Mock Turtle Soup recipe

Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?”
“No” said Alice. “I don’t even know what a Mock Turtle is”
“It’s the thing a Mock Turtle Soup is made from” said the Queen

Soup was an essential part of the Victorian Meal, and the Victorians tended to eat most things.

Mock Turtle Soup was a standard for the rather well to do but having to remove the brain from a calf’s skull just doesn’t do it for me but I don’t think Victorians were that squeamish

So what do we need?

Well according to the world-renowned Mrs Beeton we need:

*1/2 a calf’s head
1/4 lb. of butter
1/4 lb. of lean ham
2 tablespoonfuls of minced parsley
a little minced lemon thyme
sweet marjoram
2 onions
a few chopped mushrooms
2 shallots
2 tablespoonfuls of flour
1/4 bottle of Madeira or sherry
*force-meat balls
salt and mace to taste
the juice of 1 lemon and 1 Seville orange
1 dessert-spoonful of pounded sugar
*3 quarts of best stock, No. 104.

*The calf’s head you may be able to get from a good local butcher but I doubt if you are likely to get it in Tesco or Waitrose!

*Force-meat balls I always took to be stuffing but they are really more like falafel. Here’s a recipe from Michael Willis from his 1831 publication Cookery made easy: being a complete system of domestic management, uniting Elegance with Economy.

*Best Stock 104.

4 lbs. of shin of beef
4 lbs. of knuckle of veal
3/4 lb. of good lean ham
any poultry trimmings
3 small onions
3 small carrots
3 turnips (the latter should be omitted in summer, lest they ferment),
1 head of celery
a few chopped mushrooms
1 tomato
a bunch of savoury herbs, not forgetting parsley;
1–1/2 oz. of salt, 12 white peppercorns,
6 cloves,
3 small blades of mace,
4 quarts of water.

I have made this in a slightly different form and cooked it for only 2 hours and the result was a really wonderful tasting stock or it can be used as a table gravy.

Best Stock 104 instruction – Line a delicately clean stewpan with the ham cut in thin broad slices, carefully trimming off all its rusty fat; cut up the beef and veal in pieces about 3 inches square, and lay them on Continue reading