Saturday, July 23, 2016

GENTLEMAN'S RELISH


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      I have been busy with classes at Southern New Hampshire University where I will soon earn my Bachelors of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. This fact has certainly contributed to my lack of blogging on “Preserved and Pickled.”  I won't graduate until the spring of 2017 but will continue to add to this blog when the muse and the moment arrive. In the meantime, please bookmark my page so you may come back and visit regularly.
     My intention has always been to preserve the traditional. With that in mind, I offer the following post for potting up an old Victorian favorite, Gentleman's Relish. Of course, you can always browse through my old favorites, cataloged to the right of the page. The recipes posted here are tried and true favorites worth making year after year.


RELISH THE TASTE OF GENTLEMAN'S RELISH

The English seem to love condiments. In fact, when I think of definitively English foods, besides roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, tea, and scones, I think of English pickles and sauces: Branston Pickle, HP Sauce, Piccalilli, Marmite, Coleman's Mustard, Lea & Perrins. It would seem that no other country, except the United States, has such a diversity of sauces, relishes, conserves, jams, jellies, pickles, and condiments than England.

Paul and I are slowly restoring a lovely 1890s Victorian style home in Connecticut's Northwest Corner. While researching Victorian foods and recipes, I uncovered a unique condiment from British days of yore. A salty blend of anchovies, butter, herbs, and spices, "Patum Peperium," also known as "Gentleman's Relish," whose recipe has remained a closely guarded secret since its creation by John Osborn in 1828.


My intention has always been to search out and preserve traditional canning and pickling recipes. With this in mind, I offer you an old Victorian favorite, Gentleman's Relish. Traditionally spread on toast, this relish also adds a "kick" to other sauces or gravies or may be used as a sandwich spread. Gentleman's Relish is an essential ingredient for Scotch Woodcock - a Victorian snack served at the end of a meal (recipe below).

Throughout the 1800s, lean meat was preserved by cooking, then grinding it into a paste using a mortar, adding salt and spices, packing the mixture into stoneware containers, then covering with a thick layer of butter or lard. Osborn’s secret recipe was passed from father to son for more than a century until 1971 when the last two brothers sold the company to the jam manufacturers, Elsenham. Elsenham has kept the tradition of secrecy, but there are several knock-off recipes for Gentleman's Relish bouncing around the internet. After several experiments, I found French Tart's recipe on Food.com suited my tastes. I've converted the recipe to U.S. measurements.

 This article , written by Tom Parker Bowles, offers interesting insight of this unique spread.






GENTLEMAN’S RELISH

INGREDIENTS

 
7.5 ounces anchovies , drained  coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs

1/3 pound unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground mace

1 pinch ground ginger

1 dash fresh black pepper


DIRECTIONS

Using a food processor blend the anchovies and butter until they resemble a smooth paste.

Incorporate the spices (I first blended them all together first) into the anchovy paste. Spoon the paste into a large ramekin. Cover with clarified butter and chill.

 Stores in refrigerator for up to a month.



SCOTCH WOODCOCK

SERVES 2

This savory dish was popular in Victorian and Edwardian days when it was served at the end of a meal. This recipe was published on All British Food.com


INGREDIENTS

2 large slices whole grain bread

Sweet Butter for spreading

Gentleman's Relish

4 - 6 tbsp fresh Raw Milk

2 Eggs

Dash cayenne pepper

1 can anchovies (1 3/4 oz), drained or fresh White anchovy fillets


DIRECTIONS

1. Toast the bread, remove the crusts and spread with butter. Cut in half and spread with Gentleman's Relish.

2. Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan. Whisk together the milk, eggs, and cayenne pepper, then pour into the pan and stir slowly over a gentle heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir until creamy.

3. Divide the mixture between the anchovy toasts and top with thin strips of anchovy fillet, arranged in a crisscross pattern.



CHEESE AND MUSHROOM CANAPE

Thoroughly mix cream cheese with Gentleman's Relish, lemon juice, chopped olives and chopped parsley. Cap a raw mushroom and stuff with the mixture.