Salmi of Game

This nice old-fashioned dish should ideally be made with half roasted gamebirds starting from scratch, but I find it a useful way to use up the remains of half-eaten birds. If you go to a dinner party during the game season you often see untutored people merely toying with their birds, leaving a wealth of good meat on the carcass. In such cases I beg the left-overs from mine host and render them into the desired Salmi. Here I give you the authentic method.

Ingredients

  • any form of game bird roasted very rare, to produce about 450 g/1 lb meat
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped, and 1 whole shallot
  • a bouquet garni including a blade of mace
  • black peppercorns
  • thinly pared rind of 1 orange
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 55 g/2 oz butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml/¼ pint red or white wine
  • 115 g/4 oz mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in butter
  • lemon juice
  • bread for croutons

Method

Carve the meat off the bones into slices as neatly as possible. Reserve. Remove any skin or fat, bash the carcasses and place together in a saucepan. Leave in the hearts and livers, but remove the rather bitter spongy substance from the insides. Cover with water or stock. Add a whole shallot, the bouquet garni, a few peppercorns and the orange rind. Bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour. Strain, return to the saucepan and reduce to 450 ml/ pint of stock. Season.

In another saucepan, large enough to receive all the ingredients, melt the butter and fry the chopped shallots until soft and yellow. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, then pour in the stock little by little, stirring away to make a sauce. Let it simmer for half an hour or more until quite thick. Add the wine and the mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat very low. Place the slices of meat in the sauce to heat through for 10 minutes; on no account let them boil which would ruin them. Check seasoning and add a touch of lemon juice to taste. Have ready some good white bread fried crisp in butter. Arrange the Salmi in the centre of a warmed dish and surround with snippets of the bread. Serve with a salad.

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