This is an elaborate recipe for making aspic. The setting depends upon the gelatinous matter in the ingredients. Both the preparation and the cooking take a long time.


31/2-4 PINTS

1 calf’s foot, skinned and cleaned

5 lb. veal or beef bones and meat, chopped into

3-inch pieces, poultry carcasses and giblets

4 oz. pork rind

2 carrots, scraped

2 onions, peeled

2 celery stalks

2 leeks

1 bouquet garni, consisting of J

1 teaspoon thyme,

½ teaspoon tarragon,

1 bay leaf,

6 sprigs of parsley,

2 garlic cloves, and

2 cloves, tied in a piece of cheese cloth

2 teaspoons salt

2 egg whites and shells

2 oz. minced beef

1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon

4 fl. oz. Madeira

Wash and scrub the calf’s foot. Soak it in cold water for 8 hours, changing the water several times. Put it in a medium- sized pan, cover it with water and boil for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

Put the bones and meat in a large pan with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Slowly bring to the boil. Remove the scum with a large spoon. When the scum stops forming, add the calf’s foot, the pork rind, vegetables and seasonings. Add more water, if necessary, to cover all the ingredients by 1 inch. Bring to the simmer and remove the scum.

Cover with a lid, leaving space for the steam to escape. Cook for 5 hours, simmering very gently. Occasionally, remove the scum and fat and, by adding boiling water, keep the level of the liquid above that of the ingredients.

Strain the stock into a bowl and leave to cool. Remove the fat which has hardened on top when the stock is cool. The stock is now ready for clarification. Scald a large enamel or glass saucepan and a wire whisk with boiling water. Pour 4½ pints of the stock into the saucepan. Place the pan over moderate heat and bring the stock to the boil.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg whites with a fork.

When the stock is boiling, add the egg whites and shells. Using the whisk, whisk vigorously in an anti-clockwise move- ment. As soon as the stock begins to boil again, stop whisking and allow it to rise to the top of the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the stock to settle.

Repeat the boiling process twice more, being careful not to break the egg white crust that will form. After the third boiling, remove the pan from the heat and leave it for 5 minutes.

Line a large strainer or colander with a scalded clean flannel cloth and place it over a large mixing bowl. Slowly strain the stock through the strainer or colander without squeezing the cloth (this will make the aspic cloudy). Do not break the egg white crust.

If the stock is not perfectly clear, strain it again through the cloth and egg white crust into another bowl.

Remove the strainer or colander and stir in the Madeira.

When the aspic cools, keep it in the refrigerator, covered, until you are ready to use it.

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