Disguised Veal - Redaction1
3 1/2lbs ground veal2
Mix the above ingredients. Make sure the mixture is not too mushy, it will need to be able to stand up in firm balls and not flatten out in cooking. Add some breadcrumbs if the mixture is too soft. Casteau has the cook form the meat into a special shape like a little ham with a capons foot sticking out. A variation, if chicken's feet are not available or not appealing6, might be to take a chicken thighbone and form the meat (about 3/4 to 1 cup of meat) into a 'little ham' with the chicken bone sticking out like a ham bone. Stud the 'little hams' all over with pine nuts. Place them in a tourtière or ovenproof casserole and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cooked7.
In the meantime make a sauce of:
Chop the orange peel into pieces. Simmer together
for 1/2 hour. Serve along with the 'little hams'.
Another Sort of Disguised Veal - Redaction11
Take the veal mixture from the previous recipe and form it instead into balls about the size of a golf ball or into little sausages about 3" long. Put them in a high-sided oiled fry pan and make a sauce of the following:
1. This dish would be very appealing for the winter holiday season, redolent of spices and mulled wine. It lends itself especially to being served in a buffet. The 'little hams' may be baked, removed to a chafing dish and allowed to sit soaking up the sauce.
2. I like to get a veal breast, bone it and grind it myself. It is economical, especially in the Fall when they may be found for $.99lb, and has the proper ratio of fat to meat. I have not added additional beef fat as Casteau calls for in his recipe. Modern veal is, I think, a good deal more fatty than the meat Casteau would have had available.
3. The proportions of spices are only approximate so you adjust them to your taste. I don't think any of them should be overpowering.
4. Casteau calls for 4 eggs, by my experimentation it is clearly too many. Standard large eggs make the mixture like soup and he clearly wants the cook to make the meat into firm shapes. I suspect he might have been using a rather smaller hen's egg than we have today.
5. Alternatively slivered almonds may also be used if pine nuts are unavailable or too expensive.
6. Chicken's feet are sometimes carried by markets which cater to the Asian community. In Boston they may be found at Stop and Shop occasionally and certainly may be found at the Super 88 markets.
7. Note that the 'little hams' should be baked 'dry,' i.e. not in any sauce. The sauce is poured over when they are served.
8. I think red wine is preferable in this case. If a white is used it should be a sweeter white with a good deal of body, like a Monbazilliac or Sauternes.
9. Again this figure is approximate and up to your taste. However the effect Casteau is aiming for, I think, is for a sweet sauce.
10. This might simply refer to dried orange peel, but I have chosen to use candied peel, which was a typical way of preserving it. Candied orange peel may be found in Arabic and Armenian markets. I buy mine at an Armenian market in Watertown, MA. You can also make it yourself.
11. The verjuice/chicken broth/lemon sauce in this version is quite refreshing. It would be light enough to serve in the summer and perhaps could be served cold, although I have not tried that. It is interesting how completely different dishes are produced by the use of the different sauces, when the same meat mixture is used for both.
12. Bouillon cubes are acceptable in this case, they will provide the requisite degree of saltiness.
13. Casteau calls for verjuice or wine. I think verjuice is preferable. If one was to use wine, a semi-dry white would be the most appropriate as it would let the lemon shine through. Delicious Perigordin verjuice is available online at: www.frenchfeast.com, for $9 for a 750ml bottle.
14. Casteau calls for 'salted lemon' in slices. I'm not sure if it is a type of preserved lemon or if he means take lemon slices, salt them and put the in the dish. I opted for 5 lemon slices about 1/16th of an inch thick. I did not salt them as I was using a bouillon cube for the broth. Five slices of lemon makes a piquant but not overpowering sauce.
15. Again the herbs are to taste. I used dried mint although I suspect Casteau would have used fresh in season.