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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Fricandeau a term which came into vogue in English in the early part of the 18th century in the context of meat cookery. It is ultimately derived from the French verb fricasser and thus closely related to fricassée. The essential meaning seems to have been a slice or slices of meat fried or braised, with a sauce or on a bed of something such as sorrel purée. The English translation by J.K. (1702) of two important cookery books by the French author Massialot contained a helpful glossary for English readers. This gave the following explanation of ‘fricandoes’: ‘a sort of Scotch collops [see collop], made of thin slices of Veal well larded and farced, which are afterwards to be dress’d in a Stewpan, close cover’d, over a gentle Fire.’ The term was fairly common in English cookery books in the 18th century, but seems to have more or less disappeared from them during the first half of the 19th century. In France, however, escoffier was still giving a recipe for fricandeau of sturgeon in 1921 (in the 4th edition of his Guide culinaire).