1857 - The Great Western Cookbook

California Soup


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1857 - The Great Western Cookbook
California Soup

Take a leg of beef, weighing about ten pounds, and, after breaking the bones,
put it into a soup-pot quite large enough to hold it, just cover it with cold water,
and heat it gradually till it nearly boils. This should take not less than an hour.
Skim it attentively while any scum rises, then pour in a little cold water and let
it come to a boil again, skimming it till perfectly clear. Let it boil for eight or
ten hours, and strain it through a hair sieve into a brown stone pan, and set
it where it will soon become cool.

Next day remove every particle of fat from the top of it, and pour it through a fine
sieve into a stewpan, taking care not to disturb the settling at the bottom of the
stone pan. The stewpan should be of copper, well tinned. Put in an ounce of whole
black pepper, and let it boil briskly on a quick fire, taking off the scum if any
rises. When it is reduced to about a quart, set it over a gentler fire in a smaller
vessel, till it is reduced to the consistence of a very thick syrup. Be very particular
now that it does not burn, for a moment's carelessness may ruin the compound. Cool a
little of it in a spoon, and if it has the consistence of jelly it is done;
if not, boil it till it has.

Put it away in small dry vessels, or, if you wish to preserve it more than six months,
in bladders, such as are used for German sausages. If you prefer it in cakes, turn it
into a shallow dish; and when it is cold, turn it out and weigh the cake, and divide
it with a paste-cutter into half ounce or ounce pieces. Place them in a warm room, and
turn them frequently till they are quite dry, which will take a week or ten days. When
well hardened and kept in a dry place, they may be preserved for several years in any climate.