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of British foodways.

NO.54
FALL2017

Francatelli’s Cambridge sausage pudding.

Francatelli, chef to Victoria and at the Reform Club, did not call this dish dating from 1846 any such thing. He called it plain sausage pudding, but because the recipe begins “[p]rocure two pounds of Cambridge sausages… ” it would not be flying to ionospheric heights of speculation to claim it for the East Anglian university city. Cambridge sausages are very nearly lost to the twenty-first century, and while a few Old School artisanal butchers in England sell them they are unknown in the United States, so you will need to make your own or substitute something else. Our recipe appears elsewhere in the practical. Four robust portions.


For the pastry:

  • 1 lb self-raising flour ( see the Notes)
  • Kings-College-Cambridge.jpg ½ lb shredded suet (Atora is ideal or grate your own)
  • heaped ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • white pepper
  • about ½ cup cold water or less if possible

For the filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • a chopped onion
  • generous teaspoon rubbed sage (optional; see the Notes)
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon (or more) Worcestershire ( but see the Notes)
  • about 10 oz warm pork (preferred) or beef or chicken stock
  • 2 lb Cambridge sausages with their casings removed

 

  1. Make the pastry by mixing together all the dry ingredients and then gently kneading as little water as possible into the dough; add only enough liquid so that the dough just adheres.
  2. Roll out the pastry into a ball, flatten it into a disc, envelop it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and cook the onions until golden.
  4. Add the sage if you like, season the onions and stir in the flour followed by the Worcestershire.
  5. Slowly stir the stock into the onion mixture, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and let it burp for about twenty minutes.
  6. Cut away ¼ of the pastry for use as a lid and line a pudding basin with the rest of it.
  7. Dump the sausage into the basin followed by the onion sauce, top the pudding with its lid, cover it tightly with a pleated sheet of buttered foil and steam the pudding on a steady boil for about two hours.

Notes:

-The Editor does not add the sage specified by Francatelli. While some Cambridge sausages include sage, others do not and the Editor prefers them because their seasoning is so distinctive that the sage detracts from the unique nature of the sausage.

-Francatelli does not include Worcestershire in his Cambridge sausage pudding. Different editions of his Modern Cook specify various alternatives. One calls for a teaspoon of curry powder; another specifies Crosse & Blackwell ‘Oude Sauce,’ which no longer exists. If, however, you would like to try your pudding laced with Oude, Fortnum & Mason can, as it often does, ride to the proverbial rescue. Their good ‘King of Oude’s’ sauce is Worcestershire mixed with sugar, wine vinegar, redcurrant, citrus and Port.

-Oude itself, now Awadh, is a principality in north central India; Lucknow is its principal city.

-If you do not have self-raising flour, use plain flour and add another teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients at Step 1.

-Atora suet is available all over the United Kingdom and at some specialty stores in the United States.

-Francatelli “rubs” his onion sauce “through a sieve or tammy” and discards the solids. That is a false refinement to a hearty pudding.