The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.55
WINTER2017

Elizabeth Raper Grant’s eighteenth century “sauce for any meat broiled on spits” or otherwise roasted

Mrs. Grant’s recipes were celebrated by a triple rump of Bloomsbury--David Garnett, Duncan Grant and his father Bartle--in 1924, when they published a short, 850 copy run of her kitchen manuscript. This sauce is simple, astringent and fine, and would not challenge the most challenged cook. A delight due to its piquant simplicity.


 

Meat-on-spit.jpg

  • ½ cup walnut oil
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • scant ½ cup chopped good quality cornichon (like Maille)
  • generous ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • about ¼ cup minced shallot

 

Whisk together the oil and vinegar with the salt and pepper until the ingredients emulsify, then stir the solids into the sauce.

 

Notes:

-Mrs.Grant’s sauce does excellent service alongside David Garnett’s liver skuets. His recipe also appears in the practical.

-Mrs. Grant trusts to the judgment and experience of her reader to determine proportions. It is not that we distrust the judgment or denigrate the experience of our own readers but these days people do tend to expect arithmetic.

-The Editor likes a more vinegary vinaigrette than the classic French model; its traditional proportions favor a two or even three to one ratio of oil over acid.

-Mrs. Grant refers only to “oil;” the Editor has chosen the walnut. Grapeseed oil would work, and like garlic even olive oil had found its into British kitchens by the eighteenth century.

-Mrs. Grant knew and liked her garlic varietals. Garlic appears in a lot of her recipes and rocambole, she notes, may be substituted in this sauce “if you have no shallot.” Rocambole has a deeper, fuller flavor than standard supermarket garlic but also has a considerably shorter shelf life. Mrs. Grant likely would have grown her own rocambole and used it fresh.