold water; peel and wipe them dry; then put them into a stewpan or bright saucepan, with as much highly-flavoured cold beef or veal gravy as will nearly cover them, and stew them very gently from three-quarters of an hour to a full hour: they should be quite tender, but unbroken. Add salt, cayenne, and thickening if required, and serve the chestnuts in their gravy. We have found it an improvement to have them floured and lightly browned in a little good butter before they are stewed, and also to add some thin strips of fresh lemon-rind to the gravy.

Chestnuts, 40 or 50; gravy, ¾ pint, or more: ¾ to 1 hour.

Obs.—A couple of bay-leaves and a slice of lean ham will give an improved flavour to the sauce should it not be sufficiently rich: the ham should be laid under the chestnuts, but not served with them. When these are to be browned, or even otherwise, they may be freed readily from the second skin by shaking them with a small bit of butter in a frying-pan over a gentle fire.

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