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

NO.53
SUMMER2017

A complicated ham sandwich allegedly inspired by Sherlock Holmes.

He was and is of course fictional whether or not he died beneath the falls. Any discernable relationship between the recipes from Sherlock Holmes Cookbook [sic] (New York 1976) and the great detective is equally untrue, but this one is a particularly nice devil typical (perhaps unwittingly) of the more elaborate nineteenth century English sandwich spreads.

Sherlock_Holmes_cookbook_cover.jpg


-about ½ cup minced ham
-about ½ lb sharp cheese
-1 Tablespoon minced chilies or 2 of bell pepper
-2 Tablespoons minced onion
-2 Tablespoons minced sour pickles
-1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (hot, like Colman’s)
-1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
-about 2 oz heavy cream

 


Dump everything in a food processor and destroy it.

 

Notes:

- It may seem less ‘creative,’ but go ahead and substitute Underwood Devilled for the actual ham and 2 Tablespoons bog standard green hot dog relish for all the pickles, peppers and onion. You will make an even better sandwich and nobody needs to know how you did it.

- The authors of the Holmes Cookbook, a pair of weirdos judging from the volume’s flyleaf, actually call this sandwich “Thorneycroft’s Thoracic Thrill.” They ‘link’ it to Conan Doyle’s Adventure of the Priory School by relying on this exchange between Holmes and Watson:

            “What is it, Watson?”

            “Absolute exhaustion--possibly mere hunger and fatigue.”

Our resolute authors then explain that to “prevent hunger and fatigue from overtaking your friends, this is a plan for a tea that Dr. Thorneycroft would have enjoyed very much during that day on which he so dramatically made his appearance at 221B Baker Street.” (Holmes 154). What a thrill.

 Sherlock_Holmes_cookbook_authors.jpg

 

Sean Wright and John Farrell promote their book with a remarkable absence of inhibition

 

 

- Wright and Farrell follow their Thoracic Thrill with “Saltire’s Sardine Savoury.” This connection to Holmes either goes without saying or fails utterly, for the authors provide no reference to any actual text, and it is no savory but rather a sandwich. No matter; this mixture of sardine, olives and seasonings is admirably authentic in terms of late nineteenth century English practice.

- To make the detectives’ sardine sandwich (if we cannot beat Wright and Farrell in their conceit we may as well join them), pulverize a dozen sardines that you have meticulously skinned and boned (avoids bitterness) with a generous Tablespoon each of minced celery and olives stuffed with pimiento, a scant ½ teaspoon ketchup, a full one of Worcestershire and a dollop of mayonnaise to bind. Really quite good.

- Wright and Farrell specify half the amount of Worcestershire.