This historic recipe from England offers an enticing opportunity to eat as our ancestors did. Rich, flavorful and quite delicious, the combination of flavors excites the palate and intrigues the mind.

Beef Tremblant - England, 1747
Recipe type: Ancient Cuisine
Serves: 6
  • 3 pounds to 4 pounds fat end of a brisket of beef
  • 2 Tablespoons allspice berries
  • 2 onions
  • 2 peeled turnips
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • SAUCE 1
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Cups gravy or strong beef stock
  • 1 Tablespoon mushroom ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon browning (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • a few carrots and turnips; peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 onion; peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 pickled cucumbers or dill pickles; finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 Cups good gravy or beef stock (from cooking the brisket)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter rolled in 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 pickled walnut; crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  1. Tie up the brisket with strong thread or string. Cover it well with water in a braising-pan and bring it to the boil. Skim. Salt the water and add the spice and vegetables. Simmer until tender, for about three hours. Remove the meat.
  2. To make the sauce (1), first melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the flour, cook a little and stir until smooth. Slowly stir in the gravy, ketchup, browning, wine and sliced vegetables; bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Season with pepper and salt.
  3. Skim the fat from the surface and serve the brisket in the sauce.
  4. Serve with pickles.
  5. For a sharper sauce (2), put the parsley, onion and cucumbers into the gravy, season, bring to the boil, and then simmer. Add the butter rolled in flour to thicken the sauce, then the pickled walnut and the capers. Simmer for 10 minutes and then pour over the beef.
From: "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy" Hannah Glasse, 1747 in "Seven Centuries of English Cooking" Compiled and updated by Maxime de la Falaise.

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