Mock Turtle Soup

This soup is a marvellous combination of meats and vegetables, all simmered together and strained to make a very distinctive soup. Although traditionally the meat from the calf’s head, squeezed of juices after cooking and cut into squares, or, as suggested in this recipe, forcemeat balls, are eaten with the soup, they may be omitted if preferred. If omitted, reduce the cooking time for the jellied soup to just 15 minutes. Mock Turtle Soup tends to be very fatty, so make sure you skim it well.

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 oz. knuckle of veal, boned and cut into

1-inch pieces

4 oz. lean cooked ham, diced

4 oz. lean beef (shin), diced

1 large onion, quartered

1 carrot, scraped and quartered

1 turnip, peeled and quartered

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, trimmed and cut into

2-inch pieces

4 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

2 tablespoons dried marjoram

1 tablespoon dried savory

1 tablespoon dried basil

6 peppercorns

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 pints water juice of

1 lemon

1 large orange, peeled and segmented

1 calf’s head, cleaned

16 forcemeat balls, made from Forcemeat of Pork recipe, substituting beef for the pork

2 fl. oz. Madeira

In a very large flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the veal, ham and beef and fry, turning the meat pieces frequently, for 5 minutes or until they are brown all over. With a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the casserole and set aside.

Add the onion, carrot, turnip, shallots, celery and mushrooms to the casserole. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 8 to minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Return the veal, ham and beef to the casserole and add the bouquet garni, marjoram, savory, basil, peppercorns, salt and pepper. Pour in the water and add the lemon juice and orange segments.

Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer, for 15 minutes. Remove the casserole from the heat.

With a metal spoon, carefully skim any fat off the surface.

Add the calf’s head. Return the cas-serole to the heat and bring the soup to the boil again. Simmer for a further 15 minutes. Remove the casserole from the heat and, with a metal spoon, skim off any fat.

Return the casserole to low heat. Cover and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours, or until all the meat is very tender.

Remove the casserole from the heat. With a slotted spoon and tongs, remove the large pieces of meat, the calf’s head and large vegetables from the casserole and discard. Strain the soup into a large soup tureen and discard the vegetables and seasonings in the strainer. Leave the soup to cool completely for 5 to 6 hours or overnight, or until it sets into a jelly and a layer of fat has formed on the top.

When you are ready to serve the soup, remove the fat from the surface with a metal spoon. Spoon the jellied soup into a large saucepan. Set the pan over mod-erate heat and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.

Add the forcemeat balls and pour in the Madeira. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to moderately low and cook for a further

25 minutes, or until the forcemeat balls are cooked.

Taste the soup for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Transfer the soup and the forcemeat balls to individual serving bowls and serve at once.

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